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On Monday evening, I was literally handcuffed upon entering the Soho House in New York City’s Meatpacking District to attend an intimate “Evening with E L James.”The single handcuff permitted admittance into a wine-fuelled speaker series where “E! News” correspondent Alicia Quarles asked British “50 Shades of Grey” author E.L. James half an hour’s worth of questions about everything from how she researched for the book to how she has reacted to her newfound fame.
The talk was one of James’ first stops on a 10-day U.S. press tour she just embarked upon to meet fans , sign books and promote the release of the book’s album, filled with classical music that her male lead Christian Grey could be found listening to.
While James stayed mum on which Hollywood actors she thinks should be cast in the film version of her book series, the self-proclaimed “middle aged and overweight” author did open up about everything from being a pervert to what her teenage sons think about the racy book:
Photo: Aly Weisman/Business Insider
“50 Shades of Grey”:
- “This was all for me, my fantasies, so it’s nice to see it’s other people’s fantasies as well and I’m not such a pervert.”
- “I listened to music the whole time on my iPod while I was writing. Music can really inspire you and it helps set a scene, so I have a huge playlist for these novels.”
- What she listened to while writing: Black Eyed Peas, Bruce Springsteen, Britney Spears.
- “The characters obsessed me for two years while I was writing it.”
- She sees Christian Grey as a “very broken man.”
- I used to read romantic fiction on the tube. I’ve got 600 or 700 of these kinds of books.
- “I deliberately wanted a discreet cover,” unlike typical romance novels with “busty women.”
The book’s massive success:
- “All of this has been a huge shock to my system … I’m quite shy, believe it or not.”
- “I block it all out. It’s all noise. I’m still middle aged and overweight.”
- “It’s been such a whirlwind, we haven’t had time to do anything—including remodel our kitchen.”
- Her only major purchase has been a new Volkswagen.
- “I’m not recognised at all, it’s fantastic. I still travel on the tube.”
- “This whole thing happened so quickly.”
- “It’s so nice that women who don’t usually read are reading, that people who don’t usually listen to classical music are doing so.”
The upcoming film version of the “50 Shades” books:
- “I nearly fell off my chair” when a top Hollywood agency called about buying the film rights to the book in December 2010.
- In regards to casting or film rating, she strictly says “I’m not talking. It’s still early.”
- James will be involved with the movie, saying “They seem to want me to collaborate on the film.”
What E.L. James’ friends said after reading “50 Shades of Grey”:
- “Oh, you dark, dark horse.”
- “So this is what you’ve been doing the past two years!”
What her two sons think:
- “They’re wrapped up in their own worlds, I try to keep them out out of this.”
- “They’re still quite grounded, although they have asked for more pocket change.”
- James says her sons’ allowance is still “not that much.”
Book tour throughout U.S.:
- “I look forward to thanking people for buying the book and meeting the fans.”
- During her Seattle stop, James says she “really can’t wait” to stay at the Heathman Hotel she made famous in “50 Shades.” It will be her first time ever stepping foot in the hotel.
On “Twilight” being the inspiration for “50 Shades of Grey”:
- “I have not met [“Twilight” author] Stephenie Meyer, although I would love to. I think she’s a goddess.”
- As far as an opinion on Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson reportedly getting back together this week, James says “It’s none of my business.”
What’s next for the author?
- “I would like to do a paranormal romance.”
- James says she is currently trying to re-write the first book she ever wrote, saying “it’s still in my head.”
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