EL James author finds Fifty Shades publicity ‘too exposing’

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Author of the bestselling erotic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey has said in an interview that she feels “embarrassed” when men read her books and that the publicity surrounding her success “isn’t fun” and is “too exposing”.

Speaking to the BBC’s Will Gompertz EL James said: “[I do find it embarrassing] particularly with men reading them. Because they’re kind of my fantasies and I never for a minute thought that this would happen. So there is embarrassment but you just have to brazen it out,” she said.

She has sold more than 60 million copies and there is a Hollywood film adaptation in the pipeline.

When asked how her life had changed since ceasing to become a “normal person” James replied: “I’ve really needed my sense of humour over the last few months. Because this stuff [publicity] isn’t fun. I hate being on telly. It’s too exposing. I wrote it for fun, not to do all of this.”

The author refused to reveal if the characters Ana and Christian were based on anyone that she knew, only admitting that “there were traits” of people familiar to her.

James admitted there was no methodology, no outline and no structure when writing the book. “It just spilled out of me,” she said.

She declined to reveal if she was contracted to do another three books, adding “I’m under no pressure” and “I do it for fun, I wouldn’t do it otherwise”.