IT’S A MADHOUSE
AT McNEIL & RICHARDS
Author Daniel Breeze tells about
the publishing house's four new releases
(McNeil & Richards asked one of
its authors, Daniel Breeze, to create a news release about its four new
books. Unfortunately, Breeze couldn’t do a simple press release.
He had to make a big deal out of it by imagining he was the head of the
It is a madhouse here at McNeil & Richards,
where we are preparing news releases about four new books. In the midst
of this turmoil, it is difficult to concentrate.
There’s a cat in the far corner of
the room typing up publicity for Three Cat Tales. The book is in three
parts: a Christmas story titled “Smokey and Boomer” and two
short memoirs: “Boomer’s Story” followed by “And
Along Came Princess”.
I realize the book is about cats but it
annoys me that the boss thinks a cat can do my job. I hollered over to
the cat, “Get out of here! Leave the P.R. to people who know what
She hollered back, “I can’t
leave. They’re training me to take your job!”
Smart alec feline. I’ll deal with
her later. First, I must finish a news release on another novel, Brains.
It’s about the Chicago Philosophers,a ragtag team of pseudo-intellectuals.
When pro football slips in popularity, a new sport captures the imagination
of Americans -- Brains. Chicago lands in the playoffs and battles teams
from other cities as the players struggle to reach the biggest game of
all -- the Brains Bowl. The Phils might win the championship ... if they
don’t kill each other first.
A shady-looking guy in a suit settled in
at a desk behind me. Says he is Duncan Jamieson, press secretary for Harry
Jerome, and he is doing publicity for The Perfect Candidate.
“How dumb do you think I am?”
I said. “Jamieson is a character in the book. He’s not real.”
It turns out the guy creates P.R. for books
by assuming the role of someone in the book. It’s the type of thing
an actor might do when he’s preparing for a role.
In the book, Harry Jerome seems like the
ideal politician — handsome, sophisticated, intelligent. There’s
only one little problem ...
“Harry Jerome died sixteen years ago!’”
Two reporters race to uncover the truth about the mysterious Jerome before
voters elect him their next governor.
“Since Jamieson was a campaign manager,”
the guy tells me, “he’s a logical choice to crank out the
Which would make sense if the guy was actually
Jamieson and not a hack writer who wandered in here off the street.
I looked over my article on Brains. I think
I misspelled a word.
“Hey! Anybody know how to spell anachronism?”
Great. The cat was the only one who answered.
Like she can spell better than I can. “Does anyone else know how
to spell it?”
The cat didn’t like that. She’s
glaring at me. This place is a zoo.
Over yonder, a bearded middle-age guy in
shorts is banging out a news release for Love in the Caves. His tee shirt
suggests “cavemen need love, too.” He says the book is about
a caveman named I Think and his relatives and pals who created a unique
cave civilization thousands of years ago, inventing everything from the
first fast food restaurant to the wheel and the first dictionary.
“They didn’t invent all that
stuff!” I hollered over to him. “Just how gullible do you
think I am?”
“Who knows?” he said. “This
is a work of fiction. They didn’t think anyone would be dumb enough
to take it seriously.”
Another smart alec. Someone ought to lock
the door so these clowns can’t wander in here.
That cat gets on my nerves. I’ve gotta
“My name is Princess.”
“Whatever. The Public Relations Association
isn’t going to like you sending out P.R. releases. You’re
supposed to leave that to professionals, like me. In this business, we
have certain standards.”
“What standards? You’re a paid
flack. You would send out P.R. for Hitler if he paid you enough.”
I was about to take off after the cat when
the boss at McNeil & Richards wandered in. He noticed the cat. “Get
away from that computer, Princess. You can’t send out any more press
releases. The last one offended several hundred people and three dogs.
... Get down, Princess! Hear the tone in my voice, Princess? You know
Like I said, this place is a zoo. I’ve
got to find a better job. Or one that doesn’t pay its people in
(Daniel Breeze is the author of Brains
and We’re Having a Heat Wave. For information about all
McNeil & Richards books, see www.McNeilandRichards.com.)
# # #
If you wish to use the news release, copy it and paste it into
Artwork of the four book covers (shown above) is here.
It may be copied and pasted into your graphics application, and resized
to a higher resolution.
A more serious news release about the four books is here.
News releases about the individual books are listed here.
for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org