THE WITCH PORT VIDEO GAME: AUTHOR Q&A with Leonard Bassad @leobassed #blogtour


Today's guest is YA Author Leonard Bassad. His new book is The Witch Port Video Game and he is on a virtual book tour this month with Pump Up Your Book! We're very glad to have him here today to talk about his book, writing and what surprised him about getting his book published. 

Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

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 geographical settings. This exposure to different accents and histories sparked my creativity culminating in me writing the pilot script, which I’d intended to pitch for film/TV, but upon its completion I’d grown too attached to the world and characters. This ultimately led my story into the shape of a novel, the first in the series.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I chose to self-publish my novel The Witch Port Video Game, mainly because outside of my song writing it’s my first published work. I wanted to maintain complete creative control, from the cover art and size of the book to every last detail. I wanted it translated as accurately to my vision as humanly possible, and I dare say I achieved that.

Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The main thing that surprised me is the work that comes after your book has been published. After the last round of editing was done and my book was ready for print, I thought my work on the novel was complete. I was sorely mistaken, publishers don’t get nearly enough credit for the work they do.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Yes, I do believe in the importance of a great cover, but I also think the writing should be just as good. The cover may be what draws the reader’s attention to the book, but the writing is what keeps them hooked.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

I’ve always had a fascination for the subject matter, the writing part came easily to me, and I knew the story I wanted to tell. The advice I’d give, I strongly advocate outlining your story, staying consistent and only revealing the most pertinent information needed to move the plot forward.

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m currently working on the sequel to The Witch Port Video Game; it’s coming soon so be on the lookout. My readers are encouraged to check my website and social media platforms all updates will be posted there.

What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

Probably the style of the narration it’s told through Martin’s perspective.

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

The core message that shines through is that our actions have consequences, Martin the narrator of the story gives in to peer pressure, that’s how he obtains magical abilities to begin with. The book also deals with real issues like substance abuse and the impact it has on families.

Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you for conducting it. For more on my book, head to my website for all updates: Witch Port Igniting The Coven, coming soon.

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.


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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

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