E.L. James Books In Order

Publication Order of Fifty Shades Books

Fifty Shades of Grey (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fifty Shades Darker (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fifty Shades Freed (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Grey (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

E.L. James Biography:

E.L. James is the nom de plum of Erika Leonard. She is better known as E.L. James, also known as the author of the much discussed book Fifty Shades of Grey. Whether you’re in the reading world or hovering at the fringes, chances are you’ve heard of, and even bought a copy or e-copy of, Fifty Shades of Grey. Since the book dropped in June 2011, it has traveled by word of mouth. Copies started appearing. People started telling their friends about it. Late night television show hosts were cracking jokes about the newest book that had appeared out of nowhere and was suddenly everywhere.

E.L. James has said that she started writing the instant she finished the Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight books and hasn’t stopped since. She admits she originally wrote the manuscript that became Fifty Shades of Grey as a fan fiction version of Twilight. James belonged to an online community of fan fiction writers that she contributed stories to under the user name Snowqueens Icedragon. She published the story under the name “The Master of the Universe” for the first time in 2009.

“Master of the Universe” found an outlet through a publishing company in Australia called The Writer’s Coffee Shop. She quickly followed it up with a sequel, Fifty Shades Darker. The third book in the series is called Fifty Shades Freed.

The book gained popularity and became a hit. Fifty Shades of Grey passed Harry Potter to become the fastest selling paperback ever. The three books together sold 35 million copies in the United States. In 2012, Random House stated that it had sold over 70 million copies. They estimated that at least 50% of the sales were digital sales for hand-held readers such as the Kindle. E-books globally are about 20% of sales for Random House. The publishing company posted record profits and sales for 2012, in large part due to E.L. James’ runaway hit trilogy and citing Dan Brown’s inferno as well as main drivers for the year.

Erika was born to a Chilean mother and a Scottish father who worked as a cameraman in London, England on March 7, 1963. She grew up in South East England in Buckinghamshire. She studied graduated from the University of Kent, where she majored in history. Following school, James went into the television production business. She rose to become an executive. She married husband Niall Leonard, a director and screenwriter, in 1987.

The first book in the series, 50 Shades of Grey, follows along with college senior Anastasia Steele. She and her room mate Kate both attend Washington State University. Kate does journalism assignments for school and takes sick one day. She asks Anastasia to go in her place to interview Christian Grey, a high achieving business executive. Anastasia or Ana as she is called reluctantly agrees. She manages the interview but is intimidated by the focused and intense Christian Grey. She leaves, only to have Christian show up at her place of work a short time later. They agree to meet for a shoot for some photos to accompany the article.

At the shoot, Christian takes Ana out for coffee. He asks her if she’s dating anyone. After he pulls her out of the path of an oncoming cyclist, Ana decides she’s interested but thinks she’s probably not attractive enough to date the accomplished Christian Grey. She receives a package in the mail that is a first-hand edition of Tess D’Ubervilles from Christian and shortly after calls him while inebriated. He lectures her and then alludes to her signing a contract.

As Ana and Christian see more of each other, she begins to learn more about the habits of Christian Grey. After they go on a date, he presents her with an agreement in which she would not be allowed to disclose anything they did together. He takes her into a BDSM room and informs her that their relationship will not be one that of any emotionally intimate or romantic nature. It will be a sexual, dominant and submissive relationship. Christian realizes from her behavior that she is a virgin and disregards the contract for now. They proceed to have sex.

Ana proceeds to receive more gifts from Christian as they continue to see each other. However, she becomes conflicted when she starts to develop feelings for Christian. She stays away until her college graduation, where he is the commencement speaker. Ana Steele agrees to sign the contract. They talk over boundaries and Christian spanks Ana for the first time. He continues to send her gifts, like a laptop, and introduces her to his family. Later, he punishes her at her request. He hits her with a belt and Ana realizes that maybe they will never be compatible. She leaves and goes back to her apartment.

In Fifty Shades Darker, Ana has moved on in the aftermath of her breakup with Christian to a new job in Seattle. Then Christian proposes starting up their affair again, and she cannot resist. Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey have become involved again, but will his past interfere? Christian intrudes with work and purchases the company Ana works at and fires her boss after his indecent sexual advances. Meanwhile, Ana has to contend with Christian’s past in the form of the woman who seduced him when he was just 15 and is still in his life, and is jealous of her relationship with Christian. A former lover of Christian’s named Leila is also stalking her and making Ana fear for her life.

Trouble strikes when Christian goes missing. He returns, citing helicopter failure most likely caused by sabotage. All the while, Ana is fighting fears that an ordinary, mainstream relationship may never be enough for Christian. He spontaneously seizes the moment and proposes. Ana doesn’t know what to say, so she asks for time. After he goes missing, Anastasia knows she never wants to be without him and accepts his proposal. They announce it the next day where Mrs. Robinson promptly lashes out at Ana and states that Christian will never be happy with an ordinary relationship. After, Christian proposes properly to Ana, and she accepts. The story continues in Fifty Shades Freed.

E.L. James and Focus Films along with Universal Studios will be releasing a film adaptation of Fifty Shades. It is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2014.

Book Series In Order » Authors » E.L. James