All of us at Eli’s are delighted to welcome on Thursday the 24/8 Book Club and Kim Strickland, United Airlines Pilot, and author of “Wish Club.”

We congratulat Falise and Joanne on organizing such a dynamic Book Club and look to a fun and informative evening.


More Witches, Wishes and Cheesecake
The spirits command us to let you know our next featured author:

Kim Strickland, author of Wish
, will be our magical guest for the next 24/8 Book Club roving event.


Date: Thursday, October 11th
Hours: 7 – 9 PM
Location: Eli’s Cheesecake CafĂ©
6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive
Chicago, IL
(Corner of Montrose and Forest Preserve Drive)

Chicago setting plays major role in bewitching first
novel by airline pilot

August 9, 2007

By Abigail Pickus chicago sun-times

It’s Chick Lit meets black magic. “Wish Club,” by Chicago resident Kim Strickland, is the story of five women whose book club takes a detour into the occult.

Set in Chicago, the longtime friends soon tire of discussing books and instead turn to making their dreams come true, one chant at a time. What starts innocently enough soon spirals out of control, giving new meaning to the adage: Be careful what you wish for.

For Strickland, seeing her novel in print is her own wish come true.

“Ever since I was a little kid I knew that I was supposed to be a writer,” said Strickland, 43. “But I took this wacky 20-year detour as a pilot first.”

Indeed, growing up in Logan Square and later in Wood Dale, she knew that being a writer wouldn’t always pay the bills.

“I didn’t have much growing up and I knew if I was a fiction writer I’d be a starving artist, and I didn’t want that,” she said.

So she started flight training in the early ’80s and has been flying ever since. As a co-pilot for United Airlines, she often flies to Europe.

The flexibility of flying – she works three weeks on and one week off – gives her more time to spend with her husband and 10-year-old twin sons.

But writing has always been her first love. Beginning with her first novel, which she wrote at age 12, she has started and stopped a few books. The last straw came when she was typing away at a Lincoln Park cafe while her sons were in preschool.

“I was 100 pages into another novel when I got stuck,” she said. “I closed my laptop in frustration and thought, ‘Why can’t I finish these novels?’ I realized I wasn’t interested in what I was writing.”

That’s when she hit upon the spark that became “Wish Club.”

“I realized I’ve always been fascinated by witchcraft, with the fact that there is more out there than we can see than with the naked eye.”

Strickland then thought of her own book group, which has been meeting in different Chicago homes for years, and thought: What if a book group started doing witchcraft?

She scribbled out the outline for the book.

Many drafts, revisions and rejection letters later, Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, agreed to publish her novel.

The story centers on five female friends in their 30s and 40s who have more earth-bound jobs. One is a teacher at an elite private school, another is a former ad executive-turned-homemaker, another is an artist.

Chicago itself plays a key role in the book. There are references to tony condos along Lake Shore Drive, bungalows in St. Ben’s, and every journalist’s favorite watering hole, the Billy Goat Tavern. There’s even a chase scene at Montrose Harbor.

“Chicago is a beautiful city and I absolutely love it,” Strickland said. “Even when I’m in Paris I miss the restaurants here.”

Her next book is a work of historical fiction based on the 1915 Eastland tragedy, where more than 800 people died on the Chicago River.

RSVP is required for this limited edition 24/8 event. Don’t forget to contact Falise at: or 630-803-0558 to reserve your spot. Please include your name and phone number.

It’s a Halloween celebration all month at 24/8. No need to play tricks because there will be treats