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

According to gentleblaze, James had a consistent pattern of dismissing the community that helped her create her fanfiction. Back in February 2010, James asked gentleblaze (GB from here on in) to help design her blog; while chatting, she also brought up her desire to publish MotU. GB fervently argued against it, pointing out that Twilight author Stephenie Meyer knew of the fic and that legally it would just be way too risky. But James ignored the sage advice and barreled ahead. She also managed to put her foot in her mouth multiple times in slamming the Twilight community. Here are several quotes from the chat logs that GB saved:

“Well don’t tell anyone – I have visions of being interviewed by Time Magazine for revolutionizing publishing…”

“I have done it as a sort of exercise.. to see if I could … and I think I have proven that I can… I now want to capitalize on it…”

“I have to say I do not feel as passionately as you do about the fandom”

“it’s like the old groucho marx joke which I cant remember about not wanting to belong to a club that you’re a member of…”

even when you publish it on amazon, theres still gonna be negativity “true… but I’m sure it’s easier to take with a big fat paycheck LOL”

show them theres a person behind the penname and not just some lady sitting on a perch — “I like my perch…”

“I’m not sure I feel part of the community…”

As Snowqueens, James literally had her own fanbase within the Twilight fandom, including a group who held a four-day convention in her honor before she went on to San Diego Comic-Con in 2010. 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.

Furthermore, Snowqueens would complain about having to participate in “fandom gives back” programs, like one where an erotic fic she wrote raised $28,000 for cancer research. By telling GB that she didn’t feel that passionately about the Twilight fandom, Snowqueens comes off as arrogant and dismissive of her peers who have elevated her to mythical status within their own community. She sounds more calculating than a genuine fan who writes fanfiction simply because s/he enjoys that world. And once Fifty Shades was published, Snowqueens Icedragon became E.L. James. Like I said, she deleted all copies of MotU so that no one could reveal that it’s the same text as her “legitimate” novel; on every level, she’s distanced herself from the Twilight fandom and refused to acknowledge its monumental influence on her success.

Fanfiction by definition will always be collaborative: Not only are you borrowing the author’s world and characters, but it’s likely that you’ve had other fans beta read (proofread) your work, and the point of posting it to sites like Ff.n and LiveJournal is to receive the feedback and support from fellow fans. On her blog Fifty Shades of Pop Culture, University of Utah professor Anne Jamison – who has included Twilight fanfic in her Theories of Popular Culture course – explains why books like Fifty Shades can’t succeed on the merits of their text alone:

“But, when it’s read as Twilight Fanficton, it literalizes, inverts, or makes explicit what some readers identify as erotic and BDSM undertones in Twilight: ‘Fifty’ (as he was known in the fandom) likes to withhold orgasms, and withholds certain kinds of romantic and physical (non-sexual) closeness, while Edward withholds sex (and therefore orgasms) but provides romantic and non-sexual closeness.”

Not a single step of this is undertaken alone, yet James acts as if this bestselling novel came from her and only her. This is not the kind of fan behavior that should be rewarded.

Attention Twilight fans! We’ve already gotten several fascinating responses from members of the fandom, some of whom agree with our research and others who don’t. No matter which way you lean, we invite you to share your opinion/anecdote in the comments; we’re always interested in hearing multiple sides of fan-related stories.

Photo: BBC

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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