#FiftyShades: E.L. James' latest book: How authors keep their franchises fresh

#FiftyShades: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' writer E.L. James recently announced she's releasing a new version of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' that will be told from character Christian's point of view. Some authors choose to focus on different characters for new books, while others opt for all-new characters and a different time period.

Chuck Zlotnik/Universal Pictures and Focus Features/AP
The 'Fifty Shades of Grey' movies star Dakota Johnson (l.) and Jamie Dornan (r.).

A new book set in the world of “Fifty Shades of Grey” is coming from writer E.L. James.

James, who wrote the trilogy which centered on businessman Christian Grey and his paramour Anastasia Steele, wrote on Instagram that she will be publishing a new book on June 18. It’s titled “Grey” and will be told from Christian’s point of view, the author wrote. (The first “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy was narrated by Anastasia.)

According to Business Insider, James originally wrote “Fifty Shades of Grey” as fanfiction for the “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer. In fanfiction, readers take popular stories like “Harry Potter” or “The Hunger Games” and write their own stories about already-existing characters within the stories that they love. So Christian and Anastasia started out as “Twilight” couple Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. 

Meyer was once going to do a version of her first book, “Twilight,” from hero Edward’s point of view. However, someone who had access to her draft posted portions of that book, titled “Midnight Sun," online. Meyer wrote on her website soon after, “I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on ‘Midnight Sun,’ and so it is on hold indefinitely.” She did, however, post on her website the part of the novel that had previously been posted, writing, “This way, my readers don't have to feel they have to make a sacrifice to stay honest.”

Of course, switching viewpoints as a way to expand a story has been done by other authors, notably science fiction writer Orson Scott Card, who wrote a sequel to his classic book “Ender’s Game” in which the story was told by Ender’s friend Bean. Other authors have found different ways to continue their series. Popular young adult author Cassandra Clare went back in time for a sequel series to her popular “Mortal Instruments” books, setting her “Infernal Devices” books centuries before the “Mortal” books but having them take place in the same universe. 

“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling also went back in time for a new story. She is currently working on a series of movies set in Harry’s world but taking place decades before the action narrated in the "Harry Potter" books. The new movies will center on a man named Newt Scamander who is an expert on magical creatures. (“Harry Potter” readers will remember Newt is the author of one of Harry’s textbooks.) Rowling is penning the screenplay and the first movie of the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” series is scheduled for release in 2016.

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