Andrew Shaffer on Fifty Shames of Earl Grey | Tantorious

Tantorious is a semi-monthly podcast series featuring interviews with well-known authors, hosted by Allan Hoving and presented by Tantor Audio.

Fifty Shames of Earl Grey is a shrewd, laugh-out-loud parody of E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, the bestselling novel (and now trilogy) that everyone is talking about — to the exclusion of all else. The parody is written by Fanny Merkin, actually the pseudonym of Andrew Shaffer, who reviews romance, erotica, and women’s fiction for RT Book Reviews magazine. The audiobook edition of the parody is read by actress Allyson Ryan, an award-winning narrator, who discussed the pleasures and perils of parody with Shaffer.

Excerpts from the audio interview:

Q: Andrew, how did you get mixed up in this?

A: As a reviewer for RT, I thought I was on top of this genre, but this book came out of nowhere. I picked it up and started to tweet my thoughts but felt I was being a little mean to the author. So I decided to go in a different direction and began writing a parody of it – as well as of all the erotic romance genre conventions.

Q: Allyson, how did you feel about getting the assignment to narrate?

A: I was excited to be doing it but scared because parody is a hard thing to do well, especially in audiobook form, striking that balance and getting the comedy right. The biggest challenge was just not laughing through the whole thing.

Listen to a sample of the Tantor audiobook edition of FIFTY SHAMES OF EARL GREY, narrated by Allyson Ryan.

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