Collateral Damage

When Harper Byrne, the revered head of one of London's top publishing houses (Phantom Rouse) learns of her impending enforced redundancy, she is stunned and dismayed. Unable to understand how she could be so easily dismissed after her loyalty to the company and a twenty year career with the illustrious publishing house, she seeks revenge. Her ultimate goal is to make the company lose money. She trawls the slush pile for the worst submission she can find and grabs a title called 'Hundred Hints of Hotness'. Commissioning the hastily picked manuscript sans editing, she fast-tracks it to print for one million copies, convinced the book will be a massive loss-maker. She awaits news of the potential turkey of a book with gleeful anticipation, yet nothing can prepare her for the news that the book, (erotic fiction at its worst) is an instant best seller. Follow Harper's journey as she learns about life, love and the downright unexpected in this satirical swipe on the publishing industry.

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1. EXCERPT

Harper stared at the email. She blinked in disbelief. No, that couldn't be right... could it? Her name was in block capitals in the subject heading and there was only one Harper in the whole company. She double clicked the message open and there it was in black and white.

Any doubt she was clinging on to disappeared like the mist in the early morning sun as she read: "Harper Byrne has to go. Company can't afford her. Damn Amazon and the rise of self-publishing. Phantom Rouse can no longer skate by on an outdated business model. Difficult decision but imperative."

Harper slumped back into her chair in a daze. Just that morning she had skim-read an article on her way into work, highlighing increasing jobless figures. It wasn't long before she was one of them, a faceless statistic. Her unfailing loyalty to the company was worthless. Tears pricked her eyes as she thought of not doing a job she loved in a company she had grown up with. She was being discarded. And she didn't like it.

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