The author is donating $1 from every soft cover sale of this book to the Elyssa’s Mission, a Northbrook, Illinois-based not-for-profit foundation that provides help, support and suicide prevention programs to prevent teen suicide. Donations will help to fund the Mission's Signs of Suicide Program, which they currently provide to junior and high schools in Illinois.

What's New

In good company

Way back in January 2013, I wrote a blog post titled "Love from across the pond," about how my Midwestern coming-of-age road novel, Cheeseland, had rather wonderously found a small and loving audience in the UK. At the time, I pondered what it was about my book that resonated with them. I still have no answers but smiled when I came upon a 5-star rating for the book posted Oct. 24 on Goodreads from a reader named Alice, who lives in the UK. I clicked on her Goodreads page and my smile widened when I saw this:


Yep, that's my book on her "favorite books" list, next to some of the most popular YA books of all time: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Maze Runner, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Looking for Alaska. That's some pretty good company.

As I noted in that post from January 2013, we live in a fascinating small world, a place where my words – as if placed in a bottle and dropped into the Atlantic – are able to reach out and touch someone who is 4,000 miles away. That's what makes all the blood, the sweat and the tears so worth it. 


Keep the conversation going

A special prime-time interview with Cyrus Webb on Conversations LIVE is now available to the world via podcast. Parents and high school and college students, this is a conversation you don't want to miss. Listen in and keep the conversation going.


Conversations Book Club August Pick

I am thrilled to announce that CHEESELAND is a Conversations Book Club August pick. Join in the online conversation at 7 PM CT Tuesday August 20. Listen and participate in the show hosted by Cyrus Webb online at or call in at 347.426.3645.  

Can't join the discussions live? Join Webb in discussing them online afterwards! It is Conversations' goal to keep the discussions going all month long and beyond. To stay in touch with Conversations Book Club and upcoming discussions visit
Check out Webb's video announcement about this special monthlong Conversations Book Club event: 



Wait till next year

Until now, I'd told only a handful of people this... but I'm working on a revision of my first novel, Lost in the Ivy. I'm not sure why I've been reluctant to admit this. Perhaps because I didn't know if I would stick with it to the end. Maybe because it felt a little like I was going backwards rather than forwards. But for some time now I've been thinking about revising it and re-issuing it. It's out of print now and never had all the chances that books have today in the e-book world. There are also many things I wanted to change about it. Inspired by a project a friend is launching (details on that to come at a later date), I jumped back into Lost in the Ivy. I didn't know how this would go but so far it's gone better than I anticipated. It's been fun going back to these characters I created when I first took the plunge into fiction writing and giving them new life. Like the Cubs, I am in rebuilding mode. Though I suppose it is more of a reshaping. My goal is to finish it by this fall and re-issue it in time for the beginning of the next baseball season. So, yes, that means I am asking you to do what the Cubs do every year: wait till next year.


Writer's Delight

Wow. A hip hop legend – one of my musical heroes – has been referenced in connection to my novel, Cheeseland. How did this happen?

First, let me step back in time. The year is 1980, the same time when the first part of Cheeseland is set, and my ears are introduced to a new musical sound.  The song, now a hip hop classic, is by a trio called The Sugarhill Gang.  Back then we had these parties in the basement of a friend’s house in Chicago Heights, in the south ‘burbs of Chicago.  We would drink. And we would dance. And this song by The Sugarhill Gang, Rapper’s Delight, became our party anthem.  Here we were a bunch of white suburban teens dancing to a song that basically paved the way for rap music.  I still have the original vinyl album stashed away in a box in my garage.

Now jump to today. About six months ago I am introduced to Cyrus Webb, host of BlogTalkRadio’s Conversations Live!  He interviews me on his program and then in his Conversations Magazine writes one of my favorite reviews of Cheeseland. So I begin advertising on his program. He records a beautiful advertisement for the book.

Then I hear that two of the members of The Sugarhill Gang, Wonder Mike and Master Gee, are going to be on Cyrus’s radio show, promoting a new movie about their life, I Want My Name Back, and that my book ad would be featured during the interview with Wonder Mike, who opens Rapper’s Delight. I’m sure you can recite the words just like I can:

Now what you hear is not a test – I'm rappin to the beat

and me, the groove, and my friends are gonna try to move your feet

See I am Wonder Mike and I’d like to say hello

To the black, to the white, the red, and the brown, the purple and yellow.

So I'm listening to Cyrus’ interview with Wonder Mike this morning, and it’s fascinating.  And then he takes a break and I hear the ad for my book, and I smile.  This is pretty cool, I’m thinking.  But then it gets better. Way better.  When Cyrus returns to the air and when he is making the connection between Wonder Mike and Master Gee and all that they’ve been through over the years, he references Cheeseland and how it’s story of the friendship of two teen-age boys and all their trials and tribulations can be likened to the story of Wonder Mike and Master Gee.  My mouth literally drops.

Life is full of surprises.  Some are good and some are bad.  Some are incredibly cool.  This one fits into that incredibly cool category.  You know that I’m going to be rappin’ to the beat all day long now.

Listen to internet radio with Cyrus Webb Presents on BlogTalkRadio