The biggest day of the year for the interns had arrived: launch day, when Brad's much-celebrated thriller Interference would finally be released to the general public.

And Zach, the silly intern, was ready.

Standing at the front door, with a mask only somewhat obscuring the grin on his face, Zach handed each of his fellow interns a "We're #1" foam finger as they arrived at the office.

"Brad's number one," he said to Sarah, the smart intern, who rolled her eyes in response.

"Brad's number one," he said to Peter, the slothful intern, who managed a shrug.

When he got to Maggie, the clueless intern, she wrinkled her brow and said, "I still don't think it's right."

"Maggie, we've been over this, remember?"

"Can you explain it to me one more time?" Maggie asked.

"Okay, Brad's new book, Interference, was named an Amazon First Reads selection for the month of August, giving more than a hundred million Amazon Prime members the chance to download it for free."

"Uh huh," Maggie said.

"Because of that, Interference became the number one selling Kindle book in the world, so we're all going to wear these number one foam fingers at the launch party."


Zach sighed heavily. "Here we go."

"But people downloaded it for free," Maggie continued.

"That's right."

Number One

"Then how could it be the number one selling Kindle book?"

"Because that's what the Amazon algorithm decided: people paid to be Prime members, so those downloads count as a sold book."


"Don't argue with Amazon algorithm, Maggie! If you make it angry, it can only be appeased with animal sacrifice. Do you really want to have to kill a goat today?"

"Well, no, but—"

Zach thrust the finger toward Maggie, who eyed it warily.

Maggie's hesitation aside, there was still plenty of excitement at the offices of And the interns are hoping you can join in for some of it during the Incredibly Brief Virtual Book Tour. Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the tour will feature just two events, neither of which will involve strangers breathing on you.

The first will be a Zoom meeting hosted by the Friends of the Essex Library on Tuesday, September 1 at 7 p.m. EST. To reserve your spot for this event, preregister here and you'll receive a free Zoom link.

The second, a Facebook Live broadcast, will take place on Thursday, September 3 at 8 p.m. EST. To participate, point your browser to, make sure you "like" the page, and you'll be notified when the live feed commences. If you miss it? No big deal. Just go to the page whenever you feel the urge and click "video." The live broadcast remains on the page indefinitely—or until Mark Zuckerberg stops looking like a 12-year-old, whichever comes first.

(Note: For those of you masochists who are thinking of attending both events, please don't; Brad's literally going to sing the same song, and he's not planning to switch up his jokes, either).

In other news, Brad has started a brand new blog—or for those of you who want to give their RSS feed something to eat. It isn't much yet. (It will probably never be all that much, knowing Brad.) But Brad says he wants to be able to speak to readers directly without the interns' snark getting in the way.

(Note: The interns are all, whatever!)

If you're looking for still more ways to connect with Brad, you can also follow him on his Amazon Author page by going to this link and clicking on the "Follow" button on the left side. Be sure to stop by the page to see the Very Poorly Done book trailer he recently produced while sitting in front of the yellow wall in his kitchen.

Meanwhile, Maggie was still studying the foam finger with suspicion. "But . . . wait."

Zach moaned. "Not again."

"No, who gets the money?"

"What money?" Zach asked.

"If it counts as a sold book, there must be money. So who gets it? Brad?"



"Definitely not," Zach confirmed.

"Then who gets it?"

"I don't know. Probably, like, Jeff Bezos or something. Look, it's not about the money, Maggie. It's about being able to say you're number one. How often does anyone get to truly be at the top of the heap in this life? You have to seize the opportunity to celebrate when you can."

Maggie frowned at the foam finger.

"C'mon," Zach said. "Do it for the goat."

"Okay," Maggie said. "But only for the goat."

She nodded grimly, accepted the foam finger, and gingerly eased her hand inside.

Yours from the top,

The Interns

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