Saturday, September 22, 2012

The First Day of Fall

Today my calendar says it’s the first day of fall; I’m happy about that, autumn is my favorite time of year. But looking back, I have to say that this summer was pretty great. It flew by, as I stayed busy with a number of excellent projects.

Editing for my third Sebastian and the Afterlife book began (which I’m happy to get started).  I have already put in a bit of work on that; my chief editor and I will be buried in editing for the next couple of months. 

What really stuck out this summer is all of the film-work I got to be involved with.

In the beginning of August I did some extra work in a feature film called ‘The Spectacular Now’, starring some young Hollywood up and comers you’ve likely seen on TV and other films. It was a high school dramedy (drama-comedy) filming here in Athens. I got to be a pedestrian that walked by in a number of shots filmed outside of a clothing store. If the scene stays in the movie, you should be sure to see me this one particular time that I cross the street about twenty or so feet behind a couple of the lead actors as they are delivering some heartfelt dialogue. It will be coming out sometime in 2013.

The week following that, I found myself outside of Chattanooga, TN, in a little horror movie called ‘The Hospital’. This was a fun shoot, and my wife actually got to be in the film with me.  We were diner patrons at this little restaurant called the Dixie Freeze. It was basically that classic scene where the young college kid comes to the small town and says that they plan to go to the old ___(insert creepy location here)___  (in this case it was the old abandoned hospital … oh, did I mention that it was haunted?). At this point all of the town’s folk warn her not to go there, but the visitor doesn’t listen… of course. My mind kept going back to the old crazy guy in the 1980’s Friday the 13th movies telling the kids “you’re all doomed!” The diner was small, and there were only a small number of us in the scene, so you’ll definitely notice me. The movie will be in film festivals by the spring of 2013, but from what I understand, it is not for the faint of heart.

Right at the beginning of September I was very excited to get a chance to play a ‘Crawly Demon’ in the horror-comedy film Hell Hole. I had a big costume/makeup job from head to toe to make me look like this terrible monster… it was awesome. Everyone loved the character… a number of people were taking pictures of me and with me. I kinda felt like a rock star on set. I had a number of great scenes where I brought my monster swagger and attacked people. I eat one guy, attack another, attack an officer, get beat up by one of the lead girls, and attack the leading men. It was all part of a day’s work for your local hell monster. The scenes I was in were both scary and hilarious. You should keep an eye out for this film in 2013.

On another movie note: my picture will be appearing in a short film currently titled ‘Masked’.  The image will appear in some mug shots of ‘The FBI’s 10 Most Wanted’. I’ll be looking forward to that. I believe it’s a horror-thriller, but seeing a mug shot of me as a serious villain is going to be pretty amusing. The movie is in pre-production right now, I’m sure they’ll be trying to have it done in time to enter film festivals early next year.

I was supposed to be playing a role in a horror movie called Deathwoods, but filming got delayed. I will probably be a part of that very soon. 

If you're curious about any of the films I mentioned, (with the exception of the short film 'Masked') they are all already all on 

So it’s been a pretty insane summer… but it’s been insane good. Now that it’s done, I can’t wait to see what the fall is going to bring. I hope your summer was nice as well.

Take care; and I’ll talk to you again soon,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Week 8: The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Hello All,

I got tagged in a work in progress blog hop called 'The Next Big Thing' by my friend and agent, Donna. It's week 8 of the blog hop, and it consists of answering some questions about the book you are writing, and then tagging some other authors to do the same on their blogs next week. I guess I better get started... 

What is the working title of your book?

Sebastian and the Afterlife Book III (Sorry to be stingy, I'm not ready to release the rest of the title yet).

Where did idea for your book come from?

It’s the third installment of a series I’m writing about a 17-year old boy’s surreal adventure in a spirit world after death.  I feel like the idea for the series was really born out of my characters, Sebastian and Sarah. I knew I wanted to write a young adult dark fantasy, but I didn’t know what it would be about. I came up with two of the main characters, Sebastian and Sarah; I knew they were in love, and that there was an obstacle between them, but I didn’t know what it was. Then I realized that the obstacle between them was going to be death… at that point I realized I was going to be writing a ghost story. Soon the story all came together in my head.  

What genre does your book fall under?

Middle-Grades/Teen Dark Fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play the characters in your book?

I don’t have a lot of the characters cast in my mind; maybe just a couple. Even when I was writing the first book, I always saw Sid as John Cusack. I could also see Logan Lerman (Percy from the Percy Jackson movie) playing Sebastian

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? 

A teenager finds that his greatest adventure begins after death.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book is currently in the editing process and should be released by TWCS Publishing House in 2013.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I believe I spent about 5 months on it. Starting out casually, and then really writing a lot more as my deadline approached.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Probably Harry Potter, Twilight or Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Beyond what I mentioned before about getting the idea from my own characters and their situation, I guess a fear of mortality could have played into it. Death is such a disturbing subject; it’s nice to be able to deal with it in a way that is approachable. If what lies beyond life is a fantastic adventure story, maybe I can manage dealing with my worries a little better.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

While the book is about a pretty dark subject matter, it really is more of an adventure story... Even to the point that you forget at times that the lead character is actually a ghost. You don’t have to be into dark literature to enjoy it.

I am really supposed to tag 5 other authors to continue on with this blog hop next week, but I was only able to round up three. So let me pass the torch. They are:

1-      Answer the questions about your work in progress
2-      Tag 5 other authors to do it the following week

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Hello All,

I hope you’re having a good summer and staying out of the heat. I‘ve been keeping myself busy (as usual) with plenty of creative endeavors. I really enjoy everything I’m working on; the trick is just keeping my head above water.

Editing for the final book of my ‘Sebastian and the Afterlife’ trilogy has officially begun. This part is easily my least favorite chore of the process. My editors already have a laundry list of things for me to tend to, but that’s par for the course. It’ll be a relief to have the series finished and tie up all of the loose ends that I left open at the end of the last book. It’ll be a tall mountain to climb, and I’m ready to be done with it; time to get to work. I have already been notified that its release (which was tentatively scheduled for March 2013) will be delayed. From what I can tell, the book will end up coming out closer to the fall of next year. I will have more specifics on that as the editing progresses.

In addition to my writing, I’m looking forward to doing some more film acting this summer. It’s confirmed that I will be involved with two different independent horror films; with the strong possibility of a drama in the fall. The first of these will be filming mid-August in Tennessee. It should be a lot of fun.

Speaking of my films, ‘The Watch’, a movie that I was an extra in last year, came out in theaters this weekend. I went to go see it earlier today and thought it was great. It’s funny (and very raunchy); it’s a good ‘guy’s summer popcorn flick’. Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it –

I guess that’s all I have to report for the moment, but I’ll have more to say soon. Take care of yourself and put on some sunscreen.

Your Friend,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crunch Time

Hello Everyone,

     Sorry that I’ve been quiet as of late, I’ve been keeping busy writing the third Sebastian book. It’s getting to be crunch time with the deadline for the first draft due on July 1st. I’ve still got a bit to go, but if I can keep up my pace, I should be able to finish it just in time (as usual) (I believe I turned in the first draft for Agents of the Reaper the day before it was due). I am pretty happy with how Sebastian three is turning out so far. I was having trouble coming up with a title that would be representative of the book, but it finally came to me earlier this week. I’ll probably wait to make that announcement until I'm sure it won’t change. It feels good to be tying up all the loose ends that were left open in the end of book two and bringing the series some closure. There are some really exciting sequences I’ve written over the last week I know you’ll enjoy, I can’t wait for you to read them. Beyond the action, I’ve also intertwined some interesting backstory with events that happened before the first book took place. I know thus far some of the villains have seemed perhaps a little one-dimensional. Really it’s because I haven’t taken the time to talk about their past. In the new book we get some insight into how and why a couple of the ‘bad guys’ have turned out the way that they are. It’s nice to get some origin story for some key characters. I feel like the spirit realm is a very rich tapestry, and I love adding more to its history and mythos. To me the first two books have very different feels, and if I were to compare the third, I would say it is more like the first, but with faster pacing and more action. Speaking of action, it’s looking like the last three chapters of this book are going to be straight action. This should make all of you adrenaline junkies happy. A lot of stuff goes down; some big characters are going to get killed off… hopefully none of your favorites (though I can’t guarantee anything). It’s exciting to be concluding the trilogy; the nostalgia is already starting to hit me as I write. I know I’ll miss the spirit world a lot when I move on to something else. Though there will be closure for Sebastian’s journey, there might just be enough loose ends left open to warrant another book later in the future, should I ever decide to return to it. But for now I am going to enjoy it as the finale of a trilogy that has been an absolute pleasure to write. I’ll keep you updated on the book’s progress.

Take care,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Catching up with April

Hello Everyone,

                I hope you’ve been doing well. April has been a busy month so far, but most importantly, I’ve still been moving right along, in the middle of the next Sebastian and the Afterlife book (the finale to the trilogy). I like it a lot so far. I know book two ends leaving a bunch of questions unanswered, but all the loose ends will be accounted for. From having fans of the books approach me and tell me how they think it will end, it looks like some of the outcomes might be a bit unexpected. It makes me happy that the overwhelming consensus from readers says they enjoyed the second book even better than the first. Hopefully the third book will easily top book two. I guarantee you it won’t be short on action!
                At long last I have a book signing coming up. It’s at the Jittery Joes in Athens, Georgia (Atlanta Hwy location) from 7-9pm on Tuesday, May 1st. There will be copies of the new book available for purchase if you haven’t gotten yours yet. It should be a fun time. Stop by, say hi and get some delicious coffee if you have a chance. Here is the address for your GPS - ‎2950 Atlanta Hwy
Athens, GA 30606
                In other points of interest, my publicist is up for an Independent Book Blogger Award on Goodreads for her literary blog at April 23 is the last day for the public to vote. You should check out her blog, and if you’d like to vote for her, you can do so here -
              The other day I won a couple of movie passes from calling into a local radio station. It’s exciting (it’s been a long time since I’ve won something cool). I’m going to pick them up Monday. I think I am going to save them a week for the next movie I really want to see… ‘The Raven’  I mentioned this film on Facebook and Twitter months back. John Cusack is playing Edgar Allan Poe. It looks creepy ... and right up my alley.


I need to go for now, but I’ll be back to post again before you know it.
Take care of yourself,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Book Blog Tour

Hey everybody, this coming week is my book blog tour for ‘Agents of the Reaper’. I will be guest-posting and doing interviews at a number of different places on the web. It should be a lot of fun. Here is the lineup so you can check it out throughout the week-

March 10th - Girl Who Reads blog is kicking off the tour with a promo with some information about 
                        the new book and the tour.

March 11th - William's villain character, Axis Red, does a Guest Post at Bookish Temptations. 
March 12th - William's character, Agent Alexander, does a Guest Post at Talk Supe Blog.

March 13th - Today we're back at Bookish Temptations for a review of Agents of the Reaper.

March 14th - William answers interview questions at Kera's Addiction.

March 15th - William does a Guest Post about what's on his Bookshelf at Ali’s Bookshelf

March 21st - William answers interview questions from SOS Aloha Blog.

I hope everyone enjoys the tour!
William j Barry

Friday, March 2, 2012


I'm really looking forward to seeing 'Lights' live when her tour comes through Atlanta next week. She's from Canada so it's nice to catch her when she's in the area. What can I say; I'm a sucker for a girl with a lot of synthesizers.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

If I chose the Oscar winners (...from the films that have been nominated)

                I enjoy watching the Academy Awards every year. It’s nice to see the stars dressed up and mingling at their yearly prom, though I don’t really care much about who is wearing what.  I’m happy to see Billy Crystal back too. I don’t get too worked up about what movies win because most of my favorite movies would never be considered anyway. But I usually have a horse to root for in almost every category. The tradition for the Oscars at our house is usually my wife and I watching from the beginning of the red carpet arrivals, then her going to bed midway through the awards so that she can get up for work, and me with my trusty bowl of popcorn seeing it through to the end. But this year we are making a little more to do of it, Amanda will be staying up, and we’ll even have our friend Ruth over. We’re even wearing movie related t-shirts. Did I mention more snacks? Oh, well, more snacks too.

I haven’t seen a number of the short films, foreign films and documentaries, so I’m not going to pass judgment on them. But I will tell you some of my major picks.   I know everyone has their own movies that they are pulling for, and I know a number of mine won’t win… but I thought I would talk about where my allegiances lie. Here a list: ‘If I chose the Oscar winners (from the films that have been nominated).’

Without further ado –

Writing (Original Screenplay)
Midnight in Paris

This movie was written brilliantly and beautifully on every level (from story to characters to character development, etc…).

Visual Effects-
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2
(Closely followed by Transformers Dark of the Moon… actually I would be good with either of these taking this category)

I would probably put Real Steel in third.
The effects in in Hugo and Rise of the Planet of the Apes while great, to me were noticeably not quite as polished

Sound Mixing and Editing
I am going with Transformers Dark of the Moon for both of these categories.

Okay, I know, you already knew I was going to pick that… but if you saw that movie you’d know that it was (not only really loud, but) filled with a lot of insanely intricate sound mixing and editing from start to finish.

Music (Original Song)
‘Man or Muppet’ from ‘The Muppets’

The Muppet movie was delightful, and I found myself singing this song to myself long after the movie was over.

Music (Original Score)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

It might not win, but look into your heart… you know it should.

Film Editing
I’m going to take ‘The Artist’ on this one.

I chose this movie because not only did I think the editing was excellent, but they also overcame the added challenge of keeping the story presented in an outdated format interesting to an audience with modern pacing sensibilities.

I want Woody Allen to win, though I don’t think it will happen.

Costume Design
I would like to see costume design go to ‘The Artist’.

Art Direction
Art Direction was tough, I had a hard time choosing between Hugo, The Artist, and Harry Potter.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Animated Feature Film
This should absolutely be Rango.

Actress in a Supporting Role
Berenice Bejo in ‘The Artist’

Actor In a Supporting Role
I’d be great to see Jonah Hill win for Moneyball, but I don’t think it will happen.

Actress In a Leading Role
Viola Davis in ‘The Help’
She was excellent.

Actor In a Leading Role
Jean Dujardin in ‘The Artist’
He's amazing

Best Picture
Midnight in Paris

Easily the best picture of the year. I doubt it will win because I don’t think it is heavy-handed enough compared to the types of films that usually win.

As long as  ‘The Tree of Life’ does not win.  That movie is easily among the worst films (if not THE worst film) I’ve ever seen nominated.

Well it’s time to get the snacks ready; the Academy Awards will be starting soon!
Maybe if my choices don’t win, yours will. If nothing else I hope it will be an entertaining evening.

Kind Regards,
William j Barry

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Devices of Time Travel

                “Now I got a time machine at home… It only goes forward at regular speed.  It’s essentially a cardboard box and on the outside I wrote ‘time machine’ in Sharpie” – Demetri Martin

                The idea of time travel is something that has fascinated me ever since I first saw the movie ‘Back to the Future’ in 1985. That film had such a profound effect on my childhood that still to this day, if you asked me to pick a favorite film…that would be it.  But to tell the truth, time travel has been a topic in a few movies on my top ten: ‘Donnie Darko’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’ are some others that readily come to mind. I even wrote time travel into my ‘Sebastian and the Afterlife’ books.
                But who hasn’t had a fantasy about time-travelling back and experiencing another time period? Or at least dreamt about going back to tell yourself about the winning lottery numbers or what stocks to buy? I think it would be nice to show up at various points in my life and beat the snot out of myself whenever I was about to make a huge life-altering mistake (… and I’ve made a few in my time… I’ll probably make a couple more before I’m done).
                I’ve sometimes thought it would be fun to go back to the 1980s, when new-wave was cutting edge and classic 80’s movies were first hitting the big screen. Or maybe it'd be nice to experience an earlier time period. It might be good for a visit, but when I think about it further, there were a lot of terrible things going on in the 80s… and most other time periods for that matter.  I don’t even want to consider hygiene or health care when you start really turning back the clock … And there may be oppression and injustice now, but it only gets worse as you go backward. 
                In the film ‘Midnight in Paris’ (which is brilliant, by the way), the pedantic Paul character makes a reference to something called ‘Golden Age Thinking’. He says it’s “the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one ones living in.” His character is effectively annoying in the movie, but this particular statement makes a lot of sense to me. Come to think of it, there are a whole lot of amenities and advancements that have come about in the last ten years that I would never want to have to live without.
                Is my nostalgia misguided? Sure there are some exciting movements and trends in history that would be fun to have a part in, but maybe I have been too lenient on whole time periods. Most of them are not without really terrible elements. So, beyond some of the pop culture, what do I miss about the 1980s? I think the early 1990s were better for me anyway.
                I was a kid in the 80s, and I didn’t really notice as much of the scary things in the world as much as I noticed my dreams … and that my life was ahead of me. Anything was possible. As for me, when I was nine I decided I was going to be a rock star… it was totally going to happen (still might). Maybe my ability to dream unencumbered by my cynicism is what I miss most about the 80s.
                That’s the nicest thing about books and films…they are devices of time travel. Not necessarily to another time period in history, but another time period psychologically. You are free to lose yourself in outlandish ideas, dreaming of the possibilities as if you were a child. Maybe some of the wide-eyed optimism could even creep out of the story and into one’s mentality. Maybe we could all re-realize that the future still holds endless possibilities for us.  So get a book, get a movie; I think it’s time we did more time travelling.

Kind Regards,
William j Barry

Friday, February 17, 2012

I can do all things through Angry Birds…

                I know it’s been a phenomenon for a while now, so it’s old hat, but I still really love the game Angry Birds.  It’s addictive, and I might be suspicious of someone who didn’t enjoy it at all. 
                I like the entire cast of birds, but I think if I had to pick a favorite Angry Bird, it would be the original red one.  Okay, I know he doesn’t have special abilities like many of the other birds, but to me he just seems the angriest… and I appreciate that. On the second swipe of your finger he just lets out a gut-wrenching ‘caw’ as he flies, because he’s so… angry.  He’s been there from the first level, destroying everything he can.  Those green pigs should have never stolen the birds’ eggs.
                I know it’s a stretch, but I feel like I could learn something from these angry ones.  In the game, every so often you’ll get to a level that seems impossible at first.   But despite the challenge, the birds hurl themselves against the obstacles.  Sure, it may take replaying the level a few times, but eventually you’ll either get a strategy or a lucky break. 
                It’d be nice if I had that kind of fortitude; to not give up; to just keep throwing myself against my problem until it crumbled to the ground… even if it seemed impossible (perhaps especially if it seemed impossible).  If you keep working at something you’ll eventually develop a strategy, and you may just get a lucky break. 
                I’m not a very angry person in general, and I’m not saying we should all be perpetually mad and try to lay waste to all that we see.  Don’t do that.  But the world is full of challenges, and metaphoric green pigs that want to steal our dreams away.  I hope I can wake up tomorrow and have the drive to keep throwing myself against the walls that are in my way.  If I keep working at it eventually the barriers will fall and I will get to where I want to be: …back in my recliner, playing Angry Birds, making ludicrous assumptions that they are teaching me something about life.

Kind Regards
William j Barry

Friday, February 10, 2012

Immortal Web Surfers

                I wonder what kind of strange immortal creatures might happen upon my blog late at night.  There are so many possibilities. A dark wizard could be browsing the web after chanting a mystical spell to protect his computer from viruses, a vampire could be on the way to order some
O-negative blood online, maybe the Flying Dutchman has Wi-Fi, and there might actually be ghosts in the internet.  I could even get some other magical beings like writers, artists, musicians or actors; maybe architects, scientists or parents.  Okay, admittedly the list is starting to get less interesting, but it is still filled with fascinating immortal beings; individuals that can potentially cheat death and live on beyond their mortal time.
                I used to have a bit of a hang up about my journey to immortality.  A few years ago it had gotten to a point where I felt I couldn’t relax for a moment until I had ‘left my mark on the world’. Whatever I was to be known for, my artistic work would live on long after my days were done… I would join the ranks of the immortals.  I wouldn’t be coming back to bite you on the neck, but I would be there speaking to you through the pages you were turning. (my first published book was even about ghosts… is that telling?) 
                The drive someone finds to follow a passion can be steeped in a lot of things; for
example – proving oneself, feelings of obligation, fear, or more specific in my case, fear of mortality.  But I had to let all of that go to find peace.  A passion should be just that… a passion.  Shouldn’t that be at the core of why we bother with it at all? That and the joy and enlightenment it brings others?
                One day you and I might join the ranks of immortals, and it’s unlikely we’ll have to don a black cape in the process. Perhaps we will be gone but our art will continue to do our bidding (whatever ‘art’ that might be). We should strive for our passion, and immortality may follow on its own.  As long as we can live a life doing what we love, we’ll have the last laugh in the end.

Kind regards,
William j Barry

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Thesaurus Rex

I like to imagine that a thesaurus is a really pretentious type of dinosaur.  He’s always looking down his nose at me for overusing commonplace words that readily come to my mind.  But honestly I can’t blame him.  In a culture where the English language is being destroyed by text-speak and social networking sites, coherent word and sentence structure stands little chance.  I consider myself much more of a storyteller than technical writer, but even I too might be slowly turning into a pretentious literary dinosaur myself… I even lost my respect for the Oxford linguists when the word ‘bootylicious’ made it into the Oxford English Dictionary back in 2008.  That was to be followed by them naming ‘refudiate’ best new word in 2010.  Maybe I should look into getting a job alongside those linguists, because it seems like they might need my help.  Am I old before my time? Am I sitting on my front porch shaking my fist in the air, yelling “You darn acronyms get off my lawn”?  … Maybe; I’m only moderately old, but if I’ve learned anything from getting older, it’s that though you may be upset with the way things are now, you will likely cherish them in the future when things get even worse.
 I think if I had to pick a moral of the story, I may say that if you want to be a writer, take a little pride in your craft … do it for the Thesaurus Rex, that most pretentious of dinosaurs, who will always think your writing is crap anyway, no matter how good it really is.  At least you can hold your head high despite his criticism and give him the finger.  And if you’re not an aspiring writer… please just try not to completely destroy what’s left of the English language.

Kind regards,
William j Barry