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BEAUTIFUL MESS by John Herrick | Author Interview | Goddess Fish Promotions Presents Romantic Comedy

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for BEAUTIFUL MESS by John Herrick, a Mainstream fiction (romantic comedy) -- mu...

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for BEAUTIFUL MESS by John Herrick, a Mainstream fiction (romantic comedy) -- multigenerational ensemble cast available now from Segue Blue.

John Herrick will be awarding a Kindle version of Beautiful Mess, plus free Kindle versions of entire John Herrick backlist to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found at the bottom of the post.

Beautiful Mess

by John Herrick


GENRE:   Mainstream fiction (romantic comedy) -- multigenerational ensemble cast



A fallen star. Four Los Angeles misfits.
And the Marilyn Monroe you only thought you knew.

Del Corwyn is an aging relic. An actor who advanced from errand boy to Academy Award nominee, Del kept company with the elite of Hollywood’s golden era and shared a close friendship with Marilyn Monroe. Today, however, he faces bankruptcy.

Humiliated, Del is forced to downgrade his lifestyle, sell the home he's long cherished, and fade into a history of forgotten legends—unless he can revive his career. All he needs is one last chance. While searching through memorabilia from his beloved past, Del rediscovers a mysterious envelope, dated 1962, containing an original screenplay by Marilyn Monroe—and proof that she named him its legal guardian.

Del surges to the top of Hollywood’s A-list overnight. But the opportunity to reclaim his fame and fortune brings a choice: Is Del willing to sacrifice newfound love, self-respect and his most cherished friendship to achieve his greatest dream?

A story of warmth, humor and honesty, Beautiful Mess follows one man's journey toward love and relevance where he least expects it—and proves coming-of-age isn't just for the young.



“I have an intriguing prospect for a new film,” Del replied as he took a seat. He tapped the manila envelope tucked under his arm, which contained Marilyn’s script.
He could’ve sworn he caught Arnie in the onset of an eye roll brought to a sudden halt.

“What kind of project?”

“A pop-culture type of thing. You could say it has a retro feel to it.”

Arnie sighed. “Del, I realize you like to relive the past—”

“This is a winner, Arnie. I guarantee it.”

“And what does this winning project involve?”

“Marilyn Monroe. It’s a screenplay.”

“With all due respect, isn’t that a bit clich├ęd? This would need to be an angle no one else has covered. Many people have done films about Marilyn Monroe, not to mention books and memorabilia and everything else under the sun.”

“You don’t understand. This isn’t about Marilyn Monroe.” Del felt a surge of adrenaline and couldn’t contain himself. He leaned forward and, with great pomp, planted the thick package on Arnie’s desk. It landed with a thump. “It’s by Marilyn Monroe.”

Arnie sat open-mouthed as he tried to follow along. His eyes widened in perplexity. “By Marilyn Monroe,” he repeated.

“That’s right.”

“Del, what the hell are you talking about?”

With a lighthearted laugh, Del eased back into the chair. “Last night, I rummaged through some boxes I’d stored away long ago. Hadn’t looked through them in years. Relics from my heyday. Things I’d forgotten I’d saved. And at the bottom of one of those boxes, I found this.”

He patted the envelope, which crinkled at his touch.

“It’s a script, given to me in 1962.” Del caught Arnie’s eye to make sure the man paid full attention. “Written by Marilyn Monroe.”



How did you come up with the title of your book?

Beautiful Mess is, in essence, a story about the beauty of each human being’s uniqueness and the flaws that result from that uniqueness. The book features an ensemble cast of four characters, each of whom is a misfit in their own world. Even Marilyn Monroe, whose backstory provides a parallel to the book, seemed to view herself as a misfit in her life and career. So that’s where the title came from.

The subtitles for Parts 1, 2 and 3 are titles of Marilyn Monroe’s films, in chronological order. The words themselves foreshadow the novel’s events. But as the story unfolded, I also asked myself, “If I were to overlay Marilyn Monroe’s life and career upon this story, where would it fit in terms of her career stage, her emotional state? If her adult life itself were a film—because it did, after all, unfold in public view—where would it fall on a story arc that would parallel the action in Beautiful Mess?”

If you could change ONE thing about your book, what would it be?  Why?

