Told you so: Sexy Twilight Fanfiction turned book ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has hit the mainstream!



Have you ladies been paying attention to all the hoopla surrounding our beloved “Master of the Universe” (MOTU) Twilight Fanfiction turned book, Fifty Shades of Grey? Not only is Fifty Shades currently #27 on the New York Times Bestseller list, but hard copies are sold out on! This sell out is likely due to an entire segment dedicated to the book on the TODAY SHOW (OMG!) on Friday, which talked about how Fifty Shades is all the rage among book clubs across the nation. Now I don’t know about you girls, but I definitely feel a very strong sense of vindication that I wasn’t just living in la la land a year and a half ago when we all read MOTU. I always knew we were on to something special and that it was WAY too good to be held down in the Fanfiction world. And to see the book blow up seemingly overnight like it has, well, it makes me very proud and excited for Icy…er,E.L. James -- the author.


I saw this one article on The Globe and Mail that claims a “hoard of Manhattan socialites” started the frenzy by having some big celebration for the launch of the 3rd book in the Fifty Shades trilogy. From there, word spread like wildfire and desperate housewives the world over are clamoring for their Fifty.


Um…back up!




Didn’t Pop Culture Junkie start the very first (just go with it) book club dedicated to Fifty waaaay back in September 2010? Yes, we did. We started a book club for Fanfiction…and it was one of the happiest times of my life. Ha! Not to mention, thanks to all the sexy time I was having at home due to the uber erotic reading I was consuming, I came down with a mad case of the pregnancies! Yes, Fifty doesn’t only get Bella, I MEAN Anastasia pregnant, he got me pregnant too…in a roundabout way.




I know I’ve been the worst blogger ever since having a baby 7 months ago, but with all this buzz over Fifty Shades taking place, I felt I had to git back in the game! We need to help fan the flames and spread the lurv for Fifty.


Pop Culture Junkie and Fifty Shades author go way back


And oh by the way, isn’t it fun to sort of say you knew someone before they were famous? So as the books grow in popularity, so will E.L. James. When reading something this compelling, people’s curiosity about the author naturally grows. How does she know so much about BDSM? Has she done this stuff? Is she a desperate housewife herself? Is she some sex kitten essentially penning her own life experiences for the world to salivate over? I had all the same questions and I had to know the answers to them all. I had to talk to the author.


See podcast dedicated to Fifty and our first plea to interview Icy/E.L. James!



After tweeting Icy/E.L. James’ brains out for months on end begging her to do a podcast interview with me and my co-anchor Bulletsucker, she finally caved in and Skyped with us from across the pond. We were talking to Fifty’s maker and it was so much fun! If you missed them or want to relive the good times, check out the 5-part interview series here. We talked publishing MOTU literally days before Icy announced she was officially getting published!


In looking back over PCJ blogs, we have over 25 blog posts dedicated to Fifty Shades/MOTU. If you’re totally obsessed with Fifty and need to get your fix over anything ever written about it - or yummy photoshopped pics of Robert Pattinson as Fifty dominating his Anastasia, check out all Fifty blogs here.


And finally, since this book series is on fiyah right now, I’m feeling all excited to re-read the story and relive my Fifty love all over again! Who’s with meh? Full disclosure; I haven’t actually read the book Fifty Shades of Grey yet, only MOTU. So it’s kind of like reading a new book with new characters and stuff, which makes it exciting. Alright girls, grab your copy of Fifty Shades of Grey and git readin’! Let’s come back for a virtual discussion in the coming weeks.


Laters, babies!


Need to order Fifty Shades Trilogy? Click on the links below to order the series!


Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Freed

Views: 1193

Comment by Nicole Quinn on March 5, 2012 at 7:40am

Hi Courtney!  You rock babe (you too Bulletsucker.)  Last week when I was reading my morning copy of the New York Post, I almost spit my coffee all over it when I read the great article there!  I had such a visceral reaction, I was blushing like crazy and felt that same sense of vindication that you mentioned.  HA!  We are not just some weird kinky housewives with an obsession over Rpatz, we are genius literary critics too (tee hee.)  It felt really strange that our private love for Fifty was going public.  I had been dying to tell some of my more conservative friends about the books (since they have no clue about my love for fanfic, the books were still sort of safe territory.)  I'd followed E.L.'s blog and saw that she'd had some fabulous launch party in NYC (although I couldn't tell where exactly.)  I had a feeling that it would eventually wind up in the press.  I decided to take a chance and sent the link to a couple of my book club friends, saying what do you think of this idea (and that I could loan them a copy if they were interested.)  My "stuffy" friend pinged me back almost immediately with "I"LL READ IT!"  Turns out we were more alike than I'd realized :) and can't wait to get her review on the book. 

Comment by Colleen on March 5, 2012 at 9:13am

I guess vindication is one way to feel - but when I saw the bit on the TODAY Show - I felt a little bit betrayed.  Our secret, uber cool life was mainstream, and it included comments from Dr Drew!  The commentary & debate on the Today Show was ridiculous:  They simply didn't get it.  I am thrilled for the success of "Icy", she is truly a phenom - I've been fortunate enough to be back & forth on email with her several times, really a sweetie.  But, I can't help but morn the loss of the "secret handshake"!

