Friday, August 30, 2013

Dear Daniel Craig

 Dear Daniel,

I went to the movies today. Shocker, right? I mean I write stories for a living. Novels, short stories, screenplays. I’m thinking about tackling an indie soap, or television series bible, or even a graphic novel. 

Right now I’m waiting to hear back from Random House-Alibi imprint to see if they want more than just a pitch query letter when it comes to CORNBREAD. I’m proud of the short novel. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written. I mean it has thriller like elements but it’s more of a character study.

Anyway, back to the movie. Missy and I went to see Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler’. Lee Daniels assembled a top notch cast. Each person playing their role to effortless excellence. It got a little long at the end. But for that it can be forgiven, and the impact of the father/son relationship wasn’t lost on me, nor was the emotional moment that the father and son shared as Obama was elected president. I cried.

Rich performances by all. Forest Whitaker and Oprah especially moving as the struggling but loving couple who stick together even through human failings.

Fun fact: Lee Daniels gave us our first shot at being read by a production company. We sent an early draft of  You’re the Reason to his company in 2001. He came back to us to pass on the screenplay twice in the same year. The second time he called us and told us it wasn’t exactly what he was looking for, but that 
Missy and I had talent and that we should stick to it and hang in there.

Now we’re waiting to hear back from Austin Film Festival. We could hear back as early as next week. 
We’re hopeful to stay in the running for the Bronze Typewriter. As you never know what could come of such a career coup.

That being said, the last couple of days have been hard. Emotionally that is. So depressed, then up, then the computer hard drive crashes, then hunting for Microsoft Office 2007, getting the computer to where it would accept it. Arguing with Missy because I want to eat out so badly. Then being depressed again.

My mood has been all over the place. And getting disconnected from the manuscript makes things  harder than anything. But here I am plugging back in the best way I know how.

I am not a victim. I have overcome a great many things. I have worked hard. I have earned my success and hope there is more to come. I hope the same things for my friends and family who have supported me in this long journey. Even when it feels like I am all alone in this fight I have to remind myself that is not always the case.

Because even when I struggle, I have pets who love me unconditionally. Even when my loved ones who have me starve ;).


Amy McCorkle

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dear Daniel Craig

Dear Daniel,

I finished my novel. Well, short novel. As it is I’m proud of it. It was not an easy book to write. Well, I wrote like a woman possessed last week. And as of this week the book is done. I have submitted it to Blackwyrm, but I have taken a huge step and also submitted it to Random House’s Digital Imprint Alibi.  If picked up by Random House it would mean an advance and a royalty. How awesome would that be?
I filled out the form and sent it through. Now I wait for one to two weeks to hear from Random House and whether or not they want to see a partial or full manuscript. Blackwyrm is in the throes of Con season, which, honestly, so am I. The next stop is Context this September 27th-29th.

I will have three books there. The Gladiator Chronicles, Bounty Hunter, and Gemini’s War. I can’t wait to go with my friends Missy and Pam and I plan on participating in the flash fiction competition there. As you might have noticed by obsession with winning trophies. Maybe because I’ve won just about everything else. Ribbons, certificates, plaques, even medals.

But next week is big. Missy and I find out whether or not we advance at Austin. We really need the financial help as Austin is expensive. If we make it to at least the semi-final round we get a nicely discounted badge. We’d have to steal from Peter to pay Paul but with a little help I think the trip will be worth it.

Soon I will be publishing the letters. They’ll be available for sale on Amazon in both print and digital formats, but I plan on taking a bunch of them and handing them out at Austin as an ice breaker with people.

There are some people who find this to be a bad idea. But my gut tells me otherwise. I’ve always been an open book. That often leaves me vulnerable to attack. But I don’t really know how to lie all that well. So I don’t do it. I found when recovering in therapy from the abuse and the bipolar disorder that emotional truth sets you free. And that keeping secrets rots the soul.

I have no secrets. In stepping back onto the scene of a major independent film festival, where my first meltdown happened, it’s like facing down a demon and saying, ha, you didn’t best me. I took the best that you had to offer and you still couldn’t break me.

Don’t get me wrong, I was shattered when I left Texas. I felt like a complete and utter failure. I fell far short of my goals. But as I say that Missy called our time out there EPIC. And it was that too. We were to twenty-somethings, who, had we planned it a little better, and had I gotten treatment for my bipolar disorder instead ignoring the symptoms, we might have conquered the world a little sooner, maybe a little faster.

