A Suburban Dad's Guest Blog: Oddly Linked

By Rick Kaempfer

I don't know if either Kim or I have previously written about the odd coincidences that have linked us for the past thirty years or so.

We met in college at the University of Illinois, at the campus radio station WPGU. Kim was doing news and I was the DJ. Shortly after meeting each other, we began to discover that we coincidentally knew the same people...from completely different walks of life. She went to high school with childhood friends of mine. My roommate and life-long pal knew her from the aviation school (Kim is also a pilot). Through those connections and a few others, we found out that both of us knew dozens of people from disparate worlds.

It was obviously fate that we became friends. After college we remained good friends, but the coincidences didn't stop there.

We married around the same time, and we both had boys. (She has since added a girl to the mix.) We both secretly harbored writing ambitions, but didn't tell each other until we both had completed manuscripts...at the same time.

Both of our first novels were published the same year...the same week...the same darn day...for different publishers. Just plain weird. (Hers is called "Wish Club" and mine is called "$everance").

We both began blogging about parenting, my column at the time was known as Suburban Man, and hers was (and is) A City Mom. (I now also have a column called Father Knows Nothing.)

But this winter we're taking it to the next level. This winter we're both releasing novels via the same publishing company, Eckhartz Press .

My novel "The Living Wills" just came out last week. I'll actually be appearing on WGN radio tonight at 9pm to talk about it more if you're interested, and of course, you can purchase it here (ding, ding) if you like. (http://www.livingwills.eckhartzpress.com) When you receive your copy of the book, you may recognize one of the blurbers (new word) on the back cover. It's author Kim Strickland.

Kim's next novel "Down at the Golden Coin" will be coming out on Eckhartz Press very soon (It's fantastic, by the way! I got to read an advance copy), and when it does, it will be the second to last step in our thirty years of odd coincidences and connections.

The last step, of course, is writing something together.

I have a funny feeling you might be seeing something like that someday too.

It's fate, right?

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • Rick touches on how freaky the coincidences have been, but they are REALLY freaky. These friends we have in common are not mere acquaintances. One of my friends from high school had been their family friend for over 50 years! One of my good flight school buddies, (a classmate--pilots know what this means) was Rick's BEST friend growing up. And don't even get me started on how we would post to this blog during the Exact. Same. Minute. (!) until we agreed on Rick's Wednesday schedule.

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