Comment by Courtney on March 5, 2012 at 10:02am

I hear ya @Colleen. That makes sense. But I guess for me I tried so long to get my friends to read MOTU and they all thought I was completely lame for spending all my time reading something that wasn't a real book, just an "internet story". Now that it's a book, my friends are either reading it or asking for my copy of the book so they can read it! That's the vindication - I'm not lame, they should've listened to me back then! :) I chose not to even address the Dr. Drew/Savannah Gutherey segment on TODAY because clearly they didn't know what they were talking about. I doubt either of them have read the book. Besides, if anything it just sold more copies of Fifty Shades!


@Nicole - I know, one of my girlfriends is now reading Fifty in her book club and I'm dying to know what everyone thinks! I have a pretty conservative friend that I actually got to read MOTU back when I was reading it and I wasn't sure if she'd be into it, but she loved it! Now she's a Fifty Shades pusher on all her friends! I love it!



Comment by bulletsucker on March 6, 2012 at 8:00pm

i'm so ready to start this book club! i'm rereading starting with the first book, so let's get this party started! court, are we going to do another blog post for the book, or are we gabbing here? ps-- <3 u too nicole!

Comment by Papercut18 on March 9, 2012 at 12:02pm

I'm in for a PCJ book club read....I could re-read Fifty for a thousand recesses! (Actually, kinda blushing cuz I re-read it all the time *hee*) BTW Courtney....great to have you back where it all started! Ahhh....Fifty and Icy/ELJames bringing people together.....kumbayah anyone?

Comment by Nicole Quinn on March 11, 2012 at 7:17pm

Okay girls, I may have a chance to help explain our love of Fifty!  My conservative book club friend (see my previous post) has a friend who is an ABC producer!  She told her about my recommending the book to her club.  My friend was asking my opinion of the writing, and I just texted her a few thoughts, and she sent them to her producer friend, and now the producer wants to talk to me about it!   There was also a new article on 3/9 in the NY Times about the book, and it's my local bookshop in suburban NJ!!!    

My question to you ladies and especially @courtney much should I reveal about the origins of the book (the world of fanfic) and the current debate over whether Icy should be reaping such rewards over material that was inspired by Twilight?  Regardless of that debate, we can all agree that the negative comments in the press (a la Dr. Drew) certainly throw an unsavory shadow over our guilty pleasure.

p.s. my book club friend read the 1st 3 chapters on kindle and says "it has potential" - which is high praise from her! 

Comment by Papercut18 on March 12, 2012 at 10:42am

Ahhhh!! Nicole I read the NYTimes link and I'm VERY afraid. Firstly, the sex comments about how it degrades women (really, ummm, read the book people! Ana's a pretty strong woman hence some of the challenges she and Christian face in the first place), then talk about extended print runs, off the charts e-book sales, a movie (hope it never happens, won't be as good as the version in my head!), more attention, more hype *puts fingers in ears and goes la la la la la*.  Do you need to explain our love of Fifty? Can't we all just share it with a knowing nod and wink? Make it stop!

I guess we can't put the genie back in the bottle, but what if we all just keep quiet and let the dust settle? *stares up at the ceiling while quietly whistling* Let's stop drawing attention to ourselves. I don't want to piss off SM....then she'll NEVER finish that damned "Midnight Sun"....oh wait, that's already happening, but I digress....what do others think? Is this just flavor of the week and folks will move on or has something shifted in the fanfic universe?

Comment by Nicole Quinn on March 12, 2012 at 5:23pm
right on-you hit the nail on the head about drawing attention to ourselves, meaning, the twi fanfic folks. i googled fifty shades, and there are so many articles flying around now. mostly noticing debates about how women reading porn is different than men watching porn. i think it IS a big shift in public perception, that people are talking about the book offline in real life, as well as online. i think it is great that female friends have this topic as a springboard to more discussion of how erotic literature is healthy for female sexuality (regardless of how people feel about participating in bdsm activities i real life.)
Comment by Courtney on March 12, 2012 at 11:14pm

@Nicole -- That's cray cray that the ABC producer wants to talk with you! Have you talked to her yet? I'm not quite sure what to tell you if she's just asking about the writing. I've heard people say the writing isn't that great, but idk, I think if a book is becoming a phenomenon this quickly, the writing has some compelling quality that whisks readers off into this other place. That's the mark of good writing for me - not how many big words there are or how pretentious it sounds. I hate that kind of writing. I like reading something that sounds something like how I might talk, or think. That's why I loved this story, I could relate to everything Bella/Ana was thinking in those situaitions. That's my two cents on the writing.


In terms of wanting the hoopla to go away, I'm not really feeling that way. I've felt more vindication by the attention than I have felt "exposed" by it. As I said already, I felt like I sounded so dorky to non-fanfic readers when I tried to explain my obsession. It's not like I was reading fanfic quietly, minding my own biz. I was telling everyone I came in contact about it, I couldn't shut up about Fifty! I've never wanted to keep it my dirty little secret. When I love something, I want to share it with everyone -- I want everyone to love it right along with me! So that's how I felt about FF and I guess that's how I still feel about Fifty. Now, I def feel a strong sense of ownership over my Fifty -- new readers are like "new money" in the olden days -- green, amateur. We fanfic/MOTU lovers, we're like "old money." Much more respectable and experienced in our erotica reading! LOL!


And if you watched @Bulletsucker and my podcast above, you'd see that a year and a half ago we were already ready to finance the movie or HBO series (as we decided it needed to be) via Paypal and we were taking invest0rs online! Ha! I want to see it put on the silver screen, or HBO series, but it has to be someone insanely sexy and it has to be really really diiiiiiirty! HBO, yes please!


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