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Say Nothing With a conspiratorial air, Sarah, the smart intern, gathered the other interns at into a huddle near the copy machine.

After several glances over her shoulder to make sure it was safe, she began talking in a low voice.

"Okay, emergency meeting time," she said, then surreptitiously pulled out a copy of the U.S. cover for SAY NOTHING, fresh from the ace design team at Dutton Books. "We have a problem."

"Why is that a problem?" asked Maggie, the clueless intern. "That's an awesome cover. Shouldn't we be celebrat—"

"Shh!" Sarah said. "No. The problem is, Brad loves it so much, I don't think he's ever going to shut up about it."

At that moment—endowed by the Voldemort-like sense that someone had spoken his name—Brad burst out of his office toting four gilded picture frames under his arm. As if handling the lost works of Michelangelo, he handed one to each intern.

Inside each frame, a copy of the cover had been preserved under museum-quality glass, mounted on acid-free backing, and matted with the greatest care.

"It's stacked," he said each time he handed one out. Then, after a reverent pause that only continued to grow in length, he said it again: "Stacked."

The other interns murmured their thanks and made noises about how much they liked the new cover. Zach, the silly intern, got a determined look on his face.

"This is fixable," Zach said.

Brad ignored him, assuming a position in the middle of the room that brought to mind George Washington crossing the Delaware, albeit with one of his soldiers—Peter, the slothful intern—fast asleep.

"Let this be an example to all of you," he lectured, "that if you work hard enough and wish long enough, you too can be stacked."

Then he swept away his cape—even though he wasn't wearing a cape—and disappeared back into his office, yelling, "stacked!" one last time.

"What is Brad talking about with this 'stacked' thing?" Maggie asked.

"That's why he's never going to shut up," Sarah said. "It's his name. Brad Parks. Four letters, then five. Ever since he started writing books, he hoped someday a publisher would stack his first name on top of his last name and blow it up real big like this. For Brad, this is... Well, other kids wanted to play shortstop for the New York Yankees or see their name in lights at a Hollywood premier? Brad dreamed of having his name stacked on a cover."

"Ah, yes, that's it!" Zach called out, then disappeared behind a computer screen, where he could soon be heard cackling.

Say Nothing birthday card Outside the offices of, the new cover has already proven to have major crossover appeal—which is to say Brad's mom used it in his birthday card (complete with a circa 1977 picture of the author that proves his love affair with turtlenecks is longstanding).

In other news, the interns are pleased to announce SAY NOTHING, which releases in March 2017, is now available for pre-order at your favorite actual or virtual bookstore (links pasted below, for your convenience). Also, the book's march across the globe continues: It was recently announced SAY NOTHING will be published in simplified Chinese, its thirteenth language.

The continued success—and Brad's inability to stop talking about it—only made Zach's tweak to the cover all the more important.

"There," Zach said. "Sometimes a little punctuation goes a long way."

Say Nothing birthday card

Yours Truly,

or, wait...


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