Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Publishing Portal--February 27, 2024

The latest news from Eckhartz Press, and a chance to peek into some of the great previous offerings from our humble little publishing company.

*Happy Birthday Lee Kingsmill!

=The author of Safe Inside is celebrating a birthday this week (March 2). Lee grew up on the south side of Chicago. A stint in the army took him to pre-statehood Alaska where he served in the military police. After graduating from the University of Chicago, he taught high school English and humanities for thirty-four years. A highlight was accompanying student groups on Spring break trips to Italy. Since retirement, he continues to travel abroad, and much of Safe Inside was written in Mexico.

*National Woman's Month

=March is National Woman's month, and we wouldn't be where we are today without the contributions of our female authors. We've published more than 20 books written by talented women like...Vicki Atkinson, Jeanne Bellezzo, Book of the year winners Pat Colander & M.L Collins, Jessica Hagy, Beth Jacobellis, Judy Ann Jamerson, Margaret Larkin, Lauren LoGiudice, Deena Mendes, Kristin Oakley, Lori Oster, Vicki Quade, Becky Sarwate, Maggie Smith, Kim Strickland, Felitzitas Sudendorf, Janet Sutherland, Deb Tokarz, and Ann R. Wilson. We can't thank them enough.

*Happy Anniversary Cameo!

=Beth Jacobellis launched her debut novel this week in 2018, Cameo. Here she is getting her very first copy of the book.


*Talking Bout My Generation

=An incredible example of life imitating art. Last year Will Wagner released his novel Talking 'Bout My Generation, which was about what happened to Pete Townshend's guitar after he tossed it into the crowd at Woodstock. This week in the news, Paul McCartney's bass was returned to him after being lost in 1961.

*Leslie Keiling

 =The long-time Chicago radio star contributed to two Eckhartz Press books. She has some great stories in Records Truly is My Middle Name, particularly the story of being live on the air with John Landecker when the planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. She also contributed stories (and the picture below) to The Loop Files. Leslie was known as Lane Closure on the Steve & Garry show on the Loop. Her birthday is this week (Feb 28).

*Hugh Hefner's First Funeral

=This week in 2019, just a few weeks after Pat Colander's death, Lit Pop published a wonderful tribute to the author of Hugh Hefner's First Funeral.

*Your Dime My Dance Floor

=How interesting was Eckhartz Press author Chet Coppock's life? He once wrestled a bear. He also knew how to promote. I'm sure Tony Randall and Jack Klugman were happy to have his help.

Oscars Biggest Mistakes

=This time of year is the busy season for movie expert/Eckhartz Press author Eric Litt. This week in 2022 Eric appeared on the Nick DiGilio podcast to talk about some examples from the past when the Oscars got it wrong.

Mob Adjacent

=One of the most compelling parts of the family memoir written by the Gentile brothers is the intersection of the mob and Hollywood. For instance, stories about two people who would have been celebrating birthdays this week, Jackie Gleason (Feb 26) and Elizabeth Taylor (Feb 27) appear in the pages of Mob Adjacent. 

The Daly News

=This week in 2014, Joel Daly was making the publicity rounds promoting his Eckhartz Press memoir about his legendary television career. This is the audio of his interview with WGN radio, along with a photo below.

=Here's an example of Joel in action from 1983, reporting on the biggest television event from the 1980s, the final episode of M*A*S*H. 

 The Unplanned Life

=Roger Badesch was like the Zelig of Chicago history. How many people do you know who actually worked at the original Playboy Club, for instance? He has some great stories from that time in The Unplanned Life. The Playboy Club opened on Leap Day in 1960.

=Roger also had a memorable day this week...

Always a Pleasure

=This week (Feb 28) is the anniversary of late WGN radio morning man Bob Collins' birth. Chuck Swirsky worked with Collins for many years and writes about him in the pages of his Eckhartz Press book Always a Pleasure. He also tells that story in this podcast. Another one of Swirsky's favorites is also celebrating a birthday this week, former Bull Joakim Noah.

Jerry Reinsdorf

=Would you believe that White Sox & Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf appears in three different Eckhartz Press books? It's true. You'll find stories and photos of him in Rich King's book Ike & Me, Chet Coppock's book Your Dime My Dance Floor and Chuck Swirky's book Always a Pleasure.

Chili Dog MVP

=Speaking of the White Sox, this week in 2022, Eckhartz Press authors John Owens and Dr. David Fletcher appeared on Rick Kogan's radio show to talk about their book Chili Dog MVP. Kogan is a big White Sox fan and loved the tale about Dick Allen and the 1972 White Sox.

Life Behind The Camera

=This week in 2014, Eckhartz Press author Chuck Quinzio was getting some love from the NABAT Union.

Behind the Glass

=CBS broadcaster James Brown is celebrating a birthday this week (February 25). James was kind enough to provide this endorsement for Randy Merkin's Eckhartz Press book...

  • “While we cherish champions in the world of sports, we cheer louder for champions in the game of life. Character, integrity and honesty matter. That sums up Randy Merkin.”

    James "JB" Brown, Host of NFL Today on CBS and Inside the NFL on Showtime

An Off-White Christmas

=This week in 2017, New City debuted in Chicago. The Chicago publication loves Randy Richardson, and they gave this wonderful testimonial to Donald G. Evan's collection of short stories An Off-White Christmas

  • With offhand grace and humor, Evans captures the characters’ burning desires to escape from in-between stages of their lives and their disappointment at the outcome. Illustrations by Hannah Jennings throughout the book resemble ornaments that could hang on a Christmas tree.
    Katie Burns, Newcity Lit

*The Loop Files
=Don't forget...