Sunday, January 11, 2015

Author Spotlight on Christopher G. Eberle


Hello and welcome to JoAnne's Blog. This week I have the enigmatic C.G. Eberle as my guest. He is here to open up about him and his writing. Don’t forget to leave comments.

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I was born in Buffalo , New York in 1970 and the following year I was adopted by George & Dottie Eberle, where they raised me in the Irish neighborhood of South Buffalo , where I still live today. I’ve been a comic book fan since I was five years old and back then I began to write & draw my own home made comics. For the longest time I wanted to be a comic book artist, but my real interest in writing began in high school when I discovered the 1970's television series Kolchak: the Night Stalker, which also when I realized I was a better writer than artist. I wrote for my high school newspaper and began writing fiction as a hobby on and off for the next five years, then in 1994 after reading an article re: the birth of a white buffalo in I was really inspired and began writing my first book The Rainbow Warrior; Genesis. It took me ten years & seven re-writes to get published. In the meantime I worked on the follow-up books & the companion book, The Era of Heroes, which was published in 2006.

I began working on my first mystery Family Ties by submitting the premise to best selling author Sue Grafton, for a minor character of hers, which naturally she shot down. So I filed away the idea for a few years as I worked on and polished The Rainbow Warrior. Then finally I wrote the story myself which took me four years to get published, thanks to Nancy Schumacher & her publishing company Melange Books, LLC.

I was inspired to write Family Ties due to the missing person/homicide case of Chandra Levy, who was killed on May, 1st, 2001. I admit the case became a mild obsession for me, which was THE major news story for 2001. Intensive coverage continued until news of the September 11 attacks superseded the media's coverage of the Levy case. After the 9-11 attacks knocked the Levy case seemingly out of the news, I followed the case as best I could, and knew it was becoming an inspiration of some form, then truly understood what "Ripped from the headlines" meant.

While I was in college, I majored in English Education, where I worked on my first two books and was published twice in 2004 & 2006, then after some setbacks both personally and professionally I switched gears to one of my major passions, mysteries. Besides writing I’m also an amateur Old West Historian, an passionate movie fan & collector, a lover of most styles of music, an avid reader, a student of crypto zoology, an amateur Ripperologist, and I dabble in the kitchen quite well.

What genre(s) do you write, and why?

I am currently writing murder mysteries because they are a passion of mine. This passion was sparked in me when I was about five years old, thanks to a old issue of the Justice League of America where the heroes faced a murder of one of their allies and the killer was one of the assembled heroes. After that I was drawn into television mysteries like Quincy M.E. and The Eddie Capra Mysteries. How many five year olds watched this stuff and draw up sketches & diagrams to figure out the murders? Then when I was about eleven / twelve years old it became clear I was mystery addict when I was playing cards with my parents and Grandmother, as our television was on and ABC was airing Death on the Nile . I paid more attention to the movie and made my dad nuts, but I solved the mystery. After that it was clear the seed was planted and taken a strong root.

I was writing a superhero fantasy with The Rainbow Warrior thanks to my greener days and currently am planning a superhero /murder mystery down the road. Eventually I’d also like to write a gothic horror involving Vlad Tepes looking to end the real vampire threat to the world with some legendary help, and a book on philosophy based off of one of my favorite movie characters, of this is all on top of my primary mystery series.

What is your book about?

They say the holidays are murder and for John Seraph it's the truth. In this eight story anthology John deals with mysteries & murders before & after the events in Family Ties, Family Plots, & the upcoming Family Education.

This anthology includes the following stories:

(Halloween) All Hallow's Evil,(Christmas) The Fight Before Christmas, (Thanksgiving) Fashion Statement, (Valentine's Day) Heart's Afire, (Easter) It's Rabbit Season, (St. Patrick's Day) Caught Red Handed, (Independence Day)No Child Left Behind, & (New Year's) Reflection.

What inspired you to write this book?

