Bonus Blog: Fifty Shades of Grey

I feel a rant coming. I can’t help it. There’s something wrong with me, there must be. Why do these things make me so, so mad?!

Okay… from the top. At this start of this week I saw something on Facebook about Fifty Shades of Grey. I’d never heard of it. I thought nothing of it. Indeed I forgot about it completely until Wednesday when I walked passed Waterstones and there was a sign outside saying ‘We have Fifty Shades of Grey in stock; the book everyone is talking about!’

…everyone like who? Certainly I hadn’t heard anything about it.

Then I got an email from one of the blogs I follow and it was entitled ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ Hmm.

Then yesterday while skimming my Facebook feed I saw more people talking about this bloody book. By this point I’m actually curious enough to do some digging, so I made my way to trusty old Google and began to have a look around.

Can I just say… WTF? How on earth did I miss this? Have I had my head under a rock or something?! I know I have twins to be looking after (two months old today, by the way, heeeeeeeeeeeey! ^_^), but come on! Have I just completely cut myself off from the writing world to miss out on this?

Either way, whatever it is I’ve done wrong, I found out that Fifty Shades of Grey is actually the first book in a trilogy. Written by a British lady under the name E. L. James, the first book is ‘the first instalment in a trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism (BDSM).’


First of all, the story was originally a Twilight fan-fic (barf!), then it was rewritten in its own right and released bit by bit (clever). First as an e-book with print-on-demand (POD) paper copies. Funny, but Wikipedia’s description of the trilogy just makes me think of the Gor series by John Norman. If you don’t know Gor and BDSM is your kinda thing, I suggest you look them up.

-_- I feel like every time I have an idea, or a plan, someone else has got there first. I had been keeping my cards close to my chest (ie not mentioning it until I had some time to actually get to work on the idea that’s been brewing since January) but I’ve talked before about the erotica I write. It feels that everything I love is already out there and, by the time I’m ready to release or publish or whatever, the world will be sick of it. (*ahem* can anyone say vampires?).

*sigh* Its put me in something of a foul mood to say the least. Enough that I was talking about it on Facebook and Twitter and I’ve now chewed your ear in a bonus blog post to get it off my chest. Yes, I’ll admit, this is a whiny ‘why can’t this happen to me?!’ sort of post. What? Everybody is allowed one of those once in a while.

However, what I should do is say; well done to Erika James. You’re now experiencing the level of popularity and notoriety that we all aspire to and I doff my hat to your work.

Now I need to find the damn things and read them, along with The Hunger Games trilogy! After all, I don’t want to get all jealous (yes, I’ll admit that too! But I’ll get over it!) about these things until I know they’re any good. I may hate them…! Like some other extremely popular books though I’ll name no names. *ahem*

*runs to Waterstones*

About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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24 Responses to Bonus Blog: Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. kathrynruthd says:

    I could provide you with a link to a blog that gives a full and frank review of the 50 Shades books…not a favourable one at all but one I respect. I refuse to read them…not because of the subject matter but because of how they portray it. The books are hated within the BDSM community. I suspect you have little to worry about…if anything Ms James may well have paved the way for far more talented writers because if people like this stuff then they will surely love anything that’s a million times better written. If you want the link, let me know…it contains spoilers though 🙂 You probably want to make up your own mind though…will be interested to know what you think!


    • Hiyah! 🙂
      Thanks for the link (its the one below, right?); I’ll take a look at that after I’ve had a read of them. Though I’ve got to say… the way people are talking about them (people on FB and here, that is) I’m not sure I have much to worry about. Nobody sounds particularly impressed.


  2. Juls says:

    If it’s any consolation, the little I read of 50 Shades before I had to stop because I was guffawing so much, was entirely self indulgent. It isn’g being bought off the back of it being a decent erotic read, it’s being bought off the back purely for it being erotica. I don’t think you have to worry about people getting sick of erotica – Mills and Boon churn out over a hundred ‘romances’ a month and are one of the wealthiest publishing houses in the world and you can hardly call their output ‘literature’ or anything more than low brow. I CRAVE an erotic book that’s written as a beautiful book in it’s own right and not just non-sequiters galloping towards the next cliched and hyperbole-ridden hump.


    • Its lots of consolation actually! The more people who tell me they weren’t impressed, the more confident I feel. Probably wrong, but true. Though my worry is mainly about agents. If I want representation, they’re already inundated with vampire work (the vamp-boom doesn’t look like its ending any time soon) and if the same thing happens with erotica I’ll be quite disappointed. And annoyed. It makes me lean more and more towards the self-pub route. Though then you have the credibility issue.
      *sigh* It just goes on and on!
      Though I do feel better. 🙂 Thanks hon.


  3. Sarah Paine says:


    I\’d be interested in that link – I have been avoiding reading the books because they sound like a loads of tripe – but I also hate having uninformed opinions – I\’m tempted to download the \”free sample\” and just see how bad it is, but I am struggling to get motivated to even do that.

    Give me Laurell Hamiltons\’s vamp & eroticism any day


    • Ooooo yeah! I haven’t read any Laurell Hamilton for ages. I have to do something about that. 🙂


    • laura hodgkinson says:

      its not a bad book if you remember this is not a profesional author (well i guess she is now) granted its not gonna be a classic and will be forgoten about in 5 years. but as a standard book you can pick up of the shelfs it ok. ignore the hipe both good and bad and youll find it a decent read. as i said to Illy if you want the books i have all 3 full versions on pdf format if you want them i can email them too you.


      • I wonder about that, actually. How many books, despite their popularity are just fads. Things like Harry Potter and Twilight will probably last a good deal longer (what with all the films and additional merchandise), but do they have what it takes to stand the test of time?

        I now have all three of these Fifty Shades books and I’m going to read the lot, but I wonder if, as you say, in five years, I’ll have forgotten how irritated I am right now?


  4. 4amWriter says:

    I have not read this book, but I can say a well-written book will go further in memories than a fad. All types of subject matter have been repeated dozens of times over, but what you need to do is take a fresh spin on it and write it well. Read those Shades of Grey books, at least to get a sense of what was done. Then, write the one you were meant to write.

    Good luck!


    • I must remember that. Fresh spin, good writing and there is space to experience a lil biddy bit of success. Heh, I’ll leave the piece in the queue of writing I want to get done. No reason to let this stop me; Twilight certainly didn’t stop me working on Silk Over Razor Blades. ^_^


  5. Tim says:

    Publish anyway, follow your plans. Remember, “No idea’s original, there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s never what you do, but how it’s done.”


  6. Em says:

    I’ve heard that 50 Shades of Grey is terribly written. I’ll admit I haven’t read it, but I’m not sure about all of the hype. I worked in one of the larger chain bookstores for many years and it’s not like erotica is anything new. It had its own – albeit small – section in the store. My guess is that most people who love this book had no idea that anything like it has gone before and I find that particularly irritating.


    • For sure, the Gor books are well known for being full of BDSM and the like and they are years and years and years old. I think its more that these Fifty Shades books stemmed from Twilight. Still… I’ll have a read, see what I think and then write another spouty blog entry about it. Heh.


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