I’m a recovering perfectionist. Even though I give each my project my absolute best, writers mature with experience. You learn what works, what doesn’t. You challenge yourself and fine-tune your approach. So years down the road, I look back at my books and see a detail or two I wish I had approached differently. People enjoy The Landing, the first novel I wrote, but I’m embarrassed by its simplicity. So I’m sure I’ll find quirks with Beautiful Mess, too. But for now, I would have enjoyed spending more time with Del, my protagonist. I wish I could have followed him around, given him more adventures, shown readers the most recent ten years of his career. Unfortunately, that would have distracted from the plot and slowed the story. Those would be fatal mistakes, because momentum is critical in storytelling. Storytelling is like a road trip—you want to keep moving forward. The last thing you want to do on a road trip is waste two hours at a gas station browsing its junk food selection.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book:

A few real-life celebrities make cameo appearances in Beautiful Mess. For one of those scenes, I decided to select someone who hasn’t been on the radar, a solid actress who is ripe for a comeback role. So I selected Faye Dunaway. I thought, “Perfect! I’ll look like a genius!” Then what happens? Six months before my book is released, the Oscars are televised. And who presents the Best Picture award, the biggest and final prize of the night? Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. But they didn’t just present the award. That was the category where they were handed the wrong envelope, where Faye accidentally announced La La Land as the winner when the true winner was Moonlight. It was the topic everyone chattered about the next day. Suddenly, my thoughts went from “I’ll look like a genius!” to “Aw, crap, people are gonna say I can’t think outside the box!” Oh well. At least it made for a fun anecdote here, right?!

Where did your love of reading/storytelling/writing/etc. come from?

I’ve always been fascinated by how people interact and how they respond to conflict. Not just the fight-or-flight aspect, but the nuances of how they fight or how they flee. That’s where our individual backgrounds and experiences set us apart. Maybe I’m a wannabe psychologist—or maybe I’m just screwy and don’t want to feel like I’m alone! Knowing my characters’ bios and psyches, I love to drop them into scenarios, allow them to do their thing, and write down what I see. No whitewashing allowed. No censoring the characters. I’ve also developed a passion for research, the opportunity to learn to things.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

I worked for several years in the IT field doing computer programming, analysis and project management. It’s the opposite of creativity and contrary to where my interests lie, but it helped me develop discipline and task management skills. Not because I wanted to, but because I needed to for the job’s sake. A creative writing course wouldn’t have taught me that. I translated that framework to my creative work. As a result, I transitioned from an emotion-based writer to a methodical writer who incorporates emotions. That means you don’t wait for inspiration to hit before you begin work. Structure is the only way I can see a novel through to completion.

What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

I wouldn’t call it strange, but because Marilyn Monroe appears in the book, I needed to re-create her mannerisms and speech patterns. That meant I needed to study not only her films, but more importantly, her unscripted interviews and comments so I could understand how she spoke on an average Tuesday. Then, in order to determine what she might say in a particular situation, I paged through various biographies on her to familiarize myself with her background, which might help me understand her psyche—the part of her the public didn’t see.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I love hearing from readers and potential readers! Feel free to get in touch with me at My Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads links are there too. I read everything I receive and try to reply to everyone.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Nothing is more valuable than word of mouth. If you read Beautiful Mess and recommend it to a friend or family member, it’s the highest compliment I could receive. (And THANK YOU for that!)

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thanks so much for letting me spend time with you all!


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A self-described “broken Christian,” John Herrick battled depression since childhood. In that context, however, he developed intuition for themes of spiritual journey and the human heart.
Herrick graduated from the University of Missouri—Columbia. Rejected for every writing position he sought, he turned to information technology and fund development, where he cultivated analytical and project management skills that helped shape his novel-writing process. He seized unpaid opportunities writing radio commercial copy and ghostwriting for two nationally syndicated radio preachers.
The Akron Beacon Journal hailed Herrick's From the Dead as “a solid debut novel.” Published in 2010, it became an Amazon bestseller. The Landing, a semifinalist in the inaugural Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, followed. Publishers Weekly predicted “Herrick will make waves” with his novel Between These Walls.
Herrick's nonfiction book 8 Reasons Your Life Matters introduced him to new readers worldwide. The free e-book surpassed 150,000 downloads and hit #1 on Amazon's Motivational Self-Help and Christian Inspiration bestseller lists. Reader response prompted a trade paperback.
His latest novel, Beautiful Mess, folds the legend of Marilyn Monroe into an ensemble romantic-comedy.
Herrick admits his journey felt disconnected. “It was a challenge but also a growth process,” he acknowledges. “But in retrospect, I can see God's fingerprints all over it.”



John Herrick will be awarding a Kindle version of Beautiful Mess, plus free Kindle versions of entire John Herrick backlist to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  


Get carried away with love!