Surviving McCoy

E.K. McCoy

Book Cover

GENRE

ADVENTURE FUNNY COMEDY DRAMA FAMILY MEMOIR YOUNG ADULT

    Core Theme

    A SWEET AND HONEST PORTRAIT OF AN ALL-AMERICAN FAMILY, WITH GROWING PAINS, RIVALRY AND MISCHIEF BETWEEN THREE SISTERS

    TIME PERIOD

    1980s & '90s,2000s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    ANY MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY OLSEN VEHICLE; SUITE LIFE OF ZACK AND CODY

    CHARACTER LIST

    EMILY (5-20S), THE AUTHOR -- THE YOUNGEST, SMALL FOR HER AGE, BULLIED BY HER SISTERS.

    CHARLOTTE 'CHARLIE', 6-20S, EMILY'S MIDDLE SISTER, VERY ATHLETIC AND RISK-TAKING.

    LIZ, 8-30S, EMILY'S OLDEST SISTER, THE MEDIATOR, USUALLY FOLLOWS CHARLIE'S LEAD BUT PULLS HER BACK AT KEY TIMES.

    MOM AND DAD, 40S-50S, AVERAGE WHITE OHIO COUPLE DEDICATED TO THEIR FAMILY. MOM IS MORE PROTECTIVE THAN DAD.

    GRANDMA APPLE, 70S. EMILY'S BELOVED GRANDMOTHER.

    Logline

    “Growing up, we played and fought like boys, but we held grudges and sought revenge like girls. Our grandfather Poppy gave us the nickname The McCoy Boys.” A series of short stories focusing on the trials, tribulations and fun of growing up with siblings and discovering the importance of family.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54

    Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning,Other

    Setting

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Self-Published

    Year Published: 2017

    Starting Description

    Surviving McCoy is a quirky family dramedy comprised of a series of heartwarming and hilarious stories, which are inspired by E.K. McCoy's life. This book follows the life of Emily, the youngest McCoy Boy, who was unwanted from the start by her two older sisters, hot-headed Liz and cunning Charlie.

    Ending Description

    Everyone will relate to Surviving McCoy as it focuses on not only the trials, tribulations and fun of growing up with siblings, but also the importance of family, learning to deal with love and loss, and ultimately growing up and discovering yourself.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1979502771

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Meaningful Message,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth,Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Emily McCoy

    Age: Birth-Age 30

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Insecure,Underdog,Funny,Selfless,Obedient,Aspiring,Charming,Empathetic,Naive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Elizabeth (Liz) McCoy

    Age: Birth- 30's

    Gender: Female

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Complex,Empathetic,Insecure,Naive,Strong Moral Code,Funny,Outspoken,Blunt,Obedient

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Charlotte (Charlie) McCoy

    Age: Birth - 30's

    Gender: Female

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Leader,Unapologetic,Visionary,Funny,Outspoken,Power Hungry

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Charlotte (Charlie) McCoy

    Age: Birth- 30's

    Gender: Female

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Leader,Unapologetic,Funny,Skillful,Outspoken,Power Hungry,Blunt

    Development Pitch

    Inspired by E.K. McCoy's life, Surviving McCoy, an award winning novel, would make for a hilarious, heartwarming and adventurous TV series or film. From being kidnapped, to an accidental overdose, to sibling rivalries, to surviving awkward teenage years, to dealing with divorce love and loss, a teenage pregnancy and ultimately self discovery. Everyone will laugh, cry and relate to the character's in Surviving McCoy. Surviving McCoy takes place in the 1980's to present day. It follows the life of three siblings, Emily, who was unwanted from the start by her two older sisters, hot-headed Liz, and the charming mastermind behind all the McCoy Boy’s mischievous plots, Charlie. “Growing up, we played and fought like boys, but we held grudges and sought revenge like girls. Our grandfather Poppy gave us the nickname: The McCoy Boys.” Each chapter is comprised of a short humorous story, packed full of family disfunction and adventure, making this novel ideal and easy to convert into a TV series or a movie. Readers have compared Surviving McCoy to The Goldbergs, Now and Then, The Middle, and Modern Family.

    Genre

    COMEDY, DRAMA

    Brief

    A memoir exploring the author's childhood with two rambunctious and sometimes bullying older sisters.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: FAIR

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, it is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    Details of the sisters' rambunctious and mischievous games.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The overall story is too mundane. It's really more of a personal memoir than a commercial book.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    For a younger audience, lessons on navigating sibling rivalry, jealousy and getting into trouble.

