Truck Driving Author Leaps Into Film
By JOHN BRANCH– The Riverbank News
Truck driver and author Earl E. Gobel of Riverbank, who makes up stories as he drives and turned his steering wheel into his desk long ago, has come up with another idea to promote his books and that is to make a television series or full-length movie based on his most popular series.
He has written a series of books called “The Dugan Chronicles” that follows two Los Angeles homicide detectives, Matt Dugan and Kelly Moore, and he is assembling a cast and production crew to film the story.
The action is set in and around Los Angeles but Gobel plans to film in the Modesto area.
“It’s a local author, a local cast but about LA homicide detective. It will be challenging,” he said.
“I’ve been a third generation, professional truck driver for 25 years. My steering wheel turns into my desk as soon as I stop. My office is the cab of my truck,” he added. “My characters are a combination of those people that I’ve met and my own creation.”
Gobel has published more than dozen books, including the historical novel “Hearts of Grey” that concerns the Civil War and General Sherman’s march through South Carolina and “The Dugan Chronicles” which is now in its sixth volume. He uses the self-publishing company Xlibris, but noted some neighbors donated $1,500 to finance “Hearts of Grey.”
He was attending a creative writing class in junior high school in Phoenix, Ariz. when he first realized how much he liked to write, Gobel said. But like his grandfather and father before him, he turned to truck driving for a living and mainly wrote only poems and short stories until about five years ago when a friend pestered him into trying a novel. The resulting book “Trio of Evil” was a drama centered around the two L.A. officers and became the foundation of “The Dugan Chronicles.”
The cast he is assembling includes at least two actors from Riverbank, Rick Chavez as Detective Mike Stanley and Linda Mendoza as Detective Sharon Stone. Of his stars, Matt Dugan will be played by Chris Salas of Modesto and Kelly Moore (who becomes Kelly Dugan) will be portrayed by Tawnya Van Houten of Modesto.
Born in Los Angeles, Gobel has lived in Riverbank for 21 years, has been married to wife Kathy for 30 years and has four children. He finds his children talented. His youngest son at 14 is starting to write his own material, his youngest daughter “loves to draw animals,” his oldest daughter plays guitar, sings and dances and his older son is serving with the Army in Afghanistan.
Among his proposed production crew, Ron Lemmons of Ceres will direct the filming, John Walters of Long Beach is assistant production manager and Larry Peters of Sonora the cameraman.