E. L. James

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from E.L. James)
Jump to: navigation, search
E L James
E. L. James (cropped).jpg
James in May 2012
Born (1963-03-07) 7 March 1963 (age 51)
London, England
Pen name EL James
Occupation Novelist
Citizenship British
Education Wycombe High School
University of Kent
Genre romance, erotica, fanfiction
Notable works Fifty Shades of Grey
Spouse Niall Leonard
Children 2 sons

Erika Mitchell; born 7 March 1963),[1] better known by the pen name E L James,[2] is the British author of the bestselling erotic romance novels trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed.[3][4] The combined novels have sold over 35 million copies in the United States, and over 70 million copies worldwide, setting the record in the United Kingdom as the fastest selling paperback of all time.[5][6][7] In 2012, Time magazine named her one of "The World's 100 Most Influential People."[8]

Early life[edit]

James was born Erika Mitchell, on 7 March 1963, to a Chilean mother and Scottish father, a BBC cameraman.[9] She was brought up in Buckinghamshire.


James was educated at Wycombe High School, a state grammar school for girls in the town of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire in South East England, followed by the University of Kent, where she studied History.

Life and career[edit]

After leaving university, James became a studio manager’s assistant at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield.[10]

Fifty Shades trilogy[edit]

James initially wrote fanfiction under the pen name "Snowqueens Icedragon", with her most notable work being a Twilight fanfiction that eventually developed into Fifty Shades of Grey,[11][12] and subsequent film adaptation.[13] James has spoken of her shock at the success of the book. "The explosion of interest has taken me completely by surprise" she said.[14] James has described the Fifty Shades trilogy as "my midlife crisis, writ large. All my fantasies in there, and that's it."[15] She did not start to write until January 2009, as she revealed while still active on fanfiction.net as Snowqueen's Icedragon: "I started writing in January 2009 after I finished the Twilight saga, and I haven't stopped since. I discovered Fan Fiction in August 2009. Since then I have written my two fics and plan on doing at least one more. After that... who knows?"[16] In August 2013, sales of the trilogy saw James top the Forbes' list of the highest-earning authors [17] with earnings of $95m which included $5m for the film rights to Fifty Shades of Grey.[18]

Personal life[edit]

James formerly worked as a television executive.[19]

James was one of the celebrities, including Tom Hiddleston, Jo Brand, Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Riley, to design and sign her own card for the UK-based charity Thomas Coram Foundation for Children. The campaign was launched by crafting company Stampin’ Up! UK and the cards were auctioned off on eBay during May 2014.[20]

Awards and honours[edit]



  1. ^ "E.L. James". Waterstones.com. Waterstones. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Bentley, Paul (2012-06-17). "'Mummy porn' Fifty Shades Of Grey outstrips Harry Potter to become fastest selling paperback of all time". Daily Mail (London). 
  3. ^ Julie Bosman (2012-05-21). "Libraries Debate Stocking ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Trilogy". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "The Shy British Mum Behind 50 Shades of Grey". Time Magazine. 29 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Who Should be Time's Person of the Year 2012? E.L. James.
  6. ^ {author} (2013-01-10). ""Fifty Shades of Grey" coming in hardcover". Salon.com. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  7. ^ Bentley, Paul (18 June 2012). "Fifty Shades of Grey outstrips Harry Potter to become fastest selling paperback of all time". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  8. ^ The World's 100 Most Influential People.
  9. ^ "M&S meets S&M Mum who erotic bestseller Fifty Shades Of Grey". The Sun. Retrieved 31 May 2012
  10. ^ "Forget Mills & Boon! The new literary trend is explicit 'erotic novels' aimed at middle-aged mothers whose marriages are in a rut". Daily Mail. Retrieved 31 May 2012
  11. ^ 'Fifty Shades of Grey' by E.L. James is selling books (and more) LA Times. Retrieved 31 May 2012
  12. ^ Triple-X trilogy of novels has women talking (quietly). msnbc. Retrieved 31 May 2012
  13. ^ Belloni, Matthew (20 February 2013). "Universal Chairman Wants 'Fifty Shades' for Summer 2014, More 'Bourne' and 'Van Helsing' Reboot (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James – Exclusive interview" (2012-07-16) Shropshire Star. Retrieved 16 Jul 2012
  15. ^ 'Fifty Shades' author 'stunned' at success of erotic trilogy TODAY MSNBC
  16. ^ The Lost History of Fifty Shades of Grey
  17. ^ "E.L. James Seals A Spot On List of Britain’s Richest Authors". Lia. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Fifty Shades makes EL James top-earning author". BBC News. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  19. ^ Who is E L James? Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 31 May 2012
  20. ^ Rebecca Pocklington (6 May 2014). "Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Jo Brand and more celebrities design and sign cards for UK's first children's charity". Mirror Online. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  21. ^ The 100 Most Influential People in the World Time Magazine. Retrieved 31 May 2012
  22. ^ Alison Flood (3 December 2012). "EL James wins 'publishing person of the year' for making erotic fiction 'hot'". The Guardian (London). Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  23. ^ Molly Driscoll (December 3, 2012). "E L James as 'Publishing Person of the Year' draws outcry from literary world". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  24. ^ Alison Flood (5 December 2012). "EL James comes out on top at National Book awards". The Guardian (London). Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  25. ^ "EL James wins at National Book Awards". BBC News. 4 December 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 

External links[edit]