Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Publishing Portal--May 14, 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.

The Loop Files

=This past weekend The Loop Files author Rick Kaempfer appeared at the Pollyanna Brewing Company in Roselle. At least a dozen former Loopers were there interacting with the Loop fan crowd. Here are a few photos from that memorable event. 

=On Friday night Rick appeared with Dave Plier on WGN Radio. You can listen to that here.

=Thanks to Tom Barnas for this piece in his “Stories from the 78”

= On May 17, 1989, comedian Sam Kinison & his friend Guns & Roses guitarist Slash, visited the WLUP (Steve & Garry) studios. The story of that incredible day is told in the pages of The Loop Files


Last Comiskey

=The big official launch party of our latest book Last Comiskey is coming this Thursday, May 16. Among the celebrity guests appearing at this one; White Sox greats Ron Kittle, Jack McDowell and Donn Pall and Organist Nancy Faust. Please RSVP to info@stadiumvagabond.com.

Chicago--The Great Retirement Resource

=This week in 2023, Russ Fahrner & Bruce Bohrer released their book about retiring in Chicagoland. We got a chance to have a Q&A with them about their book

City U

=This week in 2021, the book City U was released. This Q&A with author Bob Boone explains that book pretty well.


=In 2007, future Eckhartz Press publisher Rick Kaempfer released his first novel (with New York publisher ENC Press). The rights to that book have now reverted to Rick and is available via Eckhartz Press

=This interview came out this week in 2007. Radio Hall of Famer John Landecker interviewed Rick.

=In 2017, on the 10th anniversary of Severance, Rick wrote an update about media ownership for Illinois Entertainer.

=May 17 is also former media critic Robert Feder's birthday. Here's what he had to say about Severance when it came out...

  • “Told with the keen insight of a veteran insider, it’s a humorous indictment of an industry that has lost all sense of purpose — except for making money, of course.”

    Media columnist Robert Feder


Behind the Glass

=Two sports legends celebrating their birthdays this week get a full chapter in Randy Merkin's book. John Smoltz (May 15) and Jim Nantz (May 17).

Records Truly Is My Middle Name

=Just a few months after the release of his book, John Landecker's former boss Paul Drew died. Drew famously asked Landecker to stop using his real name (the almost perfect radio name John Records Landecker) and go with Scott Walker. The free excerpt about that strange career moment is here. 

=This week in 2015, John and his daughter Amy (a successful actress in Hollywood, married to Bradley Whitford) made the media rounds in Chicago. 

Chili Dog MVP

=Two 1972 White Sox, featured in the book Chili Dog MVP, are celebrating birthdays this week. Carlos May (May 17) is the only player to have his birthday on his jersey. He was #17. (Photo: Eckhartz publisher Rick Kaempfer with Carlos). Steve Kealey (May 13) was a pitcher on that team. 

Your Dime My Dance Floor

=How many sportscasters do you know that interviewed Olga Korbut? Chet Coppock is one of them, and he wrote about it in his Eckhartz Press book. Can you tell it was the 1970s? Olga's birthday is this week (May 16) 

An Off-White Christmas

=Author Rosellen Brown (born May 12) is a big fan of Eckhartz Press author Don Evans, and gave this review to his book An Off White Christmas.

Donald Evans has a great ear and a light touch and together they lead An Off-White Christmas in unpredictable directions. Underlying what’s funny in these stories are real families, friends and lovers colliding or coming together in what promises, but doesn’t always turn out to be, the season of good cheer.

  • Rosellen Brown, author of Street Games, Before and After, Half a Heart and others


      =This week in 2019, EveryCubEver author Rick Kaempfer met life-long Cubs fan George Will and gave him a copy of EveryCubEver. The sixth edition of the book is now available.

      The Unplanned Life

      =This week in 1981 (May 13), Pope John Paul II was shot. Roger Badesch was a journalist at the time and covered that story. He tells all about it in his book, The Unplanned Life. 

      Mob Adjacent

      =This week in 2018 (May 14), the authors of Mob Adjacent, the Gentile Brothers (Jeff & Michael), were interviewed by Tribune columnist and WGN+ podcaster John Kass. 

      The Daly News

      =The original Mayor Daley, Richard J. Daley, was born in Bridgeport this week (May 15) in 1902. Hizzoner always got a kick out of being interviewed by the second most famous Daly in Chicago during the 1970s, newscaster Joel. That story is told in Joel's book The Daly News.


      The Living Wills

      =This week in 2012 (May 14), the Daily Herald published an article about the first ever Eckhartz Press book, The Living Wills


      Truffle Hunt

      =In 2015 when Brent Petersen wrote his foodie novel Truffle Hunt, synthetic truffles didn't exist. He predicted (in the novel) that they would one day, and just two years later May 18, 2017 he was proven correct


      =This week in 2018, Cubsessions co-author Randy Richardson had a book signing at the Billy Goat on lower Michigan Avenue. Among the luminaries who came out that day were former Cubs ballgirl Kathy Wolter, Ronnie WooWoo, and Dave Cihla, the creator of the Shawon-O-Meter. Randy later appeared with Cub Willson Contreras at Club 400. Willson (yes two Ls) is celebrating a birthday this week (May 13).


      =This week in 2018 (May 18), Cameo author Beth Jacobelllis appeared on America's Most Haunted to talk about the haunting tale that inspired her novel.

      Hugh Hefner's First Funeral

      =This week in 2019 (May 18), writer Dave Hoekstra did a heartwarming tribute to the recently deceased Eckhartz Press author Pat Colander. That tribute is still on the WGN Radio website


      A tour of Rick's office

      =This week in 2020 (May 15), during the height of the pandemic shutdown, a group of writers and booksellers got together to help raise money and awareness of the plight of Indie bookstores, which were forced to close during the pandemic. One of the writers asked to contribute a video about what it's like to work at home was Eckhartz Press publisher, Rick Kaempfer. This is that video...