Issue #3 12/21/14 Paul Levinson, Nicholas Andrews, Steve LeBel






Welcome back! This is the third issue of my new interview series. You can find issue #1 here, and issue #2 here. To check out my old interview series, and the roughly 70 interviews I did then, click here.

I appreciate everyone stopping in before the holidays. Maybe you'll find a new author or two worth reading. Maybe an eBook could make a good Christmas present?

The past couple of weeks have been very busy for my own work. Episode One of Farther Than We Dreamed is now FREE to download. I also uploaded 4 Youtube videos of myself reading all the way through Chapter one of Episode One, and I hope you'll watch them (and maybe leave a comment?) For information on my recent work, click here.

I have three great guests for you this week. I hope you'll take the time to read all three interviews. Many of you might be here just for one author you already enjoy, but this is your chance to discover a couple that are new to you.






     Paul Levinson


NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Thank you so much for joining us. Paul, you won a Locus award for The Silk Code. You've been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. And you've probably got some accolades for your science fiction which I don't know about, so let me start off by asking you the easy question: How does one write good science fiction?

PAUL LEVINSON: I don't know how others write it, so I'll just answer as if I were the "one" in the question, and answer how I write good science fiction. Which, of course, is a bit of an arrogant answer to start with, but there you have it, and you did ask that question.  But as to its answer, for me, good science fiction writing starts with ideas, or at least an idea.  I go through periods in which I have a lot of them, and periods in which I don't have too many.  The key is working on an idea long enough - usually all that's needed is jotting down a sentence or two - so you come back to it even 10 or 20 years later, and find the idea as fresh as when it first came to you.   I have a story, "Sam's Requests," that I thought of in the early 1990s, but just wrote it a few months ago, and sold it to BuzzyMag, where it will be published online in early 2015.   As fate would have it - in terms of not knowing I would get this question - I had an idea just this afternoon.  But I'm not going to tell you about it, because until I write all out, and finish the story or novel, I like to keep my ideas to myself.  Back to "Sam's Requests" - it's probably the strangest little story I've ever written.  


NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about The Plot to Save Socrates.

PAUL LEVINSON: When I first came across what Socrates supposedly said to Crito when offered a chance to escape his death sentence by hemlock - "no, no, I may criticize the state, but I would never be so arrogant and destructive as to put myself above it, so I will die," is the gist of what Plato tells us Socrates said - I just didn't believe it.  I mean, if I was sentenced to death for my political beliefs - hey, for any reason - you can bet I would have been on the boat that Crito told Socrates was waiting for him in the harbor.  The Plot to Save Socrates is a stab at what I think may really have happened back then - the real reason for Socrates' refusal of Crito's good offer.  I'd been thinking about that since my freshman philosophy class in 1963.   But I didn't work it all out until I started writing the novel in 2004.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: How did you approach the writing of the lost dialogues? To what extent do you think it was important to imitate the examples we have of Socrates' style?

PAUL LEVINSON: I thought it was very important to write the dialogue in the form we all know - that is, what has come to us in the English-speaking world due to Benjamin Jowett (I'm glad you also asked the next question).  I've been reading those dialogue ever since I was a kid in the 1960s, and loving them.  I got immersed in them for a day before I started writing the new "Andros" dialogue in The Plot to Save Socrates.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: I have to admit a twinge of pride when you mention Ben Jowett, as he is apparently an ancestor of mine. Can you talk a little about the research which went into writing The Plot to Save Socrates?

PAUL LEVINSON: Wow, now I'm especially glad to know you, seriously!  I really enjoy meeting descendants of great people - like philosopher Josiah Royce's great grandson, whose daughter was in my son's class in grade school (it was good meeting her, too).  I did more research for The Plot to Save Socrates than for any other novel, before and since.   You know what my best source was, overall?  A 1956 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, which had lengthy articles on all kinds of scholars and ancients, which we later shortened and removed to make room for recent developments like DNA.  I also spent a lot of time in Fordham University's library, which has books going back to the 1850s.   Here's a video - a "book doc" - that Emon Hassan and Amanda Lyn Costa made about me and The Plot to Save Socrates, which shows me in the Fordham Library.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Time Travel stories have a habit of breaking my heart. For every one which goes to the trouble to make logical sense and tie everything together, I run into 84 others which just don't. I've only read the free preview for The Plot to Save Socrates, although I really did enjoy it. Do you do the work to make certain the whole story is logically sound? And how important do you feel this was or was not for you to do?

