E. L. James
Erika Leonard, better known by her pen name E.L. James is British author of bestselling erotic romance novel trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. The combined novels have sold over 35 million copies in the United States, and over 70 million copies worldwide, setting the record for the fastest selling paperback of all time. In 2012, she was named one of the World's 100 Most Influential People.
James initially wrote fan fiction under the pen name "Snowqueens Icedragon", with her most notable work being a Twilight fan fiction that eventually developed into Fifty Shades of Grey, and subsequent film adaptation. James has spoken of her shock at the success of the book. James described Fifty Shades as "my midlife crisis, writ large. All my fantasies are there, and that's it." She did not start to write until January 2009, but has now topped the Forbes' list of the highest-earning authors with earnings of $95m for Fifty Shades of Grey.