JAMES DRISCOLL // ARTS CONTRIBUTER
These are the words of Mike Eder, an alumnus of College of DuPage, published author and major authority on all things Graceland.
Idolizing Elvis Presley since the age of six, it appears his obsession with music and writing paid off. His book “Elvis Music FAQ,” has topped the Amazon charts before being released to the public.
Eder’s philosophy of “hard work and persistence equals success” is an admirable mantra for other COD students to follow.
Eder loved music and wanted to sing or be a DJ when he was a child, but lacked skills in both. “I had to be in the music business somehow. Writing about musicians gradually became my apparent skill, so I went with it.”
In an interview with the Examiner, Eder elaborates on his earlier writing life: “I have been writing since I was 14 when I first got an article on ‘The Three Stooges’ published, a well-made fan club magazine. The editor encouraged my writing and actually part of one of my articles got quoted in a Three Stooges’ book.”
Despite earlier success, the road to creative freedom was a long one. He wrote for various publishers, almost all centralized on Elvis Presley, for 10 years before he was asked to write his own book. Additional projects of his like the Beach Boys bio “I Can Hear Music,” took 20 years of development before the seeing the light of day in print.
Eder says, “Wait until you know how to do it. Take classes here, just do not give up. You can soar if you want to.”
We will see in the coming years, if these students’ careers take flight, but they’re certainly off to a super start.
Richard Ankarlo wrote a sci-fi novel under the pseudonym Xesin Ri, called “Stories About Corn.”
Currently taking education classes, Ankarlo loves to write and takes interest in alternate history and science-fiction genres. Other future projects include novels and a play, however the author describes how his experience in a COD English class taught him a valuable lesson in self-sufficiency:
“I enjoyed all my English classes at COD, but I would say that English 103 was a big one. We read Hamlet and then had to write an essay of what seemed an insurmountable amount of pages about the play… I learned there and then about reading and rereading a work until I was satisfied.”
“Stories About Corn” sells on Amazon in e-book form and the whole first chapter is available as a sample.
Andrew Bray has been working on his book since junior high. “Growing up I became a big fan of fantasy, so around seventh grade I began writing the story that is being completed currently. At the time I had no idea how much writing meant to me but it stuck around for so many years. by 2010 I came up with the book idea and haven’t stopped writing since.”
Before attending COD Bray spent two years as a professional wrestler on television in Louisville and briefly for the WWE in Chicago.
His fantasy novel is about a teenage wizard living on an island invisible to the human eye, and his courageous quest to recover amulets in order to save the island.
The book “The Legends of Avalon: A New Life,” releases next month, Nov. 26.