PAUL LEVINSON: Making the logic of time travel and its consequences work in my stories is pretty close to the be-all and end-all of every time travel story that I write.  I know exactly what you mean about your heart being broken - I just hate time travel stories that ignore the paradoxes, or give them just lip-service or cursory treatment.   For me, thinking about the paradoxes - identifying them, thinking them through, having the characters confront and struggle with the paradoxes - is the great joy of writing time travel.  What else is there or should be there in a time travel story?  Well, human characters and relationships, and, one hopes, a plot with twists and surprises - but all of these work best, I think, against the coils of the paradoxes that are inevitably engendered by time travel.  


NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: I was disappointed to see that your book, Borrowed Tides, does not appear to be available as an ebook. Even moreso, as the topic is of interest to me.
It is billed as, "A voyage and an adventure as sublime as any in the history of the universe." What can you tell us about this story?

PAUL LEVINSON: I'm disappointed, too - in myself, for not getting Borrowed Tides up as a Kindle ebook already.   In fact, when I saw Interstellar, I was especially disappointed, because Borrowed Tides is about the first - as far as we know - interstellar voyage, and I started preparing Borrowed Tides for e-publication.  But you know how it is, I've been caught up in other things, and I'm still in the first chapter.  But this question - your question - has put me back in touch with Borrowed Tides, again, and now I intend to get it e-published in the next few months or sooner. And I'm going to thank you, really, in the new Preface, for pointing me in this direction.  The novel is about a starship to Alpha Centauri, with just fuel enough to get there, yet the crew still expects to get back to Earth. And the leaders of the crew are a philosophy professor from New York City and an anthropologist with a specialty in Native American culture.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: You have a number of books out now starring Phil D'Amato. Before we talk about the books, why don't you tell us a little about Phil, and why you keep returning to him?

PAUL LEVINSON: My daughter Molly, when she first read The Silk Code - in manuscript form, when she was 12 years old - said two things: "Daddy, this is the best book I've ever read!" and "Daddy, Phil D'Amato's just like you!" This gave me a lot of encouragement - even though he probably doesn't feel that way about the "best book" now.  But, hey, it's better than anything any critic ever said about my novels (though I guess some have said some pretty nice things).  But Phil is just like me - an author pours all of his or herself into a novel or story, if the novel is to work, because you know yourself better than you know anyone else, and fashioning a character after your own instincts makes that character more realistic and convincing. Dr. Phil D'Amato is an NYPD forensic detective, with a penchant for getting involved in strange cases.  What he thinks about these cases - how he reacts and reasons, whom he identifies as suspects - are pretty much what I think I would do if I were a forensic detective.  I once got an email from a writer who wanted to know if a wolf's bite left teeth marks that were identifiable as a wolf vs. a dog on the bone?  My first thought was, why would anyone ask me a question like that?  But I realized that this was a compliment of sorts, because the writer had read The Silk Code, and found my forensic detective portrait convincing.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: The first book to feature Phil D'Amato was Locus award-winning The Silk Code. What would you like us to know about that book?

PAUL LEVINSON: I've always thought that people in the ancient world - including the prehistoric world, especially - had much more knowledge, and in the case of the prehistoric world, much more smarts - than we tend to give them credit for.  The problem is that all we know of them is via media - carvings on walls, later paper, etc - that have survived.  What of drawings in the sand?  What about devices constructed in bamboo that rotted away?  In particular, I thought Neanderthals were given a raw deal in our accountings - that they were more advanced in a variety ways than we thought.  Very recently, DNA analysis and archeological evidence in the field have indeed shown just that - Neanderthals were more culturally advanced than we thought, and also interbred with early homo sapiens. The Silk Code, written and published a good decade before these discoveries, explores precisely those points.   I did a fair amount of research on those issues at the time, but a lot of what's in the novel is my speculation, and I'm gratified to see it's been borne out by the facts.   The Silk Code also has one of my favorite lines - picked up in the New York Times review of the novel - when Phil muses that "DNA is the best dossier".


NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: I understand that, as well as being a novelist, you write songs. Can you talk a little about how your experience with this other art form affects your writing?

PAUL LEVINSON: Writing fiction, writing nonfiction, and writing songs all come from the same parts of my brain and soul.  The words of a song certainly are much the same, for me, as the words in a very short story.  But even my music partakes of that.   Talking - as when I teach a class or give a lecture - is part of that, too.  And I find that a rising tide lifts all of my boats - when I write a good song, that stimulates me to write fiction, and vice versa.   My 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme, continues to be an inspiration to me.  All but unknown at the time it was released, it was rediscovered as a "lost cult classic" in Japan in 2002 - after three big decades of obscurity! - and it's been going strong on iTunes and Spotify ever since.  I'm also written a science fiction song or two, and am working on a project with John Anealio - I'm writing the lyrics, he the music - for an album of progressive songs with science fiction themes.  Watch for this in the next year.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If you had a time machine, what would be the first place you'd go?

PAUL LEVINSON: Tough call.   There are lots of places in the past I'd love to travel to, but, realistically, I would get more out of the trip if it was a time and place where English was spoken.  Today, I've thinking a lot about the First Amendment, and how I don't like the FCC regulating any communication - see Why I'm Against Net Neutrality (even though I'm generally progressive) - so I might well go back to the 1820s, when Jefferson was retired, so I could have some good conversations with him.   If a future port of call were possible, I might consider going into the future to see how my family was doing, say, 50 or more years from now.  But that would also be emotionally traumatic, so I would probably stick with Jefferson - at least, for today.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What's your deepest darkest secret?

PAUL LEVINSON: I don't know about dark, but here's one that's pretty deep - few people know about this.  I give lectures all the time, as I said earlier, and, when I give the lecture, I never read a paper or even look at any notes.   That's something, of course, which is no secret, because everyone sees it, for example, in this lecture I gave about Marshall McLuhan in 2011.   But years earlier, when I was much younger, I was asked to give a lecture at a convention and paid a tidy sum for it. Given this payment, It just didn't feel right for me to walk up to the podium with not a paper in hand.  So I walked up, with a thick sheaf of papers, which were totally blank.  But it looked to everyone in the audience that I was lecturing based on that paper.  And afterward, lots of people complimented me for delivering such a good lecture without ever looking even once at my folder.   So now the world knows - hey, if anyone who reads this interview was actually at that lecture, you were a great audience, thank you!




NICHOLAS ANDREWS


NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Nicholas, thank you so much for joining us. Please tell us about The Secrets of the Stonechaser.

Thanks for having me! Secrets of the Stonechaser is the first book in The Law of Eight series. It has a long history in my own life, as I made my original outline for the series back in high school, sometime around 1999. I wrote the first version of the book between the ages of 18 and 21, but it was only 64,000 words and my writing had not yet matured to a level that I would have considered publishable. Ten years later, I rewrote the entire novel, which became much more fleshed out at 111,000 words, and due to the advent of self-publishing it was finally able to see the light of day last year.

The main protagonist, Nerris, who was once a part of an adventuring group known as The Thrillseekers. They have since gone their separate ways, and Nerris is now fighting as a mercenary on the side of a revolutionary named Lady Qabala. He deserts when he realizes the evil she plans on unleashing, not just on her own kingdom, but the world at large. He returns to his hometown, only to meet up with his old friends, Dist and Jhareth, as well as a mysterious girl named Len-Ahl. They decide to set out on one last treasure hunt together, but as fate would have it they step into a much larger conflict when they realize the treasure they seek can stop Qabala and an evil threat that has existed since antiquity.


NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What's the hardest part, for you, about writing fantasy?

NICHOLAS ANDREWS: Logistics can be tough sometimes. In a contemporary story, if you need characters to be in a certain place they can get on a plane and be halfway around the world in twelve hours. Not so in a fantasy without flight or automotive travel. The characters need a realistic amount of story time to get where they're going, and if you depict the travel to get there, you have to make sure interesting things are happening along the way.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: To what extent have you built your own fantasy world, and to what extent are you using the fantasy realms created by others: Gygax, Tolkien, etc? And does it matter how much of the world building one does for oneself as opposed to using what we're all so familiar with?

