Does the name Karen Cohen Yampolsky ring a bell? Congratulations, old-skool Jane reader! She was Jane Pratt's assistant, and she's done the expected thing and written a roman a clef. But there's a twist! The heroine of the novel isn't a Yampolsky stand-in—she's a Jane Pratt stand-in, named Jill White. ("White" used to edit a teen mag called "Cheeky!" For real.) Jill is a valiant soul who wants to keep Jill true to its idealistic roots, even after it gets bought by Nestrom (read: Fairchild) and Jill is forced to work with a publisher installed by evil Nestrom CEO Ellen Cutter (read: Fairchild CEO Mary Berner). Juicy stuff! Unfortunately, the book is still incredibly, incredibly bad. Wouldn't you like to read some?

Its badness is probably why, despite the gossip-column mentions the proposal generated, the only publisher who stepped up was classy Kensington—that fratire article, remember? Anyway, to save you the $19.95, we'll treat you to a few of the most insane, ridiculous, and/or Pratt-tastic bits.

In this excerpt, Jane—sorry, Jill—sticks by her guns... and introduces her valiant, stunningly attractive gal Friday.


"Jill! Do you really want me to call back Katy Hanson's people and tell her we're not interested in having her on a cover? Really?!"

That one stopped me in my tracks, snapping me right into reality. It came from Rosario [ed: Jauretsi? Is that you?], the entertainment editor. "Yes, really!" I snapped.

"But her album just hit number one," she halfheartedly pleaded. "And you said we had to start thinking a little bit more mass appeal for the covers."

I looked at Rosario, her blue hair matted in all directions. She of all people should know better, I thought. She was a downtown girl—a d.j., for crying out loud. I guess she misunderstood me in last week's meeting. "I meant someone more along the lines of a ... Jennifer Aniston," I explained. "Definitely not a cheesy reality show winner. The only way that Katy Hanson would end up on one of our covers would be via a cover line reading 10 Reasons Why Katy Hanson Blows."

* * *

Casey, my assistant, perked up when she saw me approach. I gave her my best don't-let-anybody in look when I reached my office. She knew better than to join the conga line from hell trailing after me, and she usually waited for me to get settled before she confronted me with anything, no matter how urgent. I could tell by her exasperated expression, though, that she had some really pressing, and probably unpleasant, news.

Within a second, Casey was in my office looking me up and down with her big brown doe eyes. She shook her head. "Of all the days for you to arrive looking like Mary-Kate Olsen dressed you," she said, referring to my ratty jeans and my stretched-out, extremely vintage yet very comfortable V-neck sweater. "Get to the fashion closet and the beauty closet, now."

"Oh, shit," I said.

"Yeah, "Casey confirmed. "Liz's been calling all morning. She—and Ellen—want to see you right away. Like, half an hour ago."

I trusted Casey's urgency. She was always looking out for me. Even though she was a few years my junior, in her early thirties, she had a wise, motherly way about her, which contradicted her hip, petite, girlish looks.

Copyright (c) 2007 by Karen Yampolsky. All rights reserved.

Next installment: Jill takes on her new evil overlordladies!