03-04-2013 10:31 PM
Maxcat -- Thanks for checking me out. I appreciate you trying me out. I wish authors could do a moneyback guarantee -- you know, if you're not completely satisfied, return the unused portion of this book for a full refund. Actually, I guess we do that. It's called a library.
Becke -- Have you bumped across Dana Kaye in your travels yet? She's a publicist who works in the Chicago area and she's very hooked in to all things Chicagoland. Try to bump into her at a conference (she goes to a lot of them). She'll set you straight.
No, I haven't, Brad. I moved up here in late September and haven't been to any conferences here yet. I know Libby Hellmann lives in the suburbs, and Betty Hechtman alternates between California and my neighborhood (Hyde Park). I think Sara Paretsky USED to live in my neighborhood, but not any more. Joelle Charbonneau lives in the suburbs, out where I used to live. And Laura Caldwell - I think she lives in the Chicago area, too.
I'm hoping to go to the Printers Row event, but I don't have many details about it yet. I spent the first few months unpacking, and I'm still settling in. I know Chicago used to be a hotbed of mystery writers - I hope some are still here!
03-04-2013 10:32 PM
03-04-2013 11:37 PM
Check these out for some fun reading:
And heeeere's Brad:
03-05-2013 07:33 AM
Hi, Brad, welcome, hope you have a great visit.
Must check out your books. I liked finding a good mystery.
So have a great visit and enjoy your time here.
03-05-2013 09:49 AM
HAPPY RELEASE DAY, BRAD! I hope my preordered copy arrives soon!
First, they heard the rumble of a diesel engine. Then the clanging of a back-up alarm. Then the hiss of hydraulic breaks.
Sarah, the smart intern, had just finished hanging a homemade banner—"Happy THE GOOD COP Release Day!" it read—when she looked outside to see what the commotion was about.
That's when she saw two men climbing out of an 18-wheeler that was idling near the offices of BradParksBooks.com. One of them began rolling down flats of batteries, drinking water and meals ready-to-eat from the truck. The other came through the front door.
"I got a delivery for a 'Zach?'" he said.
"Yeah, that's me," said Zach, the silly intern, rushing over to sign the man's clipboard.
"Where do you want the hurricane lamps?" the man asked.
"Over there will do just fine," Zach said, pointing to an unused spot in the corner.
"Zach, what's going on?" Sarah asked.
"Brad got a review from Library Journal saying, and I quote, 'Parks's award-winning series is essential reading,'" Zach said.
"Yes, I'm aware, but—"
"Careful with those hand-crank radios!" Zach called out to the men, then turned his attention back to Sarah. "It came to me in the middle of the night. Essential. What if we bundled Brad's new book with other 'essential' items and called it 'The Essential Brad Parks Disaster Preparedness Kit.' We'll sell millions of books and save our readers' lives when the next plague hits. I mean, talk about synergy!"
"Zach, I'm not sure that's what the folks at Library Journal had in mind when they—"
"I know! That's what makes it so brilliant!" Zach crowed. "Wait until Patterson hears about this. He'll be begging to make me one of his interns!"
Zach's lofty career aspirations aside, the pre-publication reviews are in and it looks like The Good Cop has earned its place in the pantheon of raved-about Carter Ross books. Critics have called this fourth installment in the series:
"... a tautly written page-turner with charm and humor."
"Parks nails the newspaper milieu and the Newark setting, while his solid cast of characters should keep readers eagerly awaiting the next installment."
"Carter (is) a strong contender for the title of best Stephanie Plum male impersonator."
"... will please even the most discerning reader."
—RT Book Reviews, 4* stars (out of 5)
And, finally, yes:
"Parks's award-winning series is essential reading. This fourth entry is a fine blend of suspense, bumbling-with-a-purpose detecting, and a chatty, humorous tone that the author makes seem effortless."
Meanwhile, the Khaki is the New Black Tour has been finalized and includes stops in nine states—and, hopefully, a bookstore/library/speakeasy near you. Brad would be delighted to see you, if only because he gets an allergic reaction to empty chairs.
Also, for those of you who haven't seen Brad's questionable new hairdo, this recent appearance on Virginia Living TV should get you properly braced (for the record: Maggie, the clueless intern, likes Brad's natural curls; but Peter, the slothful intern, thinks it looks like a bad perm).
Finally, in case you missed the sly reference above: THE GOOD COP IS NOW AVAILABLE. Feel free to stampede to your favorite actual or virtual bookseller and demand your copy—it comes with or without the emergency kit.
03-05-2013 05:44 PM
03-09-2013 11:50 AM
03-27-2013 10:27 PM
The call came in shortly after 9 o'clock Monday morning. None of the other interns at BradParksBooks.com had bothered to show up yet. They knew the boss's book, The Girl Next Door, had won the Lefty Award for best humorous mystery of the year at the Left Coast Crime conference in Colorado on Saturday night—and therefore he wouldn't be making it in.