NICHOLAS ANDREWS: At the time of the conception of The Law of Eight, my favorite author was David Eddings. I received The Rivan Codex for Christmas, and that became my model for world-building. I developed each kingdom based on how he did it, except I went with a universal coinage system for the continent of Tormalia, like the Euro, instead of keeping each one separate.

I think it's okay to use what people are familiar with, as long as the story and characters are well-served. I would rank characters, plot, and setting as the most important elements of a fantasy story, with characters being first, then plot, then setting. To me, a story hinges on its characters. You can have an intricate plot and an original setting, but if the characters aren't interesting, the other two are not going to carry the story and it will be boring. On the flip side, interesting characters can make up for a lot of faults in the other two.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: How do you name your characters? Do you give a lot of thought as to what words their names sound like in English? For example, Lady Qabala. "Qabala" is a common alternate spelling for "Kabala."

NICHOLAS ANDREWS: I don't really have a method for naming. If I think something sounds goofy or too similar to another character, I'll change it. For example, in Follow the Faery Footpath there is a character named Jeclan Corrison. The name in my original character notes was Jahan Corri, but I felt his first name looked too similar to another main character, Jhareth. And I added the -son suffix on his surname because he comes from a Scandinavian-based society.

Qabala was so named because the big game franchise back then was Final Fantasy, and in Final Fantasy VII the main antagonist is named Sephiroth. The Sephirot are the ten attributions of the Kaballah, so my antagonist became Qabala, which is how it was spelled in my uncle's new age books.

Nerris was based on the name I had for the character in my very first outline of the very first chapter, before I even had a story, which was Eris. Dist and Jhareth were placeholder names for the outlines that I got used to seeing and never modified. My personal favorite name I've ever come up with is Zeranyah, a character who appears in Book 2.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about The Adventure Tournament.

NICHOLAS ANDREWS: The Adventure Tournament is the first book in my Adventurers series. Unlike The Law of Eight, each of these novels is planned as a standalone, with only the setting and certain characters reappearing, though sometimes events in a previous book will have consequences in another. Also unlike The Law of Eight, The Adventurers is humor-based.

The Adventure Tournament is about Remy, a university student who wants to be an adventurer, a profession frowned upon by his professor father. The King puts together the Adventure Tournament, which he hopes will solve some of the kingdom's problems with raiders and renegade mages, thus cementing his legacy, which he is obsessed with. Through a series of improbable events, Remy ends up as a captain of his own team in the tournament, which consists of characters like a feminist white mage, a narcoleptic thief, a womanizing wizard, and a professional wrestler turned warrior. Throughout the tournament, they have to learn to work together and of course a bond of friendship begins to grow.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: I watched the video you made for The Adventure Tournament. That looks like a lot of fun. Can you talk a little about what went into creating the trailer? And has it helped your book?

NICHOLAS ANDREWS: I produced trailers, commercials, and music videos for independent professional wrestling companies for three years, so it was a natural extension of something I was comfortable with. My goal was to highlight the humor of the story, and show potential readers that this would be different than other fantasy stories they had read, which is why I took a few playful shots at well-known series in the beginning. I commissioned Jirina Linnea Garbisch to do the artwork, and one of my oldest friends James Cruise did the voiceover. Although it was a fun thing to do, I can't say it did anything for sales, which is why I haven't made one for any subsequent books.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: You've got a couple of books out now in your Thrillseekers series. I noticed that team was mentioned in the preview I read for The Secrets of the Stonechaser. Please tell us about the Thrillseekers, both the team and the books.

NICHOLAS ANDREWS: The Thrillseekers: Cadets of Gauntlet is a series of novelettes that takes place fourteen years before the events of The Law of Eight. It shows how Nerris, Dist, and Jhareth got their start on the road to becoming contemporary folk heroes when they leave their home village to attend a fighting school called Gauntlet. Unfortunately I'm even slower with short fiction than I am with full novels, so it has kind of gone on the backburner recently. I do have a third installment about 2/3 of the way completed, and hopefully I can get to it once Book 3 of The Law of Eight is finished.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: As a fantasy writer, I'd love to hear how you handle magic in your books. Is there a structure? Are there rules? Can it just do anything?

