Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Tonight was the pre-launch red carpet event for my Gemini Rising Trilogy. It included a Booktrailer Film Festival, prizes for the participants provided by my publisher, Blackwyrm and myself and my writing partner on Gunpowder and Lead. A lively discussion about flame throwers and rocket launchers and vision boards was had. And Dave Mattingly, the head of Blackwyrm, interviewed me and asked me about my path to publishing.

My audience was small. But they were fans. Missy says I like them best of all my cousins because they’re my fan club. And in a sense they are. They look up to me. Two out of three of them want to be novelists and one I think harbors dreams of being a songwriter and writes poetry. I really adore them. They helped me at my launch of GLADIATOR last year. Well, two of them did. One was touring Europe with the Musician Ambassadors program through the University of Louisville, and her younger sister will probably be doing the same program her senior year.

They’re chomping at the bit to read my books. Many of them are on the spicier side so they have to wait until they’re eighteen. But the one I was talking about tonight was Gemini’s War and I pitched that as James Bond meets the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. And it’s more violent than it is steamy so they can read it. Which is odd. I’d much more wary of the violence than I was of the sex.

Only two of my three cousins were there tonight. But I was touched they came. I got lots of hugs and congratulations on the book. I’m so used to people being non-plussed in family about what I do that the attention was jarring. Rebekah was nervous and was tongue tied. I told her it was just me, Amy. But she bought my book Bounty Hunter, so I autographed it for her.

I thought of her and how she viewed me and my status, and how I view you. Not that I’m anywhere near as a fraction of the smallest negative you can think of successful as you. But I would be tongue tied around you and I’m sure you would think I’m just me. I’m just a guy. Who acts for a living. This hero worship thing is unnerving and really has nothing to do with me.

But I’ve been in Rebekah’s shoes. I’ve met some of my heroes. I got to meet Maurice Benard of General Hospital, he’s been filming the Ghost and the Whale. He has bipolar disorder and does a lot of awareness campaigning for people to recognize the illness in themselves. His willingness to be as open as he is, is the reason I recognized the symptoms in myself and sought treatment before I had a psychotic break. And when I told him about that he was very sweet and very nice and listened. Even though I could see he was kind in an ‘up’ cycle. So I got anxious, my throat closed off and I couldn’t even meet his gaze. And he’s someone I would love to work with.

But as with you, I’m intimidated by his success as I am you with yours. I dream of working on projects with lots of different people. This summer I get to hear one of my writer heroes speak. Kevin Smith. I love his movies. Not all of them, but most of them. He’s a funny guy. He’s down to earth and he’s accessible to his fans. His speaking tours are probably my favorite though. He’s raw, he’s earthy, he’s inspiring, and he’s funny as hell. I won’t get to walk up to him and meet him, which is okay, I got to meet Scott Frank once and Jamie Foxx/Denzel Washington moment. I say dumb things when I’m nervous. And I was a lot star struck when I met him. I told him I don’t care that Out of Sight only made 30million box office I loved it. I was 23 and I was probably manic. But when I’m nervous I cry or I say stupid shit or both.

So when Rebekah was gushing and struggling in her first pitch I told her she would be fine. No one told me what is was to network. It was just some nebulous thing. Cool fact I got my first Guest of Honor Author gig at the Mystical Paranormal Fair in Lexington, KY June 15th and 16th this year. I’ve actually gotten a continuing series in Target Audience Magazine from this blog, a feature article on my newest series I’m writing, and an article for the print publication The Book Breeze. A gladiatorial epic that follows a girl seeking justice and vengeance from the age of 14 until the age 28.

I owe a lot to you Daniel. Like I said at the beginning. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. But I know your work. And it has inspired me to dream bigger than I ever thought possible.


Amy McCorkle

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