Interview with sci-fi author Michael Leon

Sci-fi author Michael Leon is in the hot seat today talking
about his new novel, Cubeball.

During
his virtual book tour, Michael will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and
Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be
entered for a chance to win, use the
form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!
Bio:
I worked with
national and international organisations as a business analyst in Australia and
overseas. I authored many business books analysing the foodservice and food
retail industry in Australia, Europe and Asia, as well as agribusiness global
trends. I also ran a consultancy business that assisted Australian enterprises
to develop new markets in Australia and overseas.
I commenced
writing science fiction novels full time in 2009. It was a life-long interest
of mine. I have written five novels – all exploring contemporary social issues
in future speculative worlds. They are: Shadow
Dance
; Extinction; Cubeball; Titan Sages, and Alive.
My novels blend speculative science, new age and poetry. Readers of novels such
as Carl Sagan’s Contact would enjoy
my novels.
Do you ever wish
you were someone else? Who?
As a
long-term admirer of all things science fiction, I have on many
occasion wished to be one of the great authors of the past and present. Ray
Bradbury springs immediately to mind, as he wrote one of the great first
paragraphs in a science fiction book. Also given my passion for exploration
both of our world (literally) and beyond our Earth (my imagination), I have
occasionally wished I could be Kim Stanley Robinson, as he wrote the Mars trilogy.
I’m convinced he really visited Mars on a secret mission, such was the realism
of his story!
What did you do
on your last birthday?
I
journeyed to a lovely part of Australia, the 
Barossa Valley. It
is the Bordeaux of Australia, nestled between a dozen or so small townships in
South Australia. I spent a week there with my partner and we explored many of
the wineries in the area and sampled the local food. Tres bon!

What part of the
writing process do you dread?

The
editing side of writing is a painstaking process. Where writing the first draft
takes me around 2 to 3 months, editing can be 3 to 4 times longer. I self-edit
as many times as I can tolerate, before I hand it to my mentor. My fabulous
mentor, Sam is a hard task master and I do dread the ‘sea of red ink’
she layers over my manuscript. But she provides me the tough love that I
need to polish my draft to ever higher levels.
Do you ever
suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Writer’s
block comes and goes during every writer’s journey. I’ve learnt to accept that
it is a natural part of the writing process. But there are so many facets of a
novelist’s routine that must be addressed, from writing and editing to
marketing. When I tire of one, I turn to another. If it is a particularly
severe dose of writer’s block, I turn to my other great passion – 
travel –
particularly to France! 
Please tell us
about your latest release.
A
naturally gifted ex-national champion and a savant with a computer-like mind
compete against the world’s best in the 22nd century’s most popular sport
– Cubeball – a chess-like,
technology-enhanced, snooker of the future where the world stage is dominated
by gambling, drugs and massive audiences. 
Cubeball is a
futuristic science fiction novel (90,000 words) that follows the life of Mickey
Allen and his struggle to compete in the world’s most popular sport. Mickey,
a cubeball player with a natural and unique talent, is a one-time
national champion – the youngest ever. Disillusioned by an industry dominated
by illegal business dealings and technological enhancements, Mickey spends ten
years in refuge on Mars until his drug-fuelled life reaches a point of homeless
destitution.
Without
means of subsistence, Mickey looks to his estranged sister Riley, a success in
her own right in the cubeball industry, to bail him out and fund his
return to Earth. Their shared past holds betrayals that drove Mickey to leave
the industry. After some caveats to lift him out of his destructive drug haze,
he forms an unlikely union with business-savvy Riley as his comtech, and Ludwig
as his strategist – a savant with an uncanny gift for seeing the perfection of
Mickey’s game, inspired by his ability to recall the music of Beethoven.
Together,
Mickey’s new team seeks to compete on the world stage, a global industry
dominated by Mickey’s nemesis – his unscrupulous former manager, Johnnie
Draxma. Johnnie is the shadow that dominates Mickey’s origins in the game and
the betrayal that fuels his destructive habits. Amongst high stakes and an
audience of millions, Mickey must battle his own demons and those of his past,
as he learns about truth, trust and friendship.

Excerpt from Cubeball:
At that moment Mickey knew he had to play his way and make a
shot that would not be forgotten. He called “power-play.”
He imagined the perfect shot in his mind’s eye as he circled
the table twice, deliberating his fateful shot. The balls loomed large, but
strangely different. The table appeared more circular than a cube as he lowered
his chin to his carbon steel cue. The whole shot played in his mind as he drew
back the cue to strike the cue-ball with a force that engulfed the whole
stadium.
The crack of the cue-ball as it struck its target echoed
sharply its warning of an imminent tidal wave of spin and curve that would capture
the imagination of every fan in the stadium, or at home in front of their
cubebit. In one game changing savage strike, the red ball fell into the pocket
as the cue-ball savagely spun into the red triangle, spreading the reds in all
directions from the centrifugal force of the cue-ball. Mickey slotted twelve
red and black combinations in four minutes, gaining an unassailable lead. He
followed that with a perfect defensive stroke, leaving the cue-ball safely
jammed behind yellow. Flaveau conceded the game and the match, shell-shocked by
the unique high-spin attack Mickey had unleashed. The break was soon nicknamed
‘the pulsar’ and it had secured Mickey the first semi-final win and a shot at
the world title.

Links:
Thanks for being here today, Michael. Happy writing.

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16 thoughts on “Interview with sci-fi author Michael Leon

  1. MICHAEL LEON says:

    A very special thank you for hosting this stop today, Lisa. And thanks too to Goddess Fish. Wishing everyone good luck in the giveaway and happy reading!

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