Banbridge’s family ties to Fifty Shades author

Emer Adamson pictured with her aunt Erika Leonard, also known by her pen name EL James, on her wedding day in Banbridge in June. Erika is the author of the best-selling Fifty Shades series of books.
Emer Adamson pictured with her aunt Erika Leonard, also known by her pen name EL James, on her wedding day in Banbridge in June. Erika is the author of the best-selling Fifty Shades series of books.

THE Banbridge family of the author of the best-selling Fifty Shades trilogy has spoken of their pride at its global success.

EL James is a name now synonymous with the novels, which have been flying off the bookshelves faster than the entire Harry Potter series, and her niece Emer Adamson from Banbridge said the whole family has been blown away by the books’ success.

Emer welcomed her Newry-born uncle Niall Leonard and his wife - and now multi-millionaire author - Erika to her wedding in Banbridge in June.

“I think we are probably as shocked and pleased as anyone else,” said Emer, daughter of Jim and Triona Leonard, and sister to Dermot and well-known Banbridge golfer Rory.

And Erika caused quite a stir on the day, with a number of Emer’s friends bringing their copies of the erotic novel to get them signed by its creator.

“My cousin had travelled over from Australia and he brought 12 copies of the book with him to get them signed,” she said.

“And a lot of my friends did too. Erika was more than happy to do so. I think she’s been quite taken aback by the sudden success too.

“It started out as a bit of a hobby I think and then, when people began to hear about it, it just took off from there.”

Emer, like millions of women across the globe who enjoyed the book as a holiday read, took the novel with her on honeymoon to Costa Rica last month.

“It’s not the type of thing I would normally read but obviously because of the family connections I was interested to see what it was all about.

“I think it’s quite light-hearted and very funny in places.”

The plot follows the relationship between naive graduate Anastasia Steele and powerful billionaire Christian Grey who introduces her to sado-masochism and bondage.

Erika is reported to have earned £6.5 million in the past few months - £3m of that from the sale of the movie rights.

She and Niall are now said to be looking at a £3m property in London to move to with their two young sons.