E. L. James Facts 📝

As a writer and mother, there are elusive details about E. L. James that gives a clearer picture of her life.

E. L. James

English Author

Before becoming a widely acclaimed romance author, E. L. James had a simple life living as a manager’s assistant at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England. Here are some must-know interesting facts about E. L. James.

E. L. James Facts

Her Real Name is Not E. L. James 

For her dedicated fans, this is not news. E. L. James is a pen name Erika Leonard created to write her stories. She was born to a Chilean mother and a Scottish father. She adopted her pen name for two reasons. The first reason was that she used the name because of the sexually intoxicating nature of her stories. The second reason is that she chose a pen name because of her children, who were young when she started writing.

Fifty Shades of Grey Came from a Pre-existing Novel

That is right; for those who think it is ‘Twilight,’ you would be wrong. Before writing the Fifty Shades Trilogy, E. L. James was a fan of ‘Twilight,’ a vampire romance novel by Stephenie Meyer. Her obsession with the novel would lead her to create a fan-fiction story called ’Masters of the Universe.’ After publishing the book, she began working on a story. She took all the characters from her first novel and rebranded them to suit a much more mature audience; this led to the creation of the Fifty Shades Trilogy.

E. L. James was Shocked by her Novel’s Success

When writing ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ E. L. James did not know that her novel would become the bestselling book of the decade. In fact, upon publication, she stated that her book sales shocked her as she had only created the novel during what she called her mid-life crisis. Her mid-life crisis paid off as she instantly moved from a manager’s assistant to a millionaire.

The Fifty Shades of Grey Film was a Massive Success

With a measly budget of 40 million dollars, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ became a hit at the Box Office. With the movie grossing more than 560 million dollars, it is the 11th highest-grossing film for 2015. However, it received negative criticism. It even won an award for Worst Picture.

The Fifty Shades Trilogy is the Bestselling Novel Series of the 2010s

That is right. From 2012 to date, The Fifty Shades Trilogy has been the bestselling series ever. On publication, it became the fastest-selling paperback novel in the United Kingdom. As of 2022, it has sold over 150 million copies worldwide. The massive success of the series made E. L. James feature in the list of 100 most influential people in the world. However, some people have argued that her novels negatively glorify abusive and toxic relationships.

Fifty Shades is E. L. James’s Only Successful Novel Series

After completing the Fifty Shades series, E. L. James tried to push her career forward by writing other novels. In 2019, she wrote ‘The Mister,’ a romance novel about an Earl, Maxim, and an Albanian immigrant maid, Alessia. However, the book received negative criticism and fell short.

There is a Second Version of the Fifty Shades Trilogy from Christian’s Perspective

With the success of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, E. L. James wrote a mirror set of novels that told the story of the original trilogy from Christian Grey’s perspective. The stories got the same name but included an indicator to show it was Christian’s perspective. The first is called ‘Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian.’ The second is called ‘Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian.’

Many People Hate the Fifty Shades Trilogy

Though the series has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide, many people did not hide their dissatisfaction with the novel. The first backlash came from the story’s depiction of BDSM, as some people have stated that the story misinterprets the concept entirely. Others have cited the story’s glorification of toxic relationships and mental abuse, while others have cited mediocre writing and character blandness. One thing is constant; many people are not shy to show their hatred for the Fifty Shades series.

E. L. James Featured in the 100 Most Influential People in the World’s List

In 2012, E. L. James got featured in Times Magazine of ‘The 100 Most Influential People in the World.’ Her novel has received praise for introducing alien concepts into erotic romance.


How good is E. L. James in writing?

According to critics, writers, and people who have read her novels, E. L. James is a bad writer. Her story lacks depth, and her characters are shallow and lack detail. Many people pointed out grammatical errors and irrelevant dialogue in her novels. Though it is normal to have mistakes as a writer, many dislike her stories for the lack of innovation and the addition of sexual content to cover up for blandness.

Do men like the Fifty Shades series films?

While some men find the Fifty Shades Trilogy interesting, most men dislike Fifty Shades. According to the Fifty Shades rating on IMDB, Fifty Shades scored 2.8 out of 10 among men.

Why is Fifty Shades of Grey called a mommy porn novel?

After Fifty Shades of Grey came onto the mainstream, it suddenly blew up and became an overnight success. However, many people started getting curious about the novel’s primary audience. The curiosity began after many women admitted that they hated the novel though they were supposed to be the target audience. Later on, a myth arose that the primary readers and fans of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ were moms and older women, thus making people call it a mommy porn novel.

Is Fifty Shades of Grey good for mental health?

Considering that ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is a novel that glorifies toxic relationships and promotes the idea of mental abuse in the name of love, it is far from a story that is good for mental health. The novel’s misrepresentation of romance, BDSM, sex, and decency makes it a bottom story for anyone looking for positive inspiration or happiness.

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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