Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James held a Twitter Q&A for her legions of adoring fans on Monday.
It's the kind of fun and easy PR exercise that everyone in the public eye, from Boris Johnson to Robin Thicke, like to take part in every once in a while.
However, Twitter is Twitter, and fairly quickly some of the less brand-positive tweets were getting quite a bit of attention.
From people concerned with how the bestselling series of books treat consent, to those who just wanted to have a laugh, there were plenty of responses to the hashtag that probably weren't what James's PR team were hoping for.
Naturally, James's feted prose style made up a lot of the criticism.
What do you dislike more, Independent strong woman or the English language? #AskELJames— Trevor Donovan (@TrevDon) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames No question: Just, as a fellow author, thank you for proving to me that you can get anything published, no matter how awful.— Cersei the Fair (@NiceQueenCersei) June 29, 2015
Others chose to sympathise/make fun of the poor people who had to deal with the barrage of criticism that quickly clogged up the hashtag.
I'd rather #AskELJames's publicist why they thought this was going to be a good idea.— Jenny Trout (@Jenny_Trout) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames did you fire whoever thought this was a good idea— Churlish (@Cryptoterra) June 29, 2015
I've just been sick and some alphabetti spaghetti landed on a blank piece of paper, could I have your publisher's email address? #AskELJames— Jake Lambert (@LittleLostLad) June 29, 2015
Some went down a slightly more surrealist route.
Has your inner goddess ever done anything *really* naughty, like shoplift a Caramac from WHSmith's? #AskELJames— Lisa (@biscuitahoy) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames What's the minimum distance you have to stay away from Stephenie Meyer at all times?— Kayleigh Anne (@Ceilidhann) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames Why did you take the wisecracking talking cat out of the final draft that was the best part— T.R. Chambers (@GomessQ) June 29, 2015
There were plenty of genuine fans however, many of whom were keen to see some 'darker' stuff in future instalments.
However, the majority of the negative comments came from critics who object to the way in which the relationship between the two main characters is presented in the books.
James has previously faced accusations that the relationship between Ana and Christian is an abusive one, and that the books try to make sexual violence sexy.
are you aware of the abusive messages in your books? The concept that an abusive person can be reformed is a deadly one #AskELJames— A Cranky Spider (@chromesthesia) June 23, 2015
#AskELJames I need advice on making a BIG romantic gesture. Should I put a GPS tracker in her phone and make threats if she tries to leave?— Liam Dryden (@LiamDrydenEtc) June 29, 2015
Why are you incapable of taking the testimonies of abuse victims seriously? I mean is it just about the money? #AskELJames— Riff [Likes] Chicks (@RiffChick) June 23, 2015
According to many tweeters, the author blocked some of those who were criticising these aspects of the books.
I keep hearing about this thing called "consent." Please confirm that it is a myth as long as yr bf is hot and rich. #AskELJames— Menstrual Krampus (@MCThorsHammer) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames Do you understand the meaning of the words -consent -abuse -a healthy relationship -manipulation because I don't think you do— laura (@rmusIupin) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames thank you for teaching impressionable girls that consent is optional and dictated by men and not that it's a basic human right— emma (@PRESERUMPINING) June 29, 2015
If nothing else, James seemed to enjoy the ill-fated Q&A.
Off to meet the competition winners, now. Thanks so much for an interesting hour... :D— E L James (@E_L_James) June 29, 2015
It won't be long until another social media PR stunt goes awry, but it's fair to say that there might not be another with this particular author for a while.