By Marlette Bess
When I finished reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James, I felt that Christian Grey, the man, needed to be fully fleshed out. I was compelled to write about his personal journey of growth and discovery. In writing the novel, The Real Christian Grey, I was fully aware that getting published would be contingent upon receiving permission from E.L. James. I contacted E.L. James’ publisher and no permission has been forthcoming. While researching the ‘Fifty Shades’ author, I learned that her work grew out of the Twilight series and was, itself, originally published as fan fiction.
I then researched several fan fiction websites and found www.fanfiction.net, an active website with everything from fantasy to mystery to syfy including a section dedicated to Fifty Shades of Grey. I decided to post the entire book two chapters at a time every two weeks. The process of submitting work for publication was fairly straight forward from setting up a profile to downloading the chapters and then posting them. I also included my book cover as a thumbnail.
I’ve been very impressed with how www.fanfiction.net gathers statistics related to your own work. They report statistics both numerically and graphically on how your book is doing, including how many people have viewed it, how many have actually read it, as well as tracking where the readers are from around the world. The website also allows followers to comment on your work and contact you. I have received very positive feedback.
In September, my novel, Into the Bush Under African Skies will be published on Kindle. At that time, I will send the followers of The Real Christian Grey a link to my novel on Kindle and will encourage them to read this exciting new work of contemporary fiction.
My perspective on the process of publishing on a fanfiction site has been positive. I’ve learned a great deal from the process of publishing this book and I’ve also gained confidence knowing that people are interested in my work and are responding favorably.
Excerpt from The Real Christian Grey
During the day, he called Dear Doctor Flynn. Christian understood how precious Flynn’s vacation time was with his family. Thank God, it was a phone conversation, and Flynn didn’t have to see Christian’s face.
“John, you’re yelling at me; I wouldn’t take that shit from any man.”
“Look, Christian, you don’t get the point that Anastasia needs space and time to comprehend what is happening to her or what you have done to her. Do you think of this as a game where you will get what you want? She is a woman with wants and needs that you have not even recognized as you steamroll yourself over her.”
“John, calm down. I’m not the evil incarnate that you think I am. I just want her to become my submissive and I’m not asking for a lifetime commitment.”
“That could be the problem, Christian; maybe she is looking for a lifetime commitment.”
“NO…how could that be possible?”
“You have given her – let me list – rare books, a new laptop, a new car, and now a BlackBerry, all to control her. She may be thinking, he really likes me, and she may want more than just the submissive shit.”
“Why do you always take her side? I’m trying not to become a stalker, and that is how you make me sound when you list all the gifts. But you’re right; I do want to control her, especially her orgasms”
John frowned, “I know you are trying to be witty, but you’re not amusing me, and I don’t think Ana would think that comment amusing either. Christian, I know with your wealth that buying her things has no significant consequence to you, but to her you are buying her into submission. It may give you the results you want in the short term, but not necessarily the result you need. Other than sex, tell me what qualities you like in her.”
“You’re hardnosed today; I thought vacations were supposed to make people relax. I don’t know what you want.”
“Think, Christian, does she make you laugh? Does she challenge you intellectually? Does she confront you as a person, or is she just another one of your submissive Barbie dolls?”
“She challenges me all the time with her questions about my past. Ana has a good sense of humor. She is well read. I guess you’re right; I know more about her body than her intellect. I think she is practical and has common sense.”
“Do you understand that you’re not valuing her as a human being?”
“Yes, but I still want her.”
“That is fine, Christian; but you must appreciate what is above the waistline as well as what is below it. I have got to go; the family is ready and waiting for me. Christian, please, try to take things slowly.”
“Bye, John, talking to you is always fun, but now I think I’m demoralized. I’ll see you next week.”