Saturday, February 25, 2012

Welcome E.L. James

I recently had the pleasure of reading this fantastic trilogy by E.L. James and now I can’t stop talking about it so I asked EL if she would stop by my blog and answer a few questions for us. I was delighted, and I must mention, jumped up and down like a lunatic when she said yes. 

First, a little background of her amazing trilogy. The synopsis on all three books from Goodreads.




When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time. The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms. Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny. Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds? Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.


Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades. While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.



When unworldly student Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and ultimately repelled by Christian’s singular sexual tastes, Ana demanded a deeper commitment; determined to keep her, Christian agreed. Now, together, they have more – love, passion, intimacy, and a world of infinite possibilities. But Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them ever anticipated. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity, identity or independence; Christian must somehow overcome his compulsion to control, and lay to rest the horrors that blighted his past and haunt his present. Just when it seems that together their love can conquer any obstacle, misfortune, malice and fate combine to make Ana’s worst nightmares come true. Alone and desperate, she must face down the poisoned legacy of Christian’s past. Seductive, shocking, sad and funny, Fifty Shades Freed is the compelling final volume in the Fifty Shades trilogy.


Please join me in welcoming, E.L. James.

Hi EL!

I’m so excited to have you visit my blog today.

Thank you for asking me. I’m very pleased to be here.

Your fantastic Fifty Shades trilogy has certainly sparked tons of interest. It’s packed full of sexy scenes and the hottest, richest guy on earth. Did you set out writing an erotic story or did your characters just happen to lead you in that direction?

Wow. Thank you. Yes it has sparked a great deal of interest – so much so that I’ve been overwhelmed by the response.
Did I set out to write an erotic story?  That’s a very interesting question. The characters really led the way from the very beginning. I wanted to write a love story – about unconditional love and how important it is, because that’s what I like to read – and what’s love without some sex thrown in? I didn’t plan on writing quite so much, but both Christian and Ana felt so passionately about each other, that’s the way the story went.

You live in London and Fifty Shades takes place in Portland and Seattle. Was there a special reason you picked those two cities in the US for your setting?

I have always wanted to go to Seattle, since reading Elizabeth Lowells’ love stories set in that area, and I wanted Ana to do an English Literature course, but I couldn’t find one I liked in Seattle, so I had to go to WSU. The funny thing is, most people think of WSU as being based in Pullman or Spokane, but it has a third campus, in Vancouver, Washington which is only about five miles from Portland in Oregon.  Hence locating some of the action there.  Once I made the decision to set the story in Seattle I tried to find the most expensive apartment I could for Christian – and it turned out to be at Escala.

As I’ve mentioned above, Christian is without a doubt hot, sexy and very rich. Can you tell us how you created this delicious man and how you developed all his flawed complexities?

Christian kind of evolved as the story went on.  I wanted him to be enigmatic, but basically he’s my fantasy man – controlling, wealthy, intelligent, funny, and he knows what to do in bed.  However, he’s also incredibly vulnerable and damaged from his heart-breaking childhood – and who doesn’t like a man who can be redeemed by love?

I’ve seen a lot of women posting pictures of who they think would make the perfect Christian. Can you give us some names and possibly some pictures of whom you would cast as Christian and Ana? (Note: feel free to post as many pictures as you want).

There is a lot of interest in the books from movie and TV producers which is very exciting, so I would rather keep my counsel about this one until I find out where all that is going.

Wow, that is so exciting. I, and I’m sure I’m not alone, will be watching. 

Can you tell us how you came up with Christian’s and Ana’s story? Did you have an idea of where it was headed before you started or did your characters drive the story? Did you already know it was going to be three books when you started?

Yes, I had an idea of where I would like to go, but I gave the characters their heads – and this is where it took me. When I started writing I had a very different ending in mind for them – but I kind of blew it at the end of the first book, so had to come up with something different.  I’ve had an extraordinary journey with them, and got to know them both really well. They will bicker in my head over the weirdest things.  I am hoping that I will get to know my new characters as well as know Christian and Ana.

You are a busy person. You’re a TV Executive and a wife and mother. How long did it take to write each book in this series, and what was your writing pattern like? How did you do it all, juggling between, family, work, and writing?

I have taken a sabbatical from work for the next six months. Frankly I’d like to lie down in a small dark room – or preferably on a sun soaked beach – for a month. When I wrote Fifty Shades I did nothing but work and write for about eighteen months, which is roughly how long the trilogy took me to complete.

You wrote the Fifty Shades trilogy in first person point of view—from Ana’s POV, to be more specific. You did a very good job of making Christian relatable to us through her. Did you find it difficult to write from one POV only? Have you written anything in third and why did you choose first person for this project?

I think first person POV is much easier to write than third person – so naturally I took the easy way out. Also I wanted Christian to be a mystery, and I felt the only way to achieve that was by using Ana’s first person POV, and watching him unravel as he grows to love her.

