Another article about Fifty Shades found its way to the front page of my local newspaper recently. Frankly, I am numb. This one boasts that due to Ms. James infamous, erotic novels, “businesses focusing on sexuality are seeing a significant increase in sales.” Well, there is good news. I know I will sleep better tonight knowing that for sure.
I began to wonder. If my Shades of Gray were to be coveted the way Fifty Shades of Grey has, would the world suddenly take note of the desperate need our education system is in? Would people begin to get more involved in fundraising for our schools? Would teachers feel motivated to get back into their classrooms and give a little more of their hearts regardless of the impediments put on them by lack of funds, support and an excessive amount of red tape? Would the government allocate higher pay for educators or mandate parents to assure their children attend school and do homework?
I love visiting book clubs and engaging in intelligent conversation about my book, particularly when the subject diverts from which parts are non-fiction (many) to questions like, “Do you believe that we should be putting money into curriculum like the dropout prevention program described in Shades of Gray?” (At the risk of exposing my political views; yes – let’s put the money into keeping kids in school now, rather than funding prisons later!) In the next few months I am eager to meet with potential teachers and social workers at various high schools and universities and hope that they will take away from my book an enthusiasm similar to Olivia’s or mine; not unlike the fervor that ignited the real ACE program. I can’t promise the passion my book might kindle will cause the same kind of sales Fifty Shades has, but then again, if one doesn’t dream, neither story would have been told.