Fifty Shades of How I Met E.L. James
It was my first Romance Times conference...
My friend Maisey Yates and I were wandering about the lobby of the hotel, when I spotted a familiar face by the elevators.
I turned to my friend and asked, "Do you want to meet E.L. James?"
"Yeah!" she said, always up for anything. "Why?"
"Because she's right there by the elevators." She followed my gesture to the woman smiling and chatting with a few other fans. Those fans walked away and as I approached, Ms. James turned for the elevators. I caught her eye and she turned her head.
"I'm sorry, were you trying to get away? Because if so, I can let you go."
"No! No, not at all," she replied with a smile. At which point I thought, what a nice lady!
Then she asked us what we wrote. To which I responded "Billionaires!" and Maisey responded, "Billionaires!" and oh, did we all have a good chuckle.
Just three authors who write billionaires hanging out by the lobby.
There is a LOT of news of Ms. James lately, what with the new movie out and all. I'm over the moon excited for it! (I'm not sure when I got such a fever, but the buzz is contagious, and making me all buzzy, too.) Heck, back then, not everyone knew what she looked like. (I did, simply because I have an Entertainment Weekly subscription, and what my husband jokingly calls "Facial Recognition" software in my brain.) But my run-in with her is, and continues to be, nothing short of pleasant. Whenever I hear others disparage her work, it cuts me a little. How can any of us claim we were not influenced by a writer who came before us?
I said to her in that little moment we shared, "Congratulations on your success. You must be so excited!" and E.L. James said to me:
"Well...I like when people come up to me and say they love the books, but I don't like it so much when they come up to me and tell me they hate the books."
Think about that for a second. You wrote a book. You go to a conference. People go out of their way to say "I hate your book." :-o Makes me surprised and humbled that she stopped to talk to me at all. Maybe I look friendly, I don't know. Love FSoG or not, E.L. James has changed the canvas of the world with her words, her ideas, and her just being who she is.
And if you ask me, that's just plain admirable.