Gia Fabre, right, meets E.L. James, author of the "Fifty...

Gia Fabre, right, meets E.L. James, author of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" novels, at the Garden City Hotel on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Credit: Gia Fabre / Gia Fabre

On the eve of the hotly anticipated release of "Grey," the retelling of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" tale from billionaire protagonist Christian Grey's point of view, British author E.L. James spoke to Long Island fans at the Garden City Hotel Wednesday night about why she penned another version of the blockbuster sadomasochistic love story.

Apparently, it's because fans begged her to. James, 52, writes in the introduction to the paperback, which was on sale at the event for $15.95, "This book is dedicated to those readers who asked . . . and asked . . . and asked . . . and asked for this."

According to Gia Fabre, 36, of Lodi, New Jersey, who runs a Fifty Shades Facebook page, at the event James also said writing the book was therapy for her. Fabre said she loved that James choked up and needed a tissue after fans applauded her entrance. "I love that she's still so humble,'' Fabre said. 

Tiffany Cohen, 33, of Lindenhurst, says her book club will read "Grey" together at the next meeting. She is ready for the new book. "How could you get tired of these stories?" she said.

The book party was billed as the "Birthday Party of the Year" -- in addition to the book release being today, June 18 is also Christian Grey's birthday. A cocktail hour was followed by an auditorium seating-style presentation that featured a Q...A between James and Lyss Stern, of Divalysscious Moms, which helps market luxury items and organized the evening. Birthday cake was served, and James signed one copy of the book for each of the fans, who paid $100 per ticket to attend.

"Grey" clocks in at more than 550 pages and features a cover with a single eye. The original trilogy has sold 125 million copies in 52 languages. A movie based on the first book came out in February.

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