The phenomenal success of 50 Shades of Grey is making me very nervous about publication of The White Cuckoo. If it is possible for a book to be the complete opposite of another book, you will find no better comparison. (By the way, I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey yet).
In the early 1980s, Love and Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla, who eventually became John Paul II, was published in English I am not a Roman Catholic, but I have recently ploughed my way through the first couple of chapters of this book as research for a short story I am planning to write and it has, I suppose, made me realise that it is a manual for the way love between a man and a woman should develop over time. It explains why sex is a wonderful gift that should be shared with someone you love as a person, and who loves you as a person in return. It explores the ways relationships can develop, and for all the reasons they develop, as well as explaining why things go wrong and relationships fail. It also covers friendship, maternal and paternal love, attraction – everything. In a nutshell, it makes you realise why so many marriages nowadays fail.
I have read the reviews of 50 Shades of Grey, and a basic synopsis of the story. I know what it is and what messages it purports to convey to its reader. I know my own novel, The White Cuckoo, inside out and what it is and what messages I want to give to my reader. The White Cuckoo is not a slushy romance, but it is about ‘Love’. Within its pages, the various relationships between the characters describe just about every type of love possible. There is no bad language, no rough sex, bondage or other stuff that people are going crazy about right now.
The White Cuckoo is clean, pure and virginal – and that is why I have 50 shades of trepidation about its eventual success. I just hope people are not going to laugh at me and think I am some sort of Mary Whitehouse of novel-writing (which I am not, and I am sure any of my friends and family who have read ‘Sunlight on Broken Glass’ will testify to that.) I want my children and grandchildren to be proud of me and what I am trying to say.
The White Cuckoo is very special to me – even more special than my trilogy. At this moment I have so many conflicting emotions about its publication. I want the best possible future for it – the way a mother wants the best for her child. I am not sure I am doing the right thing at all, but I suppose the next eighteen months will give me the answer to the many questions I have buzzing around in my head at the moment.