The ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Author Finishes What She Started (and Restarted)

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Exactly. And that’s what it’s like writing fan fiction. It’s so funny because I’m now in Clubhouse. I love it. And there’s lots of authors talking in groups and what have you, and you see the difference between pantsters and plotters. You know, people who plot things out, or people who fly by the seat of their pants. I’m a complete fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. I’ve got a vague idea of where I’m going, not sure if I’m going to get there.

When did you join Clubhouse? What do you do on there?

Probably, maybe, March, April or maybe February of this year, but because time has no meaning anymore, that’s the way it goes. Is it Thursday? Is it Saturday? Who knows! So some time this year, and I’ve been on there for at least two months. It took me a long time to actually speak up, because I’m incredibly shy. There’s a fantastic community of authors. And there’s a bunch of magicians and comedians that I talk to as well. They’re hilarious. A friend of mine, she’s a standup comedian, and she was in Clubhouse, and I was a bit mischievous about it, but I followed her into this room, and it was full of magicians and comedians. What better company?

What do you make of the impact that your books have had on publishing, after they helped bring more intense erotic romance into the mainstream?

It constantly surprises me. I will always be surprised by this kind of aberration. I would have been delighted to sell 5,000 books, and I thought I’d carry on working in telly and doing all that stuff, and, you know, living my life peacefully and what have you, and it’s completely changed my life. Yeah. It’s humbling and staggering, and I still can’t quite believe it.

I also think the series helped erase the stigma that was previously attached to hard-core erotica and proved that it can be massively profitable.

Women want to read this kind of stuff, you know? It’s no secret. We all want to fall in love again. If you can do it in a book, it’s a fairly safe place to do it as well. So, I think, you know, anything that’s female-centric is generally scorned, and you kind of get used to that, really, but it’s actually, you know, a billion-dollar industry. I’m flabbergasted, really, by sometimes how dismissive people can be. And then, you see the movies did an amazing business as well, because people want to see a love story that’s got some spicy bits. Now we say spicy. This is the word. Spicy is the word. This is what I’m learning on Clubhouse. Spicy.

What was the previous word?

Hot. Sexy. You know. All of those type words. Spicy is good. There’s more going on there with spicy.

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