But it’s like every step you take brings to the place where you are now. She and I have walked through the fire. The kind of infernos that would consume lesser, weaker men and women and have come out on the other side of it.

I have 31 publication contracts. 8 of those are published stories three of those belong in a series, 1 of them is a series Missy and I collaborated on. I’ve won awards. I’ve had two Amazon bestsellers. Now I have finally submitted to a NY Publishing House, Random House-Alibi. Some would say I have conquered the world. But the reality is, I’ve yet to secure an agent or win a trophy or meet any number of my heroes, including you.

I have my mental health. I have a fertile imagination. I have good friends. And a drive that won’t quit. And a cat that loves me. Which is more than a lot of people can say.


Amy McCorkle

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dear Daniel Craig

Dear Daniel,

Sometime in the next few weeks the first volume of ‘Letters to Daniel’ will be available in book form, both e-book and print book for the public. After much consideration and thought, it will be without pictures and really, until people open the book they won’t have the foggiest of who I’m referring to. And again, these letters serve as a way for me to vent my frustrations, celebrate my triumphs, and share in my struggles against and with those that I love and hate. And of course, of my daily battle with bipolar disorder.

The last week has been a study in ups and downs. The incredible highs of churning out close to 20K words on my newest work, my first stab at an upmarket thriller or mainstream fiction. But at night the bottom would drop out. And I would feel scared and alone. Clingy and needy. And last night I had a full blown panic attack. Whether it was from the late night pounding of caffeine (which is a very real possibility) or just my anxiety at have taken a break after so much writing it doesn’t really matter. It happened. And as much as I wanted to watch Cowboys & Aliens I was afraid that it would mess with my mojo on the new book.

The state of my relationship with my family is this. I never see them. And when I do they’re taking their shit day out on me. I depend on Missy a lot these days. Because I really can’t count on my family for much. They let me stay here rent free. And they typically supplement my meals. Which for many would be enough to be grateful for. And usually I am.

But part of my illness demands that I have a strong support network. And let’s be honest, for the most part I do. Missy is fantastic and Pam is true blue too. And when they’re not busy coddling my baby sister and her babies or doing my younger sister’s bidding where her son is concerned my parents are pretty cool, even if it is to suit their own purposes. Such as, mom wants some privacy with dad. So she’s getting me a nice hotel room this Saturday night, getting me drinks and snacks and money for supper and breakfast. I mean, who does that for real?

That being said, Missy and I didn’t make the cut for Sundance. Our little indie romantic drama which explores the issues a abuse, suicide and mental illness probably wasn’t edgy enough to make the cut. Or the competition was just too stiff.

Now we wait to hear back from Austin. If you’re reading this, pray for us to get a phone call. That means we’re still in the running and we qualify for a $200 producer’s badge. And we need that help to make the trip. I mean there’s a reason why we’re living at our parents’ homes at age 38 and 39. It’s certainly not for our health. My mental health for one would be a hundred times better if I moved back out. But on a $754 disability check (monthly) trips plus bills wouldn’t be possible.

I moved back in with my parents a year ago. It’s been no pleasure cruise. Sometimes I wonder if they’ll ever truly appreciate what I do and how hard it can be. But at least they let me live here rent free. And when the food money on my end runs out, at least they let me eat with them.


Amy McCorkle

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dear Daniel,

Dear Daniel,

You ever have one of those holy craptastic moments where you think this is it? I really did it. I climbed, I fought and they’re really giving me a reward for it? Well the winners of the Fright Night Film Festival were announced really late last night. And maybe it’s a little late. And maybe nobody is watching, but we did it! Me and Missy really did it! Bounty Hunter, the book I was inspired to write after seeing Cowboys & Aliens, which inspired me to call on Missy to help adapt it to screenplay won Best SciFi Screenplay!

I know the reality is you’re not watching this or reading this, but I owe so much of this particular project to you Daniel. Your talent allows me to project my imagination onto what I need the character to do. If you were a limited actor I couldn’t do half the writing that I do. I tend to ‘cast my work. There are other actors but I do have preference for your style of acting so it’s easy to cast you.

Don’t get me wrong. What I do isn’t fan fiction by any stretch of the imagination. What I do is hard work. I like casting Eva Green and Kate Winslet in the female leads as much as I like casting the men. Cate Blanchett is another favorite. Jennifer Lawrence. Constance Towers. Maurice Benard.

