Tag Archives: George McCormick

INLAND EMPIRE Official Release!

Today marks the official release of George McCormick’s Inland Empire. We extend our good wishes to George for the success of his novel—the first published by Queen’s Ferry Press. We hope readers will recognize in Inland Empire, and the novels that follow, the same commitment to substance and style as evidenced in our short story collections, and continue to support the writers crafting the transportive literary fiction we are still so proud to publish.

Inland Empire
Inland Empire

Inland Empire is available via the Queen’s Ferry Press catalog, on Amazon, and in stores. Booksellers, copies are distributed by Ingram. See the full press release here.

We’re also giving away four copies free until the end of the day! Click on the Goodreads Giveaway widget for more information.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Inland Empire by George McCormick

Inland Empire

by George McCormick

Giveaway ends July 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Inland Empire

George McCormick messes around with Inland Empire sentences and changing narratives–complete with a time stamp:

The title for the book came late; after the last page had been written or sure. I’m going to embarrass myself and disclose the fact that the working title had been, for about a year, The Blue Grackle. It’s a bad title for everyone except me, but I needed to know that. I was worried that because Inland Empire (which is a real place in Southern California where I am from) had also been the name of a David Lynch film, I couldn’t use it. It took reading Ed Skoog’s fantastic poem “Inland Empire” that I realized it was fair game. Thanks, Ed!

While I’ve tinkered with different drafts, mostly revising sentence-level things, I basically sent QFP what in my mind was a realized book. I believed in it. It is a small book, but I believe in it now, and I believed in it when I sent it. Which is part of the reason I sent it to QFP in the first place: I love their work and I love the chances they take. Period. I wanted to be a part of that.

The stories were written over a five-year period. From there I consolidated them into four “big” stories. It should be understood that when I began writing the book I hadn’t any notion that I was writing something that would actually be made into a book. More than anything I was messing around with sentences, with passages. Then I started to realize how much I needed the act of writing in my life. I had just moved to a very strange city in Oklahoma, and I was freaking out, to put it bluntly, but I thought, okay, if you can make a piece of art out of this place, then you’ve really done something. Now I know that people do this all the time with the less-than-ideal places they live, but for me it was a matter of survival—and as soon as I saw it in those terms I knew I had something. Now I won’t live anywhere but shitty places (kidding).

Two of the sections have been published: “The Train Singer’s Song” in This Land; “Inland Empire” in Arcadia. I could not be happier with the working relationship I’ve had with the editors of these fine publications.  Oklahoma is a special place, a funky place, when it comes to the arts. There’s almost not pretension, no turf battles, and in turn the community is amazingly strong.

I didn’t arrange the stories until the end, but by then the structure of the book had revealed itself and it was relatively simple. Here’s the thing with Inland Empire: I wrote and rewrote and rewrote each page until I felt comfortable going to the subsequent page. It was that simple: finish one page, go to the next. I thought in terms of thirty lines per page. My faith was that a structure, over time, would emerge. Thank God—and I’m not kidding, I pray all the time before I write—one did.

I sent the book to the Queen’s Ferry Press because that’s who I wanted to publish it. I had an agent who didn’t want me to do this, I ignored that agent, and now I am happy. I do want to say one last thing about the book that I think is important: I finished the book at four in the afternoon on the 24th of November, 2013. When I finished the book I was so happy, so proud, that I called a friend of mine and read him the closing passage. He was stoked, and I was on cloud nine. I thought I will always remember November 24, 2013 as the day I finished my book. Then my daughter was born that night at 11:03, and as they say, the narrative changed.