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EL James, Author Of 'Fifty Shades Of Grey', Convinces Husband To Write Novel - And Now He Has A Book Deal

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Niall Leonard's 'Crusher' is expected to be a big hit with teens
Niall Leonard's 'Crusher' is expected to be a big hit with teens

The husband of best-selling publishing phenomenon EL James has landed his own major book deal - with a novel he wrote in a month.

Niall Leonard, a TV screenwriter whose credits include Hornblower, Wire In The Blood and Monarch Of The Glen, will publish his book for young adults later this year.

His wife - whose real name is Erika Leonard - saw her debut novel set a new UK record last week when her first book Fifty Shades Of Grey achieved the highest ever weekly paperback sale.

The book shifted 205,130 copies in seven days, and her two other books sold more than 100,000 copies each.

The mother-of-two challenged her husband to write his own book and he came up with his thriller Crusher, which he had originally hoped to self-publish.

But James mentioned the book to her publishing house and executives were impressed enough to offer a three-book deal.

His first revolved around a teenage school dropout, Finn Maguire, who finds his stepfather battered to death and has to not only prove his innocence after becoming the prime suspect but also find the real killer.

Annie Eaton, fiction publisher for Random House Children's Publishers UK, said: "This electrifying story took my breath away.

"Niall's writing is immensely assured, he is a fantastic new voice for teenagers and this is a truly exciting acquisition for RHCP."

Leonard said: "Crusher is a story I have wanted to write for years, and it finally all came together last November, when my wife encouraged me to take part in the Nanowrimo novel-writing event.

"I am thrilled and delighted that RHCP have picked up Crusher for publication, and it's a fantastic honour to join the distinguished names on their writers' list."

James's erotic Shades Of Grey books have become a huge hit.

Her debut is the fastest-selling book of the year and the movie rights have already been snapped up. It is expected to sell more than a million copies in the next few weeks.