That left Sarah, the smart intern, to answer it.
"Offices of BradParksBooks.com, this is Sarah," she said in her most officious voice.
The next words were the last she wanted to hear: "It's time," Brad said, "to rewrite my bio."
Sarah grimaced, remembering how overwrought Brad got when he tweaked the bio after winning the Shamus Award. But she said, "I'll handle it. You just enjoy yourself and—"
"No, no. I've got this. Grab a pen and I'll dictate."
"Okay, go ahead, Boss."
Brad cleared his throat and said, "Brad Parks has won the Lefty, Nero and Shamus Awards, the only author to win all three... No, scratch that."
"What's wrong with that? That sounds fine."
"Clearly, you missed the significance of the final clause. It needs more gravitas. Let's make it, '... the only author in history to win all three.'"
"Okay," Sarah said, slowly repeating the words "only... author... in history" as she transcribed.
"On second thought, it still doesn't sound... momentous enough. Go with, '... only author in the history of humanity to win all three."
"Isn't that a little—"
"No, wait. How about '... the one and only author in the history of ever and in all the universe to win all three.'"
"Uhh, I'm don't mean to be over-critical, but—"
"'...the first and one and only author in the history of ever and in all the universe and the cosmos to win all three, something that he and he alone has accomplished, singularly and without peer, in what is widely considered the most incredible writing achievement in the many eons since the Sumerians first began scratching cuneiform on stone tablets."
"Boss, I don't think the Sumerians were in the habit of giving the Lefty Award," Sarah informed him.
"Well," he said. "Then I guess we'll leave that part out. Anyhow, I've got to go. I'm a three-time award-winning author now, you know. I'm spending a few days in Aspen, skiing with Tiger, hot-tubbing with Paris, rubbing elbows with Leo—boring old stuff like that. Ta ta, then."
A few hours later, Brad sent in some pictures. He and honorary intern Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts took Lefty on a tour shortly after Saturday night's big win. It started with Lefty sneaking up on Lou Diamond Phillips...
... then Brad and Lefty running away from a bear...
... now Brad wrestling Lefty away from the bear...
... then Brad, Lefty and the bear embraced, leaving no doubt as to where the phrase "bear hug" came from...
... Brad and Lefty get all "Fabulous Baker Boys" on the piano...
... Brad and Lefty play a little billiards...
... the waitress stops by with a heaping order of Lefty...
... and, finally and most fabulously, Brad and Lefty enjoy a celebratory dip with New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman.
An hour or so before that picture was snapped, Brad serenaded Laura in front of 400 people at the Left Coast Crime awards banquet. He was the first person ever in the history of humanity to do that, too.
And hopefully, for Laura's sake, the last.
Yours in Singularity,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
P.S. Just a reminder, The Khaki is the New Black Tour continues with a few appearances in New Jersey this week, then the midwest leg of the tour in April. For breathtakingly regular updates on all of Brad's media appearances, "like" him on Facebook. And don't forget to share the joy that is The Scoop, the official newsletter of BradParksBooks.com, by telling your friends to sign up here.
06-25-2013 11:41 PM
The first-ever, super-spectacular, totally awesomeBradParksBooks.com giveaway contest began with a yelp.
It came from Maggie, the clueless intern, who had been sitting in the corner, being careful not to tax either of her brain cells, when she suddenly sat bolt upright.
"Oh... my... GOSH!" she exclaimed.
"What is it?" asked Sarah, the smart intern.
"According to our website, people who sign up for our newsletter receive, quote, 'information about giveaways, contests and Official Carter Ross merchandise.'"
"You've been working here for three years and you're just now reading the website?" Sarah asked.
"You can read?" asked Peter, the slothful intern.
Ignoring both of them, Maggie continued in a panic: "But... but... We've never done any giveaways! It's right there on the website saying we do, but we don't. We're going to get sued for false advertising!"
Zach, the silly intern, couldn't resist. "Let me get this straight: we regularly send out press materials suggesting Brad is one of the greatest mystery writers of his generation, but we're going to get sued for false advertising because we've never done a giveaway?"
Maggie, now in full panic mode, began sifting through some boxes. "Surely, we must have some Official Carter Ross merchandise in here somewhere."
"Not really," Zach said. "We tried to do that Brad Parks Bobblehead doll that one time, but we never gave it out. The head was too big. He ended up looking like a khaki-clad garden gnome."
"There must be something," Maggie pleaded.
"Well, we do have these. We could give these away," Sarah said, holding up five tickets to theinaugural FanFest, the exciting new event being hosted by select members of the International Thriller Writers at ThrillerFest on July 12 in New York City. It's a chance for readers to rub elbows with bestselling authors like Lee Child, John Lescroart, Joseph Finder, and many more.
