My wife, Leslie Ware, has just published Dead Trees, a short, funny novel that’s a sendup of office politics at a fictional magazine and a bittersweet elegy for print journalism. Think of it as a mashup of Dilbert, The Devil Wears Prada, and Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim. It’s available for $9.95 at www.createspace.com/6220432 or www.amazon.com/dp/1532843623.
Here’s a summary:
Jordana Lang is witness to a murder–but there’s no corpse, and Dead Trees isn’t a murder mystery, at least in the usual sense. Jordy is a 39-year-old editor at a magazine–a paper one–that is being killed off by suits who care more about the bottom line and their next job than saving one of the most respected journalistic enterprises in America: a nonprofit that tests everything from toasters to Teslas and provides buying advice to millions of loyal subscribers. As Jordy and the old guard at All 4 U fight off endless meetings, acronyms, and gibberish, the new regime aims to eliminate the most talented workers.
Meanwhile, someone within the publication is further threatening its reputation by leaking early test results to a stockbroker and profiting from insider trades. Jordy is among the employees assigned to find the culprit.
In addition to Jordy, the cast of characters includes Samatar Beazer, a talented Somali-American reporter with a congenital inability to look on the bright side; Warren Tappitt, a suspected corporate shill who turns out to be anything but; Gina Scarsi, the new regime’s firer-in-chief and a man-crazy import from Beauteous magazine; Gavin McNutt, a hedgehog lookalike and Scarsi’s co-sociopath; and Sylvie Bennett and Ann Brown (a.k.a. Mrs. Malaprop), whose poor dating choices help solve the insider-trading case.
Dead Trees shows off Leslie’s smooth writing style and keen wit. Buy it! Read it!