- Unlikely, going by James' response to criticism. Claiming it was intended as satire would work in her favour a lot more than her claim that she was writing a romance.
As evidenced by her Mary Sue tendencies, she's not a human being at all. She was a humanoid automaton designed by Grey to fulfil his sexual desires; a sort of Stepford Wife. The people in her life are either actors Grey hired to pretend to be her relatives, or strangers who befriended the naive young woman out of concern for her welfare. Think about it; the man's a billionaire - surely he of all people could pull off something like this. He probably wouldn't be too concerned about the ethics either, judging by his personality.
- Expanding on this, she's an AU version of the Key from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In this AU, the monks weren't competent enough to give her a full identity like the ones in canon did with Dawn, so instead they gave her everything they could think of: seeing as they're monks and lived in celibate isolation from the world...
Their writing styles are way too similar to be just a mere coincidence. It will also explain how E.L. James was able to avoid copyright issues despite her work being originally a Twilight fanfiction. The person portraying E.L. James is actually an actress paid by Meyer.
Hey, Ana's dad is named Ray. Could be short for Rayford.
Why else would she allow herself to be used and abused by Grey?
After My Immortal (and learning how to use a spell checker) she decided to write another fanfic...And it turned out to be an international bestseller.
The series is horribly written with wooden characters (one of whom appears to have one brain cell and the other of whom is a manipulative abuser who says in canon that he uses sex as a weapon), negative character development (despite Ana's insistence, Grey gets creepier and more manipulative as time goes on, not better), scattered "plotlets" that last for all of a chapter (if that), massive amounts of discontinuity, errors so egregious as to make the author look ridiculous (as when Ana, a self-proclaimed expert on guns, confuses an application for a concealed-carry license with the ability to purchase a gun), and formulaic, repetitive, copypasted porn. Yet it was sold twice, despite most publishers refusing to republish work that has already been posted online, and many people bought it, despite the incompetent writing and despite better written and more entertaining erotica having existed for decades. The most logical conclusion is that ELJ made a Faustian Bargain, one of the conditions being that her refurbished Twilight fanfic would be wildly popular...for a while, anyway.
Given that Christian made a huge deal about not telling anyone about his "donations" to Darfur, despite that it would raise awareness of the region and would be fantastic publicity for his business, it makes one wonder if he is actually engaging in illegal activity overseas that he doesn't want the Federal government to investigate. He wouldn't declare it on his taxes as a donation because then the IRS would look into checking its legitimacy. It would be entirely believable that Christian Grey is making money on the side by shipping arms and/or supplies to African warlords.
- Yep, there's one out now called "Grey", from the perspective of the eponymous abusive businessman who's misinformed about even the most basic aspects of his lifestyle.
- "Grey" is more like Midnight Sun, though. It remains to be seen whether James could bring herself to write a psychopath dominatrix who stalks a woefully innocent virgin man.
- Jossed. It's revealed in Meeting Fifty Shades (and Grey) that Kate's father is a rather important business friend to Christian and decided to humor Mr Kavanagh and agreed to Kate's interview, just to keep her father on good terms with him.
"Christian Grey" is an obvious false identity. We're watching the story of either Tommy Elliot/Hush or Anton Knight/The Night Slayer. The ending of Fifty Shades Darker is foreshadowing a Justice League mission to take down Grey Enterprises and its villainous CEO.
That was just a ruse to create publicity. In fact, Bella knew it perfectly well when she was going to get raped quite early in the first book, whereas Anastasia never grasped Tess Of The Durbervilles or any other Thomas Hardy novel for that matter. You heard me right: Bella was savvy, if only by comparison to Anastasia Steele.
Grace and Carrick. While they can claim that they saved Christian from his rough childhood, the Greys actually compounded his issues. It was never indicated that he received therapy after his mother's death or after his time in foster care. Even when Christian was selectively mute, they did nothing for it for two years. There was no evidence that they even made an attempt to correct Christian's ever worsening behavior, even when he physically attacked Elliot as shown in "Grey". In fact, Grace and Carrick were afraid that Christian was going to hurt the infant Mia. They made token attempts by sending him to therapy when he was getting into trouble at school for his violent mood swings, but the damage was already done. The fact that Christian says that he only learned self-control and discipline under the hand of Elena Lincoln is rather damning evidence of the Greys' negligent parenting. Say what you will about Ella, she tried as a single mother with limited resources. For all their money, the Greys didn't do a thing to help Christian overcome his trauma, instead enabling his bad behavior.
Obviously Anastasia is not into BDSM at all. Since James writes from her own experiences with BDSM, it is likely that James herself was never into it. Maybe she is writing this shit as a form of psychotherapy. Maybe we should cut her some slack.
- It doesn't seem like it. If James was writing it as someone who didn't get into it, then why were the prominent "doms" unpunished for their enjoyment of it? Aside from falling out of Christian's favor, Elena Lincoln essentially gets away with statutory rape and Christian continues to dominate Ana, even getting away with spanking which was a point of contention for Ana. Take into account James' dismissal of the books' critics, many of whom had reasonable concerns about her romanticizing domestic abuse, and this theory just doesn't make sense.