Zack McDermott had a promising career as public defender in New York, when he suddenly found himself wandering the streets in the throws of a psychotic break, convinced he was being filmed for a TV show. Soon after, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, followed by a stint in a psychiatric hospital. His mother, a teacher, brought him back home to Wichita where he had grown up, determined to find a way help her son.
Months later, with the support of his mother, he was able to stabilize and return to his job in New York. After leaving the legal field, he wrote his memoir, The Gorilla and The Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love, which was released by Little, Brown, & Co. this week.
His story also caught the attention of actor-producer Channing Tatum's team Free Association, who has teamed with Big Beach, to develop the memoir into a TV series.
You can meet McDermott and his mother, "Bird," when they make an appearance at Watermark Books on October 12.