If you sensed that something was amiss in reading last week's blog you would have been right. Private investigator Bruce Watson's report that the author of 50 Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games author are sisters turns out to be false. They are, in fact, one person.
Watson appeared on my doorstep late last night to deliver this startling news.
"Yes, the two trilogies that account for 25 percent of all book sales in the past year were written by one person."
"Go home," I said, closing the door and double locking it. He continued tapping on the door until I opened it again.
"I have to admit, at first I was fooled," said Watson. "The two different genres, the subject matter, the story lines so completely different. But upon closer examination it became quite clear. The evidence speaks for itself."
He unrolled me a very elaborate chart comparing selected text from each of the first books in both trilogies.
"What am I looking at?" He took out a collapsible pointer to indicate different places on the chart.
"The number of times the word "cold" appears in each manuscript: 24. The number of times "frightened" appears in both: 5." He went on and on in this vein pointing out similar usage of words. "Finally, the number of times the word "angry" appears in 50 Shades of Grey: 27. In Hunger Games: 11."
"Twenty seven and eleven are two different numbers."
"Exactly. That was just to throw us off."
"Bruce are you on medication of some kind?"
"Most telling of all: the names of the main characters in each of the trilogies. Anastasia Steele and Katness Everdeen. Count the letters. Each name contains 15 letters. Need I say more?"
"You know as long as you're not taking more than the prescribed amount I'm sure your doctor will write you a new script."
"Don't you understand? They're grooming the One Author. It's all part of the One Book One World publishing conspiracy. I can prove it to you. I'll take you to meet her."
"I'm not going anywhere with you, Bruce. Not unless we can arrange a police escort."
"Do you or do you not care about the future of publishing?" he said, rolling up his word chart.
"The author" turned out to be a tall thin woman in her mid thirties. She lived in a small studio in an expensive neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (An expensive neighborhood in Greenpoint? I began to think anything was possible--perhaps even Watson's wild theory.) She sat at a long table on which there were not one but three large screen iMacs. She kept rolling from one computer to the other She seemed glad to see us but didn't stop typing.
"Forgive me for not getting up. But I've got a horrendous deadline. Two new trilogies due by the end of the week. A paranormal young adult detective story which takes place totally underwater called The Soggy Games and an erotic series involving two star-crossed hermaphrodites called 50 Splotches of Vermillion.
"Why are you pretending to be two different authors?" I asked.
"I don't think of it as pretending when I'm writing. I am fully invested in that author's voice."
"But you're scamming the public. People who pay good money for these books."
"Oh, I don't do it for the money. I do it for the love of literature."
"But what about all your royalties?"
"My royalties? Oh, no," she laughed, "my people are commoners just like everyone else's."
It was at this point I realized that she was not taking the same medication that Watson wasn't taking. And I made to leave.
"Wait," said Watson. "Don't you want to know who put her up to this and why?"
"If you promise not to reveal a word of what I'm going to tell you, I'll explain everything," the woman said.
At that point we had a Super Bowl moment and all the lights went out.
[To be continued.]