We went to Book Revue in Huntington and interviewed Murr, who was on a tour promoting his new horror/thriller book, “The Brink: An Awakened Novel,” which he cowrote with Darren Wearmouth (Harper Voyager Books).
Murr, aka James Stephen Murray, is a 43-year-old actor-comedian on TruTV’s “Impractical Jokers” as well as the bestselling author of horror/thriller novels. Murr has written a series consisting of two bestselling books. His first book was “Awakened: A Novel.” His second book, “The Brink: An Awakened Novel,” was released on the date of this interview. Murr discussed what inspired him to become an author, and also what inspired him to write “The Brink,” his experience as an actor-comedian on “Impractical Jokers,” and a few details about his personal life.
We asked Murr what inspired him to become an author and he told us that he always wanted to write thrillers. We also found out that he went to college for creative writing, so writing a book was right up his alley. Growing up he loved scary movies.
We followed up with why he has written two books on the Awakened topic. He told us that this book, “The Brink,” is the second book in his triolgy.
He added that he used to live in Brooklyn, and he would take the subway home late at night. And it was terrifying. Like the lights would go out. You’d be in total darkness. When the lights went out, he found it terrifying and decided to write a book about these terrors. “Awakened” takes place in the subways, which are really claustrophobic. “The Brink” is a sequel. He told us that when readers read the first one and then move on to “The Brink,” they will find it to be even crazier and scary and fun.
Murr told us that he loved to watch scary movies and read scary books as a kid; this inspired him to write his own thriller. We also learned that the hardest part about writing a book is researching the details of the story. For example, he said there are many ways to tie a knot in a rope, so he had to research this topic to make sure he found the best way for his story.
This series takes place in New York City. After a new subway opens, it is being haunted by creatures unknown on Earth. The mysterious creatures hold many countries hostage. The former mayor of New York City must bring his team together and try to accomplish what seems like an impossible task — to save the world! We asked Murr all sorts of questions. Some about the show and others about his new book. He responded nicely to every question and didn’t hesitate to make us laugh.
We asked him questions like have any of the challenges affected your relationships or how he met Q, Joe and Sal. He told us about how his ex-girlfriend broke up with him because she didn’t like all the punishments he was being put through on the show. She didn’t appreciate Murr’s friends making him get his nipples pierced or making him get a tattoo. He also told us about when he first met Q, Joe and Sal. He told us that he met Sal in religion class and Q and Joe joined soon after.
We had such a fun time meeting Murr! He was so nice and funny and just really made sure we all had a good time. He signed our copies of his book and took photos with us. It was just a great time in general. We stayed for his presentation with his co-author, Darren, and it was great to meet this comedian and author. We recommend this book to kids who are 12 and older. The plot of the story might be a little too intense for younger readers.