The Debutantes | Feature | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » Feature

The Debutantes

First books by local authors—including a former trial lawyer, a traumatized artist, a Cubs fan on Zoloft, a PR agency exec who writes in bars, and a computer programmer who plays bass

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

What would possess someone to try writing a book—and then, of all things, publish it? The effort is tremendous, the rewards are notoriously iffy, the scrutiny can be either too intense or nonexistent. But the five local writers profiled here took the chance. They're all making their debuts in a dust jacket.

Other than that, they're pretty different. Julie Koca, who uses the nom de plume Julie James, slipped into her novel phase after transitioning from a successful law career to a successful career writing screenplays. Drew Ferguson and James Kennedy have both been pushing toward this landmark for years—both knew from an early age they'd be writing fiction. The twin torments of being clinically depressed and a Cubs fan drove Michael Glab to his confession, while Wafaa Bilal's book is the product of torment on a geopolitical scale.

Actually, they do all have one other thing in common. The question for all of them now is, What's next? —Tony Adler

fall books special

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment