Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Interview with magician, entertainer, and author Arjay Lewis

Arjay Lewis joins me today to talk about his new horror paranormal novel, The Muse: A Novel of Unrelenting Terror.

Arjay Lewis (aka R.J. Lewis) is an award-winning author, entertainer and magician. He has experienced every level of show business from street-performing to Broadway.

Arjay’s published stories have appeared in H.P. Lovecraft Magazine of Horror, Weird Tales, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. He also has been published in the anthology The Ultimate Halloween. His novel Homes & Watkins, The Mystery of the Manacled Man, was a finalist in the 2016 Murder & Mayhem Novel Competition for Chanticleer Book Reviews.
He has collaborated on several films including: DOWN IN FLAMES, The True Story of Tony ‘Volcano’ Valenci – which has won seven Film Festival awards. His screenplay for DUMMY (co-written with Pamela Wess) is the winning screenplay for the 2017 Garden State Film Festival. It also won 4th place in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Screenplay Competition.
Arjay is married to his wife, Debra, and has one daughter Rayna. He is currently performing on the Princess Cruise Line as the ‘Magic Maker’ in the hit show, MAGIC TO DO.

Welcome, Arjay. Please tell us about your current release, The Muse.
Famed horror writer Jack Court is a man with a secret. Besides his hobby as a brutal serial killer, he possesses a living creature within his body that enables him to write brilliantly as well as avoid capture. On his trail is Sheriff Neil Trajan, who is sure Court murdered his wife three years earlier.

When struck by a local man’s truck Jack’s creature leaves him, and through a series of events finds its way to down-on-his-luck author Harry Godwine, who begins to write on a much higher level.

However, Jack’s body is undergoing odd physical changes, and he has become obsessed with recovering his lost companion.

This leads to a violent situation, as Court seeks the other man, leaving a trail of destruction, while pursued by Trajan and his FBI associate, Bill Morris.

Can they stop Court before he rejoins with the creature? And who will have to die so that he can retrieve it?

What inspired you to write this book?
In June of 1999, out of the blue I had the desire to write a horror tale called The Dark. I had never written horror before and the idea of a night guard who saw things in the dark—that were actually there— was a leap for me. (That story eventually sold to H.P. Lovecraft Magazine of Horror.)

It wasn’t until the next day, when I read the news that Stephen King had been hit by a truck in Maine that I had the oddest feeling, and I thought to myself, “It was as if something needed that story to be written and since he couldn’t, it moved to me.” This, of course, was the height of ego. Mr. King is an amazing wordsmith and teller of tall tales, and far more adept a writer than I. But the thought stuck with me and I wondered what it would be like if there was something— an actual physical entity that could help people write— and not just write, but write best sellers.

That concept became The Muse.

Excerpt from The Muse: A Novel of Unrelenting Terror:
She gave a nod to Franz and the image began to advance. Neil could see the internal organs move slowly as Godwine drew breath.
Suddenly, the nautilus shape turned an even brighter shade of yellow and quivered. It happened so quickly that Neil thought it was a trick of the eye.
“What the hell—” was all Neil could say.
"What did we just see?” Morris asked, stunned as well.
Dr. Ross pulled the pencil eraser with her teeth as she chose her words carefully. “Whatever it is, it’s alive.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have more of the “IN THE MIND” series coming. It is a first-person Mystery series following a psychic detective who works with the local police.

I also have a stand-alone book, The Wizards of Central Park West— which I call the “Ultimate Urban Fantasy” being released in 2018.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have been writing all my life, and stories are always coming to me. First, plays and scripts for live Murder Mystery shows. ( Then I wrote short stories that were published. I then starting to write novels in the 1990’s.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am currently the magician on a cruise ship, and perform about 3 days a week. I write in the morning, every morning. I achieve a minimum of 1,000 words a day.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to go into the ship’s library to write in the morning. I choose a comfortable chair near the door. So, people think I am there to answer questions, which I try to do politely, and get back to writing.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A performer— funny how it turned out


Thanks for being here today, Arjay!

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