Fifty Shades Of Grey Author E.L. James Hates The Twilight Fans That Made Her Famous

EL James Snowqueens Icedragon burn bridges Twilight fandom wank Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey writer E.L. James has become a huge star in the last few months, with an inevitable movie deal in the works for her erotic book series. The book’s runaway fame is surprising, since Fifty Shades started out as a BDSM piece of Twilight fanfiction that made James (then known as Snowqueens Icedragon) a bonafide celebrity in her own right. But as she does the talk show circuit and plays modestly surprised at her own success, Twilight fans have come forward to reveal that James was actually incredibly self-serving and greedy in her time as a fan, and she now disregards the Twilight fandom despite their part in her success.

A few weeks ago, James did an interview with The Today Show and demurred about her success, saying that she was “stunned” by the book’s popularity and even conceding, “I’m not a great writer.” This aw-shucks modesty was puzzling considering the nature of James’ sudden fame, and became even more suspicious when several Jezebel commenters alluded to the fact that James is not well loved within the Twilight fandom.

Commenter Annathaema wrote:

“I’m all for fanfiction authors finding success writing original works, but I really wish this could have happened to someone a little more talented and a lot less disdainful of where she comes from. She has a horrible attitude toward the people who read this story when it was still free fanfiction, but now that people are paying money for it she’s sunshine and unicorn farts? That’s not okay by me.”

bjr70 added:

“E.L. James is not a nice person. At all… She exploited the Twilight fandom to make boatloads of cash and screwed pretty much everyone who helped her along the way. Nasty piece of work. Not only is what she did unethical (google for ‘Master of the Universe’ AND Twilight and you’ll find it for download almost unchanged except for character names), but she also trampled the entire fandom in her greed. She is definitely not well liked in fic circles.”

A quick recap: E.L. James used to write Twilight fanfiction under the screen name Snowqueens Icedragon, first on FanFiction.net — one of the largest online archives for fic — and later on her own blog. She wrote a few short pieces before coming out with an epic, erotic AU (alternate universe) story called Master of the Universe where college student Bella meets wealthy businessman Edward and embarks on a BDSM relationship with him. MotU earned Snowqueens Icedragon thousands of adoring reviews on Ff.n and a massive fan following, with some fans even organizing events in her honor at conventions. (More on that later.)

According to James’ agent Valerie Hoskins, the author (real name Erika Leonard) was forced to take the story down from fansites because of its mature content, and then decided to rewrite it:

“Originally it was written as fan fiction, then Erika decided to take it down after there were some comments about the racy nature of the material. She took it down and thought, I’d always wanted to write. I’ve got a couple unpublished novels here. I will rewrite this thing, and create these iconic characters, Christian and Anna.”

It’s true that Ff.n had Snowqueens remove MotU because of the NC-17 content. But what’s bizarre is that Snowqueens then deleted all of her stories—her Ff.n page now reflects only her favorite stories/authors. She moved MotU to her blog 50Shades.com, but once the publishing deal went through, it disappeared from there, too.

Of course, the beauty of the internet is that nothing ever gets completely deleted. After Vintage (the Random House imprint publishing the book) claimed in more than one interview that MotU and Fifty Shades of Grey were two substantially different pieces of writing, Dear Author pulled up a cached copy of the fic and ran it alongside Fifty Shades through multiple programs. It’s not just that the two pieces are thematically similar: Only a few words are changed here and there, and otherwise the texts are identical.

Is this a case of Twilight fans just being jealous over the fact that one of their own managed to legimitize her fanfic when there are thousands of fans wishing to do the same? It doesn’t appear so. Snowqueens/James has been revealed to be a greedy, egotistical person who doesn’t even like the Twilight fandom. In researching this article, I came across the a detailed takedown from LiveJournal user gentleblaze written in March 2011, outlining the year or more in which she worked with fellow fan James in a semi-professional capacity, and directly quoting James’ disdain and disregard for the fandom.

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    • Rexxton Arkana

      Icy is one of the most despicable individuals to have polluted this earth. Not only is her work unoriginal, she also brazenly stole quotes from role players in the fandom, most famously “fifty shades of fucked up”. Now she has trademarked the s**t out of everything she can get her fat pig hands on. She spends half her time stalking anyone that has anything remotely “fifty shades” related, she is completely mental about her character names and anyone using them for an reason is subject to harassment from her and her “Bunker Babes”. She is a self-aggrandizing hack that made her fortune off the backs of her peasants. From threatening a child who wished to translate MoTU into Russian, and I mean harassing to the point of threatening physical violence, and posting the personal details; ie home addresses, work addresses of those who raised her ire. She, like her character, is a sociopath. I have copies of the original PDF files and I happily spread them about the internet as I am so inclined to. I will continue to do so, and to hell with her opinion. I read the first 4 paragraphs of this “novel” in it’s Twilight wrapped bow and just about choked. She is so utterly clueless as to how to write an engaging story, and more dangerous is her lack of knowledge of what BDSM is. Those of us active in the community would love the chance to sit down and discuss with her in detail what a detriment her writing is to the scene and the lifestyle. I suggested we start with Bastinado and finish with baby jesus buttplugs, but none of us wanted to have to physically touch someone so vile. She is an affront to the Twilight fandom, and she is the antichrist of publishing. Now we are over saturated with a glut of horribly written pseudo-BDSM novels for the Mommy-Pron crowd to furiously fap to. They are about as morally bankrupt as the author they so vociferously defend. The long an short end of it is this, ELJ is a loathsome, soulless, heartless and unspeakably greedy individual who should go down in a fiery blaze. When her movie flops, and merchandise tanks…she will have nothing to turn to except for the Twilight fandom she so viciously raped in the past. See? Christian Grey isn’t all Edward Cullen, at least he had a sense of morality, EL, wrote Christian based on herself, and on her machinations to sit and view the world from her “perch”. The devil can take her and her fandom.

    • EA

      Can believe she made a fortune publishing fanfiction! Aside from the fact that 99% of it is crap, it’s very nature is that it is using someone else’s ideas. The whole situation is a disgrace.

    • Theta

      I don’t think I need to add anything about how hideously out of line this is as far as fanfiction etiquette goes (and just being a decent human to other decent humans, but you know).

      I will say that I wrote better smut when I was fourteen, though. Literally.

    • anonymous

      As a member of the fandom and as a writer, I understand her completely. People behave like baboons on fanfiction, and I can’t blame her for what she feels.

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    • HandsOffMyUterus

      Ugly old trout.

    • Rose Hathaway

      l’m sorry but she’s right. l’m a Twilight fan but she’s right.

    • JohnHousecat

      “I’ve been part of various fanfiction communities since 2000 (Buffy, Firefly, House, Bones, etc.), and while there were certainly several “celebrity” authors whose work was universally loved, never did I see one person revered the way that Snowqueens was. We were always generous with our compliments toward one another and in recommending each other’s writing on our blogs, but even the most talented authors would chat with newbies. There was no hierarchy and therefore no arrogance or sense of superiority.”

      Someone completely missed the massive wank in the Harry Potter fandom where Cassandra Claire was put on a pedestal for her Draco Trilogy…before she re-worked it into City of Bones.

    • Reachforthesun

      As a FF.net user, it kind of disappoints me to see this. I’ve read better fics, this is just some fangirls dreams…smh