Two things; first I was working at a call center job one day, at the time I was polishing Family Plots and one day when it was slow, I got thinking of how to write a murder mystery into a poem like A Visit from Saint Nicholas. So I printed out a copy of the poem and went line by line, stanza by stanza and in a few day banged one out.

Secondly one of my bigger influences Janet Evanovich has written four holiday Stephanie Plum novellas and they are a little different than her normal Plum Series. I liked the idea of a holiday themed mysteries but resisted the idea for a bit, because I didn’t want to be accused of ripping off Ms. Evanovich. So I waited till I had enough original ideas, and being her four are somewhat holiday mythic/mystical and mine are straight up mysteries for the most part the differences are clear as glass.

What is the writing process like for you?

The manner in which I write has changed and evolved in the twenty years I’ve been writing. Originally I did everything long hand in notebooks, nowadays I am using a laptop. Also in the two decades I’ve been writing I’ve learned a lot from books, college courses, and talking with writers who’ve started making their careers go somewhere. One of the smartest things I did was bought, read, re-read, and made one of my ‘Holy Bibles’ Janet Evanovich’s How I Write. On of her disciplines I adopted was charting what happens everyday in the story. Basically I equate writing like building a house or human body. The daily chart I write up is a skeleton or framework, then when I write the story I’m filling in the muscles, veins, arteries, & nerves. When a book is undergoing the polishing and cover work, etc, that’s the skin, hair, and eye color. I look at this daily charting almost most like a general road map. Ok I want to take a road trip from Buffalo , NY to Boston , and I see the direct route. I know where I’m starting and where I want to go, but how I’m getting there and what takes place, like side trips, or sights, all that happens in-between the first page and the last page.

Another ‘Bible’ I use is my Baby Naming Dictionary for my characters. There’s a science behind naming successful characters and not just picking names out the air or the phone book. Before it took me about a week to pick my names and now I’ve got it down to two-three days. This falls under my type of research, what I mean is I’ve always been good at research and it’s vital when writing, especially mysteries. For my first mystery I had to research a large number of different subjects, including but not limited to; firearms, sex enhancing drugs, the Senate and it’s committees, and organized crime families in New York State & Buffalo, NY.

I realized how vital this research was when I switched from the more superhero based books to mysteries. With one the rules were out the door for a good chunk, but I couldn’t do that with my mysteries. Yes I make up the rules, but if I start writing like I don’t know what I’m talking about, I lose my credibility and let the readers I’ve picked up, granted it’s not a lot right now, down. Essentially I have to remind myself, yes I am writing for me because it’s what I love, but on the other hand I’m also in a customer service field. I work for folks who want to read a mystery and are looking for something specific. Hopefully they like what I’ve written, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Having worked in customer service fields in a number jobs, I realized like this is universally across the board, whether at a store, being the President of the United States , or being a professional writer.

What did you do before you became an author?

When I was in high school I first had aspirations of becoming a comic book artist, then that switched over to becoming a professional wrestler. That was the year I got the writing bug thanks to Kolchak: the Night Stalker, and began writing movie reviews for my school newspaper. I dabbled and bobbed around with a few ideas, but still went after a wrestling career until 1995. Things didn’t go the way I’d hoped, but maybe that was for the best. I had a few meaningless jobs, then in ’97 I went to college and took some classes, mainly humanities and creative writing, which is where things gelled for me a bit more. All through it I held onto my Rainbow Warrior ideas. So in-between colleges and writing I had a number of day jobs to pay the bills. For three years I worked at Blockbuster and still miss the free rentals. Well I am a movie buff & collector. All through it I’ve been banging away and huffing it out. Currently to help pay my bills I’m working at the brand new Buffalo Bills store at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
  How does it feel to be a published author?

Accomplished and proud. Back in ’94 when I started writing I had some folks who thought ‘Oh this is nice, but you’ll never break in and get published.’ You have to understand if there’s one word to use in describing me it’s defiant. You tell me I can’t do something, sooner or later I’m damn going well prove you wrong. I also feel obligated to continue writing and struggling to reach those goals I set for myself. I made a promise to myself years ago, that someday I’d reach the best seller list, even if it’s just once.

