My interview today is with Steve LeBeL, author of The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty.
Welcome, Steve. Can you tell us a little about your book?
The main character is a young god named Bernie who just graduated from God School. He isn’t the smartest kid, but he worked hard, and he has a good heart. He managed to get his dream job working for The Business as a universe builder. His new boss told him to build his own universe – anything he wants – so they can see what he’s capable of doing.
As the book progresses, things get more complicated, the stakes get raised, and Bernie has to make choices about what is important in life.
Wow, that sounds like an intriguing premise. Can you tell my readers what inspired you to write The Universe Builders?
I got the idea back in school when I first heard that God had a name. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why God would need a name. The only thing I could think of is you need a name if there is more than one of you. That got me thinking about a world of gods and goddesses who make universes for a living.
Is there a message in your book that you wish readers to grasp?
I get asked that question a lot. Since the book is about gods who build universes, several people have asked me about hidden meanings. They really aren’t any. The book is just supposed to be fun and funny. One reviewer said the book is “a fascinating tale of good vs. evil and a young hero on a journey of self-discovery.” That’s about right.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to put pen to paper and share your experience with the world?
My background is in the corporate world where I served as president of a hospital for 17 years. I retired and started an internet company which I sold after 11 years. After retiring again, I decided to try my hand at writing. In writing some short stories, I was delighted to find people enjoyed my humor, which gave me the motivation to take on a novel.
What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a book?
The hardest part for me is the editing. I don’t like going over something again and again. And the frustrating part is that each time I do, I find ways to improve it. It gives me a sense that it might never be finished. Fortunately, I have a copy editor (and some writer friends) who told me “Enough is enough. It’s ready!” Otherwise, I would probably be tweaking it still.
Besides your own book(s), what other new Indy titles are you excited about in 2014?
Actually, I was impressed with your book, Mateguas Island. I was born in Maine and love the setting on a remote island off the coast. Plus I like supernatural tales and your book does it well. Another author is J. Scott Payne, who wrote A Corporal No More, a civil war novel about a young corporal who goes off to fight for his country, only to find it wasn’t nearly as glamorous as he thought.
What’s next for you? Any new projects in the works?
The biggest project for me now is getting my new book off the ground. As you know, writing is only a small part of what it takes for a book to be successful. There is a lot of marketing and promotion required.
You’re right about that, Steve. Do you have any advice for other writers who are just starting down the self-publishing path?
The two things I learned are 1) You won’t get rich by writing. A lot of amazingly talented people have written great books. So, make sure you are writing for other reasons; if you make money, that’s a bonus. 2) Authors are the people who have to promote their own work. The publishing companies rarely do much. If you aren’t willing to do your own promotions, it’s not likely your work will become well-known.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you enjoy highly imaginative worlds, tongue in cheek humor, characters that will make you laugh and tug at your heartstrings, then you will enjoy this highly original book.
The official publishing date is May 30th. If you go now, you can beat the crowd… <grin>
Thank you for stopping by today, Steve. I’m sure my readers appreciate your taking time out of your busy writing schedule to be with us!
My pleasure, Linda. Thank you for having me here.
The following are several links to Steve’s work so if you’re interested, check them out! His book is currently available on Amazon in eBook form, but I believe a print version will also be coming out in the near future.
Amazon: The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty (Kindle Edition)
Book Site: www.TheUniverseBuilders.com
Book Trailer: www.TheUniverseBuilders.com/trailer/
Book Excerpt: www.TheUniverseBuilders.com/prologue/
Book Reviews: www.TheUniverseBuilders.com/reviews/