Fifty Shades is considered erotica. Is this your favorite genre to write and what is your favorite genre to read?

I have to be honest and say I am a woeful reader at the moment. I adore love stories in general,  not necessarily erotica. But then I don’t actually think of the Fifty Trilogy as erotica.  True, the sex is graphic – but I think of them more as contemporary adult romance.

Let’s talk sex for a minute. I for one, love research. What about you and what type of research did you need to do for Fifty?

Yes I did some research. (Grins) My poor husband was exhausted… that’s all I am going to say about that.

I love Christian’s quirky little sayings, like “Laters Baby.” It is one of my favorites and I, like so many others, use it all the time now. How did that phrase come to you?

My older nephew said ‘laters’ to me one day – and it sort of grew from that.

I read on your website that you are working on a new romantic thriller with a supernatural twist. I can’t wait. Can you tell us anything about it?

That one is a ghost story – but I’m not sure if that will be my next novel.  I am weighing up my options at the moment, and I have several ideas – more ‘adult contemporary romances’ and possibly a thriller… I’ll have to see what grabs me.

Thank you for giving me some air time on your blog.

You are very welcome and thank you for spending time here.

EL’s Fifty Shades Trilogy can be found here. I promise, you will not be disappointed. 

I've listed my reviews of each book separately and wrote them immediately after I read each one.

Fifty Shades of Grey

 I’m just not sure I can find the right words to describe my feelings about this awesome book. I could not put it down. Seriously!
Thank you Crazy ladies for the recommendations!!  I’m forever in your debt. It brought out so many emotions and fond memories of another writer I love. E.L. James has made me believe once again that fairy tales can and do come true. I laughed out loud and shed silent tears with Ana. Sweet Ana, lucky Ana! IMO. I do believe that Christian Grey (even with all his baggage) is my dream man. (well, aside from my husband) LOL. He’s unbelievably sexy, rich, and oh so in tune with every one of Ana’s sometimes silly emotions whether she realizes it or not.Thank you E.L. for having such a wonderful voice.

I want more. Yes, Ana, the good news is, there’s more. Fifty Shades Darker. Gotta go read it now and finish before Fifty Shades Freed is released on January 19th.


Fifty Shades Darker

Ahhhh ... what can I say other than I simply love this series. This book was everything I expected and more. I love the relationship, the play, the emails, the sex play, the love ... everything! Ms. James does an excellent job of getting into both character's mind from Anna's point of view. The bonus material was such a wonderful surprise. I loved the glimpse Ms. James gives us of Christian from his own point of view. I love reading and writing from the male POV and I would love to read more about Christian from Christian. 





Fifty Shades Freed

Yes. I did love this one too. I loved them all. I won't give any spoilers, but I can't gush enough about Christian. He is simply the best male on the planet. Full of enough love and emotion for FIFTY guys. I will definitely be reading more of everything and anything written by Ms. James. Simply the best. You must read this series! YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.

I mean it!!
♥♥♥ 



I wish for more.

Laters, baby.


Regan

18 comments:

  1. OMG I want want want this trilogy like now PLZ. DAYUM this trilogy sounds very good. Did I mention I want it NOW :). And THX for the awesome interview.

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  2. Thanks, Anna. Yes. You NEED these books.

    Regan♥

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  3. I find it interesting that E.L. wrote in first person because she feels it's easier. Many authors don't feel that way, and it's actually really hard to do without a lot of tell. But it would make the story very intimate, so I'm intrigued. Great interview.

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  4. I guess I am going to have to read these now :-) Good job on the interview!

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  5. I know what you mean, Renee. I find 1st POV hard also. It is easier in past tense than present, though. But these are such good books. I don't think they would be as good in third because of the intimacy and unconditional love.

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  6. Hey, cf, aka Trisha, I'm so excited that you stopped by. Thank you.

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  7. You are really a great interviewer! I had no idea. Congrats!

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  8. Haha, thanks, George. That means a lot to me. Thank you for stopping by. Hope to see you more often.

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  9. Nice interview. Well done Regan.

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  10. I enjoyed the interview, Regan, and now I am more determined than ever to get these books as soon as I can.

    EL seems like such a down-to-earth, humble, "regular" person which will certainly serve her well when she has to deal with all the fame and fortune I feel sure she will be facing soon!

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  11. Thank you, Eden. I’m sure she must already be dealing with the fame, especially since there is talk of a movie. I am very grateful that she agreed to do the interview with me.

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  12. This is my first visit to your blog, Regan, and I enjoyed your this interview very much. Now I have three more books to add to my TBR pile. Thanks for the reviews!

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  13. Thanks for stopping by, Pam. Hope you come back soon. I will be doing more interviews real soon.

    Regan♥

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  14. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  15. Thank you Regan for sharing the interview. Still not sure about the books, but I'm now considering them. Great job.

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  16. Thank you Maria. I'm so glad you got the chance to read the interview.

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I love hearing from you and always look forward to your comments!