PARKLAND, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Book titles with similar names is nothing new in the literary world. But when an author’s work gets confused with a New York Times bestselling book by an erotic fiction writer, then it gets a little complicated – sometimes with 50 shades of grey.
Susanne Jacoby Hale’s “Shades of Gray,” a story about a former dropout prevention teacher in a New York high school, has achieved modest success for a first-time novelist, earning five-star ratings in the seven Amazon reviews the book has received. The success Hale is attracting, however, is not her own. Hale has received numerous emails, text messages, Facebook posts and phone calls from people thinking she is E.L. James, author of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the “it” book of the moment among female readers drawn to the romance between a wealthy entrepreneur and a college student.
“You get looks like, ‘Whoever would have thought that was going on in the Hale house?’” Hale told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It’s a weird thing because people seem to think I am something I’m not.”
The books have more in common than just a name. They were both published online around the same time at the end of last year. Soon thereafter, James’ book would be picked up and reached the bestseller list a couple months ago.
“It’s frustrating, but I have to laugh about it,” Hale told the Sun-Sentinel.