Interview with Leonard Bassed, Author of The Witch Port Video Game

Writer-actor-singer Leonard Bassed was born in the town of Middleburg, Mpumalanga and raised in Johannesburg.  He started taking vocal lessons at age eight and studied drama throughout his high school years.  A mentor encouraged him to pursue an acting career.  Leonard went on to complete acting classes in both South Africa and later Los Angeles.  Currently, when not writing or singing, Leonard continues to study acting techniques with the renowned Margie Haber Studio in Hollywood. In his free time, he enjoys travel, reading and movie going.  His latest book is The Witch Port Video Game.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: https://leonardbassed.com/

Facebook page for author: https://www.facebook.com/leobassed/

Twitter page for author: https://twitter.com/LeonardBassed

 

 

Where did you grow up?

While I was born in the town of Middleburg Mpumalanga, I grew up in the city of Johannesburg in the Gauteng province of South Africa.

When did you begin writing? 

I started out drawing first, and the second we learnt our A, B, Cs my budding literary career began although my writing back then was plagued with bad spelling and grammatical faux pas, but it was my start [he jokes]. 

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I’m a huge proponent of found time, it’s literally something I have to steal to do. Writing is something I have to pull myself away from. If left to my own devices I’d be holed up in my room for days on end.

What is this book about? 

The Witch Port Video Game follows the lives of three ordinary high school friends that study at a prestigious performing arts school. The three friends Martin Robinson, Mackenzie Hollister and Francesca Dubois derive supernatural powers after they play a mobile phone video game which a girl named Bianca Morris introduces to them on one of their jaunts into the City. Bianca follows them back home where she enrolls in their school joined by the mysterious MacQuoid brothers Logan and Crayton, this sparks a deadly battle for power in the fictional town of Cradle Creek and ultimately alters the course of their lives forever. 

What inspired you to write it?

I got the idea to write my book, The Witch Port Video Game, in June of 2014 after a trip I made to Los Angeles, California in the USA. While in the States I studied at The Acting Corps and met people from all around the world. I was inspired by their accents and so the pilot script was born, but upon its completion I’d grown to attached to the characters and world I had conjured which resulted in the novel, the first in the series. 

Who is your favorite character from the book?

I definitely love all my characters, to choose one would be sacrilege. I personally relate the most to Martin but find myself rooting for the baddies at times, they are just so intriguing and without them well we wouldn’t have a story, they bring the conflict. 

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

The road to getting published was without a doubt a bumpy one to say the least. I chose to self-publish my book The Witch Port Video Game and the whole process was a rather steep learning curve. To say nothing about the stigma attached to indie-publishing people tend to be reluctant to read your work if you don’t go through the traditional route, my saving grace in regard to my book is its commercial appeal and the fact that its geared toward a younger demographic who are typically more open to e-books and indie-publishing.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

Absolutely, in hindsight there are definitely things I would have done differently, but in life you don’t know what you don’t know, that’s why they say “experience is the best teacher.”

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book? 

Readers are encouraged to visit my website at www.leonardbassed.com, all updates will be posted there as well as the purchase links. 

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book?  If yes, where can readers find it?

I’m currently in the middle of a virtual book tour press campaign and yes there is a book trailer coming soon. The link to it will be posted on my website and social media platforms, so stay tuned.

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

The best investment I made in promoting my book was getting a great PR team on board. I enlisted The Barrett Company a PR firm based in Los Angeles to help market my book.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

I can’t over emphasis the importance of having your work edited professionally. Whether you choose to self-publish or go the traditional route it shouldn’t make a difference, editing is not a luxury it’s a must. You will thank me for this advice later trust me.

What is up next for you? 

Well, as I mentioned before I’m currently in the middle of a virtual book tour press campaign and I’m already hard at work on the sequel, Witch Port Igniting The Coven which I look forward to sharing with you all.

Is there anything you would like to add?

In closing I’d like to thank you for this interview, I really had fun answering these questions. I invite everyone that enjoys magical realism to grab a copy of this book, Witch Port Igniting The Coven coming soon…

 

New Release: Barely Alive by Melissa Woods

Violet thought being bitten by a zombie was the worst thing that could ever happen to her.

