Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Publishing Portal--May 21, 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.

Last Comiskey

=Last Comiskey author Ken Smoller was on WGN-TV last weekend promoting his book.

 =What an incredible event Thursday night at the Chicago History Museum, the launch party for Ken Smoller's book Last Comiskey. It was a star-studded and sold out event. In addition to Ken and the filmmaker Matt Flesch (who showed part of the documentary that inspired the book), former White Sox stars Ron Kittle, Jack McDowell, and Don Pall were there. The moderator of the event was Tom Shaer, and there were White Sox and media luminaries throughout the audience including Rich King and Cheryl Raye Stout. Eckhartz Press authors David Fletcher, George Castle and Donald G. Evans attended as well. Thanks to everyone who came out!

=Nancy Faust was there too!


Ike & Me

=Ironically, just two years ago this week (May 21), Rich King had the launch party for his book Ike & Me, and it was held at Comiskey Park (or whatever it was called at the time). Ryan Baker from CBS-2 in Chicago was there to interview him, and so were many of his television friends...

=Rich was everywhere that week. He and Ike appeared on WGN-TV...

=Rich also appeared with Bob Sirott on WGN Radio.

 I Had a Runny Nose

=Tom Latourette first children’s book came out this week in 2017. 100% of the proceeds (approximately $12 from every book) went to The BTB Foundation, a local charity founded by Tom and his brother that has given over $1 Million to local families fighting cancer!


=This week in 2012 (May 25), Randy Richardson's novel Cheeseland was released. It was only the third book published by Eckhartz Press. This Q&A with Randy goes back to this week in 2012.

=In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic shutdown, Randy was also asked to provide a video for the fundraising effort for independent book stores...


Surviving Sue

=Thanks to everyone who came out to Palos Public Library to see Surviving Sue author Vicki Atkinson's presentation last week. 

=Vicki is remaining busy. There remains a few slots open in this writing class she is teaching at Harper College...

=And in July she'll be presenting her program in Woodstock. Details below.


=This week in 2018 (May 19), Beth Jacobellis had a book signing in Park Ridge at the famous Harp & Fiddle restaurant. 

Talking 'Bout My Generation

=May 19 is Pete Townshend's birthday. His guitar from Woodstock is the main character (in a way) in Will Wagner's great novel Talking Bout My Generation

The Loop Files

=Lorelei Shark celebrates a birthday this week (May 20). Who is Lorelei, you ask? Well, she's the girl who launched a radio station, which later launched our most popular book ever, The Loop Files.

Records Truly Is My Middle Name

=Lots of events from this week in history that are featured in John Landecker's book Records Truly Is My Middle Name. On May 20, 1976, Great America opened, and John Landecker was there, broadcasting live on WLS

=Jane Byrne was born this week in 1933 (May 24). John wrote a song about her with musical accompaniment from the band Jefferson Starship. You can hear that here.

=The film Star Wars was released this week in 1977 (May 25). John did a bit on the air the day the film opened with two of the stars of that movie, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. You can listen to that here.

=Elton John's co-songwriter Bernie Taupin is celebrating a birthday this week (May 22). In the book John tells the story of Bernie & Elton playing Foosball against Hugh Hefner and Barbie Benton at the Playboy Mansion. John was doing play by play.

=This week in 2013, John Landecker appeared at the Green White Clubhouse in Des Plaines for a Records Truly Is My Middle Name book signing...

Your Dime My Dance Floor

=Chet Coppock devotes an entire chapter in Your Dime My Dance Floor to something that happened on May 19, 1974. The WHA finals, known as the AVCO Cup finals, took place at a local ice rink in Mt. Prospect. The short-lived Chicago Cougars were in it, and so was one of the all-time greats in hockey history, Gordie Howe.

=Former Blackhawks president John McDonough is celebrating a birthday this week. He also appears in Chet's book...(that's him on the far right next to Chet)

 Chili Dog MVP

=This week in 2022 (May 21), David Fletcher and John Owens had a book signing at Peterino's on the Northwest Side of Chicago. Among the luminaries in attendance that day, former White Sox great Carlos May, and former White Sox organist Nancy Faust.

Life Behind the Camera

=This week in 2020 (May 20), WGN-TV reporter Nancy Loo left Chicago and moved to Los Angeles. Before she did, she provided this review of Chuck Quinzio's book...

  • Finished it in one sitting while on a flight from San Francisco to Chicago earlier this month! The writing is crisp and I enjoyed every chapter, many of them quite funny.

    Nancy Loo, WGN-TV

The Living Wills

=This week in 2012 (May 21), The Vietnam Veterans of America Magazine reviewed The Living Wills. Here's an excerpt of what they said...

  • You have to give credit to Rick Kaempfer and Brendan Sullivan, the two authors of “The Living Wills”. The authors have come up with a cast of realistic, non-sensationalized Vietnam veterans living out their lives in the early 21st century–no Nam vet stereotypes here. That in itself is worth the price of admission.

    Marc Leepsen, Vietnam Veterans of America Magazine


We Have Company

=The late Dusty Hill from ZZ Top was born this week in 1949 (May 19). He appears in Bobby Skafish's book We Have Company


Always a Pleasure

=Mike Breen is celebrating a birthday this week (May 22). He is a big fan of Chuck Swirsky's book Always A Pleasure. Here's what he said...

  • Chuck Swirsky is one of my favorite play-by-play voices in all of sports. His enthusiasm and spirit in every broadcast is something all broadcasters should strive for. But that’s also the way he leads his everyday life, and why he is so beloved by his peers.

    Mike Breen, ABC, ESPN and New York Knicks. 2021 Curt Gowdy Media Award Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

=This week in 2023, Chuck appeared on Fox-32 with Lou Canellis...


 =Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is celebrating a birthday this week (May 23). You know what book he thinks you should own? The 6th edition is available now!


Behind the Glass

=Randy Merkin's book features an entire chapter about this week's birthday boy, former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. Those are Randy's kids with the Bears great.


Cubbie Blues

 =In the days before Eckhartz Press was founded, three future Eckhartz Press authors (Randy Richardson, Donald Evans, and Rick Kaempfer) contributed to a book called Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting for Next Year. This week in 2009 (May 21), a few appeared at the Oak Park Library to promote the book, along with  James Finn Garner and Robert Goldsborough. (Photo: Rick, James, Don, Robert against a backdrop of Stephen Green's photography exhibit at the Oak Park Public Library.)