Friday, June 28, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I don’t know what the weather is like where you live. If tornadic weather is a mainstay. But I hate spring in early to mid summer in Kentucky for a lot of reasons. I don’t officially live in tornado alley, honestly I don’t think my heart could take it if I did. I mean nothing good could come of a place where ‘tornado’ and ‘alley’ are synonymous with each other. I mean severe thunderstorms are bad enough.

Wednesday my home was hammered by two rounds of severe thunderstorms. And in retrospect I’m grateful that the first round came through early in the day, around four in the afternoon. It took some of the energy out of the atmosphere for the second round later that night. What I didn’t really bank on was that second round going late into the night.

 I was at Missy’s house and it was raining hard and it was putting on quite a light show. So as it began to die down I decided I would drive home.

Yes. You heard me right. Miss Chicken Little herself when it comes to bad weather decided at the tail end of a severe thunderstorm it would be a ‘good idea’ to get out and drive in that shit. I’m telling ya’ I’m a fuckin’ genius for making that move.

There was a flash flood warning out. And as I drove home listening to the AM station for weather, I got to listen to the same system that had just passed through my area was now spawning tornados to the south of Bullitt County.

I was driving across the county on a back road. Really the only way to get to Shepherdsville from Mount Washington was the back road and it was dark, mostly unlit and each time I hit a large pond of water the car jerked, giving me a heart attack several times over.

I don’t like to drive in the rain, and even clouds give me the heebie jeebies if they look dark enough. I’ve set under a wall cloud before in the middle of gridlocked traffic and that’s an experience I NEVER need to repeat. Fortunately nothing snaked its way down from there but a gush of relief washed over me when it began to rain. And that weekend I ended up staying at my  aunt and uncle’s house. You know, the ones with the basement and a landlady from hell? Well, no you wouldn’t know that but they are my safe house in a storm.

When I got home I was tangle of frazzled nerves and jagged edges. I went in my room to work and quickly realized I was tense and when my night meds kicked in I was emotionally drained and the thought of anymore work getting done while I was awake was an ephemeral dream. I crashed and burned and slept from 11PM to almost 5PM uninterrupted. Which these days is unheard of. Usually I sleep until 2AM get up set up to work and around an hour or two later fall asleep.

I know I need a new mattress but I don’t have the kind of money it takes even to buy a $99 one, but with Fandom Fest/Fright Night coming, Killer Nashville, Night Risers Expo and Film Fest I have no extra money. It’s not like I blow my cash on irresponsible items. But I’m hopeful that one day this small press success finds mainstream success and can afford a new bed. A new mattress and a house with a basement to put them in.


Amy McCorkle

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I have several victories to report. One, GEMINI’S LEGACY is done and awaiting edits. Two, WHEN DOVES CRY, the second short novel I was working on is finished. That means, since February, I have completed a novella, CITY OF THE DAMNED, two feature length screenplays, and the two short novels. All I can say is HOT DAMN. I have never been that productive in my life. And did I mention I’m 17K into book 1 of my BELLA MORTE series?

All of this on the heels of my BOUNTY HUNTER screenplay finaling in the Fright Night Film Festival makes the hard stuff all worth it. All of the books are contracted for publication. And I’m waiting to hear back on the Claymore competition at Killer Nashville for LEGACY and Sundance and Austin for YOU’RE THE REASON and Austin for CITY OF THE DAMNED screenplay.

I have never felt so blessed in my entire life. Finishing projects used to be my Achilles heel. When I was in high school my Aunt Rosie, my first official fan said I’m not going to read anything else by you until you finish it. Then it became I can only work on one project at a time.

And then thanks to a wonderful person who put up with my incessant need to read my cards gave me the message, the Universe favors any idea you start now. And boom 4 projects all finished. BOUNTY HUNTER was written last year over a period of four months (the screenplay). Breath of Life was written from August to September. Gemini’s War was written from October until the middle of November.

It’s been an especially good run creativity wise. And now that I’m onto book 1 of BELLA MORTE I can really focus and lose myself in the story. It may come along faster now that the other books are finished.
Of course, I have two other projects in the que waiting to be written, the conclusion of GEMINI RISING and the screenplay adaptation of Gemini’s War. Then of course the rest of the BELLA books.

Some say I’m fortunate to be able to do what I do full time. And I’ll admit, they’re right. But when I organize my day a ton can be get done. And the marketing gig is going fantastic. I have lots of ideas. Some that can be implemented now and others that have to wait. I’m kind of in a holding pattern right now. But that doesn’t mean when I get the green light I won’t be off like a shot. Hell, I think I’m bombarding my boss now with ideas.

At some point in my career I would like to help the people who have helped me along the way. Whether we’ve fought and made up or fought and not made up. At some point people are helping me.

