Chris Lynch Talks about Writing the Eddie Haskel Biography

What is your background and when did you start writing books?


I have written for over 30 years, but I never really knew writing until about 8 years ago. To explain, I was caught up in wanting to become rich and famous from my writing – which is the absolute worst reason to want to write.

I was trying to write for the market, i.e. what would sell and make me money. None of my work sold, nor should it have.


Then, one day, I found out about a co-worker of mine who was so inspired by a local baseball coach, that he wrote story about him and it was published in the newspaper. That was the turning point for me; I realized I had to have passion about what I was writing about. I followed this new philosophy and the first year, I sold 5 articles.


You write both fiction and non-fiction. How do you switch your mindset from one to the other?


Again, it comes back to the passion. If I’m writing a non-fiction story, it has to be something that I believe in and am interested in. The same is true for fiction; I love my characters and my stories and so they are easy for me to write. I also think that the two forms of writing actually compliment each other. For instance, in my crime series, I love to use cliffhangers to propel the story along. When appropriate, I try to do the same thing with non-fiction to build excitement into the narrative.


Your biography of the television star Ken Osmond, who played bad boy Edie Haskell in Leave it to Beaver was recently released. How did you connect with him to write his life story?


Another actor from the series, Frank Bank, who played the character Lumpy, died in April of 2013. I noticed that the story trended for 3 full days on Yahoo. I realized then that there was still a lot of interest in the show and the actors. I saw that two of the characters from the show, Beaver and Lumpy, had both written biographies, but there was no biography available on Eddie Haskell, who is arguably the most iconic TV character who ever lived. I composed a pitch letter, signed a copy of my crime novel One Eyed Jack, mailed them off to Ken Osmond and promptly forgot about it.


I was surprised and delighted a month and a half later when Ken called me to tell me he loved One Eyed Jack and that maybe we should get together and have a beer to discuss having me write his life story. I don’t know what I was more excited about writing his life story…or drinking with Eddie Haskell!!


What was your writing process with Ken? How many interviews did you conduct with others for the book?


I probably conducted about 40 hours of interviews with Ken and his family. Add to that, interviews with Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers and even Alice Cooper, who was once rumored to have been Eddie Haskell in a previous life. I also interviewed Harry Shearer, who most people don’t realize played the forerunner to Eddie Haskell – a character named Frankie Bennett – in the pilot to the show, It’s a small World. There was also a lot of open source or primary research I did on the web to verify facts and add to the story. Tony Dow was very helpful as he still had some original scripts and shooting schedules, which really helped with the timeline.


What has been the reaction from readers and his former co-stars?


All of the co-stars were immediately on-board with the project as I figured they would be. Unlike many shows, on Leave it to Beaver, the cast members were all professional, and there were no set divas or feuds going on. The reaction from readers has been great. We recently did an event at a large library in the area and the line was out the door. Some employees of the library actually took vacation days just to be able to attend the event!


Probably the most unexpected thing that happened to me was having people approach me and actually thank me for writing the book. That told me that I was spot-on in figuring there was a desire for this book.



You have self-published all of your books and you give free seminars on the subject. Why do you prefer this option?


The publishing world is changing every day, and more and more mainstream authors are jumping ship and going the indie, self-pub route. Publishers no longer invest the resources in promoting books the way they used to, so unless you are one of the mega-stars – John Grisham, Danielle Steel – you are pretty much on your own as far as marketing and promotion. So why share the spoils with a traditional publisher?


The other thing self-publishing offers, is a tremendous time advantage. If you were to go the traditional route of finding an agent, the agent getting you a contract, and then having your manuscript go through the publishing mill, you are 2-3 years away from seeing your book available for sale – and even longer to see any money!


With self-publishing, I can have my manuscript edited, formatted, and uploaded with a cover in under six weeks. The POD (print on demand) book and e-book become available for sale just a couple of days later. My royalty checks begin arriving the next month.



What is the title of your latest crime novel and how were you inspired to begin the series?

The next novel in the One Eyed Jack series is Sin Tax to be released in mid 2015. In it, One Eyed Jack, our favorite professional blackmailer, uncovers a nefarious plot by a megalomaniac evangelist bent on doing whatever it takes to build his religious empire.


The series didn’t start as a series and instead was a short story I wrote about a professional blackmailer. I loved the story and the character so much, I decided to turn it into a novel. The novel has now grown to a series. I recently teamed up with Tony Dow – from the Leave it to Beaver show – to develop the novels into a TV series. Most people aren’t aware that Tony was a writer and director of many television shows such as Coach and Babylon Five.



The cover of the One Eyed Jack series is a photograph. Who is it?


That’s me. We shot the picture on the same day we made the video trailer for the book – which incidentally will hopefully help us sell the TV series.



How much research did you do for the series?

I do lots of on-line research, mostly on technology and so forth. And, since the series is set in my own backyard – the South Bay area of Los Angeles – I also go out and do lots of hands-on research for the scenes and such. One of the best parts is researching car chase scenes and driving the route of your characters. It’s a blast!


Christopher J. Lynch’s website:

One Eyed Jack video trailer:


3 Responses to “Chris Lynch Talks about Writing the Eddie Haskel Biography”

  1. Doug says:

    A really interesting interview.

  2. I enjoyed reading this blog interview. I wouldn’t miss a book in Chris’s One-Eyed Jack series and look forward to the next in 2015. I also am anxious to read the biography of Eddie Haskell and have put it on my Goodreads reading list.

  3. Chris’ latest work about the life of Eddie Haskell is not only brilliant, but an inspiration to writers looking to broaden their platform and introduce themselves to new readers. KUDOS to Chris for a job well done!

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