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3 questions with EL James

The author of Fifty Shades Of Grey gives us Christian's side of the story

By ELLE team  June 22nd, 2015

Christian Grey will see you (yet again). EL James, author of the bestselling trilogy Fifty Shades Of Grey, is retelling the the story of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey (in case you had trouble following the movie), this time entirely from Grey’s perspective. And while reviewers are showing little restraint in giving the novel a good spanking, dopamine levels on fan-fic forums are skyrocketing. They are, after all, the driving force behind the new novel, which James declared is “dedicated to those readers who asked… and asked… and asked… and asked for this.” Here, she tells us why she found it necessary to return to Mr Grey.

How long have you been thinking about telling Christian’s side of the story?

“During an event in London in 2012, I mentioned that I wanted to explore his side of the story, but the idea really gained traction when I began to hear from readers. I’ve had many, many emails and tweets and Facebook posts from readers asking me to continue with his side of the story. It was finding the time to do it that was tricky. Once the movie wrapped I found I had more time, and I started to think about it then. Frankly, it was therapy to return to these characters that I adore.”

How excited were you to revisit these characters? 

“The characters and their voices are always with me. I might be out and about and spot something that I think Christian or Ana might like… and then they start bickering and bantering in my head. It’s tricky because I’ve been writing something else too, so it gets pretty crowded in there.”

As you spent more time with Christian, were there things about his character that surprised you?

“I think the biggest surprise for me was Christian’s relationship with his brother, Elliot, which was a lot closer than I had imagined. That was fun to explore. Elliot is the polar opposite of Christian – yet they have an easy fraternal camaraderie, which was a pleasure to write about.”

GREY: Fifty Shades Of Grey As Told By Christian (Penguin Random House) is out now

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