Christine Young

I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time

Christine Presents ~ Beautiful Mess by John Herrick

Please welcome John Herrick author of Beautiful Mess

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.

Beautiful Mess

by John Herrick


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



What or who inspired you to start writing?

When I was 8 years old, I had finished a school assignment and was waiting for the others to finish so we could review the answers. Looking for something to fill the time, I noticed the kid beside me was absorbed in something fun. I asked what it was, and she told me she was writing a story. I gave it a try—and fell in love with it. From that point on, I was a writer.



How did you come up with ideas for your books?

I’m a big what-if guy. I’ll read a news story or hear a piece of trivia, then ask, “What if detail X were different? How would that change the course of events?” That’s how my latest novel, Beautiful Mess, came about. Upon learning Marilyn Monroe had spent time in a mental institution against her will, I couldn’t help but wonder how the experience might have scarred her. Can you imagine her fear? Then I wondered, “What if she used the written word as a therapeutic, emotional outlet? What if she wrote a screenplay but feared people might question her sanity if they read it?”



What expertise did you bring to your writing?

Although I wouldn’t call it expertise, my background in IT work—computer programming, analysis, project management—provided the framework I needed to accomplish long-term projects and solve problems. It provided much-needed discipline, and I was able to translate that M.O. to my creative projects. IT work wasn’t an ideal fit for me, but without that experience, I wouldn’t be writing novels today. That experience was invaluable. God knew what He was doing.


What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?

I was turned down for every writing position I ever applied for. Early on, it was because I had minimal experience under my belt. Later, it was because they couldn’t picture an IT guy being creative. They would read my written material but couldn’t see past the resume rundown. It wasn’t their fault; some people just have a hard time envisioning what’s possible until you prove it to them. Eventually, I had plenty of opportunities to write, but I created those opportunities by finding ways to bring value to my employer beyond my job description. Employers will rarely turn down an offer to receive something free! So I’m living proof that you should never give up. And some of the people who turn you down end up becoming your fans.



If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

Del, my 78-year-old protagonist in Beautiful Mess, was such fun to create! The guy never gives up. He remains optimistic. Despite his personal delusions, he believes anything is possible—to such an extent that he maintains top physical and mental condition, stays current with technology, and refuses to let others pigeonhole him. When an opportunity arises, he’s ready for it. That’s how I want to be as I get older. On my dying day, I want to have a project in progress.



If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your leading roles?

Hands down, I’d pick Craig T. Nelson to play Del. Nelson is full of talent and has a feisty attitude. Hunter Parrish would make a perfect Tristan. Perhaps Vera Farmiga as Felicia. And a newcomer for the role of Nora—the character is a just-discovered young actress on a hot streak. I’d love for the role, likewise, to introduce a fresh, new face.



What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

The best advice came from Howard Roughan, who is one of James Patterson’s cowriters. His input was on how to keep the pages turning. His advice inspired me to reorganize the structure of Beautiful Mess during the revision process and to try my hand at a short suspense story, Hit and Run.


The worst advice (or suggestion) is to allow others to read your work while it’s in progress. I make rare exceptions, but in general, nobody reads my work until the first draft is done. The wrong feedback at the wrong time can sabotage your project, even if the input is well-intentioned. You can always make the draft better, and your first draft WILL have weaknesses. That’s why my personal preference has always been not to join a critique group. You need constructive criticism, but you don’t need it too early—especially if you’re a writer who already fights depression as you try to complete a book.



Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Lack of planning is a death knell for me! So I sketch out the whole story in detail before starting the first draft. The sketch ends up 50 to 100 pages long—a miniature version of the novel. In fact, the sketch is so detailed, I’ll lift blocks of dialogue from it verbatim. So most of my thinking occurs during the preliminary phase.



Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you’ve gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?

Research has become a hobby. One benefit in creating characters who don’t share my background is the opportunity to expand my horizons by exploring their worlds. With each book, I learn new things, and as I conquer foreign territory, it boosts my confidence as an artist. It helps avoid limiting myself to writing about what I already know.



Do you have an all time favorite book?

The Bible is full of wisdom, practicality and human predicaments. It’s fascinating to see how people thousands of years ago deal with the same core issues that we do today. But in terms of modern literature, The Great Gatsby is my favorite. I discover new aspects each time I read that novel.



Who is your favorite actor and actress?

Jodie Foster and Philip Seymour Hoffman. (That said, my favorite actor changes—it’s bounced everywhere from John Candy to Tommy Lee Jones!)



What is your favorite reality show?

TV is a rarity, but I do enjoy MasterChef. Kinda odd, since I’m not a cook, but maybe I live vicariously through the contestants. I get to imagine how delicious the result is without putting in the hard work!



Anything else you might want to add?

Thanks so much for allowing me to spend the day with all of you! Feel free to connect with me at—yes, I read all my messages. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads. And please consider giving Beautiful Mess a try. It will make you chuckle, lead you into a few dark corners, and, if I’ve done my job well, the characters will stick with you after the book ends.




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.







Arnie’s cheeks turned rosy as he grinned at Del. A wide, toothy grin. The discoloration of enamel betrayed a long-entrenched penchant for red wine. He rolled the script and slapped it against his palm.


“Do you realize how many people would dry-hump a flagpole to get their hands on this?” exclaimed the agent. “We’re talking history here! Hollywood’s best-kept secret!”


Del felt a bittersweet quiver in his gut but suppressed it. His life was about to become interesting again.


Arnie paged through the screenplay further, scanning the dialogue. Several minutes ticked past. Del savored the silence which, in this case, was the sound of power.


“Have you read this, Del?”


“I have.”


“Pretty deep shit in here. Dark shit, the kind that scares the hell out of you.” Arnie skipped to the screenplay’s midpoint and read some more. “And talk about explicit. The profanity, the sexual content, everything.”


“She made herself vulnerable, no doubt.”


“Damn, Del. This woman must’ve been more fucked up than we thought.”


Del winced. “Arnie, cut it out.”


“Sorry, I forgot you two were pals.” The agent shook his head in an absentminded manner, his mouth hanging open as he read further. “No wonder she didn’t show this to anybody else. Can you imagine how people would have reacted to this in 1962? The film would’ve been X-rated—if ratings had existed back then—and gotten banned from theaters. People would’ve protested outside. This script would’ve ruined Marilyn Monroe’s career.”


“But today—”


“—it’ll resurrect it.”







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.”






my short story HIT AND RUN will be available as a free Kindle download on the following days:
August 1 & 2 – To celebrate the Aug 1 release of Beautiful Mess.

August 6 & 7 – For those early readers who enjoyed Beautiful Mess, they can grab a free short story.

Here’s the Amazon URL for Hit and Run:

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.

6 comments on “Christine Presents ~ Beautiful Mess by John Herrick

  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Thank you for hosting me, Christine! And thanks for stopping by, readers!

    Btw, if you’re a paperback reader and Beautiful Mess is your cup of tea, you can snag another of my novels free. Details at

  3. achristay
    July 31, 2017

    Welcome to my blog. I hope you have a great tour.

  4. Pingback: Beautiful Mess Blog Tour Schedule | John Herrick | Bestselling Author & Voice of the Heart

  5. Bea LaRocca
    August 10, 2017

    This sounds like an interesting story. Thanks so much for sharing the interview, blurb and bio.

  6. Bea LaRocca
    August 11, 2017

    Happy Friday! I hope that you’ve had an enjoyable and successful book tour. Have a great weekend.

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This entry was posted on July 31, 2017 by in Uncategorized.
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