A Thank You to EL James

A Thank You to EL James

I remember a book of party questions I’d bought a billion years ago. It was one of those oddly-sized little things that you get on a whim and look at twice. In it, were questions like, “Would you have an ugly scar on your face if you could gain fifty IQ points?”

(FYI – My answer was “definitely.” My friend, who was a legit genius was like, “Fuck no, this brain makes it hard enough to socialize.”)

One of the questions went something like this:

“Would you risk your life if you knew you’d have a bronze statue of yourself in front of City Hall.”

And I mean, no, of course not. That’s crazy. But it did make you think, most of the people cast in bronze were busy trying to do something else when they became icons.

I know a lot of successful authors. Mostly, they’re baffled that this happened to them. They were just busy writing the best book they could.

One successful author I don’t know is EL James, but I bet you she has the same surreal feeling.

(This post is going long, I’m sorry)

She was trying to write a fucking book, and she and Stephanie Meyer did something huge corporations had been trying to do for decades. Get people back into reading.

Most of my readers and fans are absolutely rabid, devouring 3 or 4 books a week. They read books like people used to watch TV, and I cannot tell you how many of them started with Fifty or Twilight. These books ignited a spark that had died because of high prices, inaccessibility, and the same-ole same-ole.

I lay this at EL James’s feet. She didn’t just bring back erotica (which I was writing into locked-down password-protected docs), she brought back reading.


Between her and Amazon’s self publishing platform, I have a career. I have the life I always dreamed of. Did she intend to give me a life? Hell, no. She was just trying to get through her day. But she published a brave book and inadvertently smashed open the gates for people like me who had no hope of making writing into a life.

So, on this week, when your movie is being released, thank you, Ms. James. Even if you didn’t mean it. Thank you.

Get it on Amazon.

Get it on iBooks.

You can get my books too, obviously. But this isn't about me today 🙂



  1. […] by CD Reiss on her website on January 30, […]

  2. Jean says:

    Wonderful job, darling. And it’s so true. Glory finds us when we’re doing our thing. Keep on doing your thing!

  3. THIS. And all of what you said.

  4. Heather Joly says:

    Love Love Love It!
    Well Said!
    <3 Heather

  5. Marlene says:

    Thank you C.D. Reiss for acknowledging Ms. James. It makes me sad when other authors promo their books with this “so much better than Fifty Shades” it needs to stop because if not for Fifty al lot of authors whose work I devour and admire would not be published… So thank you all. And keep writing. Can’t wait for the movie 😉

  6. Liz says:

    so true. I hadn’t read books for years…..read fifty shades and now read 250+ books a year. Who needs TVS when the pictures in my mind from reading a book are so erotic

  7. Darci says:

    I love this.
    Even the people who don’t like 50 (including the judgy pants jerks that haven’t even read it) are talking about it..almost obsessively.
    I’m so happy the door has been opened, not only for reading, but a little naughty too 😉

  8. Keren hening says:

    EL James wrote a gem of a trilogy. It has opened a whole world for me that I’m still learning to navigate. Most importantly I learned that there is room for everyone in this boat.

  9. Pam says:

    That was very thoughtful of you!
    I’m only hoping that Songs of Submission gets turned into a movie! It is by far my favorite. Of. All. Time.

  10. Pamcampbellbigapple says:

    I Adore EL and love this. ❤️

  11. Lucy says:

    I’ve been saying this for years. J. K. Rowling did the same – enticed children and adults back to reading. Regardless of anyone’s opinion of the writing “quality” (always a subjective subject), we can’t dispute the fact these authors opened doors. Bravo to you for the public statement! Well said.

