Entertainment Weekly has two covers this week: The Hunger Games is the newsstand cover, celebrating the film’s amazing opening weekend in theaters. Subscribers, on the other hand, will receive a Fifty Shades of Grey cover, teasing the literary smash that had movie studios panting.
Both versions feature the first Stateside interview with British author E L James (that’s a nom de plume, by the way), who explains how her erotic debut novel went from unpolished Twilight-inspired fan fiction to a full-on phenomenon. “It’s very hugely overwhelming, frankly,” the admittedly press-shy author tells EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum. “I’ve been a production executive for the BBC for eight years. I’m now — full-time — someone who gets carted around and thrown in front of people.”
Now that Universal and Focus Features have picked up the movie rights for reportedly close to $5 million, the attention isn’t likely to stop. James understands her book’s appeal. “It’s fantasy,” she says. “It’s a romantic fantasy story. That’s it. It’s just a fun read. I don’t see it as erotica. I see it as a contemporary romance. Yes, it’s quite graphic, but when people fall in love they have sex. Well, actually, they have a lot of sex. In the beginning. So that’s what this is about. It’s for ordinary women who like some spicy sex.”