E. L. James

De Britse schrijfster E. L. James (pseudoniem van Erika Leonard) werd geboren op 4 april 1963 als Erika Mitchell, dochter van een Chileense moeder en een Schotse vader, in Buckinghamshire. Zij genoot privé onderwijs en studeerde geschiedenis aan de Universiteit van Kent, voordat zij assistente van een studiomanager werd aan de National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield. E. L. James werd bekend met haar romantrilogie Fifty Shades of Grey (in het Nederlands vertaald als Vijftig tinten grijs). Ze begon in 2009 pas met schrijven, toen ze de website FanFiction.net ontdekte, waar ze onder de naam Snowsqueen Icedragon schreef. Leonard woont in Londen, met haar man en twee zoons. In 2012 werd ze door Time Magazine op de lijst van de honderd meest invloedrijke mensen geplaatst.

Uit: Fifty Shades of Grey

“I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. Damn my hair—it just won’t behave, and damn Katherine Kavanagh for being ill and subjecting me to this ordeal. I should be studying for my final exams, which are next week, yet here I am trying to brush my hair into submission. I must not sleep with it wet. I must not sleep with it wet. Reciting this mantra several times, I attempt, once more, to bring it under control with the brush. I roll my eyes in exasperation and gaze at the pale, brown-haired girl with blue eyes too big for her face staring back at me, and give up. My only option is to restrain my wayward hair in a ponytail and hope that I look semi-presentable.
Kate is my roommate, and she has chosen today of all days to succumb to the flu. Therefore, she cannot attend the interview she’d arranged to do, with some mega-industrialist tycoon I’ve never heard of, for the student newspaper. So I have been volunteered. I have final exams to cram for and one essay to finish, and I’m supposed to be working this afternoon, but no—today I have to drive 165 miles to downtown Seattle in order to meet the enigmatic CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. As an exceptional entrepreneur and major benefactor of our university, his time is extraordinarily precious—much more precious than mine—but he has granted Kate an interview. A real coup, she tells me. Damn her extracurricular activities.
Kate is huddled on the couch in the living room.
“Ana, I’m sorry. It took me nine months to get this interview. It will take another six to reschedule, and we’ll both have graduated by then. As the editor, I can’t blow this off. Please,” Kate begs me in her rasping, sore throat voice. How does she do it? Even ill she looks gamine and gorgeous, strawberry blond hair in place and green eyes bright, although now red rimmed and runny. I ignore my pang of unwelcome sympathy.
“Of course I’ll go, Kate. You should get back to bed. Would you like some NyQuil or Tylenol?”
“NyQuil, please. Here are the questions and my digital recorder. Just press record here. Make notes, I’ll transcribe it all.”

E. L. James (Buckinghamshire 4 april 1963)