I am honored to announce the release of Weeping Kings & Wild Boars; Moments of Magic and Sorrow in Forty Years Trying to Save the World. This memoir by the late Jerry Eckert has been in the making for many years and I wish he was still around to see the final results of all his hard work. I think he would be pleased with the book. I want to share with you the story behind this amazing memoir and how it came to be.
Jerry, a retired university professor, had a gruff exterior and tended to say what was on his mind. But as you got to know him, it became clear that he was a kind, compassionate and generous man who was loved and respected by many. I met Jerry back in 2008. I was the Director of Northern Colorado Writers at the time and he attended an open house at the new NCW writer’s studio. A mutual writer friend introduced us. He said hello and then, “I don’t really like the NCW website.” He then proceeded to tell me what I should do to make it better. I was a little taken aback, but figured I wouldn’t see him again since he didn’t seem too keen on how I was presenting my organization on the Internet.
I was wrong.
He dove in and began submitting his work to agents. Nothing. For months he kept trying with the same result. In March of 2015 I was able to see him one last time when Weeping Kings and Wild Boars received the award for best Creative Nonfiction book in the Northern Colorado Writers Top of the Mountain Book Award. He and his wife came out to Colorado so he could accept his award in person. He was so proud and it was incredible to see him receive the recognition he deserved for this powerful memoir.
In May, things took a turn for the worst.
May 17: email from Jerry: Last year we had a conversation about what I should do with my book if I reached the end of my life and no agent had picked it up yet. If I'm not mistaken you said ‘in that case will get your book printed.’ Well, sorry to say, I think we've reached that stage.
May 18: I responded and said I would be honored to publish his memoir and gave him a list of items I needed him to send me. I anticipated publishing the book in July.
May 19: Jerry ended up in the hospital.
May 26: Jerry sent out one last email to family and friends: I have, fought the good fight and chemical therapies are no longer working. I have reached the end of my rope. It's time for the end stage which is defined now as progressing on to measures for easing the end of life. I believe it means turning all my attention towards short-term goals: I am going to spend time with friends and family. I want to do something spiritual. And finally to work with Kerrie to get my book, Weeping Kings and Wild Boars, off to market. So my friends, let's not agonize over what lies just ahead. Help me celebrate a life that was as rich and wonderful as almost any American could ever ask for.
May 27: Surrounded by his family, Jerry passed away.
With help from his wife I was able to get the final manuscript and the other items I needed to put this book together. I am thrilled that the rest of the world can now enjoy this amazing memoir from a man who lived an amazing life. His legacy continues on through the stories in this book; reminding us that one person can change the world.
It is my honor and pleasure to share this book with you. (Read more about the book and get your copy here)