Friday, July 18, 2014

Chicago and L.A. Book Launches Scheduled!

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Two of the country's most treasured independent book stores are welcoming me and my upcoming memoir, GREEN NAILS AND OTHER ACTS OF REBELLION: LIFE AFTER LOSS for a Chicago and L.A. launch and reading.
I'm providing the details early enough so you can mark your calendars, alert friends, and hopefully be on hand to fill the stores. Not only am I anxious to build a crowd for my book, but I'm also eager to bring potential customers to these Indies who need ongoing support. If my book isn't already due as a Kickstarter reward, please consider purchasing the paperback at one of these readings where I can sign your copy. And, if you'll already have the book, perhaps there'll be a holiday gift book of my memoir, or any other book from the stores' shelves.
Dates and Locations:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 7 p.m., Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL.,  60640, 773-769-9299

Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA. 90027, 323-719-0465

I look forward to seeing you at one or both of these events!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rookie Blogs-to-Book Update: To comma, or not to comma

The book cover image for my newest memoir is complete! After I submitted five covers of best sellers that I admired -- so the designers could get my preferences -- I received five options from my publisher for my own design. The one, I -- and a few advisors -- selected, is to the left. I'm very happy with it.
But, a few days ago, one of my advisors (Jill Soloway) said there should be no comma in the title. Earlier, a trusted friend (Lisa Holton) had said the same. So, I broached it with my publisher, Brooke Warner,  and she agreed that since AND is on a separate line of the cover, the comma should go. So, here, to the lower right, is the final cover sans comma.

This change came just in time because I am now reviewing "First Pages." This is my proofread manuscript formatted as to how it will appear in the actual book. I'm pleased to say I also like the interior design very much. One page is headed by my name, Elaine Soloway, and the other, Green Nails, And Other Acts of Rebellion. So now, as I'm catching any errors (only one so far that was caused by me when I changed something in the proofread copy), I am listing all of the page headings where Green Nails, And Other Acts of Rebellion should read Green Nails and Other Acts of Rebellion. (By the way, the subtitle: Life After Loss, does not appear on interior pages. This is standard.)
Recently, I participated in a monthly Author Call with about a dozen other Fall 2014 writers. We talked about submitting our Advanced Reader Copies to reviewers and the difficulty of actually getting reviews by the main publications, like "Publishers Weekly." Hiring an outside publicist helps, but there's no guarantee they will have success. So, like  my other memoir publishing endeavor, I'll tackle that on my own. (Once my new book is published in September of this year, I'd appreciate any suggestions for book groups, synagogue or church readings, health care groups, senior groups, etc.)
As of today, we have 17 days left to goal. So far, we're at 71% with $3,909 contributed. I'm confident we'll reach our $5,500 target before the bell rings, but  if you have ideas on how to assure that,  don't hesitate to let me know. 
By the way, my Kickstarter funders receive these updates first. If you want to be in that special group, please click on Elaine Soloway's Kickstarter Campaign and join  us!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

College Essay Coaching

When high school students set their sights on attending college, they're likely looking forward to meeting new friends, living in a dorm, and taking courses that lead to a successful career.

But they may not be excited about a necessary step to that anticipated life: writing the college essay that will help them gain admission to their top choice school. That project may be weighted with stress, parents' expectations, and an assumption that the student -- lacking a strong background in writing -- may not be up to the challenge.

That's where I come in. As an essay coach, I'll partner with students to explore a topic that complies with the prompts of the Common Application or of their targeted colleges and universities. 

We'll initially meet in a one-to-one session, and depending upon students' schedules, will manage subsequent drafts via e-mail attachments of Word documents, or additional face-to-face meetings.

Our goal will be for the student to write and submit a flawless essay in his or her own voice that will stand out from the crowd. The piece will succeed if it impresses admission decision-makers and persuade them of a student's uniqueness, accomplishments, and strengths.

And, the process will be conducted in an enthusiastic, supportive, and encouraging atmosphere, which will boost students' self-esteem and add skills that will remain throughout their college years.

All one-on-one sessions will be held in a Wi-Fi-equipped setting in the River North area, or at a local library.

For more information about hourly fees, available dates, or other questions, please call 773-320-5681, or send an email to References are available on request.

About Me

I'm president of Elaine Soloway Public Relations and author of the memoir, "The Division Street Princess" (Syren Book Company, 2006), which was named a 2006 Chicago Tribune Book of the Year, and the e-novel, "She's Not The Type" (Publish Green, 2011). I write several blogs, including "The Rookie Widow," "The Rookie Caregiver," and "Never Too Old to Talk Tech," which are then linked on Social Media sites, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Monday, July 22, 2013

"Manic Pixie Dreamland" Plays Saturdays through August 24 at the Annoyance Theatre.

“Manic Pixie Dreamland,” a musical featuring an all female cast that lampoons a popular cinematic type, plays Saturdays, July 27- August 24, 2013 at the Annoyance Theatre.

According to director Ryan McDermott, the show’s theme is inspired by the often-used female character, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl*, “whose sole purpose is to teach depressed male leads to embrace life’s mysteries and wonders. These women do not exist in real life and are typically created in the minds of lonely screenwriters. We think she’s a disservice to female characters because it views women as one-dimensional creatures.”

*Nathan Rabin, head writer for The Onion’s AV Club, is credited with coining the term, Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

With original songs by musical directors Jon Monteverde and Greg Sydlowski, “Manic Pixie Dreamland” takes place in a cult-like center where all of the world’s Manic Pixie Dream Girls are manufactured and trained. The audience takes a tuneful tour, with heaping servings of satire, as it meets the Girls. They are the stalwart heroine Tomboy, plus Chatterbox, Foreign, Mysterious, Brown-Nose, and Etsy. Through Tomboy’s encouragement and enlightenment, the women form a sisterly bond to combat the show’s shady villain, the Dream Queen.

The cast includes Annoyance regulars: Mo Allen, Sarah Ashley, Rachel Farmer, Amber Gerencher, Claire Mulaney, Jo Scott, and Amy Speckien.

Along with movie-lovers, “Manic Pixie Dreamland” is expected to appeal to feminists, and to other groups who may feel themselves stereotyped by pop culture and the media. “And of course, anyone who enjoys Annoyance’s usual lightheartedly-confrontational take on any social issue.” says Executive Producer Jennifer Estlin.

“Manic Pixie Dreamland”plays Saturdays, July 27- August 24, 2013, 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20, $15  (student ID) For more information, view the Annoyance website or call the box office: 773.561.HONK (4665). The Annoyance is located at 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL. 60640.

Exec. Producer, Annoyance Theatre
P: 773.561.4664
F: 773.561.3999

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Chris Gaines in...The Life of Garth Brooks" Previews July 5 and Opens July 12 at Annoyance

"Chris Gaines in...The Life of Garth Brooks" is a satirical study of an artist, and his qualms about his role as performer. Written by Greg Ott, the play is based on a bizarre period in country star Brooks' life and features a cast of seven who play multiple characters, including Jay Leno, Chelsea Clinton, Larry King, Regis Philbin, Phil Spector, Barbara Walters, Monica Lewinsky, Judge Judy, "Weird" Al Yankovic, and Jerry Springer. The play will run on Fridays at 8 p.m. at The Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N Broadway, Chicago.

The ensemble comedy -- featuring Chris Blake, Tim de la Motte, Annie Donley, Brigid Marshall, AJ Miller, Greg Ott, and Wink Stone-- focuses on the time in 1999 when country singer and songwriter Garth Brooks created an alternate persona in the form of rocker Chris Gaines. Ott assumes the roles of Gaines and Brooks, and local filmmaker and comedian Joe Avella is co-director. The show presents the music of both Gaines and Brooks.

In the Annoyance performance, the story as it actually occurred is turned upside down. Ott explains, "In our version, Chris Gaines is the biggest rock-star on the planet, but he's dissatisfied with his artistic pursuits. So, after being inspired by a small-town country singer, he changes direction and ditches his old persona. Gaines then re-emerges as a character named Garth Brooks, a switch that stuns Gaines' agents, fans, and record label, who all fear their star has lost his mind."

Ott said the show originally began as part of Annoyance's 20-minute Triple Feature, which is the theatre's testing ground for short play ideas. "But we quickly outgrew the time limit and needed an extra hour or so. An abridged version was performed a couple of times, and that progressed to this original, never-been-seen before, full-length play."

"Chris Gaines in...The Life of Garth Brooks" previews Friday, July 5, opens July 12, and runs on Fridays at 8 p.m. through August 23, 2013. Tickets are $20, $15 for students. For more information, view the Annoyance website, or call the box office: 773.561.HONK (4665). The Annoyance is located at 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL. 60640.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Musical Comedy Explores Quirky Mix of Agents’ Uniformity And Uniqueness

“Trust and Confidence: A Secret Service Musical,” is a new comedy that unveils the hush-hush world of agents charged with protecting the President of the United States. It previews Thursday, June 13 and 20, and opens June 27, 2013 at the Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago.

Created and directed by Julie Pearson, the show presents a day in the life of a group of Secret Service agents as they stand guard at parade entrances and study crowds for suspicious faces, while at the same time, trying to appear invisible. In the play, which was developed by the cast through improv, the word “Secret” not only applies to the job, but also to the bizarre hidden stories each agent carries within.

The original music for “Trust...” was written by Charlie Worth with song concepts and lyrics contributed by the cast. Along with this show, Worth has been musical director for several Annoyance productions, including “My So-Called Afterlife.”

Pearson promises, “This team has a bunch of secrets of their own, including a spicy bromance, delusions of grandeur, and a sensual lust for murder. But they’ll spend all day trying to prove that they are, as the Secret Service’s official motto says, ‘Worthy of Trust and Confidence.’”

Cast members, who will be clad in the somber suits, sunglasses, and earpieces of Secret Service agents are: Marc D'Amico (“Closing Time” at the Annoyance), Brian Biancardi, David Blum,  Leah Frires (“My So-Called Afterlife” and “Burlesque is More”), Jillian Mueller, Jeff Quintana, and Elizabeth Trepkowski.

“I think it’s funny to explore a profession so serious, diligent, and detail-oriented, especially using the broad strokes of musical comedy,” Pearson added. “Yet, with all of the rigidity required of the job, we found it important to make the characters come alive as individuals with their own plights and passions.”

“Trust and Confidence: A Secret Service Musical”  previews Thursday, June 13 and 20 and opens June 27, 2013, 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information, view the Annoyance website, or call the box office: 773.561.HONK (4665). The Annoyance is located at 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL. 60640.

P: 773.561.4664
F: 773.561.3999

Monday, May 13, 2013


Storytelling Will Reveal Teen Traumas And Celebrate Uniqueness

"The Awkward Phase," a night of storytelling featuring eight performers who will reveal their most embarrassing episodes and gawky feelings, and who will encourage audience members to embrace their different-ness, plays one night only, Monday, May 13, 8:00 p.m. at The Annoyance Theatre.

Created by Claire Meyer and Tyler Gillespie, "The Awkward Phase" features performers who have made a name for themselves in other venues. They are: Brianna Baker ("The TomKat Project"), Caitlin Bergh ("Chunks"), Tim "TinTim" Jones-Yelvingtion (author and drag queen), Wes Perry ("Making Out with Wes Perry and Friends"), Patrick Rowland ("Barack All Night"), Shaun Sperling (featured on BuzzFeed LGBT and ), and Ted Tremper ("25 People Who Should Get Their Own TV Show"). Additionally, one volunteer will be chosen from the audience to perform.

"The 'braces- and-scrunchy' night is dedicated to making our 14-year-old-selves proud," said Meyer, of the improv troupe Lethal Action Force. "It's important to share our stories with others; a way to connect and learn from one another. Feeling awkward is universal; even though, at the time, it can be a very lonely experience."

Gillespie, who is a writer for "Gapers Block" and "Time Out Chicago," added, "We're often too hard on our former selves. We're conditioned to hate the times in our life when we weren't 'all that,' when we've felt pressured to be like everyone else. But, what if we were having fun and living in that moment? In our mind, it's about time to celebrate these awkward phases and gain peace."

"The Awkward Phase" was recently chosen as a runner-up in Chronicle Books "Great Tumblr Book Search." The production at the Annoyance is the first on-stage, live performance of stories generated by the photo- and essay-sharing website. "We've included a mix of performers," Gillespie said. "Authors, comedians, and storytellers; and we hope future performances will mix in hairstylists, tattoo artists, and an opera singer. I really want an opera singer."

"The Awkward Phase" plays one night only, Monday 13, 2013, 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $7. For more information, view the Annoyance website or call the box office: 773.561.HONK (4665). The Annoyance is located at 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL. 60640.

F: 77s.561.3999