 Any advice for struggling writers?

Yes if you’re serious about writing DON’T GIVE UP. Two things come to mind; one is Sir Winston Churchill’s speech to the Harrow School in October of 1941. The portion of his speech I focus on is the following;

“You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period - I am addressing myself to the School - surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.”

One must remember the period of history Great Britain was facing in the fall of ’41. Basically they were alone at facing the threat of the threat of the Axis powers, that is until December that year. I believe anyone who is looking make a career doing what they love, writer, painter, actor, whatever can take a lot away from Mr. Churchill’s words. Yes he was talking about facing a threat to the world, but these are still good & important ideas that can be applied to everyday life.

A second piece of advice is follow the words of Barry Manilow. I’m a huge fan of his and in one of his live concerts, his number God Bless the Other 99, Manilow says;
Well I may have imagined singing back then but you know when I actually got into the music business, it wasn't as a singer at all: it was as an accompanist.
I started out playing for auditions, and from where I sat I learned alot because only one out of a hundred ever got the job they were auditioning for. Really, one out of a hundred.
But that didn't stop the sir. I learned you can give in, you can give out, but never give up.
I’d also advise learn all you can, especially about your particular genre, the history so you can develop an appreciation for those who came before and paid their dues, and honed their craft, so you learn. At a base minimum buy yourself a good dictionary, thesaurus, a book of synonyms and antonyms, a dictionary of Baby names, and a digital recorder. Keep the recorder with you day & night. You’ll never know when or where your next idea will hit you and you don’t want to be without some way of saving it. A recorder will work beautifully when you’re driving and this happens, trust me.

Where do you see book publishing headed to?

It’s hard to say. What I mean is when I started writing twenty years ago there was no Kindle or Nook, or e-books, and everything’s grown and expanded and an amazing and alarming speed. The industry has had to change and expand or die. Basically the past twenty years have turned hundreds of years of one way of doing something on its head. With new technologies it’s hard to say where things may lead to, but I do believe people will always have a primal need for new stories and ideas, to learn, to expand their minds, to be entertained. There’s always a need for new entertainment and I do believe books are one of the best forms, because they have the power to take a reader to anywhere, anytime, to do anything. The readers’ imaginations can fill in the characters’ elements to a degree, similar to the golden days of radio. Now I admit I love the feel of a hardcover in my hands, my mother loves her Kindle and I think the technology is amazing, but on a personal level I’m a very old fashioned guy, but that’s me.

I’m also a serious Star Trek fan, (but not a Trekiee), and if there’s one thing I realized in the decades since the original series aired, it almost seems as if the science and tech has played catch-up with was seen on T.V. To a degree this has happened with the communicators becoming cell-phones. Another case from the Next Generation (in ’87 to the early ‘00s) to Voyager, was the crews had books on small electronic tablets. This was decades before the E-readers. I think books will always be with us, because humans will have a need like I mentioned, but it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. Whether you prefer hardcover, paperbacks, or some form of E-Book they’ll be there. But as the tech grows and advances the publishing industry will grow with it all.
If your book were made into a movie, who would be the hero and heroine?

To be honest I have no idea. Right now I can imagine Family Ties, Family Plots and Killer Holidays as a movie, especially with a lot of garbage Hollywood produces, but as for who the actors would be I’m not sure. I can see some of the supporting cast like the Angelo Family lawyer/ consigliore, Aldirch Kaufman being played by John O'Hurley from Seinfeld, but as for John Seraph I don’t know. I am positive if I got this lucky to have a movie based off of one of my books I’d want to have a serious hand in the screen writing process. I’ve heard Sue Grafton talk about the horror stories of her screen writing days of when she worked on some of Agatha Christie’s books for T.V. movies, and how Robert B. Parker had issues when it came to the television series Spenser: for Hire which was based off of his novels.

I also think my books would be perfect for the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries network considering how many mystery programs and their own original movies they have produced.
 Excerpt from Killer Holidays: Reflections.


To be totally fair and a hundred percent accurate, things really started to change for me two years ago, at Halloween. I’d been attending Buff State for about a year and half, when in the fall semester, in late September, a headless motorcyclist began running around campus terrorizing students. I was working a Halloween party on campus and when the Rider, as the headless motorcyclist was called, made an attempt to kill a professor, I stopped it from happening. Little did I know this would be the start of things for me.

That Christmas I was working a seasonal job at a local, indie bookstore, when a co-worker was killed and I figured out who did it. The following spring, I made local headlines when I uncovered the truth behind the disappearance and murder of Dana Tillis. In the process I derailed the political hopes of many, including former Senator Kingsley Addar. On Black Friday, I cleared my sister of a murder charge she was being railroaded into, then just before last Christmas, I hunted down the people who killed my neighbor Rory Duffy. My only regret is that I couldn’t kill them more than once.

On Valentine’s Day I got a helluva scare when I received anonymous secret admirer valentine poems. At first I thought it was someone I had pissed off, which was growing to be quite a list, but my admirer turned out to be an eighth grade student I was tutoring.

St. Patrick’s Day weekend I prevented a Northern Irish terrorist from killing a lot of innocent people here in Buffalo , but the lunatic got away. On Easter I dealt with what at first I thought was a madman, targeting children at an Easter egg hunt, but really he was just a guy looking for an engagement ring he lost. Then came May.

Just before the spring semester ended, a student was found shot to death at Buff State and it looked like his professor did it. Several people at the college wanted to close the case and make it vanish and didn’t care if an innocent man was being framed. I dug around and exposed the truth. This was the beginning of the end for me and the start of the downward spiral which lasted throughout the summer and that I’m still dealing with.

I lost my job at the school library, and got suspended from school. I was told if I wanted, I could enroll for the upcoming spring semester, I decided against it. I had had my fill. I fought hard to clear an innocent man, it was a hard-hitting, rough road where I was assaulted several times by so-called friends and classmates, and almost got killed on campus. Then I got thrown under a moving train for protecting myself. Granted, I armed myself and carried my .44 Mateba on campus, but I do have a CCW, that’s a Carry Concealed Weapon license. If that’s how the administration and the student body were going to treat me, the Devil can have them all. After that all ended I was reminded of an Italian saying; Meglio un giorno da leone che cento de pecora. Translation, better one day as a lion than a hundred as a sheep.

The real gut kicker for me this year was on the Fourth of July. I ran into my ex-fiancĂ©e, her husband, and their daughter, who was kidnapped by a pedophile wanted by the FBI. I helped find and save the girl, then told the pezzo di merda if he somehow ever got out, I’d be waiting for him.

I was worn out from the attempts on my life, of dealing with my family, of Buffalo State College, and of the fiasco my love life has become. In the past eighteen months I’d been involved with two amazing women, but I needed a new definition for complicated around Saint Patrick’s Day. Honestly, I can’t blame anyone but myself. In one case, it had become a matter of trust and of my own bullheadedness; in the other, it was a matter of career goals over my feelings and privacy. I still love both Crystal and Bobbie, but I think I’m at the point where I need to let them both go. I’m reminded of a line from Julius Caesar, whereCassius says, ‘the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

 Buy Links:
 Author Contact Info:
Other books by the author at Melange
Family Ties, A John Seraph Mystery
Family Plots, A John Seraph Mystery
All Hallow’s Evil, A John Seraph Mystery
Books by the author at Publish America
The Rainbow Warrior: Genesis
The Era of Heroes
Thank you


  1. Interesting article but the book sounds AMAZING! Really interesting!

    1. Thank you Julie for stopping by my blog. All the best to you.

    2. Thank you Julie. You flatter me! It was a doozy to write and some stories were harder to bang out than others for personal reasons, but the hard work was worth it. We're looking at a Jan. 22nd release. If have any questions feel free to drop me a line.