Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey

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E. L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy has fascinated and seduced millions of readers. In bedrooms, in book clubs, and in the media, people can’t stop talking about it!

In Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, 50 writers—from romance and erotica authors, to real-world BDSM practitioners, to adult entertainment industry professionals—continue the conversation.

Fifty Shades as ...

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Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey

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E. L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy has fascinated and seduced millions of readers. In bedrooms, in book clubs, and in the media, people can’t stop talking about it!

In Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, 50 writers—from romance and erotica authors, to real-world BDSM practitioners, to adult entertainment industry professionals—continue the conversation.

Fifty Shades as Erotic Fiction
Erotic romance writer Sylvia Day speaks to the new opportunities the Fifty Shades trilogy has opened up for writers (and readers!) of erotica

Fifty Shades as Sexual Empowerment
Romance novelist Heather Graham praises the way the books encourage women to celebrate their own sexual shades of grey

Fifty Shades as Fanfiction
Editor Tish Beaty relates the process behind turning Twilight fanfic Master of the Universe into Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades as Pop Culture
Fifty Shames of Earl Grey author Andrew Shaffer compares Fifty Shades to sister-in-literary-scandal Peyton Place

• Matrimonial lawyer Sherri Donovan examines the legalities of Christian’s contract
• Master R of BDSM training chateau La Domaine Esemar evaluates Christian Grey’s skill as a Dominant (and offers some professional advice)
• And a whole lot more!

Whether you loved Fifty Shades of Grey, or just want to know why everyone else does, Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey is the book for you.


• Heather Graham
• Sylvia Day
• Andrew Shaffer
• M.J. Rose
• Sinnamon Love
• Judith Regan
• Stacey Agdern
• Laura Antoniou
• Jennifer Armintrout
• Tish Beaty
• Mala Bhattacharjee
• Rachel Kramer Bussel
• M. Christian
• Suzan Colón
• Joy Daniels
• Sherri Donovan
• Angela Edwards
• Melissa Febos
• Lucy Felthouse
• Ryan Field
• Selina Fire
• Megan Frampton
• Sarah Frantz
• Louise Fury
• Lois Gresh
• Catherine Hiller
• Marci Hirsch
• Dr. Hilda Hutcherson
• Debra Hyde
• Anne Jamison
• D.L. King
• Dr. Logan Levkoff
• Arielle Loren
• Sassafras Lowry
• Rachel Kenley
• Pamela Madsen
• Chris Marks and Lia Leto
• Midori
• Master R
• Dr. Katherine Ramsland
• Tiffany Reisz
• Katharine Sands
• Jennifer Sanzo
• Rakesh Satyal
• Marc Shapiro
• Lyss Stern
• Cecilia Tan
• Hope Tarr
• Susan Wright
• Editor X

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this fascinating examination of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy, edited by literary agent Perkins, 50 writers—including erotica and erotic romance authors, a matrimonial lawyer, an English professor, and BDSM practitioners—analyze the novel’s game-changing effect on the publishing world. Divided into seven sections—writing, romance, erotic fiction, sex, BDSM, fan fiction, and pop culture, along with a hilarious parody of the story in an “intermission” and an appendix with a suggested reading list—the book thoughtfully dissects the various aspects of the bestseller. Essayists credit a perfect storm of factors for James’s success: among them, the rise of e-readers and e-book publishers such as Ellora’s Cave, which allow women to buy and read erotica without embarrassment, and the viral nature of the Internet and fan fiction. The novel “forced the traditional publishing industry to accept that women have always enjoyed erotic romance,” notes literary agent Louise Fury. The subject certainly inspires passion in its contributors: several praise the book for giving women permission to be sexual beings, while others castigate James for promulgating abuse and stalker behavior, and others examine hero Christian Grey in the context of Byronic heroes. Love Fifty Shades or hate it, this engaging and eclectic read has a little bit of something for everyone. Agent: Louise Fury, L. Perkins Agency.(Nov.)
From the Publisher

"Fascinating examination of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy … Love Fifty Shades or hate it, this engaging and eclectic read has a little bit of something for everyone."
Publishers Weekly starred review

"Food for thought for readers eager to learn more about the series and the lifestyle it depicts."
Kirkus Reviews

"Written by some of my heroes in the industry, including Judith Regan, M.J. Rose, Heather Graham, Sylvia Day and forty-six others, it offers a way to understand [Fifty Shades'] popularity and appreciate its impact."
ForeWord Reviews staff pick

