Monday, November 4, 2019

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.


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About the Book:

Author: Leonard Bassed
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 108
Genre: YA

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.
“While the book’s final moments leave us with a rather sudden, enigmatic ending, an end note does indicate a sequel Witch Port Igniting the Coven on the horizon. For those who enjoy the entertaining literary chemistry that results from inquisitive teens and their foray into the mysterious world of sorcery, Bassed’s venture should prove an intriguing reveal.”
--Pacific Book Review

“Filled with cheeky references to famous pop-culture stories of sorcery and mixed with some classic teenage angst, this book is a fast-paced, suspenseful story. The novel’s premise that some teenagers gain special powers through a video game is an updated, modern take on magic and suits the story quite well for a 21st-century setting. The author sets up the story mechanisms so that everything that happens through the students’ video game play also happens in real life. The author states that this novel was originally a screenplay, and those elements shine through, from the descriptive settings to the fast pace in which the action occurs on the page. It will be interesting to see how the protagonists grow with their powers in the sequel.”
--The U.S. Review of Books
Book can be purchased at the author’s web site at

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a singer/songwriter and actor so when I’m not writing I spend my time in studio, recording my music or simply getting my ideas down.  Auditioning for various theatric projects and commercials or taking class.

When did you start writing?

I’ve written all my life mainly for my own enjoyment. I’d start off with the best of intentions but would lose steam, up until now I couldn’t find subject matter that really resonated with me as profoundly as The Witch Port Video Game does. The whole thing came to me fully formed as though it were the book I were always meant to write.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When I initially adapted the pilot script into a novel I did so with the intention to self-publish. I had the realization that the book would turn out to be exactly what I wanted it to be; there was something so satisfying in that for me.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

This is a hard question because I enjoy traveling in general. Ideally, I’d love to write at any coastal or cabin setting, I’ve glamourized the idea of being secluded with nothing to do but write. I’d also love to visit Amsterdam again, but I doubt I’d get much writing done.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

In a perfect world I’d respond by saying I’d write, but I have so much administrative things to do outside of my craft I’d probably choose to tackle that.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I would like to set my next book in a fictional town that I’ve yet to coin.

Back to your present book, The Witch Port Video Game, how did you publish it?

I chose to self-published my novel, I wanted to maintain full creative control.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

It was my traveling that sparked the idea to write my novel, but I only began the writing process when I returned home to South Africa from Los Angeles, California, USA. I was fortunate enough to participate in a Baltic tour seeing much of Europe a few years prior and all these experiences served to enrich my writing.

Why was writing The Witch Port Video Game so important to you?

I was an out of work actor when I wrote the pilot script; the projects I’d audition for weren’t reflective of the roles I hoped to book. This realization led me to write The Witch Port Video Game pilot, but upon its completion I was hooked and knew I had to carry on writing, at that point I was too invested.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I get my best ideas every time I’m isolated from the outside world, whether I’m out in nature or somewhere where communication with me is limited. I’m an introvert so I guess that’s when I feel most comfortable, and when you calm and in your element that’s when creativity flows.

Any final words?

In closing I’d like to thank you for this interview, much appreciated. For more on my book please head over to my website

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