Friday, April 27, 2012

Cheeseland, the website and facebook page

Eckhartz Press author Randy Richardson has created his own website for his book "Cheeseland". You can check it out here.

He also has a "Cheeseland" Facebook page, which he'd love you to "like".

The book itself is coming out on May 29, and will be available for pre-order beginning May 8. Keep checking the Eckhartz Press blog for more information about this excellent new book. We're very proud to be publishing it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brendan Joins a Cash Mob

What is a Cash Mob?

A Cash Mob is when a community descends on a local business on a particular night, and then they all go out for drinks afterwards.

Sounds like fun.

Eckhartz Press author Brendan Sullivan ("The Living Wills") will be one of the authors on hand at Bookie's in Beverly tomorrow night (Thursday). It starts at 6pm and goes until whenever.

Come and meet some super talented local people (17 local authors and artists). Bring your friends, because everyone is going out for drinks afterwards! Hope to see you at The Bookie's Paperbacks & More, 2419 W 103rd, Chicago, Illinois 60655 (773-239-1110)

"Down at the Golden Coin" at a store near you

Kim Strickland's book "Down at the Golden Coin" is, of course, available at the Eckhartz Press Website, but it's also in the following stores.

The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago (photo)

August House Studio, 2113 W. Roscoe in Chicago

Praha, 3849 N. Lincoln in Chicago

Wolf Bait and B-girls, 3131 W. Logan Blvd. in Chicago

and coming soon...

Sanibel Island Bookshop,1571 Periwinkle Way in Sanibel, FL. (Kim will be making an appearance there in June. Details to follow)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Conversation with Randy Richardson

Here's a good way to get to know Eckhartz Press author Randy Richardson.

He is interviewed by the MarciWrites blog.

In the interview he talks about his background, his writing history, the Chicago Writers Association, and of course, his upcoming Eckhartz Press release, "Cheeseland".

Rick on the Radio

Eckhartz Press author Rick Kaempfer will be on the Ed Tyll show tonight at 7:30 Central Time.

You can listen to show live on livestream, if you're interested.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Down at the Golden Coin" in the Tribune

The Chicago Tribune has a short piece in the A&E section of the paper about Kim Strickland and her book "Down at the Golden Coin".

You can read it here.

Her book is available here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kim on the Radio

This weekend our very own Kim Strickland will be featured on the air at FM News 101.1.

Morning anchor Rob Hart interviewed Kim about her latest novel "Down at the Golden Coin" and filed the following reports...

Kim and Rob Part 1

Kim and Rob Part 2

If you'd like to hear those reports on the radio, they'll be running all weekend long on FM News 101.1. The radio station also streams on the internet here.

We thank Rob Hart for his usual excellent work.

Brendan at the Book Club

Last night Eckhartz Press author Brendan Sullivan ("The Living Wills") stopped by a book club discussing his book. A great time was had by one and all.

Remember, if you live in the Chicago area, and your book club is discussing one of the Eckhartz Press books, our authors would be pleased to stop by and join in the discussion (schedule permitting). Brendan's co-author Rick is going to a book club in Palatine a few weeks from now.

All you have to do is ask.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: "The Living Wills"

Many thanks to Megan Renehan, who just reviewed the Eckhartz Press release "The Living Wills" for Windy City Reviews. Her review is not yet available on-line, but we'll provide a link to it as soon as it is. In the meantime, you can read a portion of it here on the Eckhartz Press blog...

The Living Wills by Brendan Sullivan and Rick Kaempfer
Reviewed by Megan Renehan, Windy City Reviews

In The Living Wills, Sullivan and Kaempfer tell a story of interconnected lives and the consequences of split-second decisions. The novel follows five main characters: a parking garage attendant, a barista, a toilet salesman, a lawyer, and a corporate executive, ultimately connecting their lives in deep and unexpected ways. The story is structured in short chapters alternating between the main characters' points of view. Rich with emotion and local detail, The Living Wills is a story that stayed with me long after I had closed the book.

