top of page

Long Overdue Newsletter - June 2024

Start of the Second Half

I love the first draft.

I love the moment I'm having right now, looking at a blank screen, kind of knowing what the newsletter will be about, but it's still foggy. Tonight's twist: I've totally procrastinated. It's 11 o'clock. My goal is to send the email in 8 hours...

So, part of me wants to write, but part of me wants to just combine June and July, call it a "Summer Newsletter." Brush my teeth. Go to bed. Worry about this after the 4th.

There are hundreds of reasons NOT to write a first draft -- whether that's for a book, a screenplay, a newsletter, whatever the project might be. The reason I love entering first draft mode is there's something in me -- borrowing the Inside Out visual -- that's decided to take the controls and for the next 30 minutes, hour, who knows, I'm only focused on the writing. And that's a pretty awesome feeling.

But it's only one stage of the process. Maybe just 1/3 of the writing journey. As Ernest Hemingway said, "The only kind of writing is rewriting." Gradually, the "anything goes" freedom of the first draft is replaced with, "Eh, that sentence should go." And that does improve the work. First drafts are rarely better than their final version.

But tonight I'm staying in a first-draft mindset. Especially as I share plans for the second half of the year, I'm sure these plans will change. I'll make cuts. Add new ideas. Decide some things are unrealistic.

But, for now, for this newsletter, here's a look at the second half through a first draft lens.

July & August

July we are finishing up our very first cookbook. Extremely proud of this one. It looks absolutely amazing, shoutout to our book designer Heather Nelson. I’ve enjoyed watching chef and author, Ahmet, build multiple restaurants in the Lakeview East neighborhood over the last 4 years. This is gonna be one heckuva celebration as we bring this book across the finish line.

Also our first sequel, a new Horners book from Kate Buss and the Ice Cream Fine Storybooks crew. Goal of doing an event at an ice cream shop either in Chicago or the surrounding area to celebrate. And would love to get up to the St. Paul / Minneapolis area to do a combo event with Kate Buss, Vicki Toups Sheaffer, Kristie Kaiser Frudden, and Chanda Cook. A whopping 8 (!) books between those 4! Maybe we need to start looking at opening a bookstore in Minnesota…

We're also working with T.C. Pendragon on his 2nd Hopper's Dell book. Goal will be a release before October, possibly in time for Printer's Row Lit Fest in early September. And then we're currently working with an author on a children's book which has graduated from the First Draft stage and is now onto the Feedback Circle.

Oh! And I've gotta tell you about this one. It’s a novel we're editing. Talk about long overdue, look at where this story currently lives:

That's right, a floppy disk. A piece of technology that had me looking like the characters from Zoolander:

But our mission is to help authors go from first draft to final draft. Even if that first draft is on a floppy disk...


Going back for our 2nd year. Thrilled to be an exhibitor at the largest free outdoor literary showcase in the Midwest. And that's not just first draft hyperbole typing, that's backed by Google and everything. We'll have two tables just like last year and can't wait to head back.

And uh oh, here comes that first draft excitement operating the controls. This year, I want to make a whole week of it Friday, September 6th there's a Cubs vs. Yankees game, let's get tickets. There's a Printer's Row Brewery in Jefferson Park. Maybe a group bike ride out there midweek? Or how about a meet and greet with the Safe Landing authors at one of their favorite restaurants listed in the back of their book? And of course, just like last year, there needs to be an after-party Saturday night at First Draft. (It never gets old that First Draft is literally called First Draft and we've held book events there. Stars really aligned on that one!)

Stay tuned in both the July and August newsletters for an actual "final draft" calendar for Printers Row Lit Fest week.

October & November

October has become the T.C. Pendragon month over here. We'll have the new Hopper's Dell book but also his first novel, Martin Blackbriar, makes for a great read around Halloween.

We're also kicking around the idea: What if we made Long Overdue's very first TV show pilot with Hopper's Dell? Film it in Manistee, Michigan. Try to find a film student in Michigan to direct. Could be an exciting new adventure for all of us.

And now... drumroll please... this November...

We're headed to Austin, Texas!

At last year's Printers Row Lit Fest, I asked people what are some of the other major book festivals. The Texas Book Festival was the most popular answer.

So, in typical first draft mindset, I have not figured out any of the logistics. Am I flying? Suitcase full of books? Driving? Should me, Ashley, Caleb, and Crash rent an RV again? Maybe a Long Overdue branded VW bus? And where am I staying?

Eh, I'll worry about those details in the revision stage. All I know is we got the thumbs up from the festival. We're gonna be there. And can't wait to share the Long Overdue story deep in the heart of Texas!


One of the biggest things I learned from last year was the value of in-person events for selling books. Learned this at Printers Row Lit Fest as well as our pop-up bookstore events. It's also just a lot more fun meeting readers in person vs. buying up ads and trying to do everything online.

I was also amazed at how much of the yearly revenue for local bookstores or Barnes and Noble happens in December. And really just those last 2 weeks before Christmas. It's wild.

So, this December, we'll be in 100% bookseller mode and save the new editing & book design work for January. We need to fully support our existing Long Overdue authors by promoting their books during peak book-buying season.

And then my favorite tradition of the year, It's a Wonderful Life at the Music Box Theatre. Thinking about picking one of the dates, doing a pop-up bookstore during the day, and then we'll get a group together (Christmas sweaters, Santa hats, jingle bells highly encouraged) to head on over.

Then after the movie, there's only one logical place to go next...

First Draft.


"Forget a floppy disk, this thing

doesn't even have a CD player!"

- Crash, Team Dog


Keeping Up With Long Overdue

Best place to keep up with all things Long Overdue is a tie between our monthly newsletter and our Instagram page. If you enjoy this newsletter and know someone who might enjoy it as well, let us know, we'll make sure to add them to our subscriber list. We also got back on Facebook recently, you can follow us here.

And check out our website - Long Overdue Books. Long Overdue Books is a community for creating books. It's a place for authors (and soon-to-be-authors), readers, editors, artists, and designers to come together and move their stories from ideas to finished books.

Also, if you have any questions, ideas, stories to tell, you can reach Cal the Librarian at -

55 views0 comments


bottom of page