From Brooklyn to Hollywood: How Suzanne Corso Wrote Herself Into A Better Story

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

I recently finished reading Suzanne Corso’s trilogy tracing her fictitious based- on- truth account of a young woman’s rise to fame and fortune from mobster- wannabe girlfriend to Hollywood screenwriter. In this type of book, the reader is often confused as to what is real and what is an example of the author gone wild with the power of words. What struck me the most about these books is how this series illustrates the points made in my last two blog posts -“Hard Work Vs. Wishful Thinking” and “How Our Thoughts Can Become Our Reality.” These truths are at work here.

Let’s take a look at Suzanne Corso and her books.

Suzanne was born and raised in the 1970s -1980s Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York at a time when it was predominantly an Italian and Italian-American neighborhood, and mobsters and mobster-wannabes ran the show. Her father was a deadbeat, absent Italian-American. Her mother, although Jewish, embraced the Catholic faith, and was besieged by drugs, alcohol and unsavory men. Suzanne’s Jewish maternal grandmother steadfastly encouraged her, as the only stable adult in her life. She gave Suzanne a gift of a Smith Corona typewriter and told her to write herself out of her story into a better story. That’s exactly what Suzanne did. Deeply religious, Suzanne lit candles and prayed daily to the Blessed Mother Mary, Michael the Archangel and Buddha. She received invaluable guidance from the Catholic priest at her church and encouragement from teachers that spurred her on to submit her writing for publication. Although money was always tight and the family was often on food stamps, Suzanne dreamed of the day she could cross the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan and live the life she could only dream. Dream she did, and combined with hard work, Suzanne reached her goals. As a matter of fact, she continues to realize even more success as she enters her mid-forties.

In the first book, Brooklyn Story, teenage Samantha, as her character is called in the series, hooks up with a wannabe- mobster, gets knocked around and dreams of crossing the symbolic Brooklyn Bridge to a better life. (true)

The second book, The Suite Life, tells the story of her marriage to a Wall Street tycoon who rakes in about a hundred million dollars a year (true). This fairy tale life has a sad ending when the market goes south and hubby loses his fortune (true). A serious author emerges from the ashes (true), her fortune is amassed (true) while her husband dies (false).

The last book, Hello, Hollywood, introduces character Samantha to the world of big time Hollywood production when her first book, Brooklyn Story is optioned as a movie (true, I think). She is even richer than before  (true) and has her share of wacky men, but eventually meets Prince Charming and lives happily ever after (who knows?).

In real life, Suzanne’s husband is very much alive and between them, have regained that lost hundred million. Suzanne believes losing that money was the best thing that ever happened to her since it motivated her to mobilize and stay the course.

The important thing to know is these books are not particularly well-written. The characters are stereotypical, one-dimensional and predictable. The plot is often repetitious and the events are obviously contrived with enough coincidences to make your head spin. We’re not looking at literature here, yet Suzanne Corso is lauded as an author, pursued as a screenwriter and her book(s) made into movies.

This observation is not meant as a put down. It is meant to show that perfection is not necessary to gain fame and fortune. Someone with authority saw the potential in the body of work. Maybe it filled a gap by telling the story from a woman’s side, or found a niche with a limited audience. It’s not our place to question the why. This evaluation carried weight. Someone saw value where others did not.

How did she do it? She visualized, analyzed, investigated, planned and mobilized. She saw the path clearly, left no stone unturned, walked through every open door. By her own admission, her first book was rejected umpteenth times, but it only took the last one to say yes to change the course of her life. Suzanne never gave up. She saw this as her calling and did not stop until she succeeded. She did what she had to do. Showed up where she had to be. She never let where she came from interfere with where she wanted to go. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

Suzanne Corso’s story has inspired me to set my sights higher. I will make an action plan and follow it after I investigate in which direction to go. Maybe you’ll do the same.

Good luck. Let me know how you do. I’d love to hear from you.

Next week’s blog post: Getting Rid of Stuff

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