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Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James has made her first ever podcast appearance, and has hinted at the return of Christian and Ana in the future.
The normally secretive author opened up to Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time about her writing process, and how the characters often dictate the storyline more than she does.
Freed, the sixth book in the series — telling the story from Christian’s point of view — was released this year, but James said: ‘Never say never’ on whether the characters may return in the future and that she can’t escape the couple.
She said: “They’re not far away. They’re in my head.
“They are continually in my social media, people reading the books, even finding the books. Lots of people don’t even know that there is a trilogy written from his point of view, which I find staggering! But they are both out there.
“So we will see. We’ll see what happens with them. I think Christian and Ana will continue bumbling away in the background. And hopefully behaving themselves.
WATCH: E L James on what's next for Ana and Christian
“They’re resting, they’re enjoying their HEA, as we say… Their ‘Happy Ever After’.
“I think they’ll find a bit of time [for bondage]. If you’ve got enough staff you can find the time I'm sure!”
She continued: “I feel that at the moment, Christian and Ana they're in a good place, just park them over there. Maybe get back to them. Maybe not.
“I don't have plans to but I keep saying to people ‘never say never’ because you never know.
“But I have other stories I definitely want to tell.”
James also opened up about her writing process, and how much of it she does not actually have any control over.
She said: “I remember on the movie there’s a bit where they visit Christian’s mother’s grave. They said: ‘You need to put the name on’, and I said: ‘I don't know what it is. I can’t make up something like that, I’ll have to write it first.’
“So they covered it up and just put Ella. I wouldn't let them come up with a name. I said: ‘no you can’t.’ I’ll say: ‘I won’t know until I write it.’
“It’s not all sitting there waiting, it’s out here waiting to come in. That’s the interesting thing.”
She spoke about getting to know the characters through the course of writing the books.
She said: “It was a journey getting to know them. For me, there were only two things that I definitely knew at the start was that she was much stronger than he was and that he was fragile.
“And then it grew from there. One of the things that I enjoyed was falling in love with both of them. And I didn't expect to do that.
“So I'm very, very fond of both those characters. And it’s a weird thing to have them in your head and bickering now. Because they know each other so well.”
She talked about how her writing process has changed over the years and how much she enjoys her job.
She explained: “I love it and then sometimes it’s so hard. It’s so hard as well.
“It’s quite lonely too, except when you really love the people that you’re writing about.
“It’s less lonely then. You’re in good company.”
Buy it: Freed by E L James | £5 (Was £8.99) from Amazon
WATCH: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' author E L James on sex toys, success, and popping her podcast cherry