J.S. Pray is one of the authors I was really looking forward to having on my blog when I started this Blog Fest. For starters, he’s an upcoming author with a lot to say. Secondly, I’ve known him since forever. He and I went to school together, were band nerds together and he and his lovely wife, Stephanie, are great friends of mine. It’s surreal to know that there is another writer coming out of a small Alabama town that most people don’t even know exists. It makes me proud that he is striving for his dreams and that he has such great support from those who love him.
J.S. Pray is a husband, father, author, gamer, and Netflix junkie. He is currently writing his debut NA novel under the working name Multiceptional, and plans to have it in the hands of readers by mid-summer 2015.
Tell us a little about yourself and why you wanted to start the daunting, yet rewarding task of writing a novel?
Back in high school, when I was taking freshman English Literature, my teacher really liked my writing and she would send my work into competitions and wouldn’t let me know until I won something. That was the first time I thought “Hey maybe I could be good at this.” I really have my freshman English Literature teacher to thank for helping me realize I had a talent for writing. (What it Mrs. Hudson?)
What has been the one thing that has fueled your passion as a writer?
Mainly just the buzz I get from it. After I write for an hour or more, I’m more sociable. It may sound strange but I’m not nearly as surly after I have a good writing session. (I know what you mean!)
Tell us what genre you plan to write in and why.
Right now I’m more interested in NA (New Adult), urban fantasy, epic fantasy, survival horror/post apocalypse, but I’m very open minded. I want to write what I would like to read. So if your looking to read manga or erotica, I am NOT the author for you.
Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?
Suspense…I think that finding the balance to putting your readers on edge would be interesting.
What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?
I use a computer for writing just because it’s faster, but for general note taking I like pen and paper. (Always keep a journal with you)
Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?
I would have to say Nathan Fillion because of the way he pulls off his wise cracks in his films and shows is interesting to me. Also Piers Anthony because of his play on words. Lastly, Stephen King because he is the king. (Nathan is the best!)
How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?
I’m still researching as I write and situations come up and I’m not familiar with. I’m constantly researching and asking questions about things that haven’t ever happened to me but happen to my characters.
Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?
To turn a phrase from the Dos Equis man “I don’t always listen to music when I write but when I do it’s things like Celldweller, Lindsey Stirling, and District 78”. (Oh Lindsey! Her cute little face and twinkle toes just makes me smile)
How do you deal with self-doubt, writer’s block and all the other issues that an author faces?
I actually wrote a blog entry based on this very subject. But personally, after the proper amount of self-loathing, usually just sitting my tuchus in the chair and put fingers to keys. Past that, just taking a break to play with the kids can usually get the ole juices flowing. (That’s right, just do it!)
When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?
Well, being a dad and husband occupies my other spare time other than writing but I do thoroughly enjoy lounging around watching some youtube, and I am definitely a Netflix and Hulu junky. And once in a blue moon I get to play a split screen co-op game with my boy along with going and cheering on his soccer team.
What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?
Honestly, probably this interview! (He is too sweet!)
Who created your amazing cover art?
Right now what I am working with I created but I am not against getting some secondary cover art done for my print version of the book.
Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.
Right now I’m working on a novel under the working name of Multiceptional. Right now it is coming together to be a tale about a young man coming into full adulthood in a time when the U.S. government is in an era similar to the Roman Empire after moving the capital to Constantinople. Oh yeah, and some people may have super powers! (I can’t wait to read it)
Why did you choose a kickstarter campaign to fund your novel and where can we find more information about donating?
Short of finding the pot-o-gold at the end of the next rainbow I see, my WIP may see a physical printing maybe about the time my children are looking into buying their children their first cars (they’re all under the age of 10). Also, I’m not getting any younger. I would like to enjoy any minuscule bit of success I may have in writing while I still can write. Publishing is expensive as anyone who has traveled this road I’m setting myself on well-knows. So if anyone feels like it would be something they could sink their metaphoric teeth in then please go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1355162928/multiceptional-urban-fantasy-with-a-super-powered to check it out and receive updates. (Help a brother out!)
What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?
Peter Clines definitely and Tad Williams to a lesser extent.
Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?
There is no way that anyone who has ever read more than a handful of books can narrow it down to just one so here goes: The Ex Heroes series by Peter Clines becauses its frackin awesome. The Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Trilogy by Tad Williams because the epic transition you take with the protagonist from the beginning to end is what literary professors should be teaching their students to recreate. The $64 Tomato by William Alexander because it’s honest, down to earth and doesn’t need flowery language to be a page turner. That is just a start but I will stop there. (More books to add to my never-ending reading list)
What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?
Definitely Ex Heroes but only if the studio would be willing to dump more money into it than they would ever get back.
As a reader, what about a book turns you away?
Ok there are a few things: Being overly descriptive, having characters that appear and are described in great detail but then never recur, and typos; I know sometimes it can’t be helped when its 7500 words long but when you’re in a flow reading a page turner and you have to stop and reread a sentence several times because of a repetitive word or misspelled word it hinders the flow and the ambiance the author is trying to create.
If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?
I usually pry open the jaws of my literary mind and force feed it like a baby bird! And yes it is just as painful as it sounds.
Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?
I like to read around just for the fact that once you read in a lone genre for an extended amount of time, no matter how much the author doesn’t want it to seem derivative it always seems to become derivative to the reader.
Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?
I don’t have anything against either but I personally prefer book in hand. Downside, my house will only hold so many books. (Smell those pages)
Favorite movie of all times would have to be Sphere (Loved the book)
Favorite TV show?
Walking Dead, Bones, Sliders, Criminal Minds, Firefly, Sherlock, Stargate, the first season of SeaQuest DSV because after that the writing really went to poo. Oh and an oldie but a goodie, The Pretender (You’re speaking my language)
If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ribeye Steak (MED-RARE) with au gratin potatoes
What’s your favorite candy/dessert?
Hand’s down, Cadbury eggs!!! (Yum!)
What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.
Breaking Benjamin, Volbeat, anything with a heavy rhythmic guitar line and operatic vocals. (Love me some BB)
What’s your hidden talent?
Ok, so my wife is actually asking me this conversational style and filling it in for me while we’re sitting on the couch and I can’t attest to this myself but my two kids both just lept up and said that I had to say that I am a great Dad. I guess in this day and age you could actually consider that as a talent. (Awe!)
What is your dream vacation?
28 days in New Zealand, the adventure capital of the world. (Take me with you!)
Author Name: J.S. Pray