Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Some South Side Love for "The Living Wills"

Brendan Sullivan, co-author of The Living Wills, grew up on the South Side of Chicago. That caught the attention of The Beverly Review. Thanks so much to writer Caroline Connors for the nice write up. The following is a short excerpt from the piece...

Like many novelists, Brendan Sullivan writes what he knows.

Born and raised in Morgan Park and Oak Lawn, Sullivan said memories of his childhood, including those of his father’s daily commute to work on the Rock Island, helped shape the characters and events in his new book, “The Living Wills.”

“That evening, Reed climbed onto the 5:25 p.m. Rock Island train home just like he’d done every weeknight for as long as he could remember. … The rhythm of the train rocked Reed into a comfortable lull. Twenty-six minutes later, he stood up and exited the train at his stop, 95th Street and Longwood Drive, without looking up and without waiting to hear the conductor’s announcement, like an old man who didn’t need an alarm clock, whose body just knew it was time to wake up.”

But “The Living Wills” is not just a trip down memory lane, Sullivan said. More than anything, he said, it was a chance to put his work as a creativity coach into action.

“My real job is to help organizational teams on collaborative creativity,” Sullivan said. “I work with Fortune 500 companies and teach them tangible skills—like listening actively, being in the moment and trusting one another— that they can inject into their environment so that innovative ideas can be developed.

“People were always telling me that I should write a nonfiction book about collaborative creativity, but I’ve read every book on the topic and didn’t think there was much more I could say without being redundant.”

So, Sullivan said, he decided to go one step further and co-write a novel with Rick Kaempfer, a friend from his radio days when he was producing the Jonathan Brandmeier show and Kaempfer was producing the Steve Dahl and Garry Meier program.

“We did a little bit of research and didn’t see anything like this for a novel,” Sullivan said. “There’s a lot of books out there telling people how to be collaborative, but this is showing them that it actually can be done.”

There's much more at the Beverly Review. It's a nice long write up.

Of course, the book Brendan is talking about, The Living Wills, is available at, and it's also available on the South Side at Bookies.

No comments:

Post a Comment