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…

 

Review Coming Soon! That’ll Do Pippin! by Anne Kaufmann

THAT’LL DO PIPPIN! by Anne Kaufmann

Title: THAT’LL DO PIPPIN!
Author: Anne Kaufmann
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing
Pages: 68
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

 
Pippin and Nigel are two charming puppy brothers who live on a
wonderful farm. They are best buddies and do everything together. They
are full of mischief, energy and fun! Pippin is the smaller puppy who
wants with all his heart to be like his brother Nigel. Nigel is brave.
Nigel is strong. Nigel is smart. One day, the puppies escape from their
yard into the woods where they experience many adventures. Nigel is
always there to help and protect Pippin. Then Pippin solves a dangerous
problem all by himself and learns that it is okay just to be Pippin.This story teaches young children the importance of believing in
themselves and that they each have their own wonderful gifts and
abilities.


https://www.amazon.com/Thatll-Do-Pippin-Pups/dp/0991939786/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=That%27ll+do+Pippin&qid=1556647850&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

 

 

 

______________________

Pippin had a
wish. He wanted to be like Nigel. Nigel was brave. Nigel was strong. Nigel was
smart. Everyone admired Nigel.

 

 

 

 

 

Anne Kaufmann is both the illustrator and author of the Pippin and Nigel
adventure series for young children. She is the also the author of
“Glenn Gould: Sketches of Solitude.” Anne is a former teacher librarian.
She studied English Literature at Wilfrid Laurier University and the
University of Toronto. Her passions include music, books, animals and
creating nature journals. She has shared her life with dogs, horses,
cats and birds.A nature lover, she spends many hours exploring the
forests north of her home and walking her dogs, Indy, Maya and Pippin.
She loves spending time with her horse, Aria. Some of her favourite
childhood memories include summers at her cottage on Lake Simcoe,
settling back on the family couch reading while listening to her dad’s
weekly String Quartet group, playing with her dogs and wishing for a
horse. She is currently working on the third book of the Pippin and
Nigel Adventure series and  a historical fiction novel on the great
Canadian horse and Kentucky Derby winner, Northern Dancer. She lives in
Ontario, Canada.
http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

 

The Adventures of Riley & Elfy by E. Matheson

The Adventures of Riley & Elfy by E. Matheson is an adorable collection of children’s stories centered around friendship. Mysterious Scottish animals, Riley and Elfy have lived on faraway Scottish islands since ancient times, but no one seems to know much about them or that they exist. In this collection, Riley and Elfy make friends with creatures they meet along the way and share some great adventures.

If your children love animals, fantasy or adventure stories, then The Adventures of Riley & Elfy is a great choice. Told in the present tense, your youngster will enjoy following Riley and Elfy along. Though I can’t say I am a huge fan of present tense in children’s stories, it works well here. What truly makes this book are the stunning illustrations by G. B. Serafica. They are too beautiful even to describe.

My one challenge with this collection is the different grammar style was a total distraction. It’s probably not cost-effective, but if you’re publishing and selling in the States, it’s better to use our standards than those across the pond. The editor in me was twitching the entire time.

If you’re looking for an animal-filled adventure to share, The Adventures of Riley & Elfy is great fun.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

File Size: 30487 KB
Print Length: 28 pages
Publisher: ASJ Publishing (July 8, 2018)
Publication Date: July 8, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07FCT36V7

I received a digital copy from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Drewsilla the Shelter Puppy by Karen Carew Oakes

If you like cute animal stories, you’ll want to grab a copy of Drewsilla the Shelter Puppy by Karen Carew Oakes.

After an accident leaves Drewsilla and her siblings orphaned, they are brought to the local shelter by a kind stranger. One after the other gets adopted, until the only one left is Drewsilla. Every time someone visits the shelter, she hides. Until the day the Johnsons walk in.

Drewsilla the Shelter Puppy is a touching story of how a shelter puppy finds her forever home. There are a lot of neat aspects to this story. It highlights the kindness of strangers, the hard work of shelter volunteers, and the difference it can make to humans and animals when a special bond is created. Not only would this be a heartwarming story to share with children, it would also be an entertaining way to introduce young people to what is involved in puppy care.

