by Lisa Schreiner
Last year, James S. Murray, better known as “Murr” on TruTV’s Impractical Jokers, and co-author Darren Wearmouth debuted “Awakened”, the first of the Awakened trilogy novels. “Awakened” tells the story of underground creatures that wreak havoc on the streets of New York City, after the inauguration of a new subway line that connects New Jersey to Manhattan, in record time. You can read our review of “Awakened” here.
“The Brink” (out June 18th, Harper Voyager), the second book in the trilogy, picks up where “Awakened” left off, but now the unfathomable underground creatures have spread worldwide. “The Brink” is a page-turning tale of good vs. evil as our heroic characters are forced to battle not only the nightmare-inducing monsters, but an evil foundation that seeks to control the creatures and use them as weapons of mass destruction for their agenda.
Wearmouth and Murray once again provide such vivid descriptions of these creatures that the reader is inclined to investigate (or perhaps, hide from) the slightest noise heard out in the backyard. While reading a book can be an escape for someone, “The Brink” just may be a story one needs to escape from.
Murr and Darren Wearmouth came to Book Revue on June 18th to sign copies of the newest novel. Sonic Sound Magazine sat down with James S, Murray for a quick chat about what to expect in the future from the trilogy and the authors.
Sonic Sound: You had said it took you 14 years to have “Awakened” come to fruition. Was it always a trilogy in your head?
James: The first book, “Awakened” is a stand alone story. But, with hints that there’s more to come. I was imagining it was a trilogy. It took a year to write, fourteen years ago, and I couldn’t get anyone to buy it or read it. They returned it unopened, literally. I wasn’t famous, I didn’t have an agent or a manager. So now, 15 years later, we’ve hit number one in the UK Sunday Times and a bunch of other best seller lists.
Sonic Sound: Last year when you were here, you were talking about possibly a tv show or a movie for these novels. Any update on that?
James: Yup. In L.A., in literally two weeks, we’re pitching this book (“The Brink”) as a movie!
Sonic Sound: Really? Just “The Brink” or will it be a combination of all the books?
James: It will be a combination of…”Awakened” itself is a great stand-alone movie, but we bring some of the elements of “The Brink” into it, to round out the story, for a movie.
Sonic Sound: Who would you cast?
James: Well…I don’t know, I’m thinking maybe a handsome reality tv star (sheepishly implying himself). Sara Bowcut, (one of the main characters in “Awakened” and “The Brink”) I love Tristan Mays from the ABC show McGuyver, she would be perfect for Sarah Bowcut. For the mayor, someone had a great suggestion the other day…a young Ray Liotta. He would be great as the mayor.
Sonic Sound: I think Ray Liotta now would be great as well.
James: Well, the mayor is in his late 40’s. I think Ray is a bit past that now. But that kind of type. Or like, a young Andy Garcia.
Sonic Sound: Andy Garcia today would work, too.
James: Right? Andy Garcia any day.
Sonic Sound: Would you be directing it, or do you have somebody in mind?
James: No, no. I wouldn’t. I would be executive producing it.
Sonic Sound: Maybe some cameos?
James: Hell yeah, I’ll do a cameo in the movie! I would definitely want Sal, Joe and Q in it (Murr’s co-stars on Impractical Jokers).
Sonic Sound: So after the third book comes out, do you plan on writing more novels, maybe branching out to different genres?
James: Yes, absolutely. We have several more planned.
Sonic Sound: Science fiction or…?
James: Thrillers. Several more thrillers that we’ll be announcing soon!
“The Brink” and “Awakened” are available at your local bookstore and on Amazon now.
You can also catch Murr along with his Impractical Jokers co-stars Joe Gatto, Sal Vulcano and Brian “Q” Quinn on tour now. Dates and information can be found on their Tenderloins site.