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Meet Kathleen Dragan of Rickshaw Reggie in South Loop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathleen Dragan.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I loved exploring the city with my two young children and I wanted to inspire other families to do the same. I wrote a children’s book about nine of Chicago’s iconic neighborhoods and it was published in July by Reedy Press. The book follows a little boy and his grandma on a magical journey and includes illustrated maps of different neighborhoods around the city.

The process of researching, writing, editing, marketing, and selling the book has been life-altering. I love connecting with readers in the city of all ages. My very favorite part of being an author is hearing from my readers about the new things they’ve learned from the book, or which parts resonated most with them. I hope more and more readers in Chicago will be able to read about Charlie and be inspired to explore our city!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There has definitely been a learning curve to making the transition from writer to author. As an author, you are asked to carry out some of the marketing on your own–this was brand new territory for me. You’re also more open to criticism, both personally and professionally, once your creative work is available for public consumption. These experiences can feel uncomfortable at first, but I’ve had a lot of support from my publisher, friends, and fellow writers, who have made it much easier.

Rickshaw Reggie – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Rickshaw Reggie is the first book for kids about Chicago’s neighborhoods. I deliberately chose neighborhoods outside of the downtown area because I wanted this book to be about the places that Chicago kids actually lived. Any child, anywhere in Chicago should be able to pick up this book and see something that is familiar. I hope they will read it and feel proud of who they are, and where they come from, and that in turn, it will inspire them to learn more about our city.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The mother of a four-year-old boy who loved my book sent me a video of her son reciting the book word for word. He doesn’t know how to read yet, but he had requested it so many times as a bedtime story that he had committed it to memory. To hear my own words repeated back to me, with so much love behind them, has been the proudest moment for me so far.

Pricing:

  • With tax and shipping they are $24.36

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.rickshawreggie.com
  • Email: kathleen.dragan@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @RickshawReggie
  • Twitter: @DraganKathleen

Image Credit:
Ed Koehler

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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