It was paperback release day for Say Nothing, and Zach, the silly intern, was pacing back and forth, wearing a track in the thin, generic carpeting that covers the offices of BradParksBooks.com.
Maggie, the clueless intern, was seated in front of a computer monitor, working a keyboard as Zach lectured.
"In today's crowded media environment, people have so much coming at them all the time," he said. "Everything that isn't superlative is immediately lost. If it's not the best, the only, the singular greatest, who cares?"
"Got it," Maggie said.
"And that's why the tagline should read: 'The best book ever written is now available in paperback!' And you put 'in paperback' in italics, that way people know they're supposed to be really excited about it."
It was around this time that Sarah, the smart intern, poked her head up from her cubicle and started paying attention.
"Whoah, whoah, whoah, what's going on?" she asked. She walked over to the screen and was immediately shaking her head. "I'm sorry, Zach. Brad wrote a fine novel but calling it the 'best book ever' is not only absurd hyperbole, it's a wildly indefensible claim."
Zach held his chin high. "Absurd? Indefensible? I think not. Perhaps you aren't aware of it, but Say Nothing was named one of the 'Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2017' by Kirkus Reviews. It was also one of Library Journal's 'Best Books of 2017' in the Thriller category. It was the only book to appear on both lists, ergo it is the best book ever written."
Sarah was cringing before he could even finish. "Zach, that's a nice little coincidence. But those are just end-of-year lists for 2017. That doesn't mean—"
"Best book ever!" Zach chirped. "This is America, baby. We're a country that doesn't even have a rearview mirror. We're all about the here and now. As far as I'm concerned, 2017 is the only year that matters, and if it was the only book on both of those lists, that means it must be the best book ever. Period. End of debate."
"That is the biggest pile of—"
"Besides, you weren't listening," Zach interrupted. "I said 'ergo.' When you use 'ergo' in a sentence, whatever you're saying automatically becomes true. It's like when Descartes said, 'bibo ergo sum.'"
"Bibo ergo sum?"
"Yeah. 'I drink therefore I am.' People weren't like, 'Hmm, I don't know about that.' They were like, 'Bam! Bibo ergo sum! Put it on a T-shirt, that Descartes dude is money!'"
Sarah began massaging her temples. "Zach, it's not bibo ergo sum, it's—"
"Best book ever," Zach said, and walked away.
Epistemological debates aside, it really is paperback release day for Say Nothing, an exciting moment for Brad and all the interns. In addition to appearing at fine bookstores across the land, Say Nothing will be featured as a Hudson Booksellers "Great Read"—meaning it'll get prominent play in airports, train stations, and other places where people will be in a hurry this holiday season.
In addition, excitement continues to build for Brad's next novel, Closer Than You Know. New York Times bestselling author Alafair Burke said, "Closer Than You Know grabs you by the gut in Chapter One and keeps upping the tension through every shocking plot twist. Don't expect to come up for air until the final, satisfying pages."
The novel, which releases March 8, also recently received its first trade publication coverage, a starred review from Library Journal, which called it, "Another winning tale of domestic suspense from the Shamus- and Nero Award-winning author Parks, who knows how to get readers to empathize emotionally with his characters while amping up the tension and suspense from the first page."
But don't worry. The interns aren't going to let Zach get away with calling this—or anything else Brad has written—the best book ever.
So drink up.
Enjoy the holidays,
The BradParksBooks.com Interns