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Lefty and Brad

The call came in shortly after 9 o'clock Monday morning. None of the other interns at had bothered to show up yet. They knew the boss's book, The Girl Next Door, had won the Lefty Award for best humorous mystery of the year at the Left Coast Crime conference in Colorado on Saturday night—and therefore he wouldn't be making it in.

That left Sarah, the smart intern, to answer it.

"Offices of, this is Sarah," she said in her most officious voice.

The next words were the last she wanted to hear: "It's time," Brad said, "to rewrite my bio."

Sarah grimaced, remembering how overwrought Brad got when he tweaked the bio after winning the Shamus Award. But she said, "I'll handle it. You just enjoy yourself and—"

"No, no. I've got this. Grab a pen and I'll dictate."

"Okay, go ahead, Boss."

Brad cleared his throat and said, "Brad Parks has won the Lefty, Nero and Shamus Awards, the only author to win all three... No, scratch that."

"What's wrong with that? That sounds fine."

"Clearly, you missed the significance of the final clause. It needs more gravitas. Let's make it, '... the only author in history to win all three.'"

"Okay," Sarah said, slowly repeating the words "only... author... in history" as she transcribed.

"On second thought, it still doesn't sound... momentous enough. Go with, '... only author in the history of humanity to win all three."

"Isn't that a little—"

"No, wait. How about '... the one and only author in the history of ever and in all the universe to win all three.'"

"Uhh, I'm don't mean to be over-critical, but—"

"'...the first and one and only author in the history of ever and in all the universe and the cosmos to win all three, something that he and he alone has accomplished, singularly and without peer, in what is widely considered the most incredible writing achievement in the many eons since the Sumerians first began scratching cuneiform on stone tablets."

"Boss, I don't think the Sumerians were in the habit of giving the Lefty Award," Sarah informed him.

Brad paused.

"Well," he said. "Then I guess we'll leave that part out. Anyhow, I've got to go. I'm a three-time award-winning author now, you know. I'm spending a few days in Aspen, skiing with Tiger, hot-tubbing with Paris, rubbing elbows with Leo—boring old stuff like that. Ta ta, then."

A few hours later, Brad sent in some pictures. He and honorary intern Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts took Lefty on a tour shortly after Saturday night's big win. It started with Lefty sneaking up on Lou Diamond Phillips...

Lefty and Lou Diamond Phillips

... then Brad and Lefty running away from a bear...

Lefty and the Bear

... now Brad wrestling Lefty away from the bear...

Lefty and the Bear

... then Brad, Lefty and the bear embraced, leaving no doubt as to where the phrase "bear hug" came from...

Lefty and the Bear

... Brad and Lefty get all "Fabulous Baker Boys" on the piano...

Lefty and the Piano

... Brad and Lefty play a little billiards...

Lefty and Pool

... the waitress stops by with a heaping order of Lefty...

Lefty and the bar waitress

... and, finally and most fabulously, Brad and Lefty enjoy a celebratory dip with New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman.

Lefty and Laura Lippman

An hour or so before that picture was snapped, Brad serenaded Laura in front of 400 people at the Left Coast Crime awards banquet. He was the first person ever in the history of humanity to do that, too.

And hopefully, for Laura's sake, the last.

Yours in Singularity,
The Interns

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P.S. Just a reminder, The Khaki is the New Black Tour continues with a few appearances in New Jersey this week, then the midwest leg of the tour in April. For breathtakingly regular updates on all of Brad's media appearances, "like" him on Facebook. And don't forget to share the joy that is The Scoop, the official newsletter of, by telling your friends to sign up here.

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