Three words. None of them noxious, on their own; or threatening; or, even by the most prim definition, profane.
And yet, when they came out of the mouth of Zach, the silly intern, they brought a certain dread to the offices of BradParksBooks.com.
"Got an idea," he said.
Okay, maybe it was just dread from Sarah, the smart intern.
"Peter has already signed off on it," Zach said, pointing to Peter, the slothful intern.
"Whu?" said Peter, stirring from what appeared to have been a peaceful slumber.
"Zach, just stop," Sarah said. "It's fall. It's a busy time. Brad is already starting to gear up to promote his next book. He's also trying get the one after that finished, and—"
Then came two more words that brought trepidation from Sarah.
"Trust me," he said.
She shook her head sadly as Zach continued.
"Remember when people used to put their friends and neighbors asleep with interminable slideshows of their vacations, which they don't bother to do anymore because now they can bore their friends and neighbors with those same photos on Facebook instead? Well, we're going retro with the next newsletter: A slideshow."
"Zach, that sounds—"
"It's so out, it's actually in," Zach said, sweeping his hand in a grandiose gesture.
And before Sarah or Peter could stop him, Zach was already off and running with...
"Really, Zach," she said, now exasperated. "You had to start with this one?"
"Absolutely. Grab people's attention."
Well, yes. This one. That's Brad (on left, the ugliest Daenerys Targaryen ever) with George R. R. Martin, the creator of Game of Thrones. On the right is Brad's wingman in song, Daniel Palmer, shortly after they serenaded George at ThrillerFest in New York City.
And, really, the only thing good about this photo is that now no one can ever, ever, blackmail Brad with a picture, because what's already out on the Internet is worse.
"Did Brad shrink in the dryer?" Peter asked.
Not quite. That's everyone's favorite six-foot-one author with six-foot-ten NBA star Ekpe Udoh. The Utah Jazz center and noted bibliophile has used his rather sizeable platform to sponsor #EkpesBookClub for the last few years now, and Brad's Say Nothing was their selection for October.
Twitter being what Twitter is, Ekpe and Brad started chatting online. One thing led to another and Ekpe flew Brad, a former NBA beat writer from back in his newspaper days, out to Salt Lake City with meet with the club.
And it was all thanks to...
Rebecca Trujillo, a loyal reader and member of Ekpe's Book Club, who first recommended Brad's book to Ekpe.
"Isn't that the best thing about being a reader?" Sarah said. "When someone says you just have to read a certain book?"
"Yeah, Brad says it's the best thing about being an author, too," Zach said. "At least when the book is yours! Zzzzing!"
Anyhow, trudging forward, this is...
Brad's next book, The Last Act, comes out March 12.
It features Tommy Jump, an out-of-work actor approached by the FBI with the role of a lifetime: Go undercover at a federal prison, impersonate a convicted felon, and befriend a fellow inmate, a disgraced banker who knows the location of documents that can be used to bring down a ruthless drug cartel.
Piece of cake.
Because nothing bad ever happens in federal prison, right?
Brad is really excited about this book, mostly because he knows it's nothing if not wildly entertaining; and, as his agent requires him to inform you, it's now available for pre-order wherever books are sold.
Alright, next slide and...
"Okay, really, what is this doing here?" Sarah asked, appropriately disgusted.
This is from back in March, when Brad was on tour for Closer Than You Know. Even Peter could have noted it is far too dated to include in an October newsletter.
"As soon as I mentioned the slideshow, Brad insisted this one had to go in it," Zach said. "It's from Girls' Night Out at Sparta Books. Eighteen women and him. If I didn't know any better, I'd think he just wanted to brag."
Right. Because Brad would never do that. Next slide...
It tells the story of Mitchell Dupree, the aforementioned banker, whose story has its own complications. If you haven't read anything by Brad lately and are missing him—this, mind you, is not a problem the interns often find themselves having—you don't have to wait until March to get your fix. This beauty releases January 3, and is also now available for pre-order on the device of your choosing for a low, low $1.99.
At that price, it's a marvel Brad could still afford...
...This tuxedo. Nevertheless, there he was earlier this month, showing off the Library of Virginia People's Choice Award, which he won—thanks to your votes.
And, truly, thank you: You guys are the best ever.
The award came with an engraved crystal book and a check for $2,500. It was bestowed at a lavish black tie gala in Richmond.
Brad immediately announced he was donating the $2,500 prize to libraries across Virginia.
(He's keeping the crystal book, though).
"And that's it for now," Zach said. "See? That slideshow wasn't so bad, was it?"
Sarah grimaced. Peter didn't answer.
He had already fallen back asleep.
Slide on,The BradParksBooks.com Interns