This truly is a sweet story.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Grade Level: 4 – 6
Paperback: 26 pages
Publisher: Archway (September 29, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1480864692
ISBN-13: 978-1480864696

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Interview with Chelsea Walker Flagg, Author of Tinsey Clover

Chelsea Walker Flagg is an award-winning, best-selling author of adult and children’s books alike. She’s very passionate about encouraging kids to write, and even helps them publish their own books. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and three practically perfect daughters. She also lives at https://chelseaflagg.com. You can follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/chelseaflagg, Instagram at https://twitter.com/chelseaflagg and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chelseawalkerflagg.

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Back in second grade, I’d bring in little stories I’d written (mostly about cats) to my classroom and beg my teacher to let me read them to the class. Things didn’t stop there. I wrote my first novel in middle school, although I sadly never published it. My life continued along and I fell into the trap of people telling me writing was a worthless occupation. I bounced around from job to job, and always found myself gravitating toward the writing piece of any project. Finally, I took the leap and allowed myself to really call myself a writer. I haven’t looked back once.

What is this book about?

TINSEY CLOVER is the story of a little elfin girl in the Icelandic Bungaborg Forest. She feels frustrated because her corner of the forest isn’t allowed to leave or interact with anyone else. Using her great math skills, some quirky magic, and some unlikely new friends, Tinsey goes on an adventure to learn that sometimes things aren’t quite what they seem.

What inspired you to write it?

Kids listen, you know? Whether we think they do or not, they hear about the exclusion and segregation in our world these days. I just thought a story about a spunky little girl rising above stuff like that to make a difference in her own life would be a breath of fresh air. An inspiration that all kids can be a little light, no matter how small they are.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

I feel a very special place in my heart for Tinsey, because I think she is me in a lot of ways. Most of my young readers have really loved Sky, the bunny rabbit who’s way too fluffy for his own good, though.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

You can find TINSEY CLOVER online at Amazon. It’s also available on Barnes and Noble, and a few Colorado bookstores right now. (More to come!)

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

KEEP WRITING! It’s the same advice I try to give every single kid I encounter. There have always been plenty of people along the way who discourage writers or convince them it’s not a worthwhile activity. Those people are lying to you. If you’re passionate about writing, keep writing. You will find so much power, self-awareness, and joy when you put your words down on paper. And no, it’s never going to be perfect. And yes, some people won’t care for your style or your stories, but that doesn’t matter. Write. Anyway. I can’t emphasis that enough.

What is up next for you?

I’m excited to get pen to paper on a TINSEY CLOVER sequel! I’m equally excited to announce my intention to set up a service to help young writers publish their own books! Follow me for more information on that soon.

Where Wishes Grow by Chris Sarracini

If Where Wishes Grow by Chris Sarracini doesn’t melt your heart and make your eyes glisten, you might be the Grinch.

It has been hard for Maggie to watch her beloved Nana becomes ill and bedridden. She believes wishing on stars is too risky, so, with her mother’s help, she writes down her wishes for Nana and plants them where they can grow.

It’s not often that a children’s picture book can make you pause, appreciate life and your loved ones, and truly make you think. Where Wishes Grow is able to do that and more. It is a profoundly touching story, clearly born out of someone’s heart, that shows how caring for and loving each other can turn one child’s dismay into happiness. Artist Pauline Aksay is able to capture all this emotion so beautifully with the artwork for Where Wishes Grow. Her unique style is soft and warm.

My children are too old for this book now, but I might have to keep it because it is too beautiful to give away.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 56 pages
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing (August 31, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1988856000
ISBN-13: 978-1988856001

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness by Helen Hipp

Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness by Helen Hipp is a sweet and encouraging story about friendship and kindness.

When Hornsby loses his horn in a fight, he is no longer accepted by his herd. Struggling with a sense of belonging, he wanders off and winds up finding some new friends that teach him a valuable lesson.

Between the cute story and the delightful illustrations, there’s a lot to like about Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness. It has a terrific message and even includes some discussion questions and an activity at the end. Kids will love this one and parents can use this as a way to discuss friendship, kindness and belonging with their young ones. The colorful illustrations by Taryn Cozzy will keep readers turning the pages. Definitely a fun read.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 6

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: A Different Kind of Safari, LLC (November 13, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0989013456
ISBN-13: 978-0989013451

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.