"And Brad," Sarah said. "Don't forget Brad."
Right. And Brad.
So if you want to be one of the five lucky winners of the first-ever, super-spectacular, totally awesome BradParksBooks.com giveaway contest, simply write a heartfelt note to email@example.com why you ought to win.
Acceptable reasons include: because you know how to spell Brad's name, because you once bought one of his books and didn't immediately try to resell it at a used bookstore, and because you'll actually be able to make it to New York City on July 12.
"We should also point out that Brad only has twenty-three fans," Zach said. "So your chances of being one of the five winning fans are actually quite good."
(Editor's Note: Because readers sometimes have a hard time knowing when the interns are being serious, let it be said: Yes. This giveaway is for real. The winners will be notified of their victory on July 1. So don't dawdle).
In other news, the title for the fifth Carter Ross thriller has been decided: It will be called THE PLAYER. It will be releasedMarch 4, 2014, but for those who really like to get a jump on their shopping, it can already be pre-ordered at finer book retailers everywhere.
If you just can't wait that long to read more Brad, he's written the cover story of this month's Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. It's called "Two for One" and it's not a Carter Ross story... but the interns think you'll enjoy it all the same.
Good luck in the contest,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
P.S. For breathtakingly regular updates on all of Brad's media appearances, "like" him on Facebook. And don't forget to share the joy that is The Scoop, the official newsletter of BradParksBooks.com, by telling your friends to sign up here.
The walls vibrated. The windows shook. The Nero Award bust was vibrating its way off the trophy shelf as the song entered a crescendo:
Come on feel the noise
The offices ofBradParksBooks.com were getting wild, wild, wild as the howling chorus of the ultimate 80s hair band anthem—Quiet Riot's "Cum on Feel the Noize"—boomed from a pair of stadium speakers that had been cranked to a volume that could have awoken Agatha Christie.
Sarah, the smart intern, was just returning from lunch when she was assaulted by the sound. She stuck her fingers in her ears and immediately began yelling at Zach, the silly intern.
Well, at least her lips were moving.
"WHAT DID YOU SAY?" Zach hollered back.
Her face pinched together. Her lips moved again.
"I STILL CAN'T HEAR YOU," Zach yelled. "THE MUSIC IS TOO LOUD."
Sarah ran over to the speakers, spent three panicked seconds looking for the volume knob, then simply ripped the plug from the wall.
"Okay, do you have something against my eardrums?" Sarah asked as the ringing noise slowly subsided in her head. "Why are you trying to make everyone who works here go deaf?"
"Because it seemed like an appropriate way to celebrate Brad's newest review," Zach said. "THE PLAYER will be a 'Top Pick!' in theRT Book Reviews March issue, where reviewer Jeff Ayers wrote, and I quote:
'Parks has quietly entered the top echelon of the mystery field.'"
Sarah's forehead wrinkled. "Quietly?" she said. "Brad has never done anything 'quietly' in his whole life."
"Exactly. That's why we're playing 'Cum on Feel the Noize.' It's now our theme song for the Still-Dashing Tour. I'm trying to get Quiet Riot lined up to play at theOfficial Launch Party in Tappahannock."
"The Official Launch Party," Sarah repeated. "The one being hosted by the Friends of the Essex Library?"
"Yeah, that's the one."
"Do you think a band that once featured a deranged man in a straight jacket and metal face mask is a good fit for the Friends of the Library?"
Zach didn't answer. Just then, Maggie, the clueless intern, popped up from behind a cubicle divider. Earmuffs were still clinging to the side of her head as she yelled, "IS IT SAFE NOW?"
Well, yes and no. Despite Zach's entreaties, Quiet Riot hasn't toured in a decade and appears unlikely to come out of retirement for THE PLAYER'slaunch party.
That said, Brad's new book is making noise all on its own. In addition to the rave from RT Book Reviews, it got a star from Kirkus Reviews, which cheered, "Muckraking has rarely been so meaty or so funny."
Publishers Weekly opined, "Parks smoothly blends grit and wit."Booklist called it "Compulsively readable," concluding: "Ink-stained heroes are a dying breed. Enjoy this one while you can."
In other news, Brad has once again been nominated for the prestigious Lefty Award, given annually to the best humorous mystery published during the preceding year. Voting will be at the end of March at the Left Coast Crime conference in Monterey, California, where Brad is proud to serve as Toastmaster. If Brad wins, he'll join Janet Evanovich and Donna Andrews as the only authors to capture the award more than once.
In the meantime, THE PLAYER releases March 4 and can be purchased wherever fine, handcrafted books are sold. Pre-order your copy now and find a nice place to read it.
Preferably one quieter than the BradParksBooks.com offices.