Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Have you ever stood out on the edge of cliff of opportunity and looked out onto the horizon and there was all the opportunity you could ever want or desire? And in that moment you had found a certain level of success that some people aspired to but never made it to but still wanted more?

I never feel more alive or more like myself than when I am creating. Right now I am juggling four projects. Letters to Daniel the documentary, the third book in my Bella Morte series (Vengeance), BLACK OUT: An Aurora Black Novel. And more recently The Gladiator Chronicles, a screenplay adaptation of my series for MuseItUp Publishing.

I feel good when I’m writing and editing. It’s like I’m doing what I was born to do. Promoting things I’m passionate about like Hekate Press not a hard thing to do. Promoting three books at once? Gemini’s Legacy: Gemini Rising Book 2, When Doves Cry, and Gunpowder and Lead: Outlaw a little more difficult.

But the one thing I don’t have a problem with is giving a shoutout for is Imaginarium and the man behind the magic, Stephen Zimmer. Check it out here:

Imaginarium is a writing convention, gaming festival, literary costume contest, and film festival all rolled into one and it’s happening here in Louisville, KY. I’m proud to say Hekate Press is one of the sponsors on board with it and I am really excited about it.

I know I must be getting on Stephen’s nerves but I hope he realizes just how much I believe in his vision. I wouldn’t choose to make Hekate’s big splash there if I didn’t. Or launch my beloved Bella Morte series there. Or co-launch a second book there with my young cousin and her first novel there.

Most exciting to me is their agreement for me to premiere my documentary Letters to Daniel there. That’s huge. Enormous to me. Stephen teased me about Imaginarium becoming McCorklefest.

They are also holding two other contests, a literary awards festival and possibly an unproduced screenplay competition. I plan on entering them all.

I don’t know if I’m a fireball, but when something as great and as special as Imaginarium falls in your lap you want to wring every last drop of greatness out of it. And I highly recommend everyone looking to sit on panels or learning something about every genre of writing from romance to screenwriting and playwriting to attend this very special convention and film festival.

When I say I believe in Stephen and his vision I make no bones about it. I tweet Monster Energy to sponsor them. I tweet @thatkevinsmith to attend. I tell @MauriceBenardMB that he and his crew should enter their film The Ghost and the Whale into the film festival.

I think Imaginarium could one day be as huge as the Austin Film Festival, Sundance, or even SXSW with its unique blend of scifi fun and accent on writing I am proud to say I’m one of the first to stand with Imaginarium. And I hope to see you there too.


Amy McCorkle

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

On being taken seriously. I often wonder, in the grand scheme of things when things are going so well that if God likes to throw in a hiccup of two. I have the feeling I will be launching Bella Morte:Beginnings at Fandom Fest. Or even Imaginarium. Patience has never really been a strong suit of mine. I mean, I work hard. I want to see results, yesterday. So when I found out Bella Morte:Beginnings wasn’t going to make its original publication date I didn’t handle the best in the world.

I mean I had lined up a great tour, publicity, even a costume to where at the Cons I planned on attending this year. With the late announcement I had to cancel said tour, which made me look REALLY unprofessional. And I now have a 200+ dollar I created that has to wait until much later this year to debut. But in the end the argument goes, I’ll have a better book. Which in turn will sell better. I just hope I haven’t burned my bridges at the bookstores for good.

I was depressed, angry, and let down. Struggling with feelings of inadequacies, I felt like my editor didn’t believe in me. While the feelings are very real I know my editor just wants to put the best product out there that she possibly can. She wants the book to make money. That’s how she makes her money. On sales. And while as an author I can  work with a pushed back publication date it makes my life as a marketing director slightly more complicated.

Setbacks happen. Whether the book isn’t ready, the author is throwing a fit, or the editor isn’t going to rush their work it’s normal a house just opening its doors to encounter some wrinkles. That being said, I love all my editors, including Tir, my editor on the Bella Morte series. And I love working at Hekate under Delilah Stephans, I just had to get passed my disappointment and get back on the horse and get back to work on Bella Morte: Vengeance (book 3).

Of course, I’m working on BLACK OUT: An Aurora Black Novel. A self-publishing venture that I hope to grow into a self-sufficient continuing series. Delilah was the one who told me she felt I had the ability to write two books at the same time. Not that I hadn’t already done it. WHEN DOVES CRY(w/Missy) and GEMINI’S LEGACY I wrote at the same time while penning two scripts, YOU’RE THE REASON(w/Missy) and CITY OF THE DAMNED.

And of course I’m co-producing, writing, and starring in and co-directing the documentary inspired by this blog. It bears the name of this blog too. It’s opening the film festival portion of Imaginarium and that gives me great joy.

And City of the Damned picked up an award for Best Screenplay in the Author Fair Story Contest. Another reason for rejoicing.

The icing on the cake is that I belong to a group known as Adrian’s Angels. Yes, yes, I know a fan club of Adrian Paul television’s Highlander. They’re a great group of ladies, and sometimes being in their company yields great benefits. Adrian voiced a character in the animated scifi action flick War of the Worlds: Goliath. It yielded me a contact that could give me the breakthrough Another Way to Die was for me as an author. So fingers crossed for one of the the three scripts I sent their way will catch their fancy.

I don’t even mind that me and Missy got shutout at Nashville.

But I want to take a moment to thank two people. One is obvious, Missy. Without her standing by me when I was really sick I may not have made it out alive. Bipolar disorder is a wicked mean machine and if untreated it destroys the one who has it and everyone and everything it touches. Missy could have left me in Texas to face the illness alone. She is a whip smart woman and a great writing talent in her own right. Often I think she gets stuck in my shadow because I am such an in-your-face-like-me-or-not-here-I-am personality. She doesn’t want her claim to fame to be Amy’s Best Friend. She wants to be known as an author, a screenwriter, and a filmmaker in her own right.