NICHOLAS ANDREWS: There are some vague rules here and there, but for the most part I don't structure magic use and I don't go into much explanation. Magic can't do anything, otherwise the magic-based characters would never have any problems. I tend to keep it low-key. That way when a character does something really amazing or there is a big magic-based battle, it has more meaning. I also think too much explanation ruins the mystery that surrounds the magical aspects of the story. I'm more of a Tolkien than a Sanderson in that regard. Gandalf never needed to explain how his powers worked.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

NICHOLAS ANDREWS: I play PS3, watch films and television, and read. Uncharted, Skyrim, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Sons of Anarchy have been a few of my favorite things to come along in the last few years. I'm a life-long wrestling fan, and though I'm not as into it as I was when I was producing for indy wrestling, I still catch WWE Raw every week.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Are you prepared for the fall of civilization?

NICHOLAS ANDREWS: Is civilization about to fall? I'm always the last to know. I guess that makes the answer "No."

Thanks for reading! Be sure to visit www.authornicholasandrews.com for more information, including retail book links and a mailing list for new releases, as well as information on special sales.



STEVE LEBEL


FOR AN EXTENDED VERSION OF THIS INTERVIEW, INCLUDING COPIOUS ILLUSTRATIONS BY MR. LEBEL,
CLICK HERE.


NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Steve, thank you so much for joining us. I'm about a hundred pages into reading your book The Universe Builders and enjoying it immensely. Would you please tell our readers about it?

STEVE LEBEL: It is a humorous fantasy about a young god who just graduated from God School. He has studied all his life to become a Universe Builder. His dream comes true.


Thrilled by the opportunity to demonstrate his skill, Bernie is unaware that Billy, a school rival, plans to sabotage his world in a vicious attempt to get him fired.


His friends rally to help him with the mounting problems. If Bernie fails, it will cost him everything he cares about.

One of my reviewers described it as “a fascinating tale of good vs. evil and a young hero on a journey of self-discovery in an original, humorous, fantastic wrapper.”

I like that.

For a quick overview, check the book trailer: http://youtu.be/KwQBdRTTQR8


NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Tell us about Bernie and Billy.

STEVE LEBEL: Bernie is a young god who grew up in the woods (the poor side of God Town). His father is the most famous universe builder of the modern age, but as his fame grew, he abandoned Bernie and his mom. Bernie’s wants more than anything to somehow win the approval of his father by demonstrating his skill as a builder.


Billy is the school bully. He singled out and picked on Bernie from the very beginning. An unfortunate incident that resulted in a fight between Bernie and Billy left Billy with a nasty scar on his face. He vowed revenge and has spent years exacting revenge whenever he could.


Because of all Bernie’s problems, he lacks self-confidence. Although, interestingly, he has developed a strong sense of values that often put him at odds with the ‘normal’ thinking of the gods.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: How does one create a universe?

STEVE LEBEL: 

The gods have an amazing ability to create. But, like all gifts, it has its own limitations. Their powers are manifest only in a different dimension, one of the multiverse of dimensions that surround their own. Inside one of those dimensions, they have the ability to create.

The gods need immense willpower to begin the idea of creating something as vast as a sun or planet or more. They must have powerful visualization skills, because they must know exactly what it is they are trying to do. Third, they have great concentration, which is what makes their creations solid and real. And, of course, a little Universe Putty doesn’t hurt.

To be completely accurate, I should explain that they have had extensive training in all branches of science in order to make their creations work. That is why they study Creation Science when they are in God School.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What is a shimmer and what is a cloud? I found myself thinking about the multi-part Egyptian concept of a soul as I read about these in The Universe Builders.

STEVE LEBEL: All of the gods have a shimmer. It is something unique to them and one of the reasons they know they are special. You can think of it as a clearly visible aura with one additional element – the color of the shimmer changes depending on what the god is feeling.

