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Allbooks Reviews INTERVIEW:
Allbooks Reviews INTERVIEW:(Please put your answers in black)
Please state your name and location.(city and State or Province, Country)
Deb Hosey White
Greensboro, North Carolina USA
Tell us the title and publisher of your book:
Pink Slips and Parting Gifts
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
ISBN 9781440158049, $20.95, www.iuniverse.com
Tell us about yourself:
Thirty years of corporate life never really "cured" me of being an English major, a creative writer, and a poet. And while up to my eyeballs in 401(k) plan administration, ERISA, COBRA, and other stress-inducing arcanity, I never stopped collecting and writing stories. Anyone who has ever worked for a large organization knows that the best workplace stories end up in human resources. Now retired from corporate life, I'm free to share some of those stories--without naming names, of course!
When was the book released?
Give us an overview of your book.
When is the first time a CEO dares to say out loud, “It’s time to sell the company”? Does he practice first in front of a mirror? Does he quietly float the idea to his most trusted colleague over dinner? Does he seek legal counsel? SEC guidance? Financial advice? If the CEO is gutsy enough, “selling the company” might quietly pass his lips for the first time during a clandestine meeting with a potential buyer in Las Vegas—setting the bait for a bid that will electrify the decision-makers back home.
Mergers and acquisitions are messy business and they change the lives of everyday people. Pink Slips and Parting Gifts is the fictional account of the sale of a U.S. development company, revealing absurd events mixed with employee anguish as another corporation changes hands and disappears from the big board on Wall Street.
By the time Easton Company CEO Jeffrey Elkins entices a major competitor to buy his Fortune 500 Company, the corporate jet is waiting and his parachute is platinum. In 14 weeks the deal of a lifetime transforms a handful of quirky executives into undeserving multi-millionaires, propels a workforce into unemployment and dispatches unsuspecting retirees into poverty. In the background, security guards dance naked in mall fountains, the corporate jet is sold on eBay, and a CEO utters his final words before relinquishing his title: Make sure the employees get their pumpkin pies.
The memorable cast of corporate characters includes a germophobic CEO, a marketing VP turned Elvis impersonator, the Sundance Kid of Everyman Compensation, and a purchasing director nicknamed the eBay Wizard.
What inspired you to write this book?
I spent more than 30 years in corporate America as a manager and a consultant. During that period I collected hundreds of stories about companies and the people who work for them.I also experienced firsthand the merger that inspired Pink Slips and Parting Gifts.As a corporate human resources director I was required to help "turn out the lights" at my company as it was sold to a competitor.I dealt with retirees whose health insurance and pensions were ripped from their aging hands; with long-term employees whose jobs were abruptly eliminated; and with a community that lost it's premier hometown corporate citizen.
Reading the news coverage of that merger and many others, I was struck with the realization that the stories being covered were heavily weighted to the top of the corporate heap—the CEOs, big stockholders,and top-level management who benefited most from the merger-mania. I wanted to get behind the headlines and tell the realities of those stories—the incredible perks, corporate jets, and multi-million dollar goodbye packages—but I also wanted to tell the stories of the maintenance workers, secretaries, and others whose lives were upturned by the merger.
How is your book different from other books in this genre?
Pink Slips and Parting Gifts is business fiction. That's not a genre that fits neatly onto library shelves or bookseller databases. But fiction set in the workplace is still a strong sub-category of modern literature. As such, Pink Slips and Parting Gifts shares a lineage with Up in the Air, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and The Devil Wears Prada. What is unique about Pink Slips and Parting Gifts is that it tells the story of a corporate merger not just from the perspective of the news-makers—the CEOs, board members, and power brokers—but from the mailroom clerks, secretaries, retirees, mid-level managers and even the homeless man living on the company's loading dock.
Also, Pink Slips and Parting Gifts employs flash fiction storytelling -- a unique format for a novel. Each chapter tells its own small story within the context of the larger novel. Many of the chapters could stand alone as stories within a story. The best example is the embedded "Tales of the Sofa." Many readers have commented on their enjoyment of the "sofa story" within Pink Slips.
Where can people buy your book?
The book is available online from:
Are you working on another book? If so when do you expect it to be published?
Yes.I am in the initial stages of a new workplace novel—publication date unknown.Also working on a screenplay for Pink Slips and Parting Gifts, and a poetry collection.
If you self published, what advice can you give to fellow writers?
The publishing industry has been in a state of upheaval in recent years and self-publishing is a reality for many writers. In this reality, the author must take on tasks traditionally performed by professional agents, editors, copy-proofers, designers, and publicists. Print-on-demand publishers offer a Chinese menu of add-on (read that "extra cost") services, but the quality of those services may vary greatly. I experienced issues throughout the process–from layout and production concerns, to accounting issues, to unprofessional publicity services.
I would advise writers to first attempt to find a professional agent and/or publisher. If that is not possible–and the odds are stacked against new writers–then enter the self publishing world with eye wide open:
• Solicit a team of literate readers who will critique your manuscript (I used volunteers from a literary book group).
• Find a capable person to assist with editing, proofreading, and other production-related tasks.
• Budget more time than you think might be necessary to the critiquing, editing, proofing, and production process.
• Explore third-party publicity services rather than add-on services offered by the publisher. Be prepared to do much of the promotional process yourself.
• Submit your finished book for review by services such as AllBooks Review.
• Do not expect bookstores to stock your self-published book, but be aware of the multitude of online book selling services that predominate today's market.
If published traditionally, tell us how you benefited:
Can you share one of your marketing successes with us?
Because my book is topical/newsworthy, I was able to arrange an interview from a regional newspaper in a city that has been affected by corporate mergers similar to the story in Pink Slips and Parting Gifts.
How did you find Allbooks Reviews and what are you hoping for in your relationship with us?
Allbooks Reviews was included on a list of reputable reviewers on the Midwest Book Review website. My hope is that the insightful Allbooks review of Pink Slips and Parting Gifts will receive broad international circulation and that it will be quoted and noted in numerous sources.
Was the low cost a surprise? What other things would you like Allbooks Reviews to offer writers?
Allbooks Reviews offers timely and personal service to their authors--something not to be undervalued in the 21st century literary marketplace!
Thank you for this interview and best of luck with your book.