It’s no secret to anyone who has been reading my articles for a while, I have no love for Fifty Shades of Grey or Twilight. I think they’re both terribly written and poorly conceived. Add to that the fact that one began life as fan fiction of the other, it gets even more appalling. So when I say that I applaud E.L. James for what she did and shake my head at Meyer, it is with a heavy heart.
I don’t want to condone either work. But they both helped their respective genres explode with new content and authors, which is an undeniable good thing. It’s made even better by the fact that all these new writers are doing it better than James or Meyer, which makes me greatly pleased. So what is it that I am praising E.L. James for? After all, she is the author of a book so bad that I literally went temporarily blind after I read it (OK, unrelated, but still a very creepy coincidence). And before fans of either author come down on me for not reading them, yes, I read the books.
Fans of Stephanie Meyer will remember that a few years ago she was talking about writing Twilight again, but this time from the perspective of Edward. Telling her original story from the vampire’s point of view. Fans jumped at the idea. They all wanted it, pouring over the internet for a glimpse at it or news about it. Then some of it was leaked online and this upset her. She posted online what was written and vowed that the project was dead. The leak had ruined it for her. I’m sure tears ensued.
Cut to this past summer, and Meyer decides to go back to that project, titled Midnight Sun, and get back to work on it. The next day, the news is about the new Shades novel, Grey, that is the first book of the original trilogy told from the male perspective. Meyer claims she literally wanted to flip a table over the theft of her idea. More tears, I’m sure. But she had released several chapters previously, and her idea was all over the internet. So of course someone was going to go there. It just happened to be her biggest fan.
Here’s where I applaud E.L. James, or her publisher, whichever came up with the idea. The film based on Fifty Shades of Grey did not do well, so the franchise needed a shot in the arm. Flipping the perspective was just that. Grey sold millions of copies and had women everywhere changing their underwear, again. So she stole your idea, that you put out there in the first place. We’re just going to whine about it and cancel the book again?
Here is what I would have done. I would have taken the opportunity to either finish Midnight Sun and make it the best book I can to show up that smug James, or I would have come up with something better. No, I’m not talking about Life and Death, that lame attempt at a tenth anniversary book Meyer went with instead. In Life and Death, the genders of the protagonists are changed. So now the hero is a male teenager named Beau, and the vampire is a girl named Edythe. That’s not better, that’s the same book. To see just how ‘not better’ this new version is, check out Entertainment Weekly’s review of the book.
In conclusion, bravo E.L. James for taking an idea that no one was running with, and making lots of money from it. I still think the books are shit, but I can praise a good marketing scheme when I see it. Boo to Stephanie Meyer, for whining about your own damn mistakes and taking it out on the better woman with more initiative. Maybe next time you have a great idea, you won’t go blabbing it to the internet to be taken away from you. Or better yet, you won’t do it at all.
If you disagree with me, I want to know about it. Let me know your thoughts down below in the comments. I really do love discussion.
All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!