My name is Del Corwyn. I’m your hero in Beautiful Mess, a new novel by John Herrick. You might wonder why I wouldn’t allow John to write this letter. The simple answer? I’m my own man. This is my life story. And as messy as life can get, at least I can say I control my own destiny.
Oh, the memories I’ve had in Hollywood! I started my career as an errand boy for a major studio. They shipped me to London, where I served Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. They told me not to screw it up. But you know what happened? Marilyn became one of my closest friends. A mentor, if you will. She trusted me. I was with her during vulnerable moments, the moments most people didn’t know she endured. She was ten years older than I was, so I didn’t have the answers for her, but we navigated through life together. When she died in 1962, the news tore my heart in half.
Fast-forward to today. I’m a 78-year-old actor. I was nominated for an Academy Award in the 1970s but lost to Richard Dreyfuss. What’s that? You don’t remember me? Well, join the club. That happens to me often these days. Anyway, my next film was a failure at the box office and critics shunned it. My career took a nosedive.
Now, forty years later, I’m on the verge of bankruptcy, but the ladies still love me. Go figure. I’m still waiting for that elusive comeback. It’ll happen. Even if I have to die fighting for it.
I’ll admit, my greatest fear is that I’ll be forgotten. Lost in history, like that French schmuck who won an Oscar for The Artist without saying a word in the film. But not long ago, I uncovered an envelope Marilyn gave me a few months before she died. It contained an original screenplay Marilyn penned herself, with encouragement from her ex-husband, Arthur Miller.
Overnight, the tables have turned! My destiny is about to reverse course.
Hollywood is buzzing—and I’m the new kingmaker. I’ve shot to the top of the A-list. And I swear to you, never again will the public forget Del Corwyn.
My journey also involves a last chance at love, and two friends in their 20s and 30s: the industry’s hottest new actress, and an online wellness coach who is full of sh*t but has a good heart. Some might say that coach and I have some traits in common.
Want to know what happens with Marilyn’s script? Want to see a side of Marilyn Monroe you might not know existed? Well, I don’t work for free! You’ll need to read Beautiful Mess to find out.
Del Corwyn (and my writer, John Herrick)
P.S. Prepare yourself for a killer cameo from my buddy Clint Eastwood. Badass!
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 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 next 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.”
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