Making dreams come true - Olivia Newport

Photo by Stephen Reginald

I’ve met Steve Reginald in person exactly twice. But he used to be in the publishing biz at several different companies, and he would surface every now and then to offer me work-for-hire writing projects. Work means money, so I was always glad to hear from him. (Plus he’s a nice guy.)

Then a couple of years ago he sent me an email of a different sort.

A history buff at heart, Steve trained to be a docent at a museum a few blocks from his home in Chicago. You can take the boy out of publishing, but you can’t take publishing out of the boy.

The email said something along the lines of, “What do you think of this setting for a story?” and introduced me to the intersection of Prairie Avenue and Eighteenth Street in Chicago. The 17,000-square foot Glessner House was a portal to the gilded age when wealthy industrialists packed their fortunes into a few square blocks of the Windy City and hired a steady stream of immigrant workers to keep their lives comfortable. It cried out for a story. Or three.

We created a fictional wealthy family and put them smack in the middle of this historic neighborhood.

The Avenue of Dreams series was born.

The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, the first of three in the series, is set to release next spring from Revell Books. In the meantime, you can meet the neighbors by going to Next time you’re in Chicago, stop by the Glessner House. Steve would love to give you a tour and welcome you to the world of Lucy Banning.

  • What’s your favorite historical place to visit?