Your first reaction to the title of this blog post may be that I’m a little crazy to juxtapose these two concepts. You’re probably right . . . but that is exactly what I did in Presidential Affair, the conclusion of my “Love, Lies and Liaisons” trilogy. The key character, Steve Schilling assists the first female president of the United States in passing legislation to reform our dysfunctional education system and finds his way into her White House bedroom. Hmm . . . sounds like a twist on reality in Washington, D. C.
You may think that compulsive human behavior and educational change are as unrelated as two topics might be, but combining them was the plan from the beginning—show the disconnect and then attach them. It’s the same dichotomy sex addicts deal with all the time—a double life. On one hand, they may have highly honed decision-making skills capable of running a major corporation; yet, the rest of their life may be totally different—multiple sex partners, lying and cheating, doing whatever it takes to sustain their desires. We might see their life as a waste, a life of disarray, but to them everything is fine.
In my writing I try to narrow the line between fact and fiction—drawing together reality and my creative liberties. The key character Steve Schilling is handsome, powerful, and an excellent university president with great leadership skills in changing and improving the quality of education. However he is a sex addict, like roughly six percent of the nation’s population. He has fine-tuned his leadership and love making skills. What better catch might a woman have? For some, that question might seem appalling, hypocritical, but not for all.
Twenty-five years ago, women libbers would have called Steve a “womanizer,” though no one in those days ever heard of a “manizer.” Since then, cultural standards have changed dramatically. Most women are better educated and more aware of their sexual needs. They are encouraged by the culture to seek their own fulfillment. Many are powerful women in their own right making decisions, deciding what they want, and determining their own lifestyle, including sexual behavior.
So in Presidential Affair, it’s not just a man dealing with a sex addiction problem. Some of the women are complicit with his advances; others pursue him for their own pleasures—it is reality. As an author, I’ve used the key character to combine the issue of addiction with the need to change education in our country. I had to do a lot of research on sex addiction to accurately write about it. At the same time I used the storyline to share my knowledge about the need to make massive changes in the quality of education in our country. Are the two issues related? I think the answer is “No” and “Yes.” No – one issue doesn’t fix the other and Yes – a sex addict could be a leader in changing education in America. AND Yes – an author can combine the two and they become related. Well … enough of that for today.
Next time, I’ll focus on our nation’s most critical problem—the need for educational reform. I’ll provide examples of the needed changes and suggest ways to bring about reform. It’s a heady issue Steve tackled in Presidential Affair, but he was up for it!