    Fanbase Potential

    No. Seems like a niche project for a youth audience; could be elevated by name casting.

    Awards Potential

    No.

    Envisioned Budget

    LOW BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK AND CODY; MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY OLSEN VEHICLES

    What’s New About the Story

    An honest portrayal of an all-American family. However, important issues like the author's parents' divorce and getting pregnant in high school are not looked at closely at all and deprive the story of depth.

    Lead Characters

    Author's recall for tiny details of herself and her siblings, from clothing, music, candies, conversations and confrontations.

    Uniqueness of Story

    No. The big issues (divorce, teen pregnancy) need much greater depth to give the story universal appeal.

    Possible Formats

    TV Series - Network

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    The book feels very much like a personal memoir that is strictly for family reading, instead of a more literary novel that could have universal appeal.

    Tips for Improvement

    Much more in depth exploring of the author's feelings about her parents' divorce, her teen pregnancy and romantic relationships.

    Brief

    A sweet and honest look at an all-American family, from the POV of the youngest of three sisters. Despite resenting being bullied by them when younger, the girls grow up to be loyal and supportive of each other.

    What We Liked

    Audiences will like the down-home quality of this honest, personal memoir. They'll connect with the familiar themes of sibling rivalry, and laugh at the hijinks the girls get into. Told from the POV of the author, we see how as the youngest and smallest she is vulnerable to being drawn into risky situations by her older sisters. Together with being naturally accident-prone, this takes her into some life threatening situations at times! It's nice to see familial lessons being told, how not to take things too far, when to apologize and when to forgive. Despite the often-clashing characters and heated arguments, this is a family that prizes togetherness and unity. The material should do well with a family audience, and also with faith-based audiences. It's good, clean fun.

    Film: Easy to shoot for a price with its small cast and limited small-town backdrop. The three sisters are well defined - youngest/baby, rambunctious middle and mediating eldest - as it explores familial themes that are easy to identify with. With more depth in the issues of the parents' divorce and the author's teen pregnancy, this could be a heart-warming story of family confrontation and reconciliation.

    TV: Very easy to make for a price with its small-town Ohio backdrop and focus on a single family home. The antics the sisters get up to are highly entertaining, particularly to younger viewers, while imparting worthy and gently told moral messages. It'd make a solid after-school series.

    Key points: Honest, fresh narrative. Three well-drawn female leads. Convincing family dramas, confrontations and reconciliations. Amusing sibling antics. Quaint all-American backdrop.

    Synopsis

    EMILY McCOY was born in 1984 to a modest family living in Deer Park, Ohio, outside Cincinnati. The youngest of three girls she was immediately pegged as a ‘pet’ by her two older sisters LIZ and CHARLOTTE (‘Charlie’). From the start, she felt like an outsider as their antics towards her became increasingly rambunctious, and even abusive. They dub themselves ‘the McCoy Boys’. Em’s childhood is a litany of narrow escapes! When she is just a baby, she is kidnapped from an open-air movie theater by a mentally disturbed man. Her frantic mother races after him and talks the man down. When Em’s beloved grandfather, Poppy, dies, she almost falls into the grave by trying to climb into the open coffin. When her sisters force her to eat some hated cheese sticks, she almost chokes to death, saved only by a Heimlich maneuver by a doctor in the restaurant. On a vacation to Myrtle Beach, her sisters persuade her to wade out beyond waist level and then swim her out far too deep. When they spot sharks, they flee back to the shore, Charlie dragging Emily who almost drowns. During a basement movie night with her cousins, Charlie and Liz sneak in a PG-13 film, Cry Baby, with adult themes and swear words. Mom is shocked when she overhears 7-year-old Em acting out some shocking dialogue with her dolls later! Attending their mother’s annual company picnic at a Water Park, nervous Emily slips on the high water slide and hurtles down out of control, smashing her face on the bottom edge of the slide, almost biting through her tongue. She is surprised when her sisters, usually hostile, dive to the rescue! Dad buys a modest boat and enjoys playing ‘Captain’ in it while it’s parked in their driveway! They go on a camping/cabin trip to a nearby lake and the girls enjoy being dragged around on an inflatable ‘torpedo’ behind the speeding boat. Unwilling to use the nasty public camp toilets, the girls go into the woods to pee – and are horrified to find they’re standing in a nest of snakes!

