EL James went from TV executive to world-famous author over night when the sales of her best-selling adult romance novels Fifty Shades of Grey skyrocketed in January 2012.
Now she’s worth a huge £75 million after her tales of a sadomasochistic love affair spawned not only millions of readers but also a Hollywood film, a lingerie line, a make-up line and party games.
But where did it all start for 52-year-old EL James – real name Erika Leonard?
After leaving university, she went on to become a studio manager’s assistant at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield.
James, who is lives in west London with her two children and husband, then went on to become a TV exec.
A far cry from Christian Grey’s red room of pain, the author previously described doing endless laundry for her teenage sons and living a life of a housewife.