Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pink Slips and Parting Gifts

Author: Deb Hosey White

In the world of fiction, many tales have been written about the famous business icon at the top of the pyramid whose name and life will always be remembered. However, when do we ever hear the story of the little guys at the bottom of the pyramid – the foundation blocks of the structure itself, without whose strength and stamina the whole building would collapse? Even if you have never worked in the corporate business world or been part of a merger or acquisition, you will find Deb Hosey White’s Pink Slips and Parting Gifts a clear and insightful journey into the world of corporate America. White defines and describes in great detail, but in simple terms, the lives of the “foundation” employees of The Easton Company through the merger process, opening the reader’s eyes to the stark reality of how their lives are thrown into upheaval by the selfishness of those great icons at the top.

If you have lived through the experience of a merger or acquisition, you may very well find yourself relating to the events and people within the storyline. The story is told through the eyes of employees at every level, from the maintenance man in the basement, to the accountant, to the human resources specialist, and it touches on all aspects of their shock, pain, heartbreak, confusion, and loss as their lives are turned upside down.

On the one hand, this is a very refreshing read as it falls outside of the standard, repetitive subject matter in the world of fiction today, but on the other hand it is a very disturbing and rude awakening to what the world of business has become. Gone is the much loved and admired company founder dedicated to the common good, the community, and the company’s employees, who built the company from the ground up to be known for its solid reputation, positive profile, and profitable business sheet. Enter the power and money hungry CEO’s and executives of the Fortune 500 generation who forget about the original goals and whose only concern now is the size of their parachute (the job insurance for top executives in case of a merger or acquisition) which allows them to leave with millions in their pockets to secure their futures, while the low men and women on the totem pole watch their futures crumble before their eyes.

Although the chapters were so short that I found the storyline a bit disjointed, making it difficult to get to know the characters, I was intrigued by the plot of this novel right from page one, and I could feel the tension building throughout as the employees of The Easton Company, comfortable in their stable lives, were thrown into chaos with no warning. It makes one yearn for the early days in business when no one was making huge amounts of money, but everyone loved their work and lived comfortably. No one, not even the CEO, was wealthy!

Pink Slips and Parting Gifts was certainly an eye opener for me, and I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to see the truth behind big business today and the power of the privileged few.

Deb Hosey White is an executive management consultant and retirement coach who lives and writes in North Carolina with her husband, David. Reviewer: Cindy Taylor, Allbooks Review.

Title: Pink Slips and Parting Gifts
Author: Deb Hosey White
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4401-5804-9
Price: U.S. $20.95
No. of Pages: 345
March, 2010

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,

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, andother 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?

September 2009

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 ofthose 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:







· Waterstones

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.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment