Friday, May 24, 2013

Q & A with Eckhartz Press author Dan Burns


"Recalled to Life" is the latest release by Eckhartz Press. It's available for pre-order now (and is selling briskly!). Simply click here to reserve your copy.

I recently had a chance to chat with author Dan Burns about his book...


I understand that Ray Bradbury was very influential in your writing career. Would you mind telling that story?

Dan: Ray Bradbury has certainly been very influential in my reading and writing life. I was first introduced to his writing when I was in my early twenties, and I’ve been reading his work and have been inspired by it ever since.

At that time, Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine had the greatest impact on me. It still does, as it’s one of the few books I take the time to re-read periodically. I had read other Bradbury books in those years, like Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles (and I’ve read most of his other books since). But when I read Dandelion Wine, it was the first time I could truly visualize the story as I read it. It was the first time I had become part of the story, as I could so easily relate to the characters, young and old. It was the first time I had experienced words and sentences strung together in such a unique way: literature with doses of realism and lyrics and poetics. I was hooked. I thought to myself, I want to be able to write a book like that some day. I’m a big dreamer.

Ray Bradbury also has a very realistic approach to the writing process. His book, Zen in the Art of Writing is a wonderful guide for the aspiring writer. He suggests reading everything you can get your hands on. He urges that you live your life with passion and love and gusto, for that type of living will naturally flow into your writing. But most influential to me was his dedication to his writing. He’s one our most prolific writers, having written more than 500 published works and was an accomplished short story writer, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and poet. How can a writer with that amount of output be anything but inspirational?

“The grand thing is to plunge ahead and see what your passion can reveal.”
Ray Bradbury

I love that so much of Ray Bradbury’s writing is exceptionally thought provoking and left to the interpretation of the reader. I’m often intrigued about what is implied and is not said in his stories, and off I go to explore the possibilities. I like that. I can only hope that the readers of Recalled to Life will have the same opportunity to explore the possibilities and experience the story for themselves. I intentionally did not want to spell it all out for the reader—to make it too black and white. Life isn’t that way. Instead, I hope that readers will get from the story what is most meaningful for them.

Back in 2003, while in San Diego on business, I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Ray Bradbury. I had heard about a seminar he was conducting at San Diego State University and on a whim, I changed my afternoon plans and drove over to the campus. His two-hour talk about the “love of writing” was truly inspirational and his words made me wonder even more about becoming a career writer. Afterward, I met Ray and he signed a book for me. He asked me if I was a writer, and I told him that I wanted to be one, some day. He said, “Just do it.” And I replied, “Okay, I will.”

So, here I am, living the dream.

Was there a specific event in your life that inspired "Recalled to Life"?

Dan: I think it’s easy to say that my life, in its entirety, inspired the story. I’m a firm believer that a writer’s ability to create fiction is directly dependent upon the amount of “stuff” that is in your head: what you have experienced, who you have met, what you have read, your passions, your loves, and all the rest. So, there wasn’t one single event—it was a lot of them.

Many people ask me if the story is autobiographical in any way, and it’s not. It is, however, influenced by everything I’ve experienced so far. All of the characters are me and are, in some way, influenced by me (all except one, and I’ll leave it to the reader to figure out which one). I made a concerted effort to put myself into the heads of every character, and what fun it was. Then I would put characters in a situation and wait to see what happened. Sometimes the character took my lead; sometimes the character did the leading.

As I was reading "Recalled to Life" I remember telling my co-publisher David Stern that one of the things I loved about the book was the way you wrote in a style I'd imagine an architect would write. (The lead character is an architect in the novel.) I was shocked to discover that you've never worked as one. What made you choose architecture, and how did you manage to crawl into an architect's brain like that?

Dan: I did have early dreams and aspirations of becoming an architect, but computers technology won over when I was in high school and college. I’ve always been fascinated with design and architecture, and I had a lot to inspire and interest me growing up in the city. I went to Gordon Technical High School here in Chicago, and I had the fortunate opportunity to study drafting and architecture design while I was there. The love for it has never left me, and I actually had the opportunity recently to put my architectural passion and mettle to the test when my wife and I designed and built our home in Wisconsin.

Creating the protagonist, Peter O’Hara, as an architect served the story well as a metaphor for how he lived his life within and outside of his career. He is a designer, planner, builder, and perfectionist when it comes to every aspect of his life. At least, that is his intent. However, as we learn in the story, you can create a perfect building, but creating a perfect life is a much more elusive challenge.

I had great fun putting myself in the head of Peter O’Hara as an architect. It provided an opportunity to create not only what I hope readers will find to be a compelling character and story, but it also provided me the opportunity look a bit into the future and design a practical, yet leading-edge building.

Who knows—maybe there’s still time to become an architect?

I'm a sucker for a good father-son story. "Recalled to Life" is about the father-son relationship from both sides. I know from experience that can be an emotional experience for a writer. How did that affect you while you were writing "Recalled to Life" and how much of your own real life experiences helped shape those characters?

Dan: I had a fantastic relationship with my parents and I’m fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with each of my children. Like all parents, my wife and I have tried hard build a meaningful family unit, with as many family members included as possible. I think that the linking of our generations is important, and I no doubt realize that it’s a continual challenge for all of us to make that happen. It’s so easy to get caught up in the activities of a given day that we sometimes forget about the important stuff. That is certainly the case with the protagonist in the story, Peter O’Hara.

There are many parts of the story that did prove to be very emotional for me as I was writing them, and I continue to be impacted each time I read them. I think it’s because I was able to re-live some of my own typical, yet very memorable family experiences. At the same time, I was able to expose myself to some new experiences—all within the simple structure of the story. One of the great things about fiction is that you have the ability to make the characters do things you would never think of, or do things you have not had the opportunity to do yourself.

I love writing and magic involved in telling and reading a story, and the whole experience can be very emotional.

Your first book, The First 60 Seconds: Win the Job Interview Before It Begins, is about how the first sixty seconds of a job interview can make or break your chances. If you were only given sixty seconds to convince someone they should buy "Recalled to Life", what would you say?

Dan: "Recalled to Life" is the story of an American family striving for perfection and learning to adjust to reality. I’m most proud of and excited about the fact that Recalled to Life is truly a story for all generations. People have told me that it’s risky to try and write to such a broad demographic, but with this story, it just came naturally and I’m convinced it’s the way the story is meant to be told. Everyone will be able to relate to the characters in the story, regardless of their age, and who knows? —Maybe we’ll all be able to read and talk about it together.

"Recalled To Life"—a timeless story for all generations brought to you by Chicago’s very own Eckhartz Press. Get your copy today and spend some time quality time with the O’Hara family.

How’s that—did I come in under a minute?

The Tribune Tower

90 years ago today Colonel McCormick broke ground on the Tribune Tower.

The full story in Cubs 365.

Good Ol' #89

The Bears are finally retiring his number. Here's good ol' #89 in action 50 years ago...

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Ray Long ‏@RayLong 49m
Bears to retire Ditka's No. 89,0,1806082.story … #89 #DaBears #Bears #ditka

Mike & Mike ‏@MikeAndMike 36m
"I'm very honored. That's the bottom line." - Mike Ditka on the @ChicagoBears retiring his number on Dec. 9th @ESPNMondayNight

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 9m
Get a first listen to Paul McCartney and Wings' remastered release of 'Wings Over America':

Big John & Amy ‏@BigJohnandAmy 22h
Kicked out of mall for wearing hats saying "(expletive) Cancer. Coarsening of culture or wussification of America? …

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 22m
Man allegedly planned "Columbine-style" attack at school he once attended (Glenbard East)

Josh Liss ‏@JoshLissSports 29m
Frustrated Jonathan Toews called for 3 penalties in 5min span,"My stick got a little loose there." Red Wings; "He's not as good in the box."

Ron Smith ‏@oldiesmusic 42m
Injury-devastated Bulls wins in playoffs: 5. Fresh Blackhawks wins in playoffs: 5. Maybe Coach Thibodeau could inspire these guys to score.

Rob Hart ‏@RobHart1980 3m
Ads for air conditioning on this cold morning seem kind of cruel.

Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm 11m
Weiner's Website Had Picture Of Pittsburgh Skyline, Not NYC … via @tomkludt

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews 45s
Amanda Bynes arrested, sent to psych ward after throwing bong out of her #NYC apartment window

More de Castro Talk

Radio Ink has a few pieces on Mr. de Castro this morning. They spoke with him briefly yesterday...

In an interview with Radio Ink Thursday, Jimmy de Castro said WGN has some great personalities now and some great personalities "I'd like to bring back." When pressed on who he was thinking about, he wouldn't say. After all, de Castro had only been in the building for two hours. He said now is the time for research, infusing energy into the hallways, coming up with a strategy for the station, and implementing that strategy. He also said he believes more stations can be added to the company. Tribune only owns WGN-AM.

When asked about a news and sports format functioning and succeeding as one format, de Castro said, "I don't know the answer to that. I absolutely believe you can create a personality-driven news station and a personality-driven sports station." He said sports-talk has become to men what Oprah was to women and added that he's going to stir things up a little bit and focus on creating great content. He added that WGN needs to grow younger, a dilemma facing many AM signals around the country.

They also did this little piece about the Cubs hurting WGN...

Most researchers agree play-by-play is not very PPM friendly. When you add the dismal performance of a team like the Cubs, that play so many day games, on an aging frequency on a station trying to successfully execute both news/talk and sports in a major market you have to wonder if de Castro will look to make major programming changes to drive revenue and "grow the audience younger." Here's the perspective from a former Chicago market manager.

"While the call letters remain iconic, the brand has lost all of its luster. It no longer stands for anything. None of the talent generate water-cooler talk, they all lack relevance to today's Chicago listeners. In neither morning nor afternoon drive do they do a good job of providing information when big news breaks #which used to be a WAGON hallmark#.The station really doesn't even have an identifiable logo #such as WLS's#, nor a single positioning slogan. The incredible erosion of the Cubs' on-field product and the Cubs brand means that the team does not currently drive passion for WGN. Because of the over-all station ratings decline and the eroding level of sponsor interest in the Cubs, WGN salespeople are meeting more resistance selling the station and are earning less- resulting in a steady stream of AE's leaving. Chicago is a market where media buyers tend to buy two AM stations for any client: WBBM-AM is a given, and for the past two years, sports-talk WSCR has replaced WGN as the other. They need to find a way to make the station compelling to media buyers who still spend 60% of all market revenue."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Jimmy deCastro

Big news on the Chicago radio front. This just came in my e-mail, an alert from inside radio...

Jimmy de Castro named WGN manager.Veteran executive Jimmy de Castro is returning to radio's front lines, signing on as general manager of Tribune’s news-talk “Radio 720” WGN, Chicago. De Castro has previously run radio groups including AMFM and Evergreen Media.

Of course I worked for Jimmy at the Loop for several years (although last time I saw him, he had no memory of me at all--nice to know I made an impression during that seven year stretch). The thing I find interesting is, unless I'm reading this incorrectly, Jimmy is now working for Larry Wert. During the Loop days, it was the other way around. Very interesting.

UPDATE: From Robert Feder's Facebook page...

BROADCASTING BOMBSHELL: Tribune Co. names legendary media titan Jimmy deCastro president and general manager of WGN Radio. Bold move at heritage news/talk station reunites deCastro with Larry Wert, president of Tribune Co. Broadcast Media. Dynamic duo led Chicago's WLUP-AM/FM in its high-flying heyday. "WGN has been the cornerstone of AM Radio in the country forever," deCastro tells me. "I spent most of my career trying to tear their walls down. Now I'm inside the walls!" The most successful Chicago radio operator of all time, deCastro created the Loop juggernaut, hired key talent, and formed Evergreen Media and AMFM Inc., forerunners of Clear Channel Radio. In 2000, he cashed out after heading more than 400 stations nationwide — with 4 million shares of AMFM stock, worth more than $250 million, according to published reports. He briefly headed AOL Interactive and launched three companies — Nothing But Net, Music To Go and The Content Factory. He also owns two Chicago restaurants, Keefer's and Tavern at the Park.

Paul Revere & the Raiders

Big day in Paul Revere & the Raiders lore. 50 years ago today. From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac today...

May 23, 1963…Paul Revere and the Raiders signed with Columbia, their first major label contract. Their first record to chart for the label was "Steppin' Out," peaking at #46 in late 1965. The more successful followup, "Just Like Me," began a string of 14 Top 40 hits for the group.

Jose Canseco

Las Vegas Police are investigating Jose Canseco for sexual assault. Jose was actually tweeting about the case.

I'm sure his lawyer had a heart attack when he saw that.

The Dangers of Advertising

I don't accept advertising on this blog or any of my media blogs, but I do accept it at Just One Bad Century.

Well, here's the thing about that. While it's nice to get a few dollars from Cubs-related businesses, I realized the downside this morning. I'm an absolute sucker for cool Cubs stuff. I just got a new client called Holy Cow Canvas, and I spent the morning on the site looking at their artwork.

I guarantee you I will spend more money buying stuff there than I will bring in via advertising.

On the other hand, kids, Father's Day is just around the corner. Imagine how cool Dad's little basement office would look with this incredibly cool piece of art on the Bridget? Oh yeah, that's right. They never read my stuff.

Sex or Smartphone? Which one do you think women prefer?

According to this article at, 57% of women prefer their smartphones.

A few other tidbits from the survey...

*Women in the survey also said they are tapping into social media to screen dates and snoop on their significant other.

*More than 50 percent said they either had or would end a relationship with a phone call, while more than a quarter of respondents said they would break up via a text message.

Interesting huh? It's almost like the survey was conducted by a phone company. Oh wait! It was: "AVG Technologies, an Internet security and optimization company."

Never mind.

More Sex and Profanity?

According to, the FCC is considering allowing more sex and profanity on television during prime time hours.

Read the article. It's hilariously slanted. They aren't considering such a thing at all, of course. They are considering not fining stations for fleeting expletives at live events, or Janet Jackson style wardrobe malfunctions.

Or, as reports it: FCC Proposing Allowing More Sex and Profanity During Kid's Television Viewing Hours.

My favorite part of the article is the outraged tone is accompanied by a photo of a girl lifting her top up. It's so cynical it's funny. Be Outraged! Look at the Boobies! Sex! Profanity! (The number of hits is going through the roof on this article).

Do you get these videos too, or is it just me?

This is the kind of thing I get forwarded to me. I know I'm German, but...

Paul Drew Stories

Tom Taylor's newsletter has been feauting stories about legendary radio program director Paul Drew all week (he passed away last week). It finally dawned on me yesterday that not only does John have Paul Drew stories in his book, I've actually excerpted that chapter on the Eckhartz Press blog. I sent the link to Tom, and he published it today...

How Paul Drew turned John Records Landecker into “Scott Walker.” Landecker’s autobiography named “Records Truly Is My Middle Name” carries this tale about being hired by Paul Drew (and making the decision to drop out of Michigan State in his senior year). He also re-named Landecker “Scott Walker,” which didn’t please John. While Drew was programming WIBG, he frequently hot-lined the jock, “even if he was in the middle of a sentence. The joke was that we all had sunburn on one side of our face because of that studio hotline light.” And Paul seemed to listen 24 hours a day. Read an excerpt from Landecker’s book from Eckhartz Press, courtesy of publisher Rick Kaempfer, here.

Thanks Tom!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bernie Taupin's Birthday

Elton John's long-time collaborator and lyricist Bernie Taupin is 63 years old today.

I've always been a fan of his lyrics, but I must admit I have no idea what they're about. They're like a puzzle I've spent forty years trying to piece together. They mean something to me, but I have no idea at all if that meaning is the same as Taupin intended.

For instance, this one to me is about the strange and gritty characters you'll meet in a city--in this case New York City--and what it's like to wander amongst them. The music Elton John wrote makes it feel like a sad journey, but I don't know if Bernie agreed.

Nutella Not So Swella

This is another amazing corporate story. A huge fan of Nutella organized "Worldwide Nutella Day", encouraging people all around the world to eat Nutella.

Nutella responded by sending her a cease and desist letter.

Only when the entire world's media pointed out how stupid they were for doing that to someone encouraging everyone to eat their product (hey numnuts, that's what you want, remember?), did they rescind the letter.

Shaking my head. I'm just shaking my head.

ESPN's Indiscriminate Job Slashing

ESPN is making ridiculous profits. Ridiculous. They are doing so well that they've been spawning imitators (NBC & Fox). They are literally the envy of the media world.

And yet, they fired approximately 400 staffers yesterday...a 10% cut across the board. This was their explanation: "We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs. While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive."

More competitive? Doubtful. More innovative? Not a chance. More productive? Demonstrably 100% false.

How these corporate goons don't choke on their words is beyond my comprehension. I used language like their preposterous statement in "$everance" as a joke.

Here's how the statement would read if they were telling the truth: "We are firing people because our bosses and stockholders are greedy, and have no appreciation at all for the people that turned this thing into a money making machine."

Here's more from the Hollywood Reporter...

News of layoffs come less than two weeks after Disney's media networks segment rose 6 percent to $4.96 billion, with operating income up 8 percent to $1.86 billion. One of the company's most consistently lucrative properties, ESPN has enjoyed increased affiliate revenue in 2013. Forbes recently called ESPN "the world's most valuable media property," estimating its worth at $40 billion.

So naturally, they need to fire people.

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Ezra Klein ‏@ezraklein 5m
Wonkbook: A thaw in the Senate?

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 36m
Second-largest city in U.S. sends strong message against Citizens United

Lisa and Ray US99.5 ‏@LisaandRay995 55m
Do you like your neighbors dog? According to a new survey 40% of people hate them! Seriously?

Roger Simon ‏@politicoroger 1h
Weiner promises wi-fi on NY subways? Maybe the whole wi-fi & sexting thing is something he should stay away from.

MLB Public Relations ‏@MLB_PR 1h
VIDEO: Mike Trout (@Trouty20) became youngest player in AL history to hit for the cycle:

Reid Wilson ‏@HotlineReid 1h
Portland voters have rejected adding flouride to their water for 4th time since 1956. Measure lost 60-40 -- …

Jim Wiser ‏@JimWiser 1h
Why People Still Hate Their Cable Company …

Sean Evans ‏@seanseaevans 9 May
20 Reasons Why the NBA Was Better in the '90s:

Lisa and Ray US99.5 ‏@LisaandRay995 2m
Most Awkward TV Moment? Wolf Blitzer asks Tornado Victim if she thanks God and she says she's an atheist!

Zach Zaidman ‏@ZachZaidman 3m
#Bears kicker Robbie Gould will begin the 2013 season as the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history (85.6%).

The All-Time Greatest Disc Jockeys

CNN put a list together of the greatest disc jockeys of all-time.

One small thing missing from the list...there isn't a single disc jockey from Chicago, arguably the most important radio market in the country for more than thirty years.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Happy Cubs Couple

How do you say love at Wrigley Field?

Father Knows Nothing

This week's Father Knows Nothing column is about my least favorite day of the week. It's called "I Hate Tuesdays".

You can read it here.

Nut jobs with microphones

The secret service is looking into comments made by internet radio host Pete Santilli. Here's what he said...

"‘Miss Hillary Clinton needs to be convicted, she needs to be tried, convicted and shot in the vagina. I wanna pull the trigger."


"Barack Obama is moving drugs through the CIA out of Afghanistan and Barack Obama needs to be tried, convicted, and shot for crimes against the United States of America.”

Hey, at least he wants a trial first before the shooting begins. Very classy.

I'm sure we'll soon hear more mainstream conservative media voices speaking out against those coments. (Sfx: crickets)

RIP Ray Manzarek

From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

Ray Manzarek died Monday at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. The news was initially posted on The Doors Facebook page. After a chance meeting, Manzarek and poet Jim Morrison formed The Doors in 1965. The band went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide, earning 19 gold, 14 platinum and five multi-platinum albums in the U.S. alone. "I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today," said Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, who had toured with Manzarek since 2002. "I'm just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him." Manzarek is survived by his wife Dorothy, two brothers, son Pablo and three grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, you are asked to make a donation in Ray Manzarek's name at

I never met Ray, but conducted a few phone interview with him. He was a very serious man (at least the times I spoke with him). I was never a huge fan of the Doors, but Manzarek's rockin' organ was a key component of their sound. I always thought this one was the best example of that...

Age Discrimination Lawsuit in Chicago Radio

From today's Tom Taylor column...

Fired 53-year-old Chicago sales rep files an age discrimination suit against SBS. Daniel S. Turpin claims the new 30-something sales manager at regional Mexican WLEY (107.9) “began to make improper, demeaning and discriminatory age-related comments, including…about him being ‘over 50.’” Also his need for hip-replacement surgery. A year ago, Turpin says he complained to the H.R. director at the local Spanish Broadcasting System cluster, “but to no avail.” Then, he says, things got worse - his sales manager excluded him from some meetings, insisted that he introduce him to his longtime client contacts, and finally fired him with a claim of billing irregularities and a charge that he’d been “overpaid” commissions. Turpin obtained a “right to sue” letter from the EEOC in February, and filed a suit in federal court earlier this month. He says he was the “the top producer” in the sales department, but also the second-oldest AE. Turpin’s asking for back pay, reimbursement for lost 401(k) and other benefits, plus damages.

