Publication day, the culmination of nearly a year's worth of careful planning by the BradParksBooks.com interns, had finally arrived.
Brad's eleventh novel, Unthinkable, was officially available for sale at bookstores and on e-reader screens across the globe.
And Zach, the silly intern, was missing.
The other interns—Sarah, the smart intern; Peter, the slothful intern; and Maggie, the clueless intern—gathered for breakfast at a diner, both to celebrate what they had achieved and to caffeinate for all that was to come.
Zach was a no-show.
Then the interns decided to visit their favorite local bookstore for the always-thrilling experience of actually seeing the novel on the shelf for the first time.
Still no Zach.
It wasn't until they finally returned to the offices of BradParksBooks.com that they found Zach, sitting by himself at the conference table with a blank stare on his face.
"Zach, are you okay?" Maggie asked.
"No," Zach said in a ragged whisper. "What's Nate going to do?"
He had a copy of Unthinkable open in his lap.
"What do you mean?" Maggie pressed.
"Nate Lovejoy. The protagonist of Unthinkable," Zach said, his face etched with pain. "Nate has just been told that a billion people will die if he doesn't act. And yet the thing he's being told to do it's . . . well, it's . . . I mean, it's . . . it's totally unthinkable."
"Okay, seriously, where have you been for the last eleven months?" Peter asked.
Zach waved his hand in the air. "Stop distracting me. Really, what's Nate going to do?"
Zach isn't the only one who can't wait to find out. Brad teased this question in a homemade YouTube video of uneven quality that the interns promise they had very little to do with.
It has also helped supercharge the critical reception for Unthinkable. Legendary South Florida Sun-Sentinel reviewer Oline Cogdill called it "gripping" and opined, "Parks' skill at creating realistic, strong characters makes the twists in Unthinkable believable as they confront evils they didn't even know existed."
Kirkus Reviews deemed it "a textbook one-sitting read"—which prompted Brad to ask the interns if they could rent a plane to tow around a banner imprinted with that phrase.
Library Journal recommended it for fans of Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay, two of Brad's favorite writers.
Publishers Weekly promised, "Readers who enjoy jaw-dropping but credible plot twists will be enthralled."
And, of course, there's that glittering blurb from immortal bestseller David Baldacci, who deemed it, "a fast, furious, fun and deliciously twisty tale told with the deft and accomplished hand of a veteran storyteller."
In other news, said storyteller will be taking to the internet for three virtual events to discuss the book and its creation. Two of them will be today, July 27:
And then, at 8 p.m. ET, Brad will be going live on his Facebook page to talk about the book, answer questions, and (trigger warning) probably sing.
With all due COVID caution, Brad has also added one in-person event of interest to those in the tidewater Virginia area. It will be at The Book Warehouse in Williamsburg, Va. on August 15 at 2 p.m. If you attend, please either be vaccinated or wear ten masks.
Meanwhile, Zach was still in the grips of his dilemma.
"I mean, he's got to chose one or the other, but . . . well, which one is it?" Zach asked.
"You could actually try reading the book," Sarah suggested.
Zach's eyes were suddenly aglow. "Why, that's not unthinkable at all!"
And then he dove into the next chapter.
The rest of the interns hope you can celebrate the day by doing the same.
Happy Pub Day,
The BradParksBooks.com Interns