A short video of an ebook I hope to release in July.

The Shining, but as a comedy.” That’s about the best way I have to describe Thirty Rooms to Hide In. It’s partly about how my father went from being one of the world’s best orthopedic surgeons at the Mayo Clinic, to lying dead on a motel room floor in Georgia, a broken ashtray under his head. But it’s also about how my five brothers and I had a wildly fun, thoroughly dysfunctional time growing up at the foot of our father’s volcano. Dark humor was the coin of our realm. With the Beatles as true north on our compass of Cool, we made movies, started a rock & roll band, and wise-cracked our way though a grim landscape of our father’s insanity, Eisenhower’s Cold War, fallout shelters, and JFK’s assassination.

For now, I’m busy learning about ebooks and epublishing and e-everything. I’ll be putting up a site soon called ThirtyRoomsToHideIn.com. I’m hoping to release the book on July 3rd — the 45th anniversary of my father’s death. (Scary music here – oooooooo-ooooooo.)


  1. Great. Great video. Can’t wait for the book.

    • Looks wonderful. Unlike you.

  2. the bright side lives. can’t wait to read the book.

  3. Awesome… can’t wait to read it!

    I’m curious about your publishing choices though… perhaps you’d consider writing a post illuminating your journey up to this point? I know you had a post a while back asking people for advice.

    Questions running through my mind include…

    …What led you to decide on the ebook format?
    …Is it being “self-published” through sites like Amazon, Nook, and Kobo that allow you to put your book up for listing directly? Or did you decide to find a publisher?
    …What were the deciding factors?
    …Did you get an editor for your book, or did you opt to handle it 100% yourself?
    …And do you have any doubts about any of those choices?


    …Is this something you’ve always wanted to do?
    …As a creative director, do you feel you had to first become thoroughly successful in the ad business before you could give any energy towards your own project?
    …And how have your experiences in the ad business (and writing one of, if not the, best ad books ever) impact your approach to writing this book?

    I ask because I’m a budding writer (and employed advertising dude) as well, and so these are things I’m thinking about all the time as I sit down at the keyboard and hope something good pours out of my fingers. I imagine many of your readers are in this boat as well, building their careers in advertising by day while hoping to one day succeed as authors by night.



    • Yo Mario, i will try to answer all of your questions. Just gimme a couple of days, okay? Glad you liked it.

      • Awesome… thought I hope I didn’t sounds like I was EXPECTING you to answer all (or any) of those questions… just that it would be fan-freaking-tastic if you felt compelled to do so.

  4. If the book is half as good as the video, it will be great. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Hey Barrett: Thanks for the kind words. Retweet that bad boy. Gonna need all the social help I can get to launch this.

  5. Hi Luke,
    Looks great- I’m sold. That’s a real achievement. Will spread the word in Ireland, where your influence still resounds. (They’re still trying to forget you in that restaurant though).

  6. I’m looking forward to it, Luke. Being MUCH more than a little socially awkward, and more frequently on the outside looking in, I only got a glimpse of your turmoil in HS.

  7. Luke, you’ve always been very brave and this wide-open look into your past is the bravest act, yet. The video promo is compelling and you’re smart to start promoting your summer block buster about the same time as the movie studios. Put me on your buy list and I’ll hustle a few tweets for you, too.

    • Hey Diane: Thanks for the nice email here and I just thanked you over on Twitter too.

    • I wish I had said that. Luke, don’t you hate it when the art directors out-write you? (What, never happens?)

  8. Hey Luke,

    What a great promo! I will look for your book when it is released. Thanks too, for the reminder of the Pagans. I remember my older friends really liked them and of course, by default, I did too. I was more into the Monkees at that time I think.



  9. Wow. Can’t wait to read it.

  10. I agree with Diane. It’s been less than a year since I lost my own father. In that time I’ve read many old letters and have gained much compassion and insight for my parents and myself. Turns out we are all doing the best we can in so many ways. And yet we chose to project such amazing narratives onto one another all while obscuring the inward look. I have a feeling your book will help me look within and that has me psyched.

  11. Luke:
    Sounds wonderful. Glad to see you’re still out there, pushing boundaries. All best to you, sir. — John

  12. Steve Wolff, my former boss, let me peek at your manuscript. What a great read. Real. Poignant. Heartfelt. And obviously well-written. All the best to you in getting this out into the hand-helds of readers. I’ll make sure to download a copy. My mom is a nurse practitioner at Mayo and an avid reader. I’m sure she’d love a copy as well.

    — Josh, big fan of copywriting and “Hey Whipple”

    • Josh, man I am so glad you liked it. Am releasing it this summer.

  13. Luke:
    My brother Tom must sent this to me and I was blown away! It was just fabulous. That awesome home in Mayowood was loved by all of you boys
    and friends alike. I had sooo many great memories there and they will
    be cherished forever. Yes, as you said….”Dysfunction, etc., etc.”….well, you
    aren’t alone there as you know. Hell, most families ARE dysfunctional….it
    just takes a very open honest individual as yourself to admit it to the world.
    I am anxiously awaiting the book due out this summer. For sure I want a
    copy. Those days were crazy fun…….just too bad that your father had “demons”
    and an addiction problem that almost ruined your family. You know I adore
    all of you and always will….I am sooo proud of you for doing this..it was very special to both me and my brother Tom for sure………Great Job Luke! Linda 🙂

  14. WOW! As said so well by many what a trip down memory lane, insightful and courageous. Unfortunately not all good memories for you and many others. Look forward to reading the book.

  15. Not bad for a crazy man

    • thnx don. it’s comin’ out in July and I am going to make you buy one if it’s the last goddamn thing I do.


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Luke Sullivan

Author, speaker, and ad veteran available to recharge, reinvigorate, and refocus marketing, advertising, and branding firms.

I give a hugely energetic series of presentations on innovation, creativity, branding, and marketing. I spent 32 years in the trenches of advertising (at agencies like Martin, GSD&M, and Fallon) and I’ve put everything I learned into my book, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. But for me nothing beats taking the message out and speaking to living breathing audiences at clients, agencies, and conferences. You can book me on the button below.