I digress. I WON! And it’s because Cowboys & Aliens reignited my passion with all things scifi, dystopian, and western. So I really have you and a splendid cast, crew, director, writers, and producer to thank for that.

I cried last night. I know, it’s just a competition. Failure isn’t fatal and success isn’t permanent. But when you work hard and see it pay off it’s one of those things that makes you want to keep going.

It’s fuel for when you’re feeling down and thinking the whole world is against you. When you think everything’s a clusterfuck  and it makes you turn and see things aren’t all bad. That someone, professionals, people who work in the same arena as you do respect your work and it lets you know that even though you live in a nowhere town that somewhere thinks highly of your work and you’re not working in a vacuum.

I need to submit my screenplays to agents and production companies, I have the credits now, but I’m waiting to hear from Austin and Sundance. I’m sure that will impress people more, but I’ve never won a competition and it feels good to get one under my belt.

You know, I can almost forgive Fandom Fest and Stan Lee for eating my food. And I was on the cover of my local newspaper the Wednesday before we left for Fandom. It just feels like everything is going my way.
Not that I’m assuming that it always will. And if you’ve read this blog at all you know that isn’t the case. But right now it is. My dad even made me a celebratory fried egg and cheese sandwich.

He’s a little crazy right now, he has a big trial coming up. So it’s basically duck and cover but he was sweet enough to indulge me this morning.

I wonder if I’ll ever meet all my heroes. But until then I’m content to come to this blog and ‘write’ letters to ‘you’. I’m sure you’re not reading it but I can’t help it, you have no idea how your work and your work ethic has shone the light on at times what has been a very dark path for me. Here’s a picture of my stepdad that I call dad. Truth be told as hard as he and my mother have made it from time to time I love them very much, and they have helped make me the person I am today.


Amy McCorkle

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Truly good things are coming my way. I kind of wish I would have signed up for Context instead of Night Risers (different little Cons that aren’t even on your radar lol) but Night Risers is closer and perhaps great things will happen there.

I decided not to go to Killer Nashville. I’m not really prepared. Most of my books are already with publishers and the one I am working on isn’t anywhere near finished. I don’t particularly care for coming off as half baked when I’ve worked so hard to build my brand and have recently taken steps to build my Amy McCorkle name as Kate Lynd seems to be establishing itself quite well. Having had two Amazon bestsellers under that moniker that sold like freaking hotcakes at Fandom I think it’s clear which name needs work.

So I have a publicist now. Which is really weird. I’m not used to it. Of course, I don’t sit back and let her do all the work I come up with ideas. Like a party celebrating the release of Bella Morte where I dress up. Of course I have no idea where to buy costuming gear. Or where to buy decorations for the room.

I wish I knew how to direct scifi action films as that seems to be where my passion lay. Of course, with Missy I write other more…indie flavored films that favor the Sundance scene. Mysticon makes me want to adapt my Bounty Hunter screenplay to the big screen from the screenplay we wrote.

Missy is much more romantic drama. Of course, I love romantic dramas too. But I love scifi action romances as well. The books I’m writing now are three entirely different tales. One is Avenging Gemini, the final installment of the Gemini Rising trilogy for Blackwyrm. The other one is Bella Morte: Shattered, book 2 in the 8 book series for the new press I mentioned, and the third is a personal challenge, it’s currently titled Big Blue Nation, but I want to hit 79K. The furthest I’ve ever gotten is 60K.

Of course I have three screenplays I need to pitch. One is the finalist which I am still waiting for news on and the other two I’m simply waiting on Austin and Sundance. Those are much more likely not to do anything, but one can hope, right? I know in my gut, however, they are great scripts and the best work Missy and I have ever done. But it’s a matter of the right people reading it at the right time.

August is Sundance announcement to see if we advance to the second round. Honestly, I think Austin is the better bet for us. But we won’t know until we know.

However, Claymore was a bust for me. But that doesn’t really matter, that book now has a publisher and that’s what really matters, right?

Well, I hope each time I come here I have some great news to share. I met some cool people at Fandom Fest like Joe and Sarah at the Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes event that kicked off the whole thing.

Now on to Night Risers. I plan on getting a hotel. Driving back and forth will be a real pain in the ass. Oh well, as it is I hope to sell lots of books. But you never now, it’s a smaller Con, and the accent is on horror and I don’t know if I’ll be able to move Gemini’s War. But here’s to hoping for the best.


Amy McCorkle