Second, I have a friend, one of my best friends, personally and professionally. She works hard, and frankly, she was the one who blazed the trail for me to follow. A brilliant author, a talented screenwriter (she made the 2nd round at Nashville this year) and a generous blogger. Her work ethic blows mine out of the water and she taught me if you want a writing career you have to go after it with gusto. And that even then it may take awhile for it to come around to what you really want it to be. Pamela Turner is the author of Death Sword, Rayne Hall’s Ten Tales Anthologies, and her first print book, the Ripper’s Daughter. Take a moment and check it out.

And you too Daniel, without you there’s no blog. Without you there’s no memoir. Without you I’m not opening Imaginarium. Thank you so much to all three of you.


Amy McCorkle

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Into one’s life, a little rain must fall. And for me it’s been a lesson in patience and disappointments. First let me explain, quality books take time. So my first disappointment is about the two hundred dollars I shelled out for a themed costume for a launch of my series Bella Morte which won’t be able to be utilized until August, after book one has been out for four months. I know, what’s 200 dollars and a wait on a release date? 200 dollars out of 766 dollar a month disability check is huge. I had planned a themed release party at Conglomeration. More money spent. Arranging for a room party at Conglomeration. Almost burning a contact in my one of my publishers and had to scramble to see what I could piecemeal together. Fortunately I never had a chance to launch Letters to Daniel, and have two releases from said publisher to highlight at launch party, When Doves Cry, a co-written effort with Missy, and Gemini’s Legacy, book 2 in Gemini Rising.

Second, at NaFF Missy and I neither made it to the second round or semi-finals with any of our scripts. Which means we only have the finals to hope for. And as down as I feel I can’t help but believe in these scripts as they are really good. But we won’t know anything until Monday when the finalists are announced.

And third, shortly before my meeting with a therapist this morning to interview about possible inclusion in the Letters to Daniel film my parents, who had been on a good streak decided to shit all over me and make me feel like a loser and crappola on a shingle. I had to go in there and act like nothing was wrong and that yes I would love to interview her.

Fortunately like most shitstorms mine passed as I had breakfast and interviewed Shelly for the film. She agreed to be interviewed and had the kind of personality that I could really dig. Nice and calm while I was spinning like a top talking about the film and what it meant to me.

She was impressed with me and given my family is never impressed with me it was a nice change of pace.

However, good news, in the 4th Annual That Book Place Author Fair Story Contest, Missy and I won the screenwriting category with City of the Damned. So, even though the last few days the shit has seemed to have rolled downhill, not all things have been bad.

Bella Morte:Beginnings will not be held up indefinitely. It has a late April drop date so I should have the books in time for the book signing tour I have set up here locally.

And I plan on stepping away from the Marketing Director Position at the end of the year for Hekate as I have too much of my own stuff to concentrate on and while I can do it short term I think I would definitely do Hekate a disservice if I tried to push it long term.

I’m hopeful Delilah understands as I value her professionalism, talent, and friendship. As I value all my publishers I will continue to push all of my works with them and will tour the cons and make the move to self-publishing with my future works.

So maybe the rain and the shitstorm was to get me to make a move I’ve been needing to make.


Amy McCorkle

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Today was an astoundingly great day. The results were announced on the 4th Annual That Book Place Author Fair Story Contest. And guess what?! Missy and I scored a win in the screenplay category with our adaptation of my novella of the same name, City of the Damned.

How many days do you get to wake up and say I have two award winning screenplays? With the acceptance of Letters to Daniel to premiere at Imaginarium and the possibility of it screening at Cinema Touching Disability in Austin, TX I am over the moon. I wanted to go out to celebrate all of this. As it is we had chicken in a pot (a truly delicious simple dish to make) and my parents bought Dairy Queen blizzards for everyone. (Meaning me, Missy, my seven year old nephew Jonathan, and them.)

I am so on cloud nine. It’s not every day I win a contest. Or even final. It has been an auspicious start to 2014.
Words seem to fail me how hard I’ve worked, and the people who’ve helped me or believed in me along the way. Sometimes you make your heroes and in effect you were a shining light in many ways. I know I never expected this blog to take me where ultimately it has.

The gratitude I have for those who go unmentioned cannot be measured in simple words or gestures. Because the people who’ve inspired me have been many. But everyone needs a big break.

Along the way there have been those who have taken the time and the patience it takes to show a not so young writer the way in how to write a treatment. How to write a pilot. How to craft a story so that people will keep turning the pages until they reach the end.

I think in some ways I was fortunate that I was left to play in the creative sandbox without too much instruction as to what was the right way to write. My voice developed naturally and uninhibited.

But at some point I’ll be honest it seemed the screenplay success was never going to happen. So I stopped writing them. And focused solely on my books and my dreams of becoming a published author. I tried self-publishing back then and it just didn’t work.

However, it was three years ago in February that MuseItUp gave me my first big break. The editing was arduous. But I developed as an author there and found the small press a welcoming place for me.

Then last year Missy was watching Kevin Smith’s ‘Burn in Hell’ tour on youtube and we started watching it together. She wanted to revisit ‘You’re the Reason’. Which, if I were totally honest I wasn’t sure I wanted to do. But the more I watched Kevin the more I realized that the screenwriting and filmmaking dream wasn’t dead yet.

It may have been buried beneath an avalanche of fear of implosion between me and Missy, two Chiefs, not enough Indians. I don’t like to bend. And if she feels strongly enough neither does she.

But here’s the reality I have much to be grateful for. I am living proof, if you just work hard enough, long enough, good things will happen for you. *Don’t be afraid to ask for a little help. Because a little help, plus a lot of hard work can and will take you far.


Amy McCorkle