  12. Jenny Dauksa Schaber says:

    I thank her as well. She’s the reason I started reading again. All the buzz on fb prompted me to give FSOG a try. I probably hadn’t read a book in nearly a decade prior, and I’ve had retention issues for as long as I can remember. FSOG sparked my curiosity and before I knew it, I was researching so much on line and Amazon for authors. The term “sex sells” took on a whole new meaning in my life. Without Ms. James, I wouldn’t be losing myself in fictional worlds every week and wouldn’t have found so many talented authors. Thanks for the post as well as the alphas!

  13. Corinne says:

    You are 100% true. I was a reader in highschool. But once marriage, work and kids came, life was too busy. Yes, thanks to EL James, my love for reading has returned and is now an addiction lol. With almost 900 books read, I can honestly says life has changed. Not only that I love romance books, but there is a lot of knowledge to be learned in those stories. Not only about sex and love, but acceptance, relationships, forgiveness and the struggles of life. But it’s authors like you who keep us coming back for more. Thank you all so much for enlightening my live and giving me my greatest escape from the busy amazing life that I lead.

  14. Suzanne says:

    Nice homage to the writer who got many of us to not only open books, but our minds to and sexuality! I am so glad authors like you C.D. have found a platform for your talented writing and amazing characters. Keep on keeping on!

  15. Amy says:

    But this is not accurate. She was not trying to write a book. She was writing a Fanfiction and posting it a chapter at a time on a website for free. When the sex scenes gained her popularity she turned into a monster. She used the names Edward and Bella, and once she decided to pull this work consisting of someone else’s already derived character, Stephanie Meyer looked into suing her. So you shouldn’t be thanking her. You should be condemning her. Not only did she use someone else’s characters, she cast a dark light on BDSM and all it entails, because she wrote this piece as a joke, without any actual reference or research. If this woman is your hero, and your thanking her for bringing reading back into your life, you should know that you are idolizing a fake.

    • CD Reiss says:


      Unless you can prove Christian is a vampire and Ana is a high school girl, there is no way you can convince me this is not a completely original work. There are ZERO similarities between these two books. There is zero copyright infringement. Nothing was published that infringed. She made no money from anything similar.

      I would not ever, ever use someone’s creative process as an excuse to call them a fake. Process is the most important thing. If she had to fanfic before she developed something in her own original voice, I think that’s GREAT. I support many fanfic artists. She is only one.

      There are no fakes, only critics.

  16. Christina says:

    Awesome post!! I hated reading, my entire life, couldn’t stand to read even to study for a test in school…that is until the day my best friend introduced me to Fifty Shades and now, I read all day, every day. I don’t leave home without my kindle, even when I’m going to work, I read probably 3-4 books a week, last month I started a blog and I’m on 3 different street teams!! So yes, thank you E.L. James for making me fall in love with reading!!

  17. Djag says:

    I used to devour books. It started when I was really young. By the time I was 14 I had become a voracious reader. I can remember reading 3-4 books a week during the summer of that year, and then one day, just like that, books were no longer a part of my life. I don’t remember a specific reason or a specific day, but the love affair came to a complete stop. The escape I found in books was the only thing that had kept me sane and alive at certain points in my life. Reading was who I was. It was one of the first things I used to describe myself when meeting new people and it was how I was described. I don’t remember when I stopped reading, but I can remember reading the Twilight series in a week and thinking ” it’s been over ten years since I allowed myself to be swept away like this.”

    The drought ended once and for all with Fifty Shades of Grey. Heck, I even started writing my own book after reading that series three times back to back.A lot of women were shocked and reported a “rekindling” of their sex drives and relationships after reading it. I wasn’t shocked by anything that I had read in the book and I didn’t have any huge sexual revolution/awakening/ rekindling happen. Instead, for me these books rekindled a different relationship- my relationship with myself. I had been carelessly loosing bits and pieces of myself and hadn’t even noticed. The books had rekindled my love affair with reading and writing and it was one of the best gifts that I could have received. I would like to join you in thanking E L James and I would like to also thank you for writing an extremely smart and sexy book. I love the Submission Series. I’m on to the 2nd bundle now- Control Burn Resist and I can’t wait. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!