In the preface, the authors note the novel's structure is influenced by the Harold, an improvisational theater form created by Del Close. While the novel does not exactly follow the form, the interwoven stories lend themselves to the influence of improv. Sullivan and Kaempfer set themselves up for a challenge by telling the stories of five main characters each through a different point of view, but each of the story lines is unique, all the characters are clearly drawn, and there is no confusion for the reader. Short chapters advance the plot quickly and keep the reader engaged.

What struck me most about this novel was its sweetness. Sullivan and Kaempfer navigate issues of love, loss, and family dynamics with a care that is crucial to the success of the novel. The straightforward, unadorned prose does no work to convey the depth of emotion in the novel; that job is reserved solely for the characters, and they carry the load well. Though each of the characters trend slightly towards the stereotypical, the reader is able to accept them as individuals thanks to Sullivan and Kaempfer's well-placed personal details. Delmar, the toilet salesman, is a salesman to his core, and his application of sales principles to his romantic relationship is at once comic and endearing. Similarly, the scenes in the parking garage with the executive and the attendant are injected with emotion when we learn that “Reed went through the usual charade of offering a smoke to Henry, who always pretended to consider it before declining.” These details elevate the novel from cliché to something much deeper and more satisfying for the reader...

On the whole, The Living Wills was a pleasure to read for Sullivan and Kaempfer's deft characterization and effective structural choices. The rich details about Chicago only add to the novel's appeal, and I find myself thinking of Henry, Reed, and Delmar when I pass Waveland Bowl or a parking area on lower Wacker Drive.

LATE UPDATE: The full review is here at Windy City Reviews

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Announcing the newest Eckhartz Press author: Randy Richardson

Eckhartz Press is thrilled to announce the signing of another author. His name is Randy Richardson, and on May 29th he will become the fourth Eckhartz Press author when we release his second novel; "Cheeseland".

Attorney and award-winning journalist Randy Richardson serves as president of the 300-member Chicago Writers Association. His essays have been published in the anthologies Chicken Soup for the Father and Son Soul, Humor for a Boomer’s Heart, The Big Book of Christmas Joy, and Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year, as well as in numerous print and online journals and magazines. The online publication Gapers Block named his debut novel, Lost in the Ivy, one of the notable Chicago books of 2005.

We'll have much more information about Randy and his book "Cheeseland" coming in the next few weeks. It will be available for pre-order at Eckhartz Press beginning May 8.

If you can't wait for "Cheeseland" details, check out the "Coming Soon" tab at the Eckhartz Press website.

Welcome aboard Randy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Viral City Mom

Kim Strickland's City Mom blog post yesterday (a diatribe about Publisher's Weekly) struck a nerve, judging by the many tweets and retweets, and likes on Facebook.

Read it here.

Yes, that is the same Kim Strickland that penned the Eckhartz Press classic "Down at the Golden Coin". Where is that available again? Oh that's right: Here

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rick and Brendan on the Internet

Metrolingua Blogger Margaret Larkin interviewed Eckhartz Press authors Rick Kaempfer and Brendan Sullivan about their book "The Living Wills".

You can read it here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

E-books in the news

At Eckhartz Press headquarters this morning, we were happy to read about this little development in the e-book world: Barnes & Noble lights up e-readers.

Here's the highlight: "E-readers with black-and-white screens, made by Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Sony and others, are easily readable in bright light but don't come with their own light sources and can't be read in darkness. The ones with color screens, such as the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, do have their own light sources but are barely legible in sunlight. The new "Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight" has a standard black-and-white screen, but an array of light-emitting diodes inside the frame spreads a glow over the page with the help of an invisible light-guiding layer. The ability to read books in bed without disturbing a partner by turning on a bedside lamp has been a top request from customers, said Jamie Ianonne, the head of Barnes & Noble's digital division. The model will be in stores early next month and cost $139."

