Fifty shades of red
As I wade into the muddy waters of marketing and promoting my infant book, But the Greatest of These is Love (The Greatest), I look to popular best sellers to provide a model plan. My search takes me to the best selling paperback of all time, the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades.)
It might be safe to assume that if you are a big fan of Fifty Shades, you just might find my sweet little narrative a bit too tame. However, the two do have some things in common: first, they are both books, and, second, Fifty Shades has a character named “Christian,” and my book has a theme that is “Christian.” Beyond that, the plots deviate, Fifty Shades, more so than The Greatest.
While investigating the success of Fifty Shades, I read parts, blushing all the while, shielding my book from the XXX-rated theme. On closer examination, I discovered maybe another similarity: they both examine human nature and free will.
I am not bashing Fifty Shades, nor am I advocating book banning or preaching against the evils of lust in literature. Frankly, I am a bit jealous. While I am holding my new-born book gingerly and carefully navigating unknown waters of social media networks, I watch out of the corner of my eye the giant seductress rack up worldwide sales of over 60 million, and growing, out pacing even the Harry Potter series. Most of the major production companies were competing for a deal for the film version, expected in 2013. Sign me up for that!
Short of throwing in a few scenes of gratuitous sadomasochistic sex, there probably isn't any hope of competing with the record-blasting erotic sensation that is Fifty Shades. We humans derive a dark pleasure in having our own way, to do what is right in our own mind. As a character in The Greatest, I am no different.
I am reminded of the classic cartoons where a red, pitchfork-laden devil is perched on one shoulder, a winged angel on the other. Stuck uncomfortably in the middle, hearing both voices, is man, better known as you and me. We are faced with two main options: to indulge one’s Self, or to do battle against the overwhelming desire to indulge one’s Self.
In both books, we characters want our own way. It is a theme woven throughout both stories. In the end, do we “win”?
Or will there be a Greater outcome, the paradox of losing one's life to save one's life?
Sign me up for that!