Parkland Author Pens "Shades Of Gray," Book Gets Confused With "Fifty Shades Of Grey"

Susanne Jacoby-Hale got more than she bargained for when she named her book "Shades of Gray"

By Justin Finch
|  Tuesday, May 15, 2012  |  Updated 3:29 PM EDT
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Susanne Jacoby-Hale talks about the attention her self-published book

Susanne Jacoby-Hale talks about the attention her self-published book "Shades of Gray" is getting these days, with "Fifty Shades of Grey" a bestseller.

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What's in a name? More than Parkland author Susanne Jacoby-Hale bargained for when she named her self-published book "Shades of Gray."

It was released around Christmas and within months, she was met with questions about her book.

"I just kind of brushed it off, and didn't think twice about it, until I started getting calls, emails, Facebook messages, people I haven't heard from in 30 years, asking me, 'You wrote this book?'" she explained.

Jacoby-Hale's book draws upon her own years teaching at-risk students at a New York City public high school.

Her main character, Olivia Dalton, not only struggles with the challenge of reaching her students, but also trying to start a family of her own with her husband. The author said the confusion over the title has been more of an opportunity than an obstacle.

"It gives me a chance to get my book, and my issues out there," Jacoby-Hale said.

Among the crowds who showed up to the Falafel Bistro in Coral Springs for Jacoby-Hale's booksigning was teacher Karen Daum, who said the book struck a nerve.

"I think it deals with a lot of things that are happening now, in the real world, and happening on the news, and what's just going on currently in the education system," Daum said.

Jacoby-Hale's friend Sandy Listoken was so eager to read "Shades of Gray," she downloaded it, but was met with a salacious surprise.

"I actually downloaded "Fifty Shades of Grey" first, so I started reading it, and I went, 'This isn't the Susanne I know and love,'" Listoken said.

"Shades of Gray" and "Fifty Shades of Grey" could not be any more different. The latter focuses on the racy romance between a wealthy playboy and a college co-ed. The steamy series is igniting sales of the trilogy worldwide. Author E.L. James even made a trip to South Florida to sign copies for fans.

Even Jacoby-Hale admits she's read James' work.

"I give her a lot of credit for putting herself out there, I don't think I could have -- well, I know couldn't of written that," the author said.

"Look, she's doing something noble also, she's saving marriages and sex lives around the world."
 

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