Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Lyle.
Amy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
How does a mom of four end up with a number one bestselling book and a movie deal? It was a slow, excruciatingly painful crawl. The movie deal took six years to come together. I was told by a Hollywood attorney that I needed to write a book or a blog before he would represent me.
I wrote “The Book Of Failures,” a funny memoir that revealed even my most cringe-worthy moments and embarked on a “Why I Shared My Mortifying Moments and Why You Should Too,” year-long book tour. I knocked on many, many doors to get exposure.
When the book became an Amazon bestseller in humor essays, above Trevor Noah, the attorney said he would represent me.
Why did you have to write a book to get a film deal?
I do not know the answer to that question other than he told me to, “get on the map,” in some capacity. The book and the movie are both comedies but not related. Most people avoid discussing their own failures, why in the world would you share yours with the world?
I’ve always been drawn to self-deprecating writers and comics such as Tina Fey, Jenny Lawson, Davis Sedaris, and Jim Gaffigan and fortunately, I’m a subject matter expert on failures. From dating to marriage and divorce, remarriage, and trying to blend a family- I had plenty of material to pull from.
We see you on WXIA’s Atlanta and Company all the time- how did that happen? I asked the producers to feature the book, and it went pretty well. So they have invited me back, again and again, to weigh in on their “Real Talk” segment. Everyone on the show is lovely, and I get to meet all sorts of interesting people. You’re getting ready to release book number two, more failures? Yes! But not my own.
When I was promoting the first book, I would post failure of my own every Friday and ask people, “How was your week?” The response was remarkable. I had 50,000 words worth of failures. I put them together by topic. “We’re All A Mess, It’s OK” will be out mid- November. It’s funny but also offers inspiration- we all struggle- you can’t give up.
People let you use your their real names? Not everyone. Some people asked me to use their initials or an alias, such as, “Too embarrassed to use my real name, just say lower Alabama.”
What’s going on with the movie script? I’m thrilled to have Suzanne Jurva, a previous DreamWorks executive, as my Executive producer and Atlanta writer, Stephen Beehler, on board for everything from script tweaks to location negotiations.
What’s it about?
The film is a female-centric comedy called #fakemom. It’s about a Wall Street woman who falls in love with a divorced Atlanta philanthropist. She thinks her biggest challenge will be her new job, but she discovers that her biggest obstacle, is fitting in with the stay at home moms of River Village. I hope it makes working moms and stays at home moms take a step closer to one another.
Where will it be shot?
Ninety percent in Atlanta and ten percent in New York City. We will use as many Atlanta actors and comedians as possible; there’s immense talent in Atlanta. I’d love to feature Atlanta companies as well, such as Delta, and Spanx!
Having the best selling book has opened a lot of doors that I never thought would be opened. Atlanta filmmaker, Sam Juergens, cast me in his movie short, “The Interviewers.” It’s currently doing the rounds at film festivals. I get invitations to emcee events that benefit charities such as Literacy of Forsyth and The Place of Forsyth. I’m enjoying the journey.
What’s up next?
“We’re All A Mess. It’s Ok,” launches in November. Becky Robinson, Andrea Ferenchick and Chris Corso are creating a hilarious campaign that features a talking alpaca. I’m finishing the #fakemom script rewrites; it shoots next fall!
For a woman with so many failures, you seem like you’re doing pretty well. I still have plenty of failures, I live with four teenagers and two giant dogs. You caught me on a good day.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Nothing has ever been smooth road for me, as Murphy’s Law follows me around like a cloud. If I am given an opportunity, I try to make the absolute most of it and luckily, each opportunity seems to open a door to another.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I’m known as a comedy writer and actor. I’m the proudest when people say, “You’re authentic, and it’s refreshing.”
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Yes. The generosity of others. Friends, friends of friends and complete strangers have offered to help, which I find remarkable. Atlanta has a huge community of writers and filmmakers, They have answered my questions and sometimes my prayers regarding getting things done creatively or technically.
Specifically, Andrea Ferenchick (photographer, cover designer), Kristin Igmire (event planner), Tony Darnell (book formatter), Chris Corso (voice-over expert for “We’re All a Mess, It’s Ok.” campaign), Becky Robinson (P/R extraordinaire), Stephen Beehler (Atlanta writer/filmmaker for script tweaks), Suzanne Jurva (Executive producer for #fakemom), the entire crew at Atlanta and Company and Rodney Henson (mentor).
Lead cheerleaders are too many to count. My friends, family, and community have been so supportive, and even people I have met through social media have been helpful in directing me to resources and wonderful encouragers.
- Website: www.amylyle.me
- Instagram: @authoramylyle
- Facebook: amylyle.me
- Twitter: @amylyle
- Other: http://ow.ly/hC7E30jRRL0 , http://ow.ly/8GRC30mBRdT
Andrea Ferenchik, Monica Nwaigwe