Monday, July 18, 2011

3 Connie Corcoran Wilson Guest Post and giveaway


by Connie (Corcoran) Wilson, M.S.

I have loved the movies since I was a young girl living across the street from  the Malek Theater in Independence, Iowa. My sister (Kay) and I would attend the westerns every Saturday and fight over the arm-rest and the popcorn and root for the cavalry to rescue the Fort from the attacking Indians. I was always fascinated with the tid-bit of knowledge that my mother used to play the organ for silent movies in her hometown of Hospers, Iowa. I host  an Oscar-predicting party with a traveling trophy every year with another couple, close friends who are movie buffs.

As I moved on to college at the University of Iowa, I found myself associating with  film students, especially Ted Hicks of Early, Iowa, who was obsessed with the sixties films of Hammer Productions featuring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. (Ted now lives in New York City and helps decide who will receive the Christopher awards in film or television, for being a good influence in society, as, for instance, with "Sesame Street.")

 Little did I know that one day I would be an active, voting member of the HWA---Horror Writers' Association---when Ted was dragging me to those early classic horror films. I also hung out with the crowd that Nick Meyer (later the director of "Time After Time" and "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan") ran with at Iowa, appearing in a student film and auditing  film classes. But my majors were English and Journalism and my parents (a banker and a kindergarten teacher) were much too practical to indulge my love of the movies by suggesting any sort of career in that improbable celluloid land known as Hollywood.

I presented myself in the outer lobby of the old Quad City Times building in the early 1970s, after winning an Oscar-predicting contest for the tenth time  (I've won one every year from 1976 to the present) and offered to review films for that local Davenport, Iowa paper. Editor/columnist Bill Wundram, to whom the book is dedicated, took me up on the offer after a trial film ("Lipstick") and hired me as a "stringer." I continued teaching my Silvis (IL) Junior High School students and, later, my college students, but I wrote film criticism and, later, book and play critiques. Remarkably, Bill Wundram has been at his desk at the Quad City Times since 1944, 67 years, longer than any other columnist in the nation. He continues at his desk today. A statue of Bill stands outside the Times building. My book is dedicated to Bill Wundram who let me indulge my passion for film.

The research that went into It Came from the '70s: From The Godfather to Apocalypse Now was considerable, but most of  it was done at the time, which is an important distinction. This is not a book written through today's filter. It is a book that was written as the 70s were unfolding, complete with emerging roles of working women (Jill Clayburgh's "An Unmarried Woman"), backlash from the Vietnam War ("Apocalypse Now," "Coming Home") and other trends, including the rise of the horror film, which began with Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" before hitting its stride in the seventies. (Look for my essay, "Psycho Analysis: When Perfect Should Prevail," comparing the "Psycho" remake to the original in the anthology "Body Counts and Butcher Knives.")

Yes, there were a few films that I had to write from the vantage point of "looking back," mainly because I couldn't find all of the reviews I wrote at the time. Of the 50 films representative of the decade that I ultimately selected, only 6 in the book are written through today's filter.

When I remembered having written a review of a certain film, (such as "Superman") and my 15 or so carefully preserved scrapbooks didn't immediately yield that piece (this book barely scratched the surface of the reviews I saved), I painstakingly searched  through micro-fiche at the Davenport Public Library. I contacted directors for some previously unpublished photos (thanks to Mick Garris, in particular), besides those contained in my carefully-preserved press kits of the day.

Most importantly, John Teehan (the publisher) worked very hard to bring the old newsprint and  reviews of the day up to par. The standard in the 1970s was 150 dots-per-inch. Today, John said, we needed to improve those pictures to 600 dots-per-inch to have good quality illustrations. There are 76 illustrations in the book, roughly one every 3 pages. This was no easy task. I am eternally grateful to John, a veteran book layout man, for undertaking to help me and, ultimately, saying he would like to publish the book.

This book is a labor of love. I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing the reviews during the days when I was 25 to 35. They've been in my scrapbooks for over 40 years.  I continue to review film for Yahoo (covered the Chicago Film Festival in October) and Associated Content and WeeklyWilson, my own blog. (See my review of "The Tree of Life" up at www.WeeklyWilson.com now.) My piece entitled "The Best Films of the Decade 2000-2010" has had over 85,000 "hits," and I'm not done yet. So stay tuned for other decades to follow.


Connie is giving away cool It Came from the '70s luggage tags to 10 of my lucky readers.  In addition, she will send the winners a short story "sneak preview" of her upcoming short story collection, Hellfire & Damnation II, the sequel to Hellfire & Damnation (all available on Kindle right now; short story title "The Bureau.")  She welcomes reviews of "The Bureau" on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com, as well as comments or reviews of It Came From the 70's on Amazon.com. 
Additionally, if you purchase a copy of It Came from the '70s and post a review for it on BarnesandNoble.com and/or Amazon.com, Connie will send you her new novel, about to be released on Kindle, The Color of Evil.  The Color of Evil is a thriller about a young boy with paranormal abilities.  You can even suggest plot directions to Connie by e-mail for this first-in-a-series novel and, if you wish, Connie will use your name as a character in the novel.
Both "The Bureau" (6,500 word short story) and The Color of Evil  (80,000 word novel, Book One) will be sent to you by e-mail, free of charge, as a Microsoft Word document to read on your computer.
After you have reviewed It Came from the '70s on BarnesandNoble.com and/or Amazon.com, Please send Connie a link at EINNOC10@Aol.com, with Book Tour Review in the subject line, to claim your free copy of The Color of Evil
Connie is giving away 10 It Came From the '70s luggage tags. To enter all you need to do is:
1. Comment and tell me what your favorite movie of all time is and fill out the form below.
2. You must be at least 13 years old.
3. Giveaway open to US addresses only.
4. You don't have to be a follower to enter.
5. Giveaway ends July 31, 2011


3 comments:

  1. My all time favorite movies is and always will be Wizard of Oz..:D

    Very interesting guest post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some of the best movies came from the 70's. This book is a trip down memory lane.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My favorite movie of all time is Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. I watched it so many times as a kids that I broke the first VHS.

    Michelle (@OBoyledBooks)

    ReplyDelete

 

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