She was wrong.

Violet has been a prisoner for two weeks. She has no idea how to escape, the community of Harmony is trading people for supplies, and she still has the whole half-zombie thing to deal with. With all that’s going on, the last thing she has time for is another romantic complication. But when it rains, it pours.

If Violet and her friends can thwart Ezra’s dark plans for the people of Harmony, while avoiding the hordes of mindless flesh-eating zombies —then maybe she’ll have time to worry about her personal life.

In the final installment in the Alive? series, our favorite half-zombie will come face to face with hordes of the undead, murderous survivors—and the one thing she’s always feared most.

Will Violet be strong enough to survive? Or has her luck finally run out?

File Size: 6005 KB
Print Length: 269 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing (August 5, 2019)
Publication Date: August 5, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07TLNYBJ7

AMAZON / NOOK / iBOOKS / KOBO / SMASHWORDS / GOOGLEPLAY

Bilge Rat – Pirate Adventurer – Remarkable Rascal by Kevin Charles Smith

Bilge Rat – Pirate Adventurer is a three part series drawn from the imagination and investigation of Kevin Charles Smith in this remarkable debut. Described as “Mutiny on the Bounty meets Pirates of the Caribbean with an Oliver Twist”, this first volume is written with incredible detail and historical accuracy. William Eden and brother Toby are two helpless orphans in early 1700 London. Taken in by an aged clerical uncle, the boys are assigned specific maintenance duties in the cavernous Saint Agnes of Agony Basilica. By day, their duty is to clean, wax and maintain the aged facility for their uncle whose failing eyesight prevents his presence or assistance. Each day the lads are also provided a lesson de jour by their learned and caring relative who bestows upon them quite a solid education. One day, while William is practicing his language lessons, he utilizes the natural echo-like chamber of the empty basilica to ensure his translations are precisely correct. In the process, he discovers that he has a natural talent that enables him to duplicate all manner of sounds and voices. From that point on, he decides to keep his fabulous talent secret and changes his name to Echo thereby hiding this special talent in plain sight. By night, the boy s assignment is to venture down into the creepy bowels of the church to eradicate the pesky rodent population. Charged with a daily bounty of 25 tails or be penalized their one daily meal, Echo devises a variety of methods to reach their rattail goal . In the end, Echo duplicates rat speech (at least rat squeaks and squeals) and like the fabled Pied Piper leads the odious cellar dwelling creatures to their doom. Due to this ability to easily capture their prey, the boys have time on their hands and begin exploration of London at night. Their travels take them to Slugger s Emporium, a gaming and drinking establishment for the wicked and depraved. These nightly excursions also take them to the London docks where they routinely trespass on various docked ships for fun and excitement. On one such vessel they are discovered by a kind hearted cook named Handy, who befriends them and regales them with exciting stories from his many voyages. At the same time, the brothers are tormented by a vicious bully named Scarf Rockingham. By a series of unique ruses, Echo implicates Scarf in a number of dastardly deeds which leads to the villain s punishment thereby establishing an undying hatred for the brothers. Scarf eventually abducts Toby and savagely murders their aged uncle implicating Echo for this horrific crime. Echo is forced to flee his homeland and joins Handy for a voyage to the New World. Beginning as a cook s assistant, Echo learns the vital art of navigation and survival aboard ship. Haunted and persecuted by the vessel s bullying first mate, Echo must devise all manner of tricks and gambits to simply remain alive. Along the way, he saves both the ship and three aged traveling sisters from a band of bloodthirsty pirates earning the respect and gratitude of all.

Series: Bilge Rat, Pirate Adventurer (Book 1)
Paperback: 286 pages
Publisher: Journey Publications, LLC; Book One edition (January 3, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979817188
ISBN-13: 978-0979817182

Purchase here!

Evermore by Sarah Holland

The highly anticipated sequel to New York Times bestseller, Everless!

Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Jules must delve into the stories that she now recognizes are accounts of her own past. For it is only by piecing together the mysteries of her lives that Jules will be able to save the person who has captured her own heart in this one.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (December 31, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062905929
ISBN-13: 978-0062905925

Purchase at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Skull Creek Stakeout by Eddie Jones

 

The good news is, vampires aren’t real. The bad news is…you can’t believe the news.

Nick Caden is a normal teen with a “supernatural” knack for finding trouble, ghosts, vampires, and all sorts of undead — or so it seems. After solving the ghost story murder at Deadwood Canyon, Nick lands a job as a roving reporter for The Cool Ghoul Gazette, a website on paranormal or supernatural disturbances. When the editor sends Nick to investigate a murder in Transylvania, North Carolina, the young super sleuth finds a corpse with fangs, bite marks and a stake driven through the heart. If Nick proves vampires are real, his job as an investigative journalist is set for life! But once he begins to peel back the clues surrounding the murder Nick finds his new job is not only dangerous but could suck the life out of him.

File Size: 5216 KB
Print Length: 136 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Illuminate YA (October 29, 2018)
Publication Date: October 29, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07K1FR11Y

Purchase here!

Ghost Stories for Young Adults

At fifteen, Victoria, a city girl, loses her mother’s love and tries to cope with country isolation, no friends, and no one who cares, until she meets a ghost. A book for readers ages 15 – 18.

Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC (June 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0983801870

Order here!

 

Alona Dare–Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star… and newly dead.

I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot body, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks—is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes—watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already?

Will Killian–Senior in high school, outcast, dubbed “Will Kill” by the popular crowd for the unearthly aura around him, voted most likely to rob a bank…and a ghost-talker.

I can see, hear, and touch the dead. Unfortunately, they can also see, hear and touch me. Yeah, because surviving high school isn’t hard enough already. I’ve done my best to hide my “gift.” After all, my dad, who shared my ability, killed himself because of it when I was fifteen. But lately, pretending to be normal has gotten a lot harder. A new ghost—an anonymous, seething cloud of negative energy with the capacity to throw me around—is pursuing me with a vengeance. My mom, who knows nothing about what I can do, is worrying about the increase in odd incidents, my shrink is tossing around terms like “temporary confinement for psychiatric evaluation,” and my principal, who thinks I’m a disruption and a faker, is searching for every way possible to get rid of me. How many weeks until graduation?

Series: A Ghost and the Goth Novel
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (May 10, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1423124871
ISBN-13: 978-1423124870

Order here!

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy’s mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who’s always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Rachel Hawkins’ delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

Series: A Hex Hall Novel
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (May 20, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781423148500
ISBN-13: 978-1423148500
ASIN: 1423148509

Order here!

New from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Here are a few new books from Macmillan Children’s that caught my eye:

 

Howard Carter was obsessed with mummies. He met his first when he was a boy in England and lived near a mansion filled with Egyptian artifacts. Howard dreamed of discovering a mummy himself–especially a royal mummy in its tomb, complete with all its treasures. When he was seventeen, he took a job with the Egypt Exploration Fund and was sent to Egypt to learn about archaeology and excavation sites. And his mummy hunt was on! Howard discovered many amazing artifacts, but he searched for years before coming upon the most famous mummy of all, King Tut.

 

A timely, poignant tale of family, sacrifice and the friendship between a young Syrian refugee and an American boy living in Brussels.

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Now Ahmed’s struggling to get by on his own, but with no one left to trust and nowhere to go, he’s starting to lose hope.

Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy. Lonely and homesick, Max is being bothered by a bully at school, he doesn’t speak a word of French, and just can’t seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed’s lives collide, banding the boys together to help Ahmed survive.

As their friendship grows, Ahmed and Max defy the odds, learning from each other what it means to be brave, and how hope can change your destiny.

Set against the backdrop of the Syrian refugee crisis, award-winning author Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes.

Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.

Grace has Asperger’s and her own way of looking at the world. She’s got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that’s pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn’t make much sense to her any more.

Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it’s up to Grace to fix it on her own.

Visit Macmillan Children’s at:

https://www.youtube.com/user/macmillanchildrens