  18. Sam van NIekerk says:

    Always wonderful to see one author praising another shows that there is honor among the literacy queens and kings in the world. I am an awe inspired fan of CD Reiss there is NO other when it comes to the play on words, so I too thank EL James for the 50 as it took me from 6 books a year to well over 100 a year now. My problem is there will never be enough hours to read everything I want to……and is that not just wonderful? that there is an overflow of what we want a great abundance we are truly blessed as readers and cannot thank the Kings and Queens of the quill for their imagination and art. I bow humbled by your courage.

  19. Martha Baltazar says:

    Love this. Very well said. Thank you.

  20. Tanchi says:

    soooooo true !!! you said it right, right down to the bone !!!
    proud of you for speaking up, in the sea of bitching this movie has caused !!!! #KeepinItReal

  21. Jessica Frider says:

    I thought what you wrote was brilliant. Humbling to those who don’t see how authors affect one another.

  22. So much credit goes to EL James for opening not only the minds of so many people but the love of erotic reading. Making it no longer taboo. Shared you review a few days ago on my blog. ❤️

  23. Gina Sanders says:

    Very Well said! I love how the writing community supports each other!

  24. Tina M says:

    Good one.. 🙂 Loved it!!

  25. Tanya Guthrie says:

    Wow,most people wouldn’t ever think about that or take the time to put it out there and give thanks. I agree that certain books started a reading craze. I was reading Twilight Saga over and over, then my SIL made me read FSOG. Now I read several books (4-5) a week. Even though it wasn’t my favorite, it really did get me to reading, all the time!

  26. Vickie Raynor says:

    Love what you said and totally agree with you. I turned my daughter onto FSOG and she has been absorbing books ever since.

  27. Kimberly Addison says:

    You are a class act lady! Very well said indeed.

  28. Kimberly Addison says:

    You are a class act lady! Very well said indeed.

  29. Ruth says:

    A lovely post recognizing the difference one author can make. Thanks for sharing!

  30. April Roudabush says:

    Very well stated. Awesome post and congrats on the ‘viral’ status!!

  31. Dawn Hartzburg says:

    Wow you are such an amazing authors

  32. LaVida Brisco says:

    Great letter and I do believe you are correct she did open people back up to their love of reading.

  33. Dawn Hartzburg says:

    Wow you are such an amazing authors A big thanks to E L James

  34. Marie Jocke says:

    These books got me into the genre. I’m not sure I would have found you and Alessandra Torre and JA Huss and all the other fantastic authors that I love to pieces if not for 50 Shades. And they got me into READING again. From a few books here and there to over a hundred books a year.

  35. Rhonda Campbell says:

    Thanks for paving the way EL and I’m so glad it’s brought reading back (although I never stopped

  36. Rhonda Campbell says:

    Thanks for paving the way EL and I’m so glad it’s brought reading back (although I never stopped

  37. samantha Lundergn says:

    Thank you! It always is nice seeing inspirational posts about authors praising each other!

  38. mary says:

    It always makes me happy seeing authors respect and recognise other authors and r their role. I love reading and I am very thankful for all the stories you give us and all the different emotions you make us feel. So thank you!

  39. samantha Lundergn says:

    Thank you! It is always nice to see posts about authors praising each other!

  40. Amy Friedentag says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Well said. 🙂

  41. Jess Dabooknut says:

    Well I concur, if I have FSOG to thank for your getting to a place where I can now read your work easily, then I thank her as well. You are an amazing writer & I love your work. Thank you!

  42. Melanie Trevino says:

    I completely agree! I haven’t enjoyed reading this mush in forever!

  43. Samantha Talarico says:

    I want to thank her for introducing me to a hot genre that I have grown to love. I have met so many amazing authors through it too!!!

  44. Evelyn hood says:

    Wow so very true!!!

