Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Sometimes you wonder if your career will ever take the jump that people dream of it making. Well, I feel like I’m doing my best to make that happen. Last night I signed the paperwork that made Alicia Justice of Jitterbug PR my first block in the business side of my writing career. I met her at Fandom Fest and she was ebullient and full of energy and seemed excited at the prospect of working with me.

She plans on adding publicist and literary agent to her name so I look forward to perhaps growing my career with her as time goes by.  Still no word on the film festival. Although I feel like I’m good enough to win I wonder if me being vocal about my dissatisfaction with my launch party and how it went. But like I said, I had some really cool shit come out of Fandom Fest.

I’m already planning for next year. Mysticon is on the horizon and I’d like to launch my Bella Morte series there. Right down to wearing a costume, ala Comic Con as a character from the book. I just wish I had some guy friends to dress up as the male characters Shane and Sam. Shane is the long lost parent who mentors Bella in book 1. And Sam is her friend turned romantic interest as the series progresses.
I have to admit, Fandom was such clusterfuck in some regards that I’m glad hell didn’t freeze over, you would’ve had no place to hide and I would’ve been embarrassed at the way my launch turned out for someone I admired so much to see firsthand.

But here’s the thing, I’m working on a novel I hope to take to the Big 5 in New York should they still be standing via an agent. And I need to send the query letters out that I have for my screenplays with Missy. All signs are telling me it’s time to take the next step up. And I have to admit, I’m a little scared to do so.

I have to wonder was it like this for you when your career was budding and you had to start getting people to do certain things for you as opposed to doing everything yourself? I recently landed on the front of the local newspaper because I arranged it. The interview went fantastic and it was a wonderful experience. I know one day I won’t want that attention. But it’s one of those things that I want people to know about my books, and let’s face it, authors are not afforded the same attention by the media that rock stars and actors and movie people are. And I’ll be honest, part of me is grateful for that.

The anonymity it affords me is wonderful. I’m allowed to kind of develop at my own rate and the success, hard won, is sweet. Perhaps one day we will get the opportunity to work together. Although I’ll be honest, there’s a part of me that fears true social interaction. And you’re just a person I know but your work has been influential on my career. And I can’t really overstate that enough.

I have a question, one I don’t really expect an answer too, but it’s more rhetorical than anything else. What do you do when someone you know, or even a fan takes a dangerous turn and you start to wonder about their sanity and your safety?


Amy McCorkle

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dear Daniel, Stan Lee Ate My Food.

Dear Daniel, Stan Lee Ate My Food,

Well, I don’t know if he helped himself to it, but certainly everyone else did. Let me explain. For the most part Fandom Fest was a success for me. My table had great placement by the celebrities. I sold a total of 33 books. 15 of Gladiator Chronicles, 6 of Gemini’s War, and 12 of Bounty Hunter. I met Grant Wilson, who knew how to make it not weird for a geek to talk to him. We ended up talking writing and graphic novels and he gave me his card and he told me to shoot him an email after Fandom Fest. Which I’ve done. I also gave him complimentary copies of Bounty Hunter and Gemini’s War.

I met and had my picture taken with Brian O’ Halloran, Dante of Clerks fame. I had my picture taken with Jim Cornette, a local wrestling legend. All three of them gracious and kind and just so happy to make a fan happy. And then I met Adrian Paul. I don’t think he knew what to make of me, I handed him my books and I think he thought I was a fangirl giving him fan art. But I wasn’t. Those books were written and hard won into publication. One was a bestseller and the other an award winner. I’m not sure he liked being there. Which is understandable, the organization of Fandom Fest left much to be desired. Which brings me to my book launch party.

Directly before me was the Stan Lee Meet and Greet. Stan is a legend and far be it from me to besmirch the
man. But I paid for a room party and got pushed from an 8 o’clock start time to 9:30PM. The food meant for my party had been eaten by the people in the Stan Lee Meet and Greet. We finally get in, the band sets up and rocks the house for three songs before the hotel threatens to cut the power to the room. Cops close the doors to the crowds coming in and the ones there step out. Leaving me with a busted up book launch.
That being said, my guest authors were wonderful, Sb Knight, and Pamela Turner helped me put on one heck of a Q&A panel and I managed to sell two copies of Gemini’s War to an almost empty crowd. Thanks to Dave I had a beautiful cake that was also delicious.

And the icing on the cake? The awards ceremony was cancelled due to death and illness by the organizers of it, the winners will be notified over the next several days. I still have my fingers crossed and oh, by all the walking from the pedway to the convention hall I lost six pounds.

