Now the fans of the steamy series can look forward to the books getting the Hollywood treatment as the literary phenomenon takes desperate housewives everywhere one step further.
In the 90's it was Harry Potter. In the noughties it was teen vampires. But in 2012, naughty has been taken to new extremes and a new literary empire is being built around the now not so private fantasies of an English mother of two.
The literary phenomenon Fifty Shades Of Grey has sold 31 million print and digital books, twenty million just in the US. In Australia a million copies sold in twelve weeks alone.More stories from Today Tonight
Universal and Focus Pictures have just paid $5 million for the rights to the movie - that’s $2 million more than the Da Vinci Code franchise.
Rumours are that Jane Campion or Angelina Jolie could be in line to direct, but most cyber chatter centres on who will play the two main characters - Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
In the lead to play the faceless protagonist, is Matt Bomer alongside Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel. Other favourites include Christian Bale, Kristen Stewart and Scarlett Johansen.
The private fantasies of Erica Mitchell have turned her into the richest celebrity author since J. K. Rowling, and are estimated to be worth $1.3 million a week.
We interviewed the first time author writing under the pseudonym, E. L. James two months ago.
“I think people have been concentrating on the sex rather than the love story. I think for me it’s a contemporary romance. It is a fantasy,” she said.
So did she set out to change the lives of women reading her novels?
“Good god no. I just set out to write an entertaining love story,” Mitchell said.
“I have had some amazing responses. Not just about ‘thank you for spicing up my sex life’ but also in other ways as well - for inspiring other women to write.”
That inspiration has already sparked others to join the housewife erotica revolution.
One of those women is Australian author Indigo Bloome. From a tree change in Tasmania she's been thrust onto the international stage - her books Destined to Play, Destined to Feel and Destined to Fly are causing quite the stir.
“I sat many days staring in shock at what I had written, which is probably why I hid it for months,” Bloome said.
“When I was writing Destined to Play it was pretty cool to have, after looking after kids all day, you’re busy with washing up and laundry and the dishes, and it was nice to hop into bed with a book that was more like a life that you might have had once before.”
And what did her husband think when he read it?
“What did he think? I think he was very surprised,” she joked.More on Fifty Shades of Grey
- Yahoo!7 Lifestyle: Would you give 'Fifty Shades of Chav' a try?
- Yahoo!7 Lifestyle: Fifty Shades of fashion campaign
The mass ‘women’s sexual revolution’ on our TV screens started with Sex In The City, was cemented by Desperate Housewives, and now the new series GCB.
Women are shown as empowered, predatory, sexually confident and, for the first time, dominant.
Now the romantic fantasy Fifty Shades of Grey is pushing even more boundaries, and it’s not for the faint hearted. The novels delve into many fantasies often considered taboo.
According to sex therapist and relationship expert Dr Nikki Goldstein “it’s putting something erotic into a normal market. So it’s not going into a smutty book shop and picking up some novel that’s hidden away. It’s something that’s sold in mainstream shops, that people can carry.”
However psychologist John Aiken is concerned some fans are blurring the lines between fantasy and real life.
“It’s centred around a whole lot of bondage and discipline, control and submission fantasies. If couples take that too far, you might find people can either get harmed physically, or it might spill over into their everyday life,” he warned.What do you think of the Fifty Shades phenomenon?
- Random House - www.randomhouse.com.au
- Harper Collins - www.harpercollins.com.au
- Dr. Nikki Goldstein - www.drnikkig.com.au
- John Aiken - www.johnaiken.com.au
This reporter is on Twitter at @RichoTT7
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