Staff at Euro RSCG/Chicago were in quite the dither Tuesday as many were still digesting the news that the shop's chief creative officer Steffan Postaer has penned a new novel called "Sweet by Design."
It wasn't so much the fact that Postaer had written a novel that surprised some of his agency associates (he's published two others), it was more the subject matter of the tale that caught some of them off guard. "This is another curve ball to deal with," said one Euro staffer. "Sweet by Design," it turns out, is about an HIV-infected gay interior designer named Jeffrey Sweet, who is apparently trying to keep the truth of his identity from his conservative father.
The plot, among other things, involves a Gold Coast prostitute who blackmails Sweet. The novel's climax is the protagonist's confrontation with his father at the old man's 80th birthday party. In a synopsis of the story, Postaer writes: "Far from sick, he (Sweet) just acts that way, as a lifetime of lying catches up with him in this unexpected comedy about coming to grips when everything around you is falling apart." Unexpected, indeed.
Postaer first revealed the existence of this novel on his personal blog, even as he was announcing a contest to design a cover for the book, should it ever get published. Postaer also said on the blog he has had trouble finding a publisher and an agent that might help him get the novel published. The winning entry in the book jacket design contest will receive an iPad from Postaer.
When we attempted to reach Postaer Tuesday to talk further about his latest literary endeavor, he said via email that he was much too preoccupied with agency business to talk now, and suggested we arrange to chat at an unspecified later date. Mark it down, folks. That may be the first time in recorded history that Postaer has begged off of a possible opportunity for publicity. Could it be that all that dithering around him has caused him to suddenly adopt a lower profile regarding "Sweet by Design" and his efforts to publish the book?