As you’ve seen my life is like a roller coaster. I don’t want a roller coaster. I want balance. Harmony. Joy. But I know anything worth having comes with the good and the bad. And right now I’m blessed with a multitude of ideas. But book 3 in GEMINI RISING is still unformed in the back of my mind. And I’m too exhausted with the story to contemplate writing the screenplay my publisher has asked to see. So I’m working on my passion project at the moment. BELLA MORTE.

As I’ve mentioned Fandom Fest is going to be off the chain for me. Kevin Smith, sitting on panels, a dealer table, a sanctioned event I’m putting on to launch GEMINI’S WAR, a photo with one of my other heroes, Adrian Paul, and the icing on an already delicious cake, and awards ceremony where I’m a finalist.

I wish I had some kind of crystal ball where I knew whether or not I won. But to be honest my weekend is so jammed packed full of cool shit I should be able to distract myself until the big reveal as to whether I go home with hardware or not.

So as I close out this letter, I want to extend the invitation to Fandom Fest for my launch to you and your family, I know I’ve already invited you once, but I think it bears repeating just how much your work inspires me in my work.


Amy McCorkle

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I’m excited. Really, really bursting from within excited. Missy was able to get tickets to the Kevin Smith Event at Fandom Fest. I know this is going to sound corny and lame but as writing partners we kind of pegged him as one of our heroes.

We came into this screenwriting gig a few years after he hit it big with CLERKS. And if you’ve ever worked in movie rental place or worked a stop ‘n rob (convenient store) then you know why a certain generation kind of glommed onto him the way that they did and made him a cult hero.

He’s actually a talented guy and gifted storyteller. I’ve read several of his memoirs he’s funny, empathetic, and has an incredibly strong voice as a writer. I think he’s sorely underrated in the industry, but I think he proved his worth and guts with Red State. An my personal favorite movie of his, Zach and Miri Make A Porno. Which they do, but it’s actually a warm, romantic comedy wrapped up in his signature bawdy style.

Some people are offended by that sort of thing. I’m just not. When you’re doing something because you have a passion for, it shows. Now, Zach and Miri isn’t actually one of his box office successes. He’ll tell you it broke is heart opening weekend. For an interesting take on this read his Tough Shit memoir it’s an eye opener on this business and how the person you thought you could trust can change in devastating heart beat.
He’s a fascinating guy and even though I’m not going to get to actually shake his hand and meet him I’m going to get to see him to do what he does best. The movie he will be screening is produced with his best friend Jason Mewes.

Theirs is a long and tested friendship, fraught with Jason’s battle with addiction and when Jason was struggling to stay clean Kevin opened up his huge heart and they produced this film together. At the end of each screening of the film they do a podcast and it’s like therapy and it helps Jason stay clean. That’s love, that’s friendship. And all the reason more to admire a man like him, and admire Jason for travelling the path to sobriety and being clean.

I know from experience with my best friend that the path to sanity has not always been easy, and for a while I laid down my screenwriting and filmmaking dream and explored novels, novellas and short stories for a while.

And then I saw his Burn In Hell tour on youtube. He was inspiring and although I had written Bounty Hunter with no pressure. From March to April Missy and I wrote two more scripts. Which we promptly entered in Austin. And You’re the Reason we took a snowball’s chance and entered it in the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab competition. We’re hopeful, but standing out amongst thousands is no small task. But I’m pleased to say to say I feel inspired and like I can stand tall where once I would have wilted. Everyone who reads this please cross their fingers for my upcoming competition, Fright Night. If you so choose that is. Nothing compares to the thrill of finaling. With the exception I think of winning, which honestly is just the icing on an already delicious cake.


Amy McCorkle

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I took some time yesterday to relax and heal up from last week’s turmoil. The situations have resolved themselves. Both to my satisfaction. I was able to save a twenty year friendship with one and able to co-exist professionally with the other.

There are people who helped me who haven’t been mentioned on the blog or in the letters not because I don’t recognize what they’ve done for me, but because in some ways I wish to keep that part of my life private. And while I want to take this chance to thank everyone who has ever helped me in whole or in part, I want those who live out of state to know sometimes your distance from me simply puts you out of my frame of reference from time to time. Kind of, out of sight out of mind. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate all the wonderful things my friends have done for me.

It’s just when people are less than positive in how they approach me I get angry, defensive. I think sometimes they mean one thing but their words say something else entirely. But a twenty-year friendship isn’t something I let go by the wayside so easily. And I love those involved. (Not romantically, the only thing I love with a passion is my writing time. Not even the career. The actual act of writing.)
I don’t have a lot of friends, and to throw the ones who’ve, yes, proven themselves to be there for me at times emotionally when others haven’t well, one misunderstanding isn’t worth throwing the baby out with the bath water.

