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'Fifty Shades of Grey' Author's Husband Lands Book Deal

Niall Leonard, spouse of E. L. James, is breaking into young adult fiction with "Crusher."

Niall Leonard, husband of Fifty Shades of Grey author E. L. James, is following in his wife's literary footsteps with novel of his own, called Crusher.

Leonard's young-adult book, described as a "gritty" tale about a 17-year-old London teen who gets framed for his stepfather's murder, will be published by Doubleday, a division of Random House Children's Publishing, in September, according to The Bookseller website.

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Like James (real name: Erika Leonard), a former television executive, Leonard has ties to the TV industry: he has been a screenwriter for such U.K. series as Hornblower and Wire in the Blood.

James encouraged him to write Crusher last November, and he knocked it out that month as part of a novel-writing workshop. In a statement, Leonard -- who had intended to self-publish the book, Fifty Shades-style -- said he was "thrilled and delighted that RHCP have picked up Crusher for publication."

RHCP publisher Annie Eaton bought the global rights in a three-book deal with Valerie Hoskins of Valerie Hoskins Associates. No financial terms were specified.

Meanwhile, James' S&M trilogy -- dubbed "mommy porn" to the masses -- continues to top bestsellers' lists with a movie adaptation in the works. She's snagged a seven-figure contract with Vintage Books, and Universal Pictures and Focus Films have purchased the rights to all three books about an unworldly college student who begins an unusual romantic relationship with a wealthy young businessman.

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