  45. Julie Phillips says:

    I have been a book devourer all my life but I know many people who started reading after both Twilight and 50 Shades. Anytime people read good things are bound to happen.

  46. Linda Romer says:

    What a wonderful post Christine!
    Congratulations E L James!

  47. Lynne Rivet says:

    Love EL James and love you!! Well said!! ♥♥

  48. Kerry says:

    Well said and hopefully others will feel the same!

  49. Doreen Barnes says:

    I love this because of her i was introduced to all kind of amazing authors this was really sweet

  50. Gloria Minor-Fridley says:

    Thanks El for giving us our Fifty!!!!!!

  51. Dana Anderson says:

    I love this! Twilight got me back into reading. I am forever greatful to Stephenie Meyer for that. EL James got me into reading erotica. I read about anything with romance and read 3-4 books a week. I wish that I had time to read more!

  52. Jamie Reinhardt says:

    Awesome post. Glad she inspired you or I wouldn’t have another great author to read.

  53. elissa says:

    So true! I’m so thankful that a talented artist such as yourself recognized all she has done for our community.

  54. Clare Roden says:

    Wonderful take on being successful without trying it just happened and at a time when we were looking for something new. I loved the books and found a new genre to read because of them.

  55. Marcia Heastan says:

    Well said and so true for me! I used to read all the time and it stopped when I had children and both Twilight and Fifty Shades brought me back to something I hadn’t realized how much I missed! Now you can catch me reading all the time except when I’m at work! Thank you to all authors out there! You’re amazing!

  56. kelli Shutt says:

    Very well said chicky <3

  57. Dorothy says:

    Well put! <3

  58. Sue Sattler says:

    I have always been an avid reader, reading 4 to 5 books a week. I heard all the negativity about 50 Shades, but I wanted to make up my own mind. I loved them, it wasn’t BDSM, I have Cherise Sinclair and others for that, it was a love story between two people that had issues to work out. Between her books and social media, so many new authors have come to my attention, maybe they were always out there but not as visible as they are now. So thank you all, you make my life so much more enjoyable by taking me to your fantastic worlds. 😀

  59. Abi says:

    I love this 😀 Thanks to EL, I started reading more books

  60. Kelly Fallon Sloane says:

    Love this She is amazing!!! Love the graphic also!!

  61. Laurie Lunn says:

    So true 🙂 Loved these books

  62. shabby arora says:

    I think she’s siting in her garden ( they have those in england) , drinking afternoon high tea and scones and cucumber sandwiches , in her La – di – ah way ( pinky out) . She thinks ….Bam!!! CD is a great writer , her Jonathan is hott. Lemme ask her to collaborate on a book together !!!!

  63. shabby arora says:

    I think she’s siting in her garden ( they have those in england) , drinking afternoon high tea and scones and cucumber sandwiches , in her La – di – ah way ( pinky out) . She thinks ….Bam!!! CD is a great writer , her Jonathan is hott. Lemme ask her to collaborate on a book together !!!!

  64. Louise says:

    Incredibly true and well put. Thank you for such an awesome and honest opinion. Plus EL James made it cool to read the books, some of us already read on the sly. 🙂 xx

  65. holly swan says:

    Love this!

  66. holly swan says:

    Love this! Amazing!

  67. holly swan says:

    Love this! Amazing!!!!!

  68. Tina Peterson says:

    Great reads!
    I love these books
    They suck me in and let me escape into a world of total hotness…

  69. Ann Waters says:

    Very well said, indeed. Authors are amazing and should be accorded the proper respect.

  70. Leah B says:

    My friend talked me into reading 50 Shades I was being bull headed because of all the hype it was receiving and refusing to read it. She (who only reads historical romance usually) said she had read the whole series and she thought I would like it. I have thanked her numerous times after reading the whole series. Love this post and I agree 100% you do hear more and see more people reading since 50 Shades.

  71. Patricia Maia says:

    FSOG brought out my love for books! So yeah, you are 100% right!

