Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Fifty Shades of Grey spoof gets book deal

Leesa Harker

A woman from Northern Ireland has said she can’t believe her luck after her spoof version of best-selling erotic tome Fifty Shades of Grey was picked up by a major publisher.

Set in Belfast, Fifty Shades of Red, White and Blue is the hilarious debut novel of single mum-of-two Leesa Harker.

Six weeks ago, Leesa (34) from the Shore Road area of the city was unknown — until her comedy Facebook posts inspired by EL James' book gained 25,000 fans in a matter of days.

The raunchy online chapters, featuring Maggie Muff and her chum Sally-Ann, were turned into an e-book and Blackstaff Press promptly offered Leesa a publishing deal.

The Open University student told the Belfast Telegraph she has always wanted to be an author, but can’t quite believe her dream has become a reality so quickly.

On September 27, she will be signing copies of her debut novel at Eason’s in Donegall Place, Belfast.

What started as a joke for Leesa’s friends, has quickly become a life-changing experience for the talented young woman.

Leesa's remarkable tale mirrors what happened with the original novel by EL James.

It, too, was a huge hit as an e-book before the paper version was released, with phenomenal global success.

Leesa, who previously worked in car sales and as a bank manager, said: “It’s a dream come true. I am amazed and I couldn’t be happier.”

Leesa said she wanted to thank all her fans for the support she has received so far and revealed she is currently writing a second book.

“I’ve had so much support for the Northern Ireland public and people from all over the world,” she said.

“I am writing a second book at the moment; it’s called Dirty Dancing in Le Shebeen.”

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