So I wait to hear on this festival, the Claymore, and Austin and Sundance. And from Grant Wilson. I also found a PR person to take my brand to the next level. Hopefully you’ll be hearing from me soon professionally, and not just from this blog.


Amy McCorkle

Friday, July 26, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Yesterday was the best of times it was the worst of times. Walking the pedway between the Galt House and the Kentucky International Convention Center and back = hell on earth to a big out of shape girl like me. But here’s the beauty of it. I made it. Gasping, heaving, sweating like a state fair pig I made it. And while resting in the bar area on the way back to my room I saw Grant Wilson of Ghost Hunters fame. He now does graphic novels and games. Well, Missy and I went back to our hotel room and had dinner. Jimmie Johns is wonderful when you’re on a budget and you don’t want to walk anywhere else.

Having cooled off and gotten some nosh in I started getting antsy but wasn’t especially hip to going to the exhibitors’ party. If only because standing up after the walking we’d done earlier seemed like a real chore. Instead we went back to the deli/bar area and sat down and chit chatted down in that area.

That’s when Grant Wilson made his appearance again. A group of fans wanted his picture and I have to admit. I wasn’t any different. These other girls were very forward and it was hard to get his attention at first. And when I first spoke I found it difficult to do so. But a funny thing happened.

His kindness and sweetness allowed me to talk about the fact I was an author at the Con and then the conversation led to graphic novels and the fact he had a series of them. Which led to him asking me if I would be interested in writing for them. I said yes, he said he knew a bunch of guys at Marvel looking for writers and he gave me his card and he told me to shoot him an email.

The icing on the cake I got my picture taken with him. Of course, I know nothing is a fate accompli in situations like this. That this is simply an opportunity presenting itself. It’s a path I’ll wander down and see where it leads but when someone breathes the words graphic novels and Marvel in the same breath, it kind of makes you stand up and take attention.

That not withstanding, Grant Wilson, was kind to me. Generous with his time and stood a long time just speaking with me and my screenwriting partner Missy Goodman and another woman whom gotten lost, named Dana. I want to say Grant’s friend was named Mike, they were all awesome. And if this is any indication as to what this Fandom Fest holds in store for me it means good things are ahead for sure.

Sometimes things seem so dark, Wednesday I was featured on the front page of my local newspaper and I still couldn’t get my mother to and father to say they’d come to the awards ceremony. But I guess sometimes you take the bad with the good, and that you have to find validation elsewhere. Knowing you’ve worked hard has to be the reward and even though you want  Mom and Dad to love you for the effort you put forth sometimes you just have to know sometimes they’re so busy taking care of everyone else it can’t matter whether they clap for you or not.

But here’s the facts, they offered a celebratory dinner should I win the screenwriting competition, Fingers crossed. :)


Amy McCorkle

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I know it’s been awhile since I posted last. Recovering from such an onslaught of personal attacks against me personally and the blog itself really took a lot out of me. I wondered for a time if I’d even return to it at all. And then I realized, this was my fucking house and I can pretty much say what goes and what doesn’t on it. Let’s start with the beginning shall we.

As with any mental illness I deal with a lot of anxiety. And the controversy stirred up by well meaning but ill advised friends generated more of it than I realized. It paralyzed me from returning to my beloved blog. In the process I have neglected it. And myself to some degree. Even with the great news and the good time coming up this weekend (I am sooo going to rock Fandom Fest/Fright Night) my anxiety had gone up to levels I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

Anxiety at its worst has cost me jobs, because I simply could not function in regular work environment. My physical health deteriorated to such a degree I had to train myself to have enough endurance to conquer Fandom Fest. And I isolated myself in the house because I did not want to deal with any kind of crowd. They are projecting over 30K people at Fandom Fest/Fright Night. While that’s good for business it was starting to freak me out. Then Hydra is rearranging, so that means previous contracts are jettisoned because they can’t afford to put them out. Which is fine I had another home to take them to.  Bounty Hunter, on the other hand, which hit #9 on the Amazon Bestsellers list this last week remains are part of their stable as do Gunpowder & Lead Book 1 and Set Fire to the Rain. Bounty Hunter is the book I adapted to screenplay format and is a finalist Fright Night.

So all of that is taken care of and my tally of 31 contracts remains intact. But my anxiety was robbing me of much needed sleep, and instead of happy Amy there more negative attributes of my bipolar disorder were heightened. Irritablity, anger, nastiness. Just crap people shouldn’t have to deal with. With Fandom Fest days away I went to the doctor and begged him for help.

