Who Is E.L. James?

What We Know About Fifty Shades Author E.L. James

What We Know About Fifty Shades Author E.L. James

E.L. James, author of the erotic Fifty Shades of Grey series atop the New York Times best-seller list, isn't embarrassed about her material. The British mother of two kicked off a book tour in Miami last weekend, greeting more than 500 blushing and flushing fans at an early morning signing on Sunday. Later in the day, she spoke to a sold-out crowd. E.L. James has bagged a seven-figure movie deal, and The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder already threw out his name as a possible Christian Grey. If you're deep into the S&M fiction, or just curious about the pop culture phenomenon, here are a few things to know about the woman who started it all.

  • Her real name is Erika Leonard.
  • Before she landed on E.L. James, she went by the pen name "Snowqueens Icedragon." And her work was originally titled Master of the Universe.
  • The story began as Twilight fan fiction, and E.L. James says Stephenie Meyers inspired her to try writing a novel.
  • She wrote the story during what she calls a "midlife crisis" and says it contains all her fantasies in one place.
  • She's been married for 20 years, and has two teenage sons who have not read the books. Of that prospect, she says: "Good God. I would be mortified."
  • E.L. James was raised in London, studied history, and previously worked as a TV producer.
  • She was named one of Time's most influential people of 2012.

Click through for some photos from the book tour.

Source: Getty
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