“I begin to hear an eerie chant being recited in unison as the first three naked women make it to the dark summit. Holding long, makeshift brooms, in their right hands, they chant: “Drink the flight broth, wood in hand. Burn the root …” An elderly woman with lanky hair picks up the goblet, takes a sip of its contents, and inhales the smoke of an already burning smudge stick. The chanting continues: “Then dive from the cliff…” This is perhaps the most startling scene I’ve ever witnessed. The woman runs off the edge of the cliff, seemingly to plummet to her death, but I hear “Not by wind nor by wings, airborne sisters thou shall soar.” Suddenly, the woman who vanished off the cliff reappears, hovering in mid-air on a broom. She begins cackling, and the louder her cackles, the higher she floats. Soon a host of other women mimic her actions, cackling into the night air.”

–From The Witch Port Video Game by Leonard Bassad

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.

Book Description:

Leonard Bassed had no plan to write a novel titled THE WITCH PORT VIDEO GAME when he set out to create a movie script with a similar name.  “I had written the pilot script first and I kept the same ending for the novel…everything from the script I wrote found its way into the finished book version of ‘The Witch Port Video Game,’ said writer-singer-actor Leonard Bassed.  “I was able to spend more time developing the characters and their world…the whole thing was just such an organic experience and extremely enjoyable, creative for me.”

THE WITCH PORT VIDEO GAME tells the story through the lives of three ordinary teens who live in the fictional town of Cradle Creek, USA – a small town they hope to one day escape, attracted by the bright lights and promise of the Big City.  All three are students at a prestigious performing art school with hopes of one day making names for themselves in the entertainment world.

Mr. Bassed continued about his story, “A chance encounter the three have with a girl named Bianca Morris threatens to derail their plans. Bianca introduces them to an enticing video game, ‘The Witch Port Video Game’.  This encounter, coupled with the arrival of the MacQuoid brothers sets in motion a series of bizarre events that spins their lives into chaos and disarray as the three head into a world of sorcery with an ultimate fight for survival.”

As a young boy growing up in South Africa, Leonard dreamed one day of working in the arts.  He wanted to write, to act, to sing.  While drawn to acting and song writing, he was also a good story teller.  “The auditions I would go out for as an actor were never reflective of the kinds of roles I was after to play. It was this realization that led me to writing the pilot script which I planned to pitch to TV and movie producers.  But, once I finished the script I’d grown too attached to the characters and the wonders of their world that ultimately led the script into the shape of a full novel,” he went on to say.

Interview:

Can we begin by having you tell us how you got started young adult novels? Did the movies influence you? Books?

Leonard: Thank you for this opportunity.

I have always been fascinated by magical realism. When the Harry Potter series came along, it resonated with me. The short answer is that I had the idea to write The Witch Port Video Game script in June of 2014 after I returned home to South Africa from Los Angeles, California, in the USA. While in the USA, I took classes at the Acting Corps, a place where I got the chance to meet and interact with interesting people from different walks of life. I guess this exposure sparked my creativity. It culminated in my writing a pilot script, which I’d intended to pitch for film/TV etc. However upon its completion I’d grown too attached to the world and characters I’d dreamt up. This ultimately led to my debut novel. Why young adult novels? Being in that demographic myself when I started it was perhaps an obvious choice. In a way this genre affords one a sense of play.

I have to ask – are you a gamer? Why did you write a book about a video game that went wrong?

Leonard: Magical realism sometimes appears far fetched I had to find a way to make it relatable. A lot of young adults are into gaming. What better way to include video game in order to ground it. To answer your question, while I enjoy a video game once in a while, I am not a gamer

Can you tell us about your main characters?

Leonard: The main characters in my novel are 3 normal teenage friends who attend a prestigious Art School, in the fictional town of Cradle Creek with aspirations of making it big some day. Their ordinary lives and plans are somewhat derailed when through a chance encounter with a girl at a diner, they obtain magical abilities through a video game. Martin Robinson an altar boy sort of character, he is fashionable and dotes on his 2 best friends Francesca Dubois and Makenzie Hollister. The girls are also very fond of him. Makenzie is very driven and wants nothing more than to rise above her social circumstances. Fransesca on the other hand is a prima ballerina from a wealthy home and is accustomed to getting her own way.

Where is this book set and why did you choose that location?

Leonard: The book is set in a fictional town of Cradle Creek. I wanted the anonimity of a small fictional town. This also allowed me to be creative and follow my imagination

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point when the reader just can’t put the book down. Can you give us one of those pivotal points in your book?

Leonard: The pivotal moment in my novel is when martin stands up to and holds his own against the Mccoid brothers. He is cornered by the 2 brothers and is suddenly able to conjure up a spell that could have destroyed the two brother if he chose to. This spelled in a way a point of no return.

Will there be a follow up book to The Witch Port Video or other books in the near future?

Leonard: Yes, I am already working on sequel. The Witch Port Video Game – Igniting the Coven

Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers and fans?

Leonard:Thanks again for this opportuniy. I would like to invite the readers to come with me on this journey, much remains to be revealed in the sequels.

The Witch Port Video Game is available for purchase on my website: www.leonardbassed.com

 

 

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