There aren’t many to celebrate with. And they won’t be able to come for the awards ceremony of Fright Night but they will be someone I call and tell first thing. Although, this may be a place where I come and jump up and down and squeal if my miracle of miracles I win.

One thing I’m super hyped about is this marketing director position. To be honest I’m a little nervous. It’s a lot of work. I don’t do anything halfway and I don’t want this job to be any less so. I really like and respect my boss and co-owner and I’m excited that my best friend is on board too. It’s something apparently I’m good at and I hope to do the owner and founder proud by the work I do.

And by taking the time off that I did yesterday I think I’m going to get a ton done today. Which is awesome. Finding balance is so hard for me. I tend to burn the candle at both ends and then something bad happens and I crash and burn. I plan on doing some marketing work for all of my houses today. Some simple things like sharing my covers for Hydra and Muse. And some more extensive work for the new house. And looking to list my Bounty Hunter book on some free sites for a July 15th and 16th giveaway my publisher has planned.

I’m really proud of the time taken off yesterday. Even if it only was four hours. I ate dinner out and hung out with my best friend, Missy and it was just a nice relaxing evening until about nine. Then I wrote  and at ten I watched the Nanny with my mom.

I know, exciting, right? I like it when my life is uneventful. The most exciting I want it to get is when positive, fun, loving things happen in my life. Like finaling in contests, or maybe even going far enough in the competition to win. Like signing contracts for books I’ve written. Or seeing them in print and fan mail or a positive review.

Something last week definitely brought home. You can never be humble enough, or happy enough when dealing with success at any level.

And as for those who don’t understand. Or are bitter  and jealous and want to lay into you, or perhaps even want to ride on your coat tails of success. As much as I say HATERS ARE MOTIVATORS, I know there is nothing I can do to control that particular element of the reading and writing population. All that I can do is control how I react.

I know as alone as I feel sometimes there are those out there who make it better. Who do things to help ease the pathway of struggle. But it’s still hard. And I’ve been through a lot in my life. Which makes the success I’m experiencing now all that much sweeter. The fact I get to share it with my friends makes it all that much better.


Amy McCorkle

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Tell me, is there something in the water? Have all of my acquaintances suddenly taken a crazy pill and decided they get to control what I put on here as well as tell me how to run my career? Because at least as fucked up as my family is they lay of me professionally. I know I have attained a certain amount of success. Thanks to people showing me the way, helping me out, not all of them get mentioned. If I named everyone who ever helped me out with grocery money this blog would be never ending. And even though the person probably deserves an obligatory mention, which means I would have eventually gotten around to it, I will 
 NOT be bullied into doing something out of guilt or perceived obligation.

I’ve helped a lot of people out. They thank me at the time. Some have parlayed that help into something bigger. Do I get the credit for it, no. Does it bother me that they don’t freaking sky write it for me to be noticed by the public at large? No. And in the end all I did was make the initial meeting possible. They did the hard work of nurturing the relationship and parlaying it into something pretty awesome. All the credit goes to them.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I knew what it was like to go to bed hungry and wake up hungry. I was accused of lying. I was told this blog was nothing but a pity party and pure fiction and that I didn’t know the truth from fiction anymore.

My life much like the bipolar disorder is filled with extreme highs and lows. Which can make it difficult to sound happy. I never expected blow back from a blog I sat down to write as a thank you to you and use it as a way to from my memoirs. The person I speaking about is my ex. And out of respect I have not broadcast the tumultuous details of the journey we’ve taken from couple to good friends. He wasn’t great boyfriend material, but I was a batshit crazy untreated bipolar 19 year old. I’m not even going to mention his name. Because well, I’m big on paying it forward but I’m pretty private when it comes to that sort of thing.
Does it piss me off that his wife wants to take credit for it all? Well, I’m only human, of course it does. She didn’t write the books. She didn’t edit the books. She didn’t write the screenplays. Or enter the contests or submit to publishers or publish. They paid for one $40 advert and one $25 haircut outside the groceries.

I hate to say it, but HATERS ARE MOTIVATORS. And she wanted a thank you. So thank you. For the above mentioned things. One thing I will not do is give them any more space in my life.

But like I said highs and lows right? I mentioned other professional friends, right. That I’ve earned the reputation as being something of a marketing whiz. I honestly don’t know how it happened. But I was taught everything I know by the likes of Christine Bell, Lea Schizas, and the film industry as a whole.

I was asked today to be the marketing director of a new epub company. And the series I’m working on BELLA MORTE has been accepted for publication there. ALL 8 BOOKS! So as hard as the week has been I have only one more stressful event to attend to. The signing at Joseph –Beth. After that clear sailing.


Amy McCorkle