Fifty-Two Shades of Blue-ish is a hilarious Jewish parody of 50 Shades of Grey. In it, a nice Jewish girl named Rachel Levine gets involved with Jew Ishman, a tall dark and handsome CEO of Kosher Candyland. Jew is sexy, and very committed to Jewish women, but Rachel has to decide if she really wants to submit to his ALMOST TEN COMMANDMENTS (he always puts them in all caps) and a relationship with “Master Mars Bars” (what he prefers to be called). The book will keep you giggling even if you haven’t read the trilogy it’s riffing on.
We interviewed Karen S. Exkorn, author of Fifty-Two Shades of Blue-ish about her book, her life, and why she decided to donate a portion of her profits to an autism charity.
How did the idea for a Jewish parody of Fifty Shades of Grey come to you?
The idea of writing a humor book actually came to me when I was on a tour for my first book, The Autism Sourcebook. Some of the autism moms asked me to write something to help make them laugh. At the time, it wasn’t something that was remotely on my radar. Cut to: Seven years later, I’m sitting around the pool at my parents’ condo in Palm Beach, and all of these Jewish women are reading Fifty Shades of Grey and kvetching about the main character Christian. I kept hearing, “Can you believe Christian did this?” and “Christian did that?” That’s when it hit me—why not write a Jewish spoof?
What was the most fun part to write? Why?
The sex scenes! They made me laugh out loud. I think people take sex much too seriously, so I wanted to have fun with it. I also had fun trying to get my character Rachel to use the Jewish pronunciation for “CHHH.” Those scenes cracked me up.
What should I say? Oh, I want Jew so much. “I want you!” I say to myself. Wait a minute. I just realized that when I say it out loud, “I WANT YOU” sounds exactly the same as “I WANT JEW!” It must be a sign.
Your bio says you write “soft Jewish porn.” So have you been writing erotica before this book? How did you get your start?
I was a virgin when it came to writing “soft Jewish porn,” or any porn for that matter. But thanks to my new book, I’ve lost my virginity! As I was writing, I felt as if I was channeling these characters, and they were telling me what they wanted. They turned out to be quite naughty, so I found that I had to put my “nice Jewish girl” persona aside. Now that I’m in touch with my other side, who knows what might be next?
You’re donating a portion of the proceeds from the book to an autism charity. Which charity, and why did you choose autism?
I feel a special connection to autism because of our personal experience with the disorder. My plan is to designate specific autism organizations that focus on providing treatment and education to children with autism. It’s my way of giving back to the autism moms who inspired me to write this book, and to the autism community-at-large.
Do you Kvell?
Of course! What Jewish mother doesn’t? I kvell over pretty much everything that my son does.