For fans of E.L. James and the “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the much-anticipated day arrived Saturday morning.
Hundreds of fans lined Main Street in front of The Bookworm Box to catch a glimpse of the author of the worldwide best-selling book series who traveled from West London to Sulphur Springs for a highly-anticipated book signing.
Five-hundred lucky fans were able to purchase tickets to meet James and get her to sign a copy of her new book “Grey.”
The doors opened at 10:30 a.m. for the 11 a.m. event, which was coordinated by local author Colleen Hoover, owner of the Bookworm Box. Fans from all over the world poured through the doors in a zig-zag line. As James walked out to speak to her adoring fans, cheers echoed through the long room.
“I just want to say, ‘Wow!’ Thank you so much for coming. I am so proud to be the first author here (at the Bookworm Box). Colleen is a huge part of my life. She is so awesome for doing this and I am honored to be here. I hope you all enjoy the book,” said James. “Sulphur Springs is such a beatiful place. It’s gorgeous with real Americana. I love it.”
Her new book, “Grey,” tells the trilogy of “Fifty Shades of Grey” from the protagonist Christian Grey’s point of view. The book was released yesterday worldwide and James choose Sulphur Springs to debut her new book before she heads to New York later Saturday.
James proceeded to take a group selfie with all of her fans before the book signing began.
Prior to the book signing, the News-Telegram took to the street and asked some of the die-hard fans in line their thoughts on the erotic romance novel in which 125 million copies of the trilogy have been sold and the film version hasgrossed more than $560 million worldwide.
"As soon as I found out about the book signing I bought a ticket, even though I did not know if I could make it,” said Liis McKinstry. “I live in Canada and flew out last light to get here this morning. We left out of Dallas at 5 a.m. this morning.”
McKinstry said that she has read the series more that 30 times and has watched the film numerous times.
“Everyone always asks me, ‘Why is this series so special?’ This book is like a gateway drug to the genre. It lead to me discovering so many other authors,” said McKinstry. “The other great thing about the series is that most women aren’t married to billionaires and we enjoy living vicariously through these characters. In the end, it is a really great love story.”
Only 500 tickets for the book signing were allowed and were announced via social media. After several minutes, the event was sold out. One of the other lucky individuals who received a ticket was Kathryn Perez.
“I think the reason this book is so popular is it stems from E.L. James, who is a great person. I have met her at a convention in Dallas and she is genuinely so much different that what people would perceive her to be. She is so laid back, personable and really authentic,” said Perez. “I know she is very charitable and when she found out that Colleen Hoover started the Bookworm Box, it was not a second thought in her mind to have a book signing. This is a huge deal for East Texas.”
Perez continued to say she loved the books because they went places where other books had not dared go.
“E.L. says things that other authors were too worried what other people would say about them. It paved the way for women not to be ashamed of their sexuality. Woman should not be ashamed to say what they want and what they like in a book. Men have been able to talk about sex for years, but they are not looked at poorly,” said Perez. “I think this book has empowered women sexually. I know this book has improved marriages and has been a life-changing piece of literature for millions of people.”