New Author, J.S. Pray and the Upcoming Multiceptional

JS1

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.

Author Questions

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!)

JS2

Reader Questions

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)

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

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!)

Contact Information:

Author Name: J.S. Pray

Blog: www.jsprayspeaks.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006074299478

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JSPray03

Book Links: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1355162928/multiceptional-urban-fantasy-with-a-super-powered

Advertisements

What’s Playing? July 3, 2013

The Lone Ranger (PG-13) is a modern day, fast action, fist flying, train-chasing version of the classic Radio Serial hit. Armie Hammer (Mirror Mirror) is the new face of the mask-wearing hero, John Reid aka The Lone Ranger. After being transformed, seemingly brought back from the dead, by an outcast Comanche Warrior, Reid and his new Native American ally, Tonto (Johnny Depp, Dark Shadows) join forces to bring justice to a Texas town where the lawmen are just as corrupt as the bandits.

http://www.examiner.com/article/what-s-playing-july-3-2013

The Lone Ranger and Despicable Me 2

The Lone Ranger and Despicable Me 2

Credit:

https://www.facebook.com/TheLoneRanger
https://www.facebook.com/DespicableMe

This film also stars Helena Bonham Carter (Les Miserables) as Red Harrington, William Fichtner (Ultraviolet) as the scarred faced outlaw, Butch Cavendish, Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins) as railroad man, Latham Cole and Ruth Wilson (Anna Karenina) as Rebecca Reid, the wife of Reid’s brother.

The film is directed by Gore Verbinski, who has directed several other Johnny Depp films, such as the Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise and the animated film Rango.

Despicable Me 2 (PG) Steve Carell is back as Gru, the villain with a heart. When the world is in dire need of a superhero, the AVL (Anti-Villain League) calls on none other then the criminal mastermind himself. Why? Because to beat a villain, you have to think like a villain. Gru is partnered up with Agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wig, Bridesmaids) and his daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove, iCarly), Edith (Dana Gaier, Despicable Me) and Agnes (Vertical) are determined to get the two together.

Also featuring the voices of Benjamin Bratt (Snitch) as the villainous El Macho, Russell Brand (Rock of Ages), Ken Jeong (The Hangover), Steve Coogan (The Other Guys), Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live) and last but not least, the men behind the voices of the adorable minions, Mr. Pierre Coffin and Mr. Chris Renaud, who are also the film’s Directors.

 

Monsters University: Bring Your Scare Face

In 2001, the world was introduced to Mike, Sulley and a pig-tailed, little girl named Boo. I’m talking about the character’s from Disney Pixar’s Monster’s Inc. Audiences fell in love with big guy, Sulley and his sarcastic “Scare Partner” Mike Wazowski. We all laughed when Boo tried over and over to pronounce Wazowski’s last name and failed, adorably. We discovered that Monster’s Inc. was not the place we thought it was and Sully and Wazowski, along with Boo, were the heros to save the day.

But who are Sulley and Mike? What were they like before Monster’s Inc.? What made them the monsters we know and love? In Monsters University we get to see how Sulley and Mike met and how they came to be one of the best Scare Teams at Monster’s Inc.

 

http://www.examiner.com/review/monsters-university-bring-your-scare-face 

 

Monsters University (G, 92 minutes) centers on the one-eyed, little, green monster, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal, Parental Guidance) as he begins his scare education at MU. He’s a smart, dedicated student who wants nothing more than to work at Monster’s Inc. and become the best scarer their world has ever seen. Then enters James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman, The Hangover Part III), the smooth-talking monster that is known for his scare factor as well as his family’s name. As you might have guessed it, these two monsters are at odds from the start.

During one of their most important tests, Mike and Sulley are so consumed with out-scaring each other that they break a Scream Can, which holds a world-record breaking scream, that belongs to none other than the head of the Scare Program, Dean Hardscabble (Helen Mirren, RED). With not so much as batting an eyelash, the Dean kicks both monsters out of the program.

Devastated and unsure of where their educational life is headed, the monsters join forces, along with a few other not-so-scary monsters, and try to win the Scare Games. The games were created by Dean Hardscabble where different fraternities and sororities are pitied against each other to test their team work, knowledge and heart. If Mike and Sulley win, their entire team is allowed back into the Scare Program.

The members of the team have a hard time working together with Mike and Sulley battling for dominance. It becomes apparent that the monsters in the team are not what you would call “scary” at all. There is the multi-eyed and surprisingly stealthy, Squishy (Pete Sohn, Ratatouille), mature student Don (Joel Murray, God Bless America), two-headed Terry (Dave Foley, Vampires Suck) and Terri (Sean Hayes, The Three Stooges), and the sweet, but simple-minded Art (Charlie Day, Horrible Bosses).

After the first leg in the Scare Games, everyone, including them, knows they are going to have to dig deep if they even want a remote chance of winning.

This film is a great family film for the young and the parents who have a special place in their hearts for Monster’s Inc.

The 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards; And the Winners Are?

Today all the buzz has been around the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG). This awards show brings the actors, directors, screen writers, and others one step closer to the pinnacle of awards shows, The Oscars. After the Golden Globes and the SAG award shows the world can pretty much narrow down who is taking home that golden Oscar. But first, what is the Screen Actors Guild?

It all began in 1933 when actors were finally standing up to big bad studio owners. They were tired of being put on 7 year contracts and forced to work however the studio executives wanted them to. However, it wasn’t until Bette Davis (All About Eve) and Olivia de Havilland (Gone with the Wind) actually rebelled against the studio that a large headway in actor’s rights were made. More history on the SAG can be found here:

http://www.sagaftra.org/history/how-sag-was-founded/how-sag-was-founded

Tonight, many celebrities were in attendance for the 19th Annual SAG awards. The presenters included Jude Law, Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, and many, many more. A list of winners can be found here:

http://www.imdb.com/oscars/nominations/screen-actors-guild?ref_=rto_nb_sag

It was a great night for Ben Affleck and the rest of the Argo cast for winning Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Eyebrows were raised when Affleck was snubbed for an Oscar for the Best Director category. However, the Oscar dream isn’t over for Argo as the film is nominated for Best Picture, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Writing (Adapted Screenplay), and Music.

Jennifer Lawrence took home a SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her portrayal of a troubled window in the critically acclaimed Silver Linings Playbook. Unfortuantly, her co-star, Bradly Cooper, didn’t take home the SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. That award went to Daniel Day-Lewis for his amazing work in Lincoln. Now back to Jennifer, it really is no big surprise the actress won considering she has been cleaning up this year at each awards show. Still, this is amazing for the young actress to hold her own against the likes of Helen Mirren (Hitchcock), Naomi Watts (Impossible), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), and Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone).

To view all the Oscar nominees go here:

http://oscar.go.com/nominees

Who do you think will take home the Oscar in each category? Who is more deserving? Also, is there any category you think went to the wrong person/film tonight? Leave your comments below.

‘Mama’, ‘The Last Stand’, and ‘Broken City’; Can They Take the Box Office?

Hello all,

Are you going to watch a movie this weekend? Will it be ‘Mama’, ‘Broken City’, and ‘The Last Stand’? If you want to know more about each film check out my article on Examiner.com. Follow this link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/mama-the-last-stand-and-broken-city-can-they-take-the-box-office?cid=db_articles

Don’t forget to subscribe to receive more updates on new movies!

You can also read the article below:

Last week at the Box Office, Zero Dark Thirty took Texas Chainsaw 3D completely out of the running with its sweep of $24.4 million in ticket sales. A Haunted House was hardly a close second with $18.1 Million and Gangster Squad trailed not far behind with $17.1 Million of its own. Django Unchained and Les Miserables rounded out the top five. But there’s a whole new group of movies slated to open this weekend. Let’s get into it shall we?

Movie Posters for New Releases 1.18.2013

Movie Posters for New Releases 1.18.2013

Credit: http://www.facebook.com

Broken City (R) stars Mark Wahlberg as Billy Taggart, an ex New York city cop who is framed by the corrupt Mayor Hostetler, Russell Crowe, for murder. Taggart then sets out on a vengeance fueled mission for justice. The film also stars Catherine Zeta-Jones as Crowe’s wife and Jeffrey Wright (Quantum of Solace). While action movies do well in theaters it stands to reason that this film will have trouble outshining other hot films that’s being released this weekend. The Box Office fate of this film is solely in the hands of movie goers.

In The Last Stand (R), Ray Owens, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a small town sheriff headed for big time trouble when a group of drug dealers, lead by Burrell (Peter Stormare, Lockout) and Gabriel Cortez, an escaped convict, (Eduardo Noriega, The Devil’s Backbone), tear through his city on their way to Mexico. Forest Whitaker plays Agent John Bannister, the agent involved in the initial apprehension of the Cortez. The cast is rounded out by Johnny Knoxville, Luis Guzman, and Jaimie Alexander (Thor).

Then we have Mama (PG-13), starring Jessica Chastain ( Zero Dark Thirty ) as Annabel and N ikolaj Coster-Waldau ( Headhunters ) as Lucas. The couple takes in Lucas’ nieces, Victoria and Lily, who have been lost in the wilderness for 5 years. When the girls move in strange things start to happen and the couple discovers they are interacting to an unseen being they call “ Mama ”. The film is written and directed by Andres Muschietti. Back in 2008, Muschietti wrote and directed a short film called Mama , a Spanish film, which the U.S. motion picture Mama is based on. Let us not forget that the film is being Executively Produced by Writer/Director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy , Pan’s Labyrinth).

If you haven’t seen the short film; go see it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPmycZaJYNw

While all three movies have potential, I think Jessica Chastain will be competing with herself this weekend. Between Zero Dark Thirty getting extreme exposure and Mama seeming like a fresh new take on horror, the actress may have first and second place at the Box Office.

Thanks,
Amanda

Gangsters, Ghosts, and Terrorist; Who Will Take the Lead this Weekend?

See my article on Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/article/gangsters-ghosts-and-terrorist-who-will-take-the-lead-this-weekend?cid=db_articles

Several films will be hitting theaters this weekend. Some of the most anticipated are Zero Dark Thirty, A Haunted House, and Gangster Squad. The question is, which film will come out on top at the box office? Better yet, will these films be able to overtake the current top three: Texas Chainsaw 3D, Django Unchained, and The Hobbit? What kind of potential do these movies really have?

A Haunted House, written by Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez, is a spoof on the Paranormal Activity franchise, Sinister, and The Devil Within. The film stars Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins as the unlucky couple who move into a house haunted by a demon. It sounds exactly like the plot of the first Paranormal Activity movie, but all the scary parts will surely be replaced my crude and over the top humor. Does this have the potential to be number one come Monday morning? Chances are slim, but stranger things have happened.

Slide1

www.facebook.com 

Next there is Gangster Squad, directed by Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, about a group of LAPD police officers who take on big fish gangster, Mickey Cohen. Cohen is portrayed by Sean Penn, who sort of looks like a cartoon character with his new nose. Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, to name a few, round out the cast. This film has the cast, the action, and the plot to do well. However, will the majority of people who will be drawn to this type of movie come out the theater this weekend?

Finally, there is Zero Dark Thirty, staring Jessica Chastain as a CIA operative on a mission to find Osama Bin Laden after the attacks on America on September 11, 2001. The film is based on the real life story of this mission, the CIAs working the case, and the Navy Seals that are sent out in search of one of the most villainous people of our time. Kathryn Bigelow, known for directing The Hurt Locker, is also in the director’s seat for this one. Those associated with Zero Dark Thirty must be doing something right because it was just announced that the film is up for an Oscar for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing.

For more on the Oscar Nominations, go here: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/oscar-nominations-2013-full-list/story?id=18174507

Thanks,

Amanda