  72. Susan M says:

    I read 50 shades on a whim. I did not think it was a great book. That said, I did finish it and it did start me looking into self- published authors I never would have tried before. I am now pretty much always glued to my kindle. I agree about Twilight, too, which I absolutely loved(at that time). Anything that gets people back into reading is a great thing, you are right!

  73. Nikki Evans says:

    great work by great authors!! You guys are the best!!

  74. Geena K. says:

    It is true both Twilight and Fifty brought a lot of people back into reading. Plus Fifty help explode the market for all the new an upcoming authors.
    Very well said indeed.

  75. Deanna says:

    1000% agree with all you said!! She brought me back to reading which in turn lead me to you and your spectacular writing. Reading has become my obsession and passion now!!

  76. Rachelle says:

    Beautifully said!! I’ve always thought love it or hate it FSOG and E. L. James changed
    what women read it certainly opened my reading genere and I couldn’t be more tickled pink if Christian Grey himself flogged my booty!! I’ve read some fantastic erotica because of FSOG establishing that it’s okay to read it and made to feel like we’re all lonely bored housewives.

    Thank you for this fantastic article. CD
    you are truly a classy lady <3

  77. Dusty Summerford says:

    I love this!!! FSOG reignited my love of reading so I have a fondness for her!! It’s nice to see someone praise her other than down her!! I adore you for that!!

  78. Maggie Steele says:

    Totally!! Great post!!!

  79. Kelly n says:

    It is great to have a resurgence in readers as well as opening opportunities for more creative and talented people to publish!! Thank you & thanks to all the authors!

  80. tiffany Copp says:

    I love this!!!

  81. Selena Scott says:


  82. Samantha Easterling says:

    Love this!!! <3

  83. April Winter McCauley says:

    I agree 50 shades..started everything..women talk about erotica freely and reading is at an all time high!! Thanks E.L. James and all the rest of the wonderful writers of erotica!!

  84. Katie says:

    Fantastic post. I think too many people just think of E.L. as a smut peddler (which she partially is 🙂 ), and neglect to give her the credit she is due for reviving reading!

  85. Christy Love says:

    I love FSOG!! I can’t wait to watch the movie!!!

  86. Michele Gray says:

    Very thoughtful of you. That was a beautiful letter u wrote to EL James.

  87. Diana Doan says:

    Perfectly said!

  88. Winnie Lim says:

    Very well written. I’m glad that 50 and Twilight has brought back reading to so many people. I love reading myself and I definitely hope more authors can continue writing great books. Keep up the good job.

  89. Allison W. says:

    I almost feel stupid for saying this, almost, but it brought tears to my eyes. This is perfectly said. And I do credit BOTH of those authors for bringing me back into the world of reading and I’m never turning my back on it again.

  90. You said this perfectly. I thank her for bringing reading back.

  91. Karen G. says:

    Beautifully written! I’m happy for you that you are fortunate to do what you love to do, and do so well. I bet she is just as thankful to someone else for her inspiration! Bravo on sharing your appreciation. 🙂

  92. suzanne says:

    this is exactly how i felt too.

  93. Miranda Wood says:

    You make a really good point with this. I’ve been trying to get my daughter into reading for years and she devoured both of these series. So I also thank these two ladies for a job well done.

  94. Devon says:

    *claps* yes! Yes! Yes! I stopped reading romance/erotica years ago. Same old stuff. But then Fifty came along and ushered a flood of new sexy books into my life again! Hit the nail on the head 🙂

  95. Michelle says:

    anything that gets people reading again!

  96. Anita Powers says:

    Thanks for this post, so many say mean things about her books but they were the start of my wonderful journey into books involving Dominant men and I could not be any happier.

  97. Kathy s says:

    well said!

  98. Belladonna says:

    Well said, CD!

  99. Roselle Torres says:

    Wow! Well said 🙂