An Irish woman has just landed a lucrative publishing deal after her spoof version of international publishing phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey got picked up by a major publisher recently.
Set in Belfast, Fifty Shades of Red, White and Blue is written in the Northern Irish vernacular and is a loose pastiche of the famous bestseller, written by single mum-of-two Leesa Harker.
Just two months ago, Harker was an unknown from the Shore Road area of the city until her Facebook posts inspired by EL James' book gained 25,000 fans in just a matter of days. Publishers quickly took note.
According to the Irish Independent, the raunchy online chapters prompted Blackstaff Press to offer her a publishing deal.
A shocked Harker told the Belfast Telegraph she has always wanted to be an author but she can’t believe her dream has become an overnight reality.
In fact her ascent has been so fast that she's already scheduled her first major book signing on September 27, when she will appear at Irish bookseller Eason’s in Donegal Place in the heart of Belfast.
Although the 'book' started out as a joke for Harker's friends, it has unexpectedly become a life-changing experience for the young woman and a tale that oddly mirrors what originally happened with the novel by EL James.
No one is more amazed than Harker herself. The young author, who has previously worked in car sales and as a bank manager, told the Independent: 'It’s a dream come true. I am amazed and I couldn’t be happier.'
'I’ve had so much support from the Northern Ireland public and people from all over the world,' she confided. 'I am writing a second book at the moment; it’s called Dirty Dancing in Le Shebeen.'