It was the eve of the unveiling: BradParksBooks.com was preparing to reveal its Super Fancy Redesign.
The interns had never been so tense.
"No, no, no!" said Zach, the silly intern. "That doesn't go there. It goes over there!"
Zach tugged at his hair, which was already standing on end, gelled up by palm sweat. The room smelled of stale coffee and anxiety. You could practically taste the cortisol.
"I already tried putting it over there, remember?" said Sarah, the smart intern. "Then you told me to put it back."
Sarah had dark rings under her eyes. She hadn't been sleeping well lately. Even Peter, the slothful intern, was so keyed up he hadn't dozed in minutes.
"Well, now I'm saying put it back again," Zach said. "My God, if you put it over there, it's going to make Brad look like he has horns growing out his head."
"Yeah, you're right. That's actually you," Sarah snapped.
Zach glared. Sarah scowled. It was about to get bad—maybe even progress to a glower—when Maggie, the clueless intern, stepped in to be the peacemaker.
"Guys," she said. "Maybe we should just take a break."
Zach turned his stress-induced ire on Maggie.
"A BREAK!?!" Zach said. "This redesign's the biggest thing to happen to BradParksBooks.com since we convinced Brad to take the parental controls off the wireless network, and you want to take a break??"
Zach yanked at his hair some more as his eyes bulged. "Need I remind you, that we've never done a redesign before. We've been clinging to the same look since we introduced the website in our very first newsletter. Same turtleneck picture, same newspaper-themed banner.
"But that is quite literally yesterday's news. Say Nothing represents a new chapter in Brad's writing life. This is his breakout novel, and if this redesign doesn't reflect it, we're all going to be out of jobs."
"Uhh, would that be such a bad thing?" Peter asked. "I don't know if you've noticed, but we've been here seven years now and we're still interns."
But Zach's attention was already back on the screen. "No, not there! There!!"
And so it went until the last pixel was in place and the interns decided it was time to present:
The Super Fancy Redesign
(For those of you who don't want to waste the bandwidth on clicking to make it bigger, it basically features Brad, with substantially less hair than he had on the old website, looking pensively off into the distance, almost like he's gotten thoughtful with age.)
Meanwhile, the buzz is continuing to build for Say Nothing, which industry insiders are already calling one of the most anticipated thrillers of 2017. According to international bestseller Peter James, the book, "Grips you in a vice from the very beginning and shreds your emotions. Terrific, powerful storytelling at its very best. A tour de force."
In other news, Brad was thrilled to attend the Library of Virginia's Literary Awards on Saturday night, along with Ann Holton, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, and a host of other dignitaries. He didn't win the People's Choice Award—despite the efforts of the interns—but he appreciated your votes all the same.
On a brighter front, Brad's 2015 novel, The Fraud, has been nominated for best audio book in the crime/thriller category by the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences—considered the Oscars for voice talent. Winners will be announced in November.
But no matter how that winds up, at least he has a new website design.
Please enjoy it. Zach suffered greatly for his art.
Yours in Exhaustion,
The BradParksBooks.com Interns