Thriller Guy reviewed E. L. James Fifty Shades of Grey some months ago, saying that hethought the book was perfectly good and that all the literary types who were savaging the writing were pretty much jealous ninnies who were full of crap. Harsh words perhaps, but steady readers of this blog know by now that TG doesn’t pull his punches and if namby-pamby literary types get beat up in the process, so be it, that’s just the way TG rolls. So when one of TG’s legion of readers passed along a recommendation for the website and blog written by James’ husband, Niall Leonard, TG took a look and agreed: he’s a funny, talented guy. Leonard is a long-time UK television scriptwriter with an impressive resume. He recently published a YA crime novel called Crusher, which has received nice reviews. On Leonard’s blog and website he pretty much sticks with his own views and business, but there are a few entries about what it is like being Mr. E.L. James. One of them was written as a piece for The Guardian and can be found here.
Niall Leonard’s website can be found here. Check it out for his blog and his excellent writing advice. He aims it mostly at screenwriters, but much of it applies to novel writing as well. To get you started, here’s the first paragraph of his funny piece in The Guardian, mentioned above, which can be found on his blog as well.
“If on entering your local bookshop you can find your way past the teetering stacks of EL James' Fifty Shades trilogy, you might come across a slim new crime novel, Crusher. That one's mine. Perceptive reviewers have noted that the hero's father, Maguire, is an embittered Irish hack consumed with envy of his peers. That must be you, they insist. What modern novelist doesn't envy EL James, the 40-something TV executive and mother of two who has outsold Dan Brown and Stieg Larsson, turbo-boosted the turnover of UK bookshops, and left men the world over begging for less sex and more sleep? But my book is a gritty urban murder mystery; Fifty Shades is an erotic romantic fantasy, and I couldn't have written it in a million years. I'm the least romantic fecker that ever lived – ask my wife Erika, aka EL James. Our first Christmas together I bought her a tin opener, and my earliest experience of kinky sex was her trying to shove it up my arse...”
Like TG said, he’s a funny guy. Do TG a favor, somebody out there read his novel Crusher and let us know what it’s like.