Monday, April 29, 2013

That Golden Horseshoe & a Thank You

The other day my best friend and fellow author and sometime writing partner Melissa Goodman told me she was going to start walking behind me so that she would catch that golden horseshoe when it falls out. I laughed. But professionally and now personally it seems it's raining good fortune. And there's nothing better than sharing your good fortune with those around you. Especially those who've made the journey with and those who made it possible. And then the others who exist in both of those categories.

I have never been busier than I have been now in my writing career. On the hook for 23 contracts spread across three separate houses, I'm currently writing a trilogy, a stand alone, and 2 screenplays. I just finished a screenplay and am close to finishing another one. Book 2 in the trilogy is more than halfway done and the stand alone has less than a hundred pages to be written on it. And when I clear the deck I'm going to write and self-publish #24.

I have traveled a rough road to get here. Childhood was a lonely and terrifying time for me. The adults in my life couldn't be trusted. Men were the enemy by virtue of their actions, and though a few of them showed me they could be kind and loving, it was the majority who were cruel and violent that left their mark on me. I knew my mom and step-dad loved me, but the household was mecurial. They ran hot and cold, fine one minute, furious the next. It was a matter of walking on eggshells and it seemed no matter how good or smart or accomplished I was it was never good enough. They've mellowed in the older age and I never doubted their love for me, but growing up in a household like that leaves it's mark on you. Makes it hard to trust people. Makes you vulnerable to other things. As an adult I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I've been blessed in that regard. Even though I've had breakdowns I haven't had psychotic breaks with reality.

I've known what it's like to go to bed hungry and wake up hungry as an adult. I have a healthy dislike for hot dogs, spaghetti, and all things Ramen because of it. I did it in the name of pursuing the dream of making a film and in the midst of it that's when I had my breakdowns. People disappear and disappoint in the hard times. Very few stick around. Missy stuck it out as my friend. Those were some hard times. I wasn't always the nicest of people. I was sick, I was poor, and I was hungry and she was kind and along with the doctors she helped put me back together. I'm stronger than ever now.

I'm happy too. I'm going out on tour with my books. I even have a date! I'm entering Fright Night and Austin with my screenplays (co-written by that same Missy Goodman) and if there are awards to be won it will be all the sweeter because of the road I've traveled with my friend.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Self Transformation

To continue along the theme I started yesterday I'd like to get more into self-transformation. More specifically, reconnecting with a sport that I love even more than UK Wildcat college basketball. LDR-long distance running. And now, more than ever, I think I should be preparing myself to take part in it. Allow me to explain.

When the movie theater shooting happened in Colorado with the Batman midnight showing I was utterly freaked  out and getting myself back to a place where I loved and made my profession and vocation was next to impossible. And with the attack at the Boston Marathon I knew immediately I would have to get back up on the horse or I might never run in a race again.

As it stands I weigh 289lbs. and quite frankly I am at risk for everything from high blood pressure to heart disease and diabetes. So I have decided to start running races even if they're just five and ten K's. But first I have to build my endurance back up. Which means getting my butt up out of bed every morning and and going whenever I can. I have no car so that means working around other people's schedule. Eating less, moving more.

I have started the vision board and writing more on various projects. I'll take pictures of me at the park walking (because trust me, I can barely do that) as I progress and FB and social media will become my sort of online vision board. I want success, someone to share it with and someone who embraces my love for running/walking as well as my love for writing. And I plan on making it happen. Here's a picture of me at 289lbs. I'm not thrilled with the idea of putting it on display, but it will help me own it and face it. So as I continue along I'll pick 5K's  and 10K's with the ultimate goal of the KDF Mini next year (the Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon. And perhaps even the Triple Crown of Running).

So that's me. Amy McCorkle, author extraordinaire. I plan on there being a lot less of me by this time next year and being way healthier.

Until next time...

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Everyone has dreams and goals. Once upon a time I wanted to be a published author. Now I am, with oodles of contracts running out my eyeballs and have enough work to drive a wood man crazy. 2 in progress novels and 3 in progress screenplays, plus a book to be written! That doesn't count my books at my other houses lol. All of this coming at a time when I thought I would never know what it was like to be published.

Now on to conquer the world. I recently saw Kevin Smith's Burn In Hell Tour on YouTube. Each time I see him speak I'm more convinced than ever he's one of the most under rated storytellers of our time. But he gave the rallying cry of Why Not? The book, the movie, the record, whatever your dream was there was the overwhelming feeling was that life was short and that you shouldn't waste it.

I've always dreamed of winning the Austin Film Festival Bronze Typewriter and with 2 screenplays eligible for a couple of different categories, Why Not? I want to win an Oscar. Why Not? I want to produce and create an Indie Soap series, Why Not? I want to hit the bestseller's list again, Why Not?

At ConCave this year I had the great pleasure of sharing a table with Bertena Varney. (Pam we'll be doing Killer Nashville!).  She was a great reader and said this was my year. And so far everything she's said has been true! She suggested I make a vision board. I said I wanted someone to share this success with she said that was very much a possibility. I know some don't give much credence to this sort of thing but she is fantastic and is a great guide. 

I embrace my dreams and am making a plan to achieve my dreams and goals. And the vision board I created with what I dream of on it. This is my year. I really believe it. I've been blessed this year no doubt and I hope those reading this might know the success I have over the past few years.

Friday, April 19, 2013


I once saw a movie that inspired me to write the kind of heroes that most women dream of. I signed a contract where I got paid an advance. What I learned was that I'm one of those annoying writers who was more interested in rubric other than that of the financial gain to define what would be mean success for me.

