Fifty Shades of Black and White

Anatomy of the Lawsuit behind a Publishing Phenomenon

by Mike Farris and Jennifer Pedroza

From the Introduction:

When four women first banded together to form The Writer’s Coffee Shop publishing house, little did they know they would publish one of the most successful book series in history: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. Although they never formalized a written partnership agreement, the four operated The Writer’s Coffee Shop as a partnership, but that lack of a written agreement was a portent of things to come. After selling publishing rights to the Fifty Shades trilogy to Random House, one of them claimed no partnership ever existed and made off with more than $40,000,000 in royalties from the sale.

It was against this backdrop that Jennifer Pedroza retained attorney Mike Farris to file a lawsuit in Fort Worth, Texas, to establish that The Writers Coffee Shop had been, and still was, a partnership; that she was a still-existing partner in that partnership; and that she was entitled to her share of partnership profits.

Fifty Shades of Black and White provides an insider’s look at the sordid story of the rise and fall of The Writer’s Coffee Shop, as well as a study of the litigation it spawned. Mike Farris explains how the case developed and proceeded in the courtroom while Jennifer Pedroza tells her personal story of how she was victimized by someone she thought was a friend. In the end, this is a cautionary tale of what happens when money comes between comrades and of the importance of “getting it in writing.” It is an illustration of why greed is one of the seven deadly sins.


Trade Paperback
Stairway Press

What others are saying about Fifty Shades of Black and White

“This is one of the most fascinating legal battles of our time—and there's no one better suited to tell Jennifer Pedroza’s story than Mike Farris and Jennifer herself. In this book, they lift the lid on all the insider strategies and skullduggery involved in the high-stakes litigation concerning what may be the most profitable book series of all time. I read the whole thing in a single sitting. Fifty shades of fun!”

    – William Bernhardt, author of Justice Returns

“This is what happened next for the Australian mum and her Texan friends who published [Fifty Shades of Grey] in the first place… Interested to know who came out on top? Well, the trial took place in Texas, so strap yourself down for a wild ride.”

    – Caroline Overington, The Australian Women’s Weekly

“No whips or chains were involved but an independent Texas publisher of ... Fifty Shades of Grey slapped around a former colleague in court for duping her out of royalties.”

    – Darby Kendall, Eye on Texas

“Take a trial lawyer who is a great storyteller, give him a shocking true story about a steamy fictional story, add big publishing houses and big film companies, and then  turn him loose in a Texas courtroom to get justice. What you end up with is a huge jury verdict and a book about it that you can't put down.  Mike Farris, seasoned trial lawyer and superb writer, teams up with Jennifer Pedroza to tell an incredible but true story—Fifty Shades of Black and White.”

    – Gerald R. Powell, Practice Court Professor, Baylor Law School

Fifty Shades of Black and White features more compelling twists, turns, and climaxes than a night with Christian Grey.”

    – Jeff Prince, The Fort Worth Weekly

“If the scandalous nature of Fifty Shades of Grey excites you, wait until you read about the true life scandal behind the publication of the breakout book trilogy. Told with cinematic flair, Mike Farris and Jennifer Pedroza take the handcuffs and blindfolds off, to prove in the end… Lady Justice is not blind after all.”

    – Aaron & Jordan Kandell, screenwriters of Moana and Adrif

“Fifty Shades of Black and White is the remarkable true story of tens of millions of dollars, greed, and legal skullduggery of the highest order. It chronicles one woman’s and one lawyer’s high-stakes legal action to recover what was wrongfully stolen from her. A battle of good versus evil and David versus Goliath unlike any you’ve ever read, with the outcome uncertain until the very last page.”

    – Robert Dugoni, Internationally best-selling Author of My Sister’s Grave and The Tracy Crosswhite series.

“Mike Farris has always been a great story-teller. Apparently he's a great lawyer too. This is a fantastic tale told by the people who lived it. Fifty Shades of Black and White has it all: sex, money, betrayal, intrigue and courtroom high drama. Farris and Jennifer Pedroza have crafted a terrific, readable and believable saga that shows how the good guys--against considerable odds--actually won.”

    – Doug J. Swanson, author of Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker