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Something Like Thunder

Have you read them all?

Books by Jay Bell
Don't let your collection be incomplete! Check out this comprehensive list of Jay Bell's short stories and novels.

We’re headed to the cinema!

Something Like Summer movie
Ben and Tim on the big screen! Find the latest news about the Something Like Summer movie at the official site.

A seductive whisper…

Jay Bell audiobooks
Many of the Something Like... books are now available on audio. You can listen to free chapters right here!

More Something Like Summer movie magic!

Mr. Blue Shoes
See that right there? It’s Tim Wyman’s blue shoes. For real. That’s how they’ll look in the movie. If you followed the advice in my previous post, this is old news to you, as are the photos of Ben and Allison together, or Krista Norman hanging off of Tim’s arm, or Mr. Wyman looking delicious while talking on the phone to Ben. I won’t even get started on the Snap Chat videos, since it would be cruel to tell you about what is already gone. Needless to say, you should be following the Something Like Summer movie on social networking. Again, see the previous post for details. Even if you heeded my words of wisdom, you might have missed out on photos this like this:

Davi and Grant at Chucky Cheese

That’s Davi Santos and Grant Davis on their day off. Grant took Davi to Chuck E Cheese’s. Echoes of Ben and Jace in Something Like Autumn, eh? How did I come by this image? Not by stalking these poor guys wherever they go. I swear! Instead I remained in the comfort of my own home and followed them on social networking. You can too! Below you’ll find more just a fraction of the people working on the movie and links to their profiles. Start clicking!

Grant Davis (Ben)
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

Davi Santos (Tim)
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

Ben Baur (Jace)
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube (forthcoming?)

Ajiona Alexus (Allison)
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

JT Tepnapa (Director)
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

Carlos Pedraza (Script Writer/Producer)
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

Tom Ly (Producer)
Facebook
Twitter

Also, I have another installment of my Building a Book series ready for you, and boy do I look tired. This job isn’t always easy! I get loose lipped about the name of the next Something Like… book, so if you want to know, here’s your chance.



 
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Something Like Summer the Movie – Now Filming!

Something Like Grant Davis
The time has come! Filming starts tomorrow. I know many of you have been asking with increasing impatience when this would finally happen. Me? I was holding my breath for much of that time, because so much could have gone wrong. Plenty of books are optioned for film. More than we’ll ever know, because the vast majority of those earmarked to go to cinema end up faltering and failing somewhere in the process. Usually that has to do with money and resources. So I was very aware over the last three years (nearly four!) that so much could go wrong before the movie came to be. I knew the production team we chose increased our odds greatly, because I had already watched them bust their butts to get the Judas Kiss movie filmed and released. That same determination has brought us to this stage. Actual filming! I’ll be visiting the set of course, but not until the middle of September. Once I’m there, I plan on playing reporter and will try to bring all sorts of exciting news your way. Luckily you don’t have to rely on me. The movie people have cranked up their presence on social networking, so now you have all sorts of options for following the movie’s progress. Choose your own adventure!

• Instagram — @LikeSummerFilm
• Tumblr — LikeSummerFilm
• Snapchat — username LikeSummerFilm
• Vine — Something Like Summer
• Twitter — @LikeSummerFilm
• Facebook — /SomethingLikeSummerMovie
• Official Website — SomethingLikeSummer.com

And speaking of making stuff, I’m writing a new book, and this time I’ve decided to take you along for the ride! In a series of very casual videos that lack any sort of fancy title screens or editing, I’ll be checking in with you periodically to tell you where I’m at, and what it’s like to write a book. From now until release day, you can be a part of… wait, what’s the title of the new book? Stay tuned to find out! You can watch the first installment of Building a Book right here:

 
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New Something Like… story, a contest, interviews, and audiobooks. Wow!

Something Like Fall coverSo much is happening! Let’s hop right in! Something Like Fall has been released, and no, I’m not talking about Jace’s story. That was Autumn. I decided to write Fall to help the Something Like Summer movie fundraising efforts, and to give thanks to you guys for pitching in. The story sees the return of Benjamin Bentley, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. During the fundraising campaign, anyone who contributed was promised Fall, so some of you only had to throw down a dollar, although most of you gave more. That was a limited time offer, but you can still get the novella (around 35,000 words) by purchasing the $25 perk level, which the producers have kept open for latecomers. This also gets you an HD digital copy of the Something Like Summer movie the second it is released to the public. You also get the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing you helped make the movie better with your contribution, because any money raised goes straight into the film budget. If you’re interested, please visit the official movie site for payment details. If you’re completely broke at the moment, I’ll try to find a way of releasing Something Like Fall somewhere down the road. I don’t know how, other than I promised the standalone version would remain exclusive. I definitely don’t know when either. Assuming you’re as impatient as I am, and that you’ll want to own the movie anyway, this seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Speaking of the movie, the contest to create a poster is still ongoing. In fact, the deadline has been extended, which is probably for the best, since Ben looks a little different than he did earlier in the year. Find out more about the contest, the cool prizes, and the adorable YouTube star judges right here.

Let’s keep talking about the movie, or more accurately, let the movie people do the talking. J.T. Tepnapa, the director, and Carlos Pedraza, producer and scriptwriter, were just interviewed by Your Hollywood Pro. As you might recall, I was on that show last week. Together, these interviews give you an excellent behind the scenes understanding of how the Something Like Summer movie came to be, and a hint of what the final product will be like. You can check out both episodes by visiting the Your Hollywood Pro site.

thunder-lightningI’m also pleased to announced that I’ve commissioned two new audiobooks. Something Like Lightning and Something Like Thunder will be coming your way this autumn. Those that have read the books know that Lightning ends on a cliffhanger, but audio listeners won’t have to wait long for the conclusion, because Thunder will be out in short succession. Thank you for continuing to make these audiobooks possible by buying them and helping to spread the word. The royalties of each release pays for the next one. I honestly couldn’t afford to keep producing them without your support. If you haven’t listened to any of them yet, I have a free short story and sample chapters available.

And finally, if you speak Italian, my Lambda Literary Award winning book Kamikaze Boys is now available in that language. I also have a selection of French, German, and even Chinese books available too, with more languages and titles on the way. You can check them all out here on the foreign editions page.

Lots of news, but with the movie due to begin filming next month, the excitement is just beginning!

 
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Audio Origin Interview!

Published on July 25, 2015 by in Random

Something Like Summer is a story of humble origins. Some guy who—quite frankly—had no idea what he was doing, scribbled the story down while blubbering his eyes out. Then he sent it around, got the cold shoulder, and turned to his husband for help. How the movie came to be isn’t so different. Something Like Summer is in essence a story about an underdog finding his place in the world, so it’s only fitting that both the book and movie have similar beginnings. That’s what I spoke about recently in an audio interview. I normally don’t do such things, preferring to hide behind a keyboard where I can look up all the fancy words I need. Jordan, the host of Your Hollywood Pro, had to chase me down and then coax me out from under the bed with some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Only then would I agree to talk to him about the Something Like… series and why a grown man still plays with action figures. If you’d like to find out for yourself, you can listen to the interview here. And hey, if you enjoy yourself, you should check out the other shows in the series because there have been some great guests on Your Hollywood Pro, and you couldn’t ask for a better host!

 
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Q and A with U and I

Published on July 18, 2015 by in Random
Chicago

Chicago. It’s home now.

Hearts on Fire Reviews has very kindly invited me to do an interview on their site, and it struck me that in a way I’m always being interviewed. By you guys! I get a lot of wonderful messages from people who have read my books, many of them asking great questions. Unfortunately, only one person ever sees each answer. So I thought for this interview, you could provide the questions. About what? Anything you want! My books, my personal life, your personal life. Maybe you need some advice. Perhaps you’ve got a beef with me. Is there an unresolved plot thread that’s been driving you crazy? Anything goes!

Ten of the most interesting/ridiculous/infuriating/poignant questions will be selected. Will there be prizes? Uh… Okay. Let’s make it something digital though, since an ocean still separates me from all of my possessions. If your question is selected, I’ll send you a story as an eBook. Already have all my stories? That’s what you think! Questions can be submitted below. Or anywhere really. It’s all good.

You have until August 1st to submit questions. Thanks!

 
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So Long, and Thanks for All the Schnitzel

Published on July 1, 2015 by in Random

Dungeons & Dragons cartoonI grew up reading fantasy novels. One breed in particular appealed most to me. I loved stories about normal humans who get transported to a mystical land. Maybe they were searching for the back of a mysterious wardrobe, or perhaps they answered a classified ad that listed a magic kingdom for sale. Or maybe they just happened to get on the right roller coaster at the right time. Anyone remember that cartoon from the eighties, Dungeons & Dragons? You know what I really hated about that show and other “whisked away” stories? How the main characters were often desperate to get back home. As the reader, there was nothing I wanted more than to enter a land of fantasy, so it annoyed me to no end that these characters were taking their luck for granted. Hang up those ruby red slippers Dorothy and party with the Munchkins instead!

When the prospect of moving to Germany was first discussed, I felt like I was finally given my chance. I would travel to a strange faraway land where I couldn’t speak the language and where the cultural customs would leave me baffled. Best of all, I would do so in the name of love. As you know, I ended up moving to my fantasy world without a single thought of how I’d ever get back. I won’t pretend that it was nothing but carefree adventures from there on. Sometimes I broke down, or I cried, or I got angry. I too longed to go home, but then I would look again at my surroundings: Berlin! London! Paris! These and so much more at my doorstep! For the most part I loved it all too much to quit. I was not going to be one of those people who hurried back to the real world. Why were those stupid kids in Dungeons & Dragons so eager to trade their magic powers for homework? Idiots.

One Last SunsetAnd yet, here we are. Late last year, Dungeon Master told me he’d found a portal that could return me home again. Well, not exactly, but close enough. An opportunity to return to the U.S. presented itself, and I found myself nearly salivating at the prospect. This hunger caught me off guard, but I couldn’t deny it. I wanted it. Bad. But why? Germany is the better country. I’ve felt that way for over a decade now. The health care system works. People are taken care of. I’ve never seen poverty here like I did in the States. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but it’s a lot rarer. People rarely fall through the cracks here. A public transportation system that spans the entire country, a great recycling program, gay rights that—at the time—were years and years ahead of my own country… The political system is superior and even the groceries are cheap! It’s easy to live a good life in Germany, and we did.

Perhaps that’s the problem. Everything here is so damn reasonable. I’m not saying Germany is perfect. History’s greatest example of humans losing their sanity took place in this country. But when it comes to the wacky and weird, those news headlines that are impossibly ridiculous, then it’s hard to beat the good ol’ U S of A. It’s not difficult to believe that anything is possible there. The United States is a dream factory. A fantasy land. Maybe I’ve gotten the story wrong this entire time. Maybe, twelve years ago, I traded one magical world for another. Only one way to find out. Today I say goodbye to Germany. I’ll miss it dearly, especially the people, but I’m certain about this decision. I’m tired of being a stranger in a strange land. I miss the days when I was dating a goofy foreigner, and not the other way around. I’m going home. To where exactly? We’ll talk about that some other time. For now, let’s play Where’s Waldo? Keep your eyes peeled next time you’re in public, my fellow Americans. Maybe you’ll see me, walking down the street and staring at everything with newfound wonder.

It was good while it lasted!

 
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