I got a lesson in publishing as a business vs. writing as an art form. And while I had learned that lesson early on my time at MuseItUp Publishing had taught me that my voice was as important as the almighty dollar and while I could change a great many things my voice was not one of them. Which led to me making the hardest decision of my life in giving the money back and doing what I wanted with my manuscript.

I knew the manuscript was great. So I took it to Blackwyrm and while I must admit I'm terrified of what the edits are going to look like I love it there. The publisher, Dave has been nothing but warm and friendly and those whom I reached out to in the Con committee such as Ken Daniels have been fantastic as well.

My best friend and sometime writing partner Missy Goodman has said she's going to start walking around behind so that when the golden horseshoe falls out of my ass she'll be there to catch it. And I have been blessed. 23 contracts. 7 books out. Awards. I get a royalty check in most cases.

But I think the reason I have these things is because of my voice. It's definitive and I know how to hook a reader. I'm not bragging I can only assume that's what it is. I never imagined success would look like this. And to my friends who still struggle, your time will come, you work too hard for it not to.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

B is for Bond

So how do you take your James Bond? Smooth like Connery? Forgettable like Lazenby? Difficult like Dalton? Light and fun like Bronsan? Or gritty and dark and played with relish by Craig?

Let's be honest, there is no right or wrong answer. But for my money there are two Bonds worth mentioning. Quintessential Bond, as in Connery, who originated the role and the Best Bond, Daniel Craig.

Before Casino Royale the brand was a bit long in the tooth. Although I like Bronsan as an actor (I adore him in the Matador) he is not my favorite Bond. But upon seeing Royale, however, I am an uber Craig fan.

The violent, not caring whether he lives or dies character with layers only hinted at in those beautiful intense blue eyes of his. Who falls in love despite his better judgment and even as he fights to save Vesper he believes in his love of Country. LOVE IT. Casino Royale is a great film with a fantastic love story and is great reboot to the series.

Then there's SKYFALL. Probably the one that will be talked about for a long time to come. Adele sings the perfect title song. Bond struggles the most. M.'s past comes to roost. And Javier Bardem is the perfect villain. You even get to see Daniel dig shrapnel out of his body (featured in the picture above).

For my money this is as good as it gets. And that's why for me, today B is for Bond!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Adversity

Sometimes people look at what I've accomplished in the last two and half years and they think, wow you've really had it easy. Wow all you have to do is breathe and you get what you want. Wow, everyone really loves you. But let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth.

First of all I'm fast approaching my 38th birthday and NOTHING has been handed to me. I've worked my tuckus off to get it. Now I will allow that when I was fast approaching my 36th year on this planet I had something of revelation. I went to digicon put on by Savvy Authors. And suddenly every lesson every taught to me become crystal clear as if someone had given me the decoder ring. I received my first contract and in then my second. In the July of that year I went to my first scifi con and met my second publisher and who would eventually become my third. I have won some awards in the process too. And attend more cons and had my first print book published.

But as a writer my adversity has come from the world outside of publishing. I have faced the typical variety, oh so you're a writer so what, variety from people I desperately want validation from. But I've also faced the more cutting variety. Poverty, which, until recently, has kept travel to a minimum. Abuse as a child, which I won't go too much into, but suffice it to say, things that have been said and done to me which should make me a much angrier and bitter person than I am. And in some cases I'm pretty sure I shouldn't even be alive. And then there's the mental illness which I cope with on a day to day basis. There's the bipolar disorder, the anxiety, and myriad of many other problems to mention.

The blatant disrespect I get on a daily basis is another form of adversity. If I can weather all of that I feel like I can enjoy the fruits of my long struggle at finally breaking through in the publishing world.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Small Press

Contrary to popular belief I can’t make it rain when it comes to contracts. However, when it comes to the pitch and a synopsis I am one of heck of a pitch woman, and when it comes to finding a quality small press the pitch, and knowing what you want, is key.

I belong to three houses. MuseItUp Publishing, Hydra Publications, and Blackwyrm Publishing. One of them is a Canadian e-publisher, one is located in Madison, IN, and the other is in my hometown of Louisville, KY. They each offer me something different.

Muse taught me how to self-market and put me through a kind of marketing bootcamp. Between them and digicon of Savvy Authors I came out ready made to promote myself. 

Hydra gave me my first print book. That’s what I wanted. Hydra is in its infancy as a company and Frank has big ambitions for the company. I signed on for the print book though.

And finally Blackwyrm, they offer a unique set up. They cover marketing, cover, editing. The book breaks even you get 50% of the profit. You can ‘jump the stack’ by actively marketing yourself and your work. It’s more of a partnership and some may not like it, but I’ve seen some things that I really like about it and I knew what I was walking into.

Knowing what a small press can and can not do for you in key. Their budgets are not that of a traditional press and even theirs aren’t great for the unknowns. Keep that in mind. Authors have a daydream about what the Big 6 can do for them and while it does sometimes happen, it’s rare.

Now all of that being said I am enjoying the fruits of my labor. The small press rewards fast writers, fast learners, and those who can pitch extremely well, at least, that’s been my experience.

And in this in flux publishing world it would do people well to research their press they choose to go to very well. You don’t want to be ripped off. I’m not paying a single out of pocket cost to have my books published. And if you are, you’re in the wrong place.

As you travel this crazy world of writing and publishing remember, writing is art, publishing is a business. But that’s another lesson for another time.