"For fans of the trilogy and readers who enjoy erotica and erotic romance novels, and for those interested in pop culture."
Library Journal

Library Journal
Edited by literary agent Perkins (The Insider's Guide to Getting an Agent), this anthology provides insight into E.L. James's best-selling trilogy. The contributors include authors M.J. Rose, Heather Graham, and Andrew Shaffer; literary agents; academics; psychologists; and practitioners of BDSM. They provide observations on the series as a cultural phenomenon and offer literary criticism while identifying the story's origin as Twilight fan fiction. Most of the writers are enthusiasts of the trilogy. However, some point out the sociological and psychological issues surrounding protagonists Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele's relationship, while others criticize James's depiction of BDSM. VERDICT For fans of the trilogy and readers who enjoy erotica and erotic romance novels, and for those interested in pop culture. Unfortunately, the lack of indexing and sourced essays prevent this volume from being useful to serious readers.—Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of essays from a variety of perspectives on the best-selling erotic romance series. The Fifty Shades trilogy, just like the Twilight series that inspired it, has created demand for books with similar themes. This book, edited by veteran erotica editor Perkins, is clearly an attempt to capitalize on this new, robust market. Several of the contributors make this shift in the publishing industry a theme of their essays: Louise Fury writes that E.L. James has "helped pave the way" for existing writers of erotica and erotic romance and that "new voices [will] emerge and follow in her formidable, trailblazing footsteps." Though there is general agreement that these books have created a space for new audiences and authors, there is disagreement on the representation of BDSM in the books. Jennifer Armintrout persuasively argues that the violent sex, though problematic, is less disturbing than Christian Grey's controlling and stalking behavior. Yet Susan Wright points out that critics of BDSM forget that "everyone in America is free to sky dive, rock climb and play football, which cause far more harm than BDSM." Perhaps the most novel perspectives come from Cecilia Tan's, Mala Bhattacharjee's and Anne Jamison's essays on the Twilight fan-fiction origins of Fifty Shades and Tish Beaty's account of discovering and editing the manuscript. Some of the essays appear to be hastily written personal reflections with a sentence or two about Fifty Shades thrown in; the "Fifty Writers" gimmick may have prompted the inclusion of some filler. However, the more thoughtful essays will provide food for thought for readers eager to learn more about the series and the lifestyle it depicts. Other contributors include M.J. Rose, Judith Regan and Rakesh Satyal. Gimmicks aside, the essays are mostly informative and intelligent.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937856427
  • Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/20/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 688,529
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Lori Perkins is a founder and former editorial director of erotica e-publisher Ravenous Romance, and has been a literary agent for 20 years. She is the author of The Insider's Guide to Getting an Agent (Writers Digest Books), and has edited 20 erotica anthologies and more than 100 erotic novels, as well as published erotica under a pseudonym.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Fifty Ways to Look at Fifty Shades Lori Perkins 1