He said the only thing he could do was place me on an anti-anxiety pill. Which, if you know me, and you don’t, I have resisted for quite some time. It seemed I was taking a lot meds as it was for the bipolar disorder and I didn’t want to have to take any more medicine. Now I know some eschew medication, claiming it’s harmful for you, and in a since it’s physically hard on your body. But I remembered what I was like when first diagnosed with bipolar disorder and lithium saved my life. Eventually the side effects were too harsh I was moved off of it to Depakote ER which saved my life a second time. In time the doctors found the right combination and I’ve been able to put my life back together.

As it was I was sleeping one hour, waking up and trying desperately to go back to sleep unsuccessfully all over again. Until finally, desperate at the anxiety I was feeling light of recent events I let the doctor give me the lowest dose of Adavan he could. The result has been miraculous. I sleep better, I’m more relaxed, and I’m writing again.

I know there’s this terrible mentality that some in Hollywood perpetuate psychiatry is the devil’s playground, and that all you need is love. And while love is part of the formula for sanity if I didn’t take the meds I would be a lost soul. I have been so depressed in my life at times I didn’t get out of bed. Or worse, wanted to die.
Abuse of any substance is bad for you. But I am closely monitored by my doctor. Where I once required weekly therapy and 4 week intervals with my doctor. I no longer need the weekly therapy and I now see the doctor every 12 weeks.

Fandom Fest and Fright Night are going to be huge and I have my doctor, my best friend Missy, and yes, watching Cowboys & Aliens and Casino Royale to thank for getting me through my latest crisis. Thank you and once again you are invited to GEMINI’S WAR release party. There will be a rock band, a costume contest, giveaways, and light refreshment in the Brown Room on the second floor of the Galt House in Louisville, KY. I know, I live in the real world. You don’t know me, and in reality you have no idea this blog exists. But a fellow artist, and yes, fan, can always hope, right?


Amy McCorkle

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I finished book 1 of Bella Morte and am looking for my next project and find myself wanting to produce, create, write an indie soap. I know, some look down on the medium but I think it’s an underappreciated one. Of course, on television it’s almost impossible to break into that line of work. But in a web series it’s wide open. I want to put together a series bible. A damn good one and go to New York for the indie soap awards and pitch it to some possible partners. I know I’m good on the pitch. I’m damn good at it. But getting people to get on board with your dreams isn’t necessarily the easiest job in the world. And balancing that with commitments with my marketing endeavors with my new press and my series I’m working on in the publishing world seems like a lot.

The truth is, I love storytelling, in whatever medium it’s in. And I cut my teeth on soaps. I know, people don’t take you seriously when you work in soaps. But honestly, I write subgenre romance, to my mind I already work in the medium. And there is no shame in it. In fact, I feel like I’ve toiled on some hallowed ground.

I love the idea of a mob soap. Stories of a family that perhaps is falling apart because of the decay from within. But then, what do I know?

I have to sit down with the other half of my Hollywood brain, Missy and come up with the indie soap. I can write books on my own just fine. And even then I consult her.

I wish I could say I had this high minded look at art, but I just want to tell stories. And I suppose to that end, I am an artist. I wish I were more comfortable with that label. But I guess if I don’t respect my place in the world of storytelling no one else will.

Of course I could just write a series straight out of my series I’m writing for my new series. I think I might. But first I have to write the second book in the continuing series.

I am inspired to be sure. Funny that it took this letter to focus my energies to take the courageous step to write the second book in the series. I’m going to pitch it to ICM at Killer Nashville. It would seem I have a great deal of work to do.

I have no idea what the second book will be about. And since the second book belongs to the new house as does the other seven books, I feel like I have some freedom there that I wouldn’t have at a larger house in New York. Of course that doesn’t mean if I wrote longer I wouldn’t give the series a chance there.

The reality is I write anywhere from 25K-40K usually, but to garner that elusive print contract in New York you need 80K and the longest I’ve been able to write is 60K and even that needed some paring down.

Bella Morte casts the proto-type character I usually have for you as father/mentor type as opposed to the romantic lead. I feel kind of silly telling you that, but the heroine is fourteen in this series. I can’t say much more for fear of giving away spoilers of the series. So I’ll stop there. But if you’re interested in reading an excerpt in its very rough form, here it is, 

The indie soap is still very much on the table, but the idea of Bella Morte as a television series is just to delicious to contemplate. It would take a young actress with considerable acting chops to pull it off.
I’m a huge fan of Revolution on NBC, but Charlie, the daughter needs a little more seasoning. However Billy Burke is wonderful. As is Esposito. Both command the screen whenever they’re on it.
I want my series to sing like LOST did. Well, anyway, I need to get to work on the second book. And the pitch for the series and ICM. It’s not every day that company comes to the southern region of the United States.


Amy McCorkle