I know Dan. We worked together twenty years ago at the Loop. I know some weird things happen in sales departments (especially when people "make too much money"), but I don't know anything about the merits of this case.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Latest Eckhartz Press Book “Recalled to Life” is Available for Pre-order Now!


In a previous life Dan Burns was a corporate executive, an entrepeneur, and a business owner.

In 2009, he converted the knowledge he acquired providing consulting and employee placement services to Fortune 500 companies into his book "The First 60 Seconds: Win the Job Interview before It Begins," which is still available on amazon. That successful book taught its readers how to behave in interviews, and particularly how that first sixty seconds could move you to the top of the list or drop you from consideration.

Dan is now teaching that next generation of workers at DePaul University.

Shortly after Eckhartz Press was founded in 2011, Dan contacted us about a novel he had written called "Recalled to Life". The theme and concept of "Recalled to Life" is very consistent with Eckhartz Press' previously published novels like "The Living Wills" and "Cheeseland". It explores the father-son relationship from two different perspectives (father and son), and tackles an issue that those of us in Dan's age group (Baby Boomers) are grappling with on a day to day basis: caring for our aging parents.

It's a poignant debut novel, and Eckhartz Press is proud to publish it.

It's available for pre-order now, and will ship on June 3rd. Be the first on your block to read Dan's novel. You won't regret it.

Much more information about the book and its author will be coming on the Eckhartz Press blog in the coming days.


The Boxers

My "The Living Wills" co-author Brendan Sullivan's son Charlie is in a band called "The Boxers". They have a video out of their song "Sleep". Charlie directed the video too. Pretty impressive for a 17-year-old...


When Google purchased YouTube a few years ago it was widely considered a boondoggle because nobody (including me) saw how they could make money with it.

Well, this year alone it will bring in $4 billion.

By 2020, according to Morgan Stanley, it will be worth $20 billion.

When I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Good thing I'm not investing money for anyone (including me).

Embracing New Technology

In every major technological advance over the past thirty years (pay-TV, VCRs, the internet, DVDs, live streaming, on-demand), one portion of the media industry has always taken the lead. The most recent advance is Google Glasses--devices that contain cameras inside eye-glasses. That same innovative portion of the media industry is once again leading the way in the use of Google Glasses.

Of course, I'm speaking about the porn industry.

You've got to give them credit. The rest of the media biz will never admit it, but the porn people really are technological trailblazers.

A few upcoming events

John Landecker will appearing at Lou Mitchell's Restaurant on June 6th to help WRLR kick off their Route 66 broadcast. He'll have copies of his book for sale there (and will be signing them as well), and will participate in the live broadcast. Details are here.

On June 8th, John and I will be appearing at the Printer's Row Lit Fest, from 12-2pm. Look for us in the Chicago Writer's Association tent. Fellow Eckhartz Press authors Randy Richardson, Kim Strickland, and Dan Burns will also be appearing there that weekend.

Another Show for Charlie Rose

He already co-hosts "The Early Show" on CBS and a PBS late night show, and now he's getting another show: Friday nights primetime on PBS.

Details in the New York Times.

A Party for John

Yesterday I threw a little party for John Landecker in my neck of the woods and some old friends came out to say hello. It was a fun little afternoon get-together. John brought his VCR (yes VCR), which he hooked up so we could all watch a video from inside the WJMK studios in 1996. He found an old tape of "Take Your Kids To Work Day", which featured his daughters Tracy & Amy, and my son Tommy who was merely an infant at the time.

He also screened some of his old home movies from the WLS days in the 1970s. It was a lot of fun.

(The ol' WJMK gang. Left to right: Rick Kaempfer, Leslie Keiling, Mark Gardner (the Legends), Dan Gardner (the Legends), John Landecker and Tom Sochowski)

(My sister's book club; they are all currently reading John's book)

(Another rare photo--what is it now, three total?--of John Landecker and me)