'Fifty Shades' writer E L James never visited Seattle before basing her books there

·3 min read
Author E. L. James attends a special fan screening of
E. L. James attends a special fan screening of "Fifty Shades of Grey", 2015 (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

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Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James says she had never been to Seattle before she wrote the best-selling books, basing her knowledge of the city off Google Earth and Street View.

The writer, who shot to fame with the books, spoke to Kate Thornton in her first ever podcast appearance on White Wine Question Time.

The author of the best-selling series, the sixth book of which was released this summer, talked openly about how her first visit to the city where the story unfolds was after the first books had been written.

James spoke about her first visits to the US when looking for a new publisher for the books.

She said: “And then finally, the book came out. I remember going to Seattle, and I'd never been.

Sam Taylor-Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson and E L James attending the UK premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 12, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ Fifty. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Sam Taylor-Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson and E L James (right) attending the UK premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey 2015 (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

“I did a book signing, I did a book tour and all that. And that was incredible.

“So I got to meet readers, and they start telling you their stories, and and that's been a huge part of this journey.

WATCH: Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James on sex toys, success, and popping her podcast cherry

“But also, I'd only been to Seattle via Google Earth and Street View. So when I got there, I thought: ‘Oh, it's much hillier than I thought it was!’”

The three books which followed the Fifty Shades trilogy were written from Christian’s point of view.

James said: “Since the final three from Christian’s point of view, I’ve actually been to Seattle, so I know what it's like now.

Author E.L. James signs copies of her books at Westfield in Shepherd's Bush, London.
Author E.L. James signs copies of her books at Westfield in Shepherd's Bush, London.

“And it's a wonderful, beautiful place. But we went on a tour. And the guides turned up and said ‘Where do you want to go?’ And I said: ‘I want to see the 520 bridge.’

Read more: Jamie Dornan Felt Less Pressure Going Into Fifty Shades of Grey Sequels

“And he went: ‘What? It's just a road bridge?’ ‘I want to see the 520 bridge because I wrote a car chase over it!’

“So I wanted to see what it was like. So that was one of those moments…”

Listen to the full episode and hear E L James talk openly to Kate Thornton about her ‘fast and furious’ rise to fame and how she won’t rule out a return of Ana and Christian

She talked about adapting to the early hype around the books, and how the first visits to America were a whole new world for her.

She said: “While we were getting the books ready to be published, I was also in Hollywood, because everyone wanted to buy the rights, except Disney funnily enough.

Sam Taylor Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson and E L James attending the UK premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 12, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ Fifty. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Sam Taylor Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson and E L James attending the UK premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey, 2015. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

“We met lots of people and it was so crazy that everyone wanted to meet us! We cannot physically get around Hollywood and see everybody, they're gonna have to come to us — just purely from a logistics level. You can't go here and then go there.

Fifty Shades Darker: Go behind-the-scenes of the Masquerade Ball in exclusive new clip
Fifty Shades Darker (Universal Pictures)

"And because the studios have spread out over LA and the traffic's dreadful. So we said right: ‘We'll get them to come to us.’

“And so we took a room in Soho House in West Hollywood, and took meetings and it was ridiculous!”

Buy it: Freed by E L James | £5 (Was £8.99) from Amazon

WATCH: E L James on what's next for Ana and Christian

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