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:
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…