5 Stages of Grief meets 50 Shades of Grey

All writers dream of the kind of success enjoyed by 50 Shades of Grey. We agonize over our own books, tweaking and tinkering, knowing we’ll probably never make a cent for all our pain. Then, just as we’re doing cartwheels over selling two in the same day, someone comes along and sells a gazillion copies of a book about a girl who flushes and/or blushes 125 times, once “stars and stripes red.”

Oh my. Oh jeeze. I used the phrase “snorted a laugh” twice in one of my novels and my editor almost died of apoplexy.

But, no one wants to hear a bunch of poor, starving authors moaning that someone doesn’t deserve their success.  It’s almost as unbearable of listening to us gush about the idea we had last night about a werewolf with a terrible secret (Spoiler alert: He’s part Labradoodle!).

So, to avoid having everyone running around like Bitter Betties (sounds like a move Mr. Grey might try on a girl), I’ve whipped up a list (ha!) to address the five stages of 50 Shades grief.


50 Shades of Earl Grey – Though drinking tea is so much harder with a ball-gag in your mouth.


Your first instinct will be to deny the popularity of a book with lines like:

“Oh my… sweat and body wash and Christian. It’s a heady cocktail – so much better than a margarita, and now I can speak from experience.”

I’m not even a fan of tequila and…no.

But as the jokes on late night television, the newspaper articles, the tweets and Facebook  posts pile up, you’ll find ignoring the phenomenon harder and harder. You’ll begin to long for the days when you couldn’t turn a corner without seeing the Twilight kids sparkling and moping.

What to do: Curl up with a nice cup of 50 Shades of Earl Grey tea.  If it’s hard to drink with a ball-gag in your mouth, try a straw.


“Smart girl” Ana’s lack of self- esteem and Grey’s abusive behavior could make any self-respecting girl angry. Grey screams that she is stupid.  Ana says no, and he responds by threatening to tie her up and gag her. But hey, spending years demanding that we, as women, be treated as equals is exhausting. You win, guys-who-say-women-just-want-to-be-told-what-to-do. Thank you. What a relief. No wonder this is a best-seller. We’re tired of thinking.

But that isn’t the worst part. The abuse doesn’t make you half as angry as your friend who says “50 Shades of No Way!” instead of “no” every chance she gets. It isn’t clever, Jessica. Stop it.

What to do: When it all gets too be too much, just beat the shit out of a 50 Shades of Grey teddy from Vermont Teddy Bear. You know, the people who think grown women swoon over big soft Teddys on Valentine’s.


This is where suddenly the murder weapon in your latest mystery novel turns into a riding crop. The description of the cop in your police procedural slapping handcuffs on perps starts getting way too sexy.

“Officer Bob slid the cuffs on Rat-Faced Jack’s wrists slowly, the cold metal teasing the mass murderer with icy seduction…”

“Tighter,” said Jack, moaning as he tugged at the restraints. “Like you mean it.”

“Oh jeeze,” said Bob, biting his lip. “Oh my.”

STOP IT. You can’t just start writing S&M novels to get rich.

Probably. I dunno. I’m looking at the Amazon best-seller lists and…well…hm.

What to do: Every time you find yourself adding a new dominatrix character to your Tex-Mex cookbook, bite your lip. Do it as many times as you need to until the urge passes. Apparently, you can bite your lip about 35 times in a book, and you can read three a book a day, so feel free to bite your lip up to 105 times or so.


You can’t put your happiness in the hands of others. Perk up! There are plenty of things to be happy about. At least you’re not the child of the mom who thinks this is appropriate baby girl wear.  —>

What to do: Let your inner goddess do the “meringue with some salsa moves.” At least your insides aren’t contorting with “potent, needy, liquid desire.” That sounds painful.


81MZTAl1BNL._SL1500_There will always be things that make you crazy. 50 Shades will be around for another year or so. Based on the box office sales of the 1 star rated movie, they’ll probably make another, and the books will be selling until someone writes about women humping dinosaurs or something.

What’s that? They already did that??

Oh jeeze. I submit.

What to do: Drink.



  Oh my! Read Amy’s Super-Fun Books!



NEW! Slightly Stalky: A romantic comedy walks into a bar…
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Emily never expected to find love in a dart bar, but the moment she spots tall, sexy Sebastian, she’s determined to catch his eye.
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Moms are Nuts – 64 Amazon reviews (4.8 average)
Wendi Aarons | Eliza Bayne | Dylan Brody | Matthew David Brozik | Becky Cardwell | Abbi Crutchfield | Sean Crespo | Gloria Fallon | Carol Ray Hartsell | Abby Heugel | Debbie Kasper | Nancy Davis Kho | Kelcey Kintner | Cathy Ladman | Kurt Luchs | Kelly Maclean | Vanda Mikolowski | Mary Laura Philpott | Lisa Page Rosenberg | Marinka | Arlene Schindler | Molly Schoemann | Susan Stobbart Shapiro | Suzy Soro | Amy Vansant | Peggy “Pearl” Vork-Zambory 

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3 Responses

  1. Sarcastic Ninja

    I want to start a blog entitled “Poorly Written Smut” that just features awkwardly written sex scenes. I am betting it would get way more readers than anything else I have ever or will ever write.

    As an aside, you should definitely finish the crime novel started up there…


    • Amy Vansant

      I should finish that. A smut book about a cop who gets turned on every time he cuffs a perp… I could call it 50 Shades of Blue. Or 50 Shades of the Thin Blue Line.



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