    Mom and Dad separate, with the latter renting a small studio apartment nearby. At Christmas, the girls make an extra effort with holiday decorations. Em is so small she’s dubbed a ‘Helper Elf’. When Mom goes to see her sick mother, the girls are left home alone. Sweet-talking Em, they get her to confess where Mom hides their Christmas presents, in the creepy crawl space. They force Em to bring them all out where they peek beneath the paper to see what they’re getting, and then make Em wrap them up again. On Christmas Day, Mom senses something is off. The girls don’t seem that excited about their gifts. Em realizes that by crossing the line, they have cheated themselves of their usual holiday magic. One game ‘the Great Escape’ – goes too far. Normally, it entails tying Em to a chair and watching her break free. This time, Charlie pushes Em face first into the bed and covers her with a thick quilt, while she struggles to untie her hands. She almost suffocates and passes out, scaring Liz and Charlie. ‘Never fucking do that again!’ Em yells, in an uncharacteristic display of defiance. In the sixth grade, Em breaks her arm in a fall and Mom is so terrified of general anesthesia that she has the doctor forcibly reset the bone without it. As a result, the arm heals crooked. Liz hits her senior year and she and Charlie often fight over boys. Mom demands they spend 30 minutes a day peacefully. Em watches them play croquet on the lawn and is horrified when it turns into a physical fight. Liz throws a heavy ball at Charlie’s head and it smashes into the kitchen’s plate glass window, shattering right onto Em. There’s hell to pay when Mom gets home. Liz goes off to college and Em moves her room, happy to have privacy at last. However, she soon misses the noise of her combined older sisters, as does Charlie apparently, as the latter soon comes to her room to have sisterly chats. At the Homecoming Dance, Em finally sees Charlie’s weakness: she is desperate to be the best, to be popular, and nervous she won’t be voted Queen. Luckily, she is. The family are gifted a used trampoline and over the summer, Em gathers her friends. With Liz away and Charlie off with older boys, she has more time to enjoy her own crew at home. When Charlie and a couple of her girlfriends force them off, Em and her friends bombard them with water balloons. It turns into an all-out fight which leaves them all soaking wet and laughing. However, things go too far when Charlie dares everyone to jump off the porch roof onto the trampoline. Em is the last to go and by now, the weakened structure gives way, tossing her onto the ground! Mom is furious when she comes home and makes the sisters work jobs all summer to pay for repairs.

    Mom is mollified when, returning to school, both Charlie and Em are elected class presidents for their years! Em finds herself being noticed and more accepted at school, and even draws admiring looks from one cute older boy! That Christmas, Dad goes all out and showers the girls with dozens of gifts, even $200 each in cash. They’re worried he’s borrowed too much money or got into trouble with his business. The basement is filled with supplies, a bed, a generator and even guns. Is Dad in trouble? He explains it’s for Y2K though, of course, when the new century rolls in, nothing happens. Charlie graduates and goes off to college and Em is left alone! At first, it’s tough, with both of her parents moping around – but she soon learns to like having their sole attention. When the family is reunited at Thanksgiving, the sisters have a renewed appreciation for each other. Their childhood rivalry and bullying is long behind them. Charlie shocks her parents by opting to studying abroad in Australia for a semester. Mom warns her to get no tattoos/piercings, skydive or get an Aussie boyfriend. Charlie does all three! At 18, in her senior year, Em finds herself pregnant by an on-off boyfriend. They can’t make things work and Em decides to have the child. She works three after school jobs to save money. She graduates with honors and has a sports scholarship to college – but can’t use it. At 19, Emily gives birth to adorable Ellie and her family rally round her. She remains living at home, enjoying new motherhood. After a year, she enrolls in a local college, with plenty of babysitting help from her parents and sisters. She graduates when Ellie is 6 and finds a job as an ultrasound technician. Her income is good enough to buy her own small home very close to her parents. Beloved grandma Apple dies and it’s the end of an era. Em has a string of terrible dates but finally meets KP (late 20s) and in 2013, they are married. Her parents are shocked when she declares she’s quitting her hospital job to focus on writing, but, as always, they support her. Emily writes this book, Surviving McCoy.

    About The Author

    The author's debut memoir is painfully earnest but at the same time, backs away from deeper emotions about tricky subjects like divorce and teen pregnancy. The material is quite 'safe', and might be suitable for conservative and/or faith-based family audiences. The story is well-written and an easy read, with warm-hearted and valuable lessons for parents and teens.