The cloud is something quite different. Do you remember the Peanuts character Pigpen with the little dust cloud that followed him everywhere? Or, better yet, do you remember the Li’l Abner comics and Joe Btfsplk who was the world’s worst jinx and had a perpetually dark rain cloud over his head? The god’s clouds are like Joe’s except they are invisible, and they are either lawful or chaotic. For most gods, the forces of law and chaos are evenly matched, so their cloud is never heard from. For our poor hero, however, his cloud is extremely chaotic, which means it often does things when he least expects it. And, of course, it seldom listens to him.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: As I read this book, I keep getting flashes of some of my favorite hobbies as a kid: The video games Civilization and Populous, the old Dungeons and Dragons Immortals boxed set. It also makes me think of one of my favorite stories of all time, Alejandro Jodorowsky's Les Technoperes/ The Technopriests. Am I anywhere close to your influences?

STEVE LEBEL: Eerily close. I played Dungeons and Dragons for many years. And I played Civilization and Populous as well. I love the idea of magic. What is more amazing than the power to create? I have had a lot of influences, and I would be remiss not to mention Terry Pratchett’s Disk World, beginning with The Color of Magic. He has a quality of whimsy I have tried to emulate in my writing.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: It SEEMS to be the case that this is your first book, but I don't believe it. I say that, first of all because it's good - and no one's first book is. But also because, to my eyes this story appears to be one long intricate metaphor for the, specifically, authors' creative process. The man who wrote this book has copious experience writing books. So, where are they all hiding?

STEVE LEBEL:Thank you. That is very flattering.

I think you’ve hit on something here. There are a lot of parallels between creating a novel and creating a universe. And I flirted shamelessly with the parallels. Some of my best stuff, unfortunately, is sitting on my editor’s floor. She declared it as ‘backstory’ and banished it to some unknown dimension. She told me it’s for the best - people want to know about building universes, not about building books.

And of course, my mind doesn’t stop there…

There are times when I wonder what Bernie might do if he could step off the pages…

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What are you working on now?

STEVE LEBEL: I’m working on another story for The Universe Builder. If you read my reviews, you will see that virtually everyone is telling me they want and expect more stories from the God World. Although it does seem to be taking a little longer than I had hoped...

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Is there a pattern to your travels around the world? 

STEVE LEBEL: Yes, actually there is. I’m fascinated by anything that smacks of mystery and magic. I am drawn to them wherever they are. If I haven’t been there yet, it’s only because they are still coming up on my list.

I have a ‘dirt collection’ next to me. Inside each of ninety little spice jars is a sample of dirt from a place I visited. They include the Great Pyramids, Stonehenge, the Coliseum, the Acropolis, Camelot, Atlantis, Buddha’s Tomb, the Palace of the Minotaur, the Alhambra, the Blue Mosque, and more. I even have dirt from the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: You mention in your biography that you played Dungeons and Dragons for fifteen years. Why did you stop?

STEVE LEBEL: We began playing when the first game was published in 1977. We ‘morphed’ into the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons when it came out. We collected and painted over 2,000 lead figures for our characters and the monsters. Naturally, we had a large playing board for our campaigns. As the DM, I wrote computer programs to generate characters and even coordinate when to introduce wandering monsters. It was five years before we played with anyone I hadn’t taught to play. Then we discovered tournaments and conferences.

Why did we quit? The rules that evolved in later versions made the game more mechanical and rule-centered to me. I tried never to let the rules get in the way of the game. The more I played with new people and new rules, the more it became (for me) too much about the rules and not enough about the game.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: How is a raven like a writing desk?

STEVE LEBEL: My goodness. I didn’t know there would be a quiz. Can I ask Bernie? He knows everything…

Book Site: www.TheUniverseBuilders.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/SteveLeBel

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SteveLeBel.author

Goodreads: www.Goodreads.com/SteveLeBel

GooglePlus: www.Google.com/+SteveLeBel

 

And be sure to check out the book trailer for The Universe Builders. It’s a fun 1 min 37 sec video. www.TheUniverseBuilders.com/trailer



FOR AN EXTENDED VERSION OF THIS INTERVIEW, INCLUDING COPIOUS ILLUSTRATIONS BY MR. LEBEL,
CLICK HERE.



That's all for this week!
Being that I don't want to chase anyone down over the holidays, our next issue should be Monday January 12th. I hope to see you all back here, and I'll have some new authors for you.


In the meanwhile, why not watch me read to you?

Farther Than We Dreamed Episode One Chapter One (1 of 4)


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