Sheila O'Flanagan, the bestselling Irish fiction writer of titles like Better Together, told the press this week that the hype surrounding erotic novel '50 Shades of Grey' is undeserved.

The truth is O'Flanagan found it too "boring and silly" to read through to the end.

O'Flanagan is no stranger to popular fiction. 'Better Together' currently occupies the number one in original fiction in Ireland.

O'Flanagan told the Herald this week she had been concerned about her book being released when '50 Shades' is still an international sensation.

"I'm always nervous when the book goes out. I've had so many books out and you still never know, particularly with '50 Shades of Grey.' It shows that people are going for erotic fiction, but fortunately they didn't stop buying mine.

"I've read small parts of all of the trilogy. To be honest, I love characters and I think the woman in '50 Shades' is so pathetic that I couldn't get past her. She's meant to be an intelligent woman, but she's just too silly for words.

"People can read what they read and I wouldn't judge them for what they read, but for me it's too boring. Even the sex didn't keep me going.

"I think it's just that, at different times, different things become popular and capture people's imagination. Word of mouth helps. People start saying, 'You have to read this,' and then people feel they're obliged to read it in case they're missing out on something.

"I did feel obliged but it's not something I would have felt any great desire to read. When people were telling me to read it and I was being asked about it, I felt I had to."

Meanwhile Sheila's new book focuses on the Irish economic crisis and the job losses that have accompanied it.

"The girl loses her job, so the current environment was on my mind, and people who are having to do things they wouldn't normally do because of a change in their circumstances. She has to move out of Dublin and move to a small town. The newspaper industry is going through a lot of changes, so I was thinking about that, and I felt that what happens to my character is something that can quite easily happen."

Sheila O'Flanagan