E L James, author of the blockbuster bedroom-bondage love story “Fifty Shades of Grey,” is coming to the Book Revue in Huntington on Monday to launch her new book — and she teases that “there might be a pair of handcuffs in this story; people will have to wait and see.”
“The Mister” (Vintage, $16.95) leaves behind “Fifty Shades” billionaire Christian Grey and submissive girlfriend Anastasia Steele, and tells a new love story about Maxim and Alessia. Their tale, James explains in an email interview with Newsday from her home in England, is a “more conventional erotic romance. It’s an homage to all the historical romantic fiction that I read in my 30s, set in the present day.” It will take readers to London, Cornwall and Eastern Europe.
The male protagonist does have some things in common with Grey, James says. “Christian Grey and Maxim Trevelyan are both wealthy — but Christian worked for his fortune, whereas Maxim inherited his.”
Long Islanders who were superfans of “Fifty Shades” say they’re excited for the new, 512-page romance from James, the 56-year-old mom of two sons in their 20s.
“I didn’t even know she was writing a book until all of a sudden she blasted it on social media,” says Jen Boudin, 49, of Melville, a substitute elementary school teacher and college essay coach. “She’s a great storyteller … I’m excited to see the journey she brings us all on.”
Says Diana Withers, a 44-year-old IT business development manager from Dix Hills, "Each new book or series lends itself to a new adventure, new character infatuations and new fantasies.”
Nicole Marino, 46, a stay-at-home mom from West Islip, reserved her spot for the signing of “The Mister” as soon as she heard James would be coming to Long Island. She says she’s looking forward to a new “sexy main character” and that she plans to read the novel over spring break, when she’s heading to Barcelona. “I am bringing the book on my nice long plane ride,” she says.
The Nassau County Library System already has 73 requests for the print edition of "The Mister," 80 for e-books and 34 for the downloadable audiobook, says Elizabeth Olesh, director of the Baldwin Public Library. “It’s not gigantic yet.” Libraries haven’t ordered excessive amounts of copies, she says. “It looks like libraries are a little cautious to see what the demand is.”
Time will tell whether “The Mister” has the same captivating power as the “Fifty Shades” series, which was translated into 50 languages and sold more than 150 million copies worldwide. The books were made into movies that grossed more than a billion dollars.
“I was a totally overwhelmed by the response to 'Fifty Shades' in 2012 — in fact, my husband and I refer to that time as ‘The Year of the Great Madness,’” James says. “Much was made of the sex in 'Fifty Shades' by the media, but that’s not what fans of the books focused on. In the many, many emails I’ve received, readers tell me it was the love story that captured their hearts — and I hope Maxim and Alessia’s passionate tale will do the same."
E L James signs “The Mister”
WHEN | WHERE 6 p.m. Monday, April 15 at Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. James will only be signing books. At 5 p.m., a VIP meet-and-greet reception is hosted by DivaMoms.
COST Signing tickets are $16.95 plus tax and include the book; the VIP Champagne reception is $25 and also includes the book.
INFO 631-271-1442, bookrevue.com