Have we ever mentioned, by the way, that "The Living Wills" is available as an e-book? It's true. When you get your new "lit up" Nook, you can get "The Living Wills" at Barnes & Noble (where it's got a 5 star rating). It's also, of course, available for your Kindle at amazon (where it has a 4.8 star rating), and for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch at the Apple Bookstore, and even for your Sony e-reader at the Sony Reader Store. It's selling quite well, so we thank you for your support!

Coming soon to all of those places: the "Down at the Golden Coin" e-book.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"The Living Wills" on the Radio

Eckhartz Press author and publisher Rick Kaempfer was on the Steve Cochran show a week or two ago. They just sent us the audio in case you missed it.

You can listen to it here.

The Steve Cochran show airs every weekday afternoon/early evening in Chicago on WIND-AM 560. His show also airs in St. Louis. As you'll hear on the tape, Steve is always entertaining.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A City Mom

Eckhartz Press author Kim Strickland is more than just the author of "Down at the Golden Coin". She is also a blogger for ChicagoNow, under the handle "A City Mom".

If you're a fan of Kim's writing (and who isn't?), be sure to bookmark her page at ChicagoNow. (It's right here.) She posts on that site several times a week.

Here are a few of her more recent entries...

Vicious Poodles Attack!

Can a woman's hairstyle change really change her standing in the corporate world?

You're not playing Mega-millions? What's the Matter with you?

Gotcha Day: Celebrating Three Years with my Daughter

And of course, if you're looking for her more long-form writing, there's always that catchy book "Down at the Golden Coin", which is naturally, available at the Eckhartz Press bookstore.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Meet Brendan Sullilvan

For those of you writers attending the UW-Madison Writer's Institute next weekend, be sure to catch the presentation of Eckhartz Press author Brendan Sullivan ("The Living Wills")

Here's what the website promises he'll be discussing on Saturday morning, April 14...

"8:15-9:20 – The Play is the Thing with Brendan Sullivan
Being a "serious writer" can be an oxymoron. While surely there is a role for structure, planning, ritual & commitment in a successful writing career, creative consultants remind us that real serious work gets done only when we PLAY. Writers have to remember to find or create the fun in their craft. This lively and experiential session will cover the latest theory, case studies, and insights around play and its role in the creative process and illustrate examples of how to tap play to be at your best."

On Sunday morning, he'll be discussing the following topic between 9-10:30...

"Creative Bypasses and Detours for Better Driving with Brendan Sullivan
This session will expose participants to at least several exercises and tools to enhance creativity in one's creative and career management process. Detours and excursions are often the best routes to creative breakthroughs in process and career. The class will experientially explore some evocative tools to "get around to it". Tools explored will include: Visual Explorer, Visualization, Forced Connections and Improvisation. There will be some creative output and report back to the group."

For more info about the Annual Writer's Institute, click here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Programming Note

Four years ago Eckhartz Press author Rick Kaempfer founded the website Just One Bad Century, a site devoted to Chicago Cubs history and Chicago Cubs fans.

That same year he wrote a song to fire up the troops. It was called "We can wait 100 years"; a parody of the Proclaimer's hit "I Can Walk 500 Miles".

It got a bunch of airplay on Chicago radio that season: John Landecker played it on WLS, and Johnny B played it on the Loop (WLUP-FM 97.9).

Well this year Brandmeier started playing it on his show again (he's now on WGN) when he was hyping a Cubs song contest. He mentioned on the air that he wished the writer would update the song for him, because it mentions people no longer around (like Lou Piniella and Kosuke Fukodome).

So, Rick rewrote the words, and the guy that sings it, Tom Latourette, went into the studio to re-record it. (Rick will be posting the new version on the website soon.)

In the meantime, you can hear it live on WGN radio tomorrow morning at 8:00. Tom will be singing it live on Johnny B's remote broadcast from outside Wrigley Field. Rick will also be on hand to lend moral support. Please tune in--it should be fun.

Here's the original song for those of you that don't remember it...