Fifty Shades of Erotic Fiction

Between the Covers M.J. Rose 7

This Is the Story Tiffany Reisz 13

The Game Changer M.Christian 17

Fifty Shades of Change Louise Fury 21

The Brown Paper Bag Sylvia Day 27

Labels, Schmabels, I'll Take the Publicity! Lucy Felthouse 31

Porn Writer on the PTA Rachel Kenley 37

Is Fifty Shades Erotica? D. L. King 43

Fifty Shades of Romance

It's All in the Eyes Marci Hirsch 53

The Byronie Hero Archetype and Christian Grey Jennifer Sanzo 57

Grey Is the New Black Katharine Sands 67

Because Love Hurts Hope Tarr, PhD 73

Every Breath You Take Jennifer Armintrout 81


Fifty Shades of Play Judith Regan 93

Fifty Shades of Sex

Forbidden Fruit Is the Sweetest Suzan Colon 101

Fifty Ways of Looking at Sex in Fifty Shades Dr. Hilda Hutcherson 109

The McDonald's of Lust Lois Gresh 115

Crass Is in Session Rakesh Satyal 121

Sexual Empowerment at the Water Cooler Selina Fire 127

Fifty Shades of Women Heather Graham 133

Fifty Shades of Snark Midori 137

Fifty Shades of BDSM

Kink and Condescension Rachel Kramer Bussel 145

A Queer Leather Reluctant Support of Fifty Shades Sassafras Lowrey 153

The History of BDSM Fiction and Romance Sarah S. G. Frantz 159

The Legal Bonding of Anastasia and Christian Sherri Donovan 173

Wanted: Fifty Shades of Sexual Wholeness Debra Hyde 185

A Requested Evaluation of the Mastery of Christian Grey Master R 193

The Collar of Blue Stones Pamela Madsen 205

Being Stretched Dr. Katherine Ramsland 213

Whose Shades of Grey? Sinnamon Love 221

A BDSM Couple's View ChrisMarks Lia Leto 227

Fifty Shades of Sexual Freedom Susan Wright 237

Fifty Shades of Writing

The Delicate Balance Ryan Field 245

Was It Good for You? Catherine Hitter 253

The Story Is in the Sex Joy Daniels 259

Sexually Positive Stacey Agdern 267

My Inner Goddess Megan Frampton 273


Fifty Shades of Holy Crap! Laura Antoniou 281

Fifty Shades of Fanfiction

Fifty Shades of Stories Cecilia Tan 293

Editing Fifty Tish Beaty 299

Throwing Shade Mala Bhattacharjee 305

When Fifty Was Fic Anne Jamison 311

Fifty Shades of Pop Culture

Fifty Shades Is Where You Find It Marc Shapiro 325

How I Lost Christian Grey at Auction Editor X 329

Making Fifty Shades into Cinema Angela Edwards 333

Fifty Shades of Grace Metalious Andrew Shaffer 339

Fifty Shades of Diva Frenzy! Lyss Stern 347

Imagining a Black Fifty Shades Arielle Loren 351

The Professional Poster Child Dr. Logan Levkoff 357

Raising the Shades Melissa Febos 363

Appendix: Fifty Shades of Reading 369

About the Editor 373

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2012

    This book is a collection of thoughts from fifty erotica writers

    This book is a collection of thoughts from fifty erotica writers, and their take on E.L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy.

    Though the way they told their stories were different from each other, all fifty erotic romance writers share the same trail of thoughts: E.L. James’ hugely popular Fifty Shades trilogy widened the avenue for erotic romance novels to seek out audiences.

    This book is informative and insightful. It narrated the story of fifty erotica writers way before E.L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy became such a hit. This book presented their struggles and their initial brush with erotic romances which ultimately spurred their love for the genre. They also openly shared their experiences on meeting people who were a little too uncomfortable about erotic novels, and how the Fifty Shades trilogy became a game-changer.

    Some of the writers also discussed Christian Grey, the world’s most favorite sadist, and why he is adored by millions. They also provided their input on why characters like him were a huge hit with the readers world-wide.

    Aside from bringing spotlight to a largely frowned upon erotica genre, the Fifty Shades trilogy also revolutionized the publishing industry through its effective use of e-publishing and social media. And through this book, fifty writers explained just how much of an innovation was caused by one “mommy porn” book which was frowned upon and sneered at first, but ultimately sold millions of copies world-wide.

    Also, some writers in this book – mostly women – attributed the success of the Fifty Shades trilogy due to the sexual awakening of women around the world. It’s a repercussion of many women’s unexpressed opinions, views and fantasies about sex and sensuality. Perhaps, it could be because many women are more open to the discussion of sex today as compared before.

    If you’re expecting to read a collection of fifty erotic short stories, then you’d be hugely disappointed. This book is not it.

    I guess, the thing is, although this book was banking on the popularity of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy, this book is vastly different. It is an expression of the story and struggles of fifty erotica writers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012


    This book tries to be everything, and ends up being nothing. Parts try to be critical examinations of the book and its effects on women, sex, and reading, parts try to examine the pop culture effects, parts are parodies, parts are little more than people who were involved with 50 stroking their own egos. What exactly did the editors think would be added by an account of how a website owner threw a swanky dinner party for James?) I was particularly interested to read from the editor of 50: the book is well known as an editorial mess, so I was curious what she had to say. Unsurprisingly, her piece read like an 8 year-old's account of "how I spent my summer." No skill in the writing, and nothing that anyone who hadn't read the news wouldn't already know.

    Overall, this book is a huge disappointment. It had the potential to be an interesting piece, but in getting 50 essays, it simply reached too far and ultimately covers no base adequately.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted July 8, 2014

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