In my youth, I wanted to be an actor. My quote then was, "I just want to act. I don't care whether I have to be a cocktail waitress for the rest of my life as long as I can keep doing theatre." I never was a cocktail waitress, but it accurately described how I felt about it all. Later, I wanted to be a psychologist, and in the midst of that I switched gears and became a teacher. Now I own a pet care business. None of these paths were particularly financially motivated. Now, though, I'd really like to make the big bucks. I have noticed how some other people are doing it -- many via the hopes and dreams of people like me -- the artistic types (I flatter myself, I know). For example, if you live in New York City, there is loads of money to be made offering services for actors -- acting coaches, casting director/agent seminars, photographers providing headshots -- anything that will further the dream of the would-be film or Broadway star. In the self-publishing business there are publicity firms, cover designers, reviewing services -- just about anything an ambitious soul could think to sell to a would-be author.
I want to make money, but I just can't create a business designed to take advantage of artists. If I could offer a great service, then I'd do it for free. I'm not much of an entrepreneur, am I? Why am I going on about all of this? I don't know. What I really want to do is create a fantasy -- creative visualization if you will -- of my novel making me truckloads of money. Sound fun.
So, I'll start here with my blog. I get to break all of the rules and write whatever I feel like writing and everyone will just LOVE (don't use ALL CAPS, kids) reading it. All my blabbering and blubbering about myself results in all sorts of traffic to my website, all kinds of interest in me, and particularly in my book. From using the search terms associated with my blog, people from all over the world land here and then, of course, purchase my book. The book is fun, interesting, exciting, and controversial, so that creates even more interest. Remember all the kooks who think that children who read Harry Potter are going to hell? Those kind of people can create some terrific interest in books, even as they condemn them. Of course, in this fantasy, I'm perfectly safe from the nuts. Let's hope that part turns out okay.
So, the result of this crazy blog where I just write whatever I feel like writing and don't bother to follow any of the advice about marketing and promotion, I make a few million in sales. Wow! A few million! So I can buy my daughter that horse she wants, and hey, lets throw in a horse for me too! Of course we need a nice farmhouse on at least fifty acres, don't you think? Wouldn't it be nice if Robin Wingfield paid for my farm?
Oh, and we can't forget the practical stuff -- like John and Maddie's college all paid up. John wants to start a business someday? Well, I've got the capital right here, thanks to Dark Corner!
And then the movie deal. Of course, it's going to make a great movie. Not one of those cheap and cheesy deals with a terribly adaptation and Nickelodeon type teens with their artificially straightened hair and over the top acting styles, but a really senstive, beautiful, subtle high-quality production that will appeal to adults as well as teens.
And that movie just adds to the bank account, and to my power to publish. I can dig out my screenplay and get Modern Persecution produced and finally give Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard (if you don't know who she is, just Google her) the publicity she deserves. Now here, I must confess one of my worst moments as a writer. Let's take a little side trip from the world of positive creative visualization to my worst moment as a writer.
I will keep it short, because it is painful. In a class at New School University called Madness in Literature with Professor Michael Vannoy Adams, I learned all about Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard. I wrote a play about her life as part of the class. I fine tuned the play and then at some point became inspired to make it into a screenplay. I purchased Movie Magic Screenwriter and followed all of the author's advice (I tried to give him credit, but all I can find is that it was published by Write Bros) and wrote a really tight screenplay about her life. Then, what did I do? Nothing. Just let it sit in my computer. Lazy. Got busy. Typical me. Can you guess what happened? Some wonderful person -- just like me except with better connections -- managed to produce a play about the life of Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard. I can't tell you what a blow this was. I knew it was a possibility that someone else would have the same idea, but when Emily Mann came out with her play, Mrs. Packard, it was just devastating to me. All that work -- my play and my screenplay -- usurped. Of course, it is not the same play. And I know of no screenplay (if it exists, do not tell me) but when I get down about something, there's no talking me out of it. I felt that anything I did with the creation would seem second rate, because the play Mrs. Packard came before (even though it didn't really come before).
Sad story over, lets talk about The Adventures of Robin Wingfield: Dark Corner again. Now no one can take that from me. It's 100% mine, because it is my fiction, not a historical character's life. Still, I hold out a little candle of hope for my screenplay. In this scenario, Robin Wingfield opens the door to my screenplay. I can make it happen. A fantastically successful Hollywood film in which my screenplay is sensitively executed and Elizabeth ("I know you're up there, Elizabeth") smiles down upon me. Finally, her story is told to the numbers of people she had always hoped to reach.
I'm having a great deal of fun with this! (Kids, don't use too many exclamation points. It makes you look like an amateur -- but you are just that, aren't you? So I say, pepper everything with exclamation points! Yay! Exclamation points!! They make me so happy!!!)!!!!!. So here I am with my farm, horses, tickets to college for my children, a Hollywood film that has been nominated for an Academy Award in a number of categories including Best Screenplay (which it will win, of course). Now throw in a couple of electric cars and a summer long trip to a fat farm so I can look really good while accepting my Academy Award. And to think it's all thanks to Robin Wingfield!