Words of Wisdom

Past interviews of the Windy City's authors and publishers, as well as some of the movers and shakers on the city's vibrant literary scene

Wednesday
Oct152008

Chicago Underground Library

Interview with underground librarians Nell Taylor and Emerson Dameron

By Randy Richardson

To the city's small presses and independent publishers, the Chicago Underground Library is a project that is, well, long overdue.

But it's a safe bet that they'll foregive a late fee for Nell Taylor and Emerson Dameron, CUL's founders.

That's because Taylor and Dameron have provided what many of them have been seeking for a long time: a home for their literary works.

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Wednesday
Oct152008

Secrets of Success

Interview with Chicagy mystery author Libby Fischer Hellman

By Randy Richardson

Chicago mystery author Libby Fischer Hellman shares with us a few of the secret ingredients that led to her being "an overnight success that was five years in the making."

From Amazon Shorts to blogging (recently Libby began group blogging as part of The Outfit with some of Chicago's best known crime writers including Sara Paretsky and Barbara D'Amato), Libby shares some of the secrets to her success.

Undoubtedly, you'll want to save and share with your friends these book marketing tips from one of Chicago's busiest and most successful authors.

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Wednesday
Oct152008

Alice in Chicagoland

Interview with Alice Maggio, librarian, blogger and online book club facilitator

By Randy Richardson

“If I've either helped someone or sparked their interest in something new, then I've accomplished something,” says Alice Maggio.

By that measure, Maggio has accomplished a great deal. A few years back she started writing her tales of a Chicago librarian as That Rabbit Girl . That blog led to writing the Ask the Librarian column for Gapers Block , a Chicago-based webzine. And as a spin-off of that she became the moderator of the Gapers Block Book Club .

She’s a busy, busy girl. Thankfully, she made time to tell us a little about what goes on behind the stacks at a library and to give us some clues on how a library really can be a writer’s best friend.

Explore Alice's many adventures in Chicagoland.

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Thursday
Sep112008

Joltin' Joe: Author J.A. Konrath

Thriller author and Chicago nativeJ.A. Konrath has been called everything from the Svengali of self-promotion to the anti-Christ. A lightning rod for controversy, at times he is. Boring he is not.

Konrath’s blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, the place where he regularly dishes out his unique brand of marketing wisdom, has become must-reading material in the book world. Where most bloggers typically get a comment or two in response to a piece they’ve written, Konrath’s online forum routinely stirs up 30 or more to put in their two cents. All because, God forbid, he admits that he doesn’t read all the books he blurbs or intrepidly advises his readers to not bother with the SASE when sending out queries.

Is there a method to his madness? Yes, without question. Read the books in his Lt. Jaqueline “Jack” Daniels thriller series – ''Bloody Mary'', ''Whiskey Sour'' and the soon-to-be-released ''Rusty Nail'' – and you begin to understand. Not unlike his protagonist, he takes all his shots seriously but with a hearty slice of humor. He’s also strong enough to publicly acknowledge that, at times, he has gone overboard. Even as he’s teaching he’s learning.

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Thursday
Sep112008

Interview: publisher Sharon Woodhouse

By Randy Richardson

Lake Claremont Press is all about Chicago, and as such, it reflects its hometown: gritty and scrappy, yet also friendly and welcoming.

Just take a peek at the Lake Claremont Press website, and you get the sense of that Chicago second-to-none spirit:

“In an age of giant media mergers at one end of the spectrum, Lake Claremont Press represents the alternative at the other end: a small, independent, niche publisher specializing in a subject that we know better than anyone,” the About Us section of the website reads. “As such, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the publishing houses of that ''other'' big city.”

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