FAN EXPERIENCE FROM CHRISTIAN GREY BIRTHDAY PARTY EVENT WITH E. L. JAMES
With the release of her new book GREY, this week proved to be a busy one for author E. L James. Her appearance in New York at the “Birthday Party of the Year” by Divalysscious Moms was attended by several fans from across the country. One fan who is on twitter as @XO_BB_XO was kind enough to share her experiences of the evening with my site. Here is her telling of the events of the evening and her photos.
The event put on by Lyss Stern of @divamoms and divamoms.com was held at the Garden City Hotel. It was a beautiful space. Think clean, crisp, upscale, ginormous glistening chandeliers with beautiful tapestries. It’s a Grey worthy hotel. Up to his standards for sure. The staff were dressed in dark suits and white shirts, very classy looking.
At the end of the evening I asked Lyss what the approximate attendance was and there were 200 guests. We filled the space we were in for sure.
It was held in your typical hotel ball room setting, a central foyer area with a bar where we were served the special Grey beverage (champaign and cranberry juice). Cocktail tables had whimsy Fifty Shades themed decor. From the central foyer area there were three other rooms. One room held Barnes & Noble where the books were held and purchased. We were given a two book minimum per person. One book to be personalized with our name and the other with just EL James’ signature.
Another room at the far end held the ladies from Red Door – The Elizabeth Arden Spa which is on site at the hotel. There was a bit of pampering going on. I did a Beauty Blast (Oxygen Spray / Plumper) and Aroma Therapy (oils). There were hair and makeup touch up stations as well. I had the luxury of sitting in Jessica’s chair for the “plumping treatment”. She was fun and does not have a Twitter.. Why?! She’s missing out. 🙂
There was a room off of the beauty room which would later be used as the autograph signing room.
The last room we used was the Q & A room which was the room they used to film the Today show bits. There was a stage and chairs set up curving the stage. Two red pleather / leather chairs on the stage, an awesome Grey backdrop at the back of the stage and a table set up to the left of the stage where the birthday cake and cuppy cakes for Grey were on display.
When the event started we roamed around. Getting our mitts on the coveted books was the first priority. There was a bit of a wait but there were waiters on hand with trays of appetizers to munch on while we waited to pay for our books. After the books were acquired the spa services were an option or just to mingle.
I didn’t see anyone I knew other than Crissy and Mags so I kept to myself and I was fine with that. More than fine really.
The Q & A lasted a half hour, forty-five minutes maybe. Lyss started out and introduced Erika and answered a few questions. The second portion of the Q&A was conducted by Erica from the Today show. I have not had a chance yet to see that in its entirety online so I’m not sure what was cut if anything.
I know Erika mentioned she would possibly write the 2.5 book to Darker. She mentioned she had written another story and it was on hold. Also a romance but set in the UK. There was no discussion of the movie other than Erika saying she wanted to write Grey and get back into the space of Ana and Christian and on HER terms. Those of us who paid close attention to the movie production can appreciate that and no further discussion was needed.
Erika mentioned her writing process is around music, this we know. She mentioned there was one song in particular that she listened to on heavy rotation over and over and over again. She mentioned Niall would ask her to put her headphones on. By the sounds of it he doesn’t want to hear that song anymore. She did not mention what the name of that song was.
We all sang Happy Birthday to Christian while the cake was ablaze with some fancy candles that I’m glad to say did not set the cake on fire. I was concerned for a moment but I’m trained to put out a small fire and I was ready!
After the Q & A wrapped Erika went to the signing room, the line formed and the dessert buffet opened up. YUM O.. There were gourmet Fifty Shades inspired cuppy cakes, cake, macaroons, coffee and do not forget the Twinnings English Breakfast Tea. The bar was still serving drinks and life was good. The line was fairly long but given the size of the group it went as expected and things moved along well.
The people on hand handled everything perfectly, it was seamless and top notch. I’m hard to please and I’ll be the first to admit that. I cannot say one bad thing about the experience. I was impressed and felt the experience I had was worth every penny to attend. I was a little concerned given the time the event was announced and everything was orchestrated in less than two weeks, you couldn’t tell. Special shout outs to Lara and Valerie and … Argh! I forgot her name. The sweet, tiny, brunette. I’m horrible with names. I apologize.
It was truly an honor to attend. These are once in a lifetime experiences. I saw people mention the price point was an issue for them. Ask yourselves how much you paid for your last concert experience. These are just those experiences you need to take when they come if this is your sort of thing and if you are able to do so. I’m over the moon thrilled for Erika. Shes a role model, barrier breaker, a strong woman, she’s a little nervous but I think she handles it well and she opened a door for millions of us. She’s good people..
Thank you again to @XO_BB_XO for sharing her fun evening.