Welcome, Greg. Thanks for dropping by my blog on your whirlwind tour!
Greg’s latest book, Galaxy Games: The Challengers, is a madcap space adventure, starring Tyler Sato, his Tokyo cousins, and the tentacled captain of the Mrendarian team, M’Frozza. I happen to know at least one kid who will absolutely love this book. Happy Birthday, Daniel! (And belated birthday to Hannah!)
And now, Greg, could you tell our readers a little about the book and what inspired you to write it?
Sure, Linda. The book is about how Earth gets invited to field a team in a sports tournament against kids from all over the galaxy. The main character, Tyler Sato, is a boy who gets a star named after him on his 11th birthday--except that it’s not really a star. At first, it seems to be an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, and then it turns out to be an alien spaceship! The cool part is that I get to put together a team of kids from all over the world to represent the entire planet.
You spent some time in Japan, could you tell us a little about that? How did your experiences there feed into this book?
I lived in Japan during an interesting time. There was a major earthquake in Osaka as well as a doomsday cult that released a batch of nerve gas on the subway in Tokyo! When I was first plotting a story where the characters thought the world was about to end, I couldn’t help thinking first of my experiences in Japan.
Where did you get the idea for the young Mrendarian girl, M’Frozza? Will you tell us how she became her planet’s captain in one of your future books?
M’Frozza is a fun character to write because she’s so proactive. She’s been groomed from birth to lead her team in the Galaxy Games--so there’s not really a story about how that happened--but suddenly she found herself unable to bring her team to the tournament. She could have moped around more but instead she found a way to avoid dishonor and really kick-started the entire series in the process.
M’Frozza and Tyler assembled an Earth team for the galaxy games comprised of kids from around the world. Can you tell us a little about each of them? Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
In the first book we have a luchador named El Gatito from Mexico, who wears a blue cat-shaped mask to hide his identity even from other members of the team. We also have a soccer player named Felix from Germany, whose previous experience has been mainly as a team mascot. There’s another soccer player from Brazil, named Weez, who’s a total conspiracy buff and believes that aliens abducted his younger brother. There’s a Chinese gymnast named Ling-Wa who gives up everything to join the team, and a Japanese judo champion named Tomoko that we get to know pretty well throughout the book because she’s a friend of Tyler’s cousin in Tokyo. There will be additional characters from other countries that we’ll get to meet in future books.
I don’t know that I see myself in all of them, but there are probably bits and pieces of me in there somewhere. Personally, I identify most with Tyler.
You seemed to have a lot of fun writing this—giving free rein to all the wacky turns of your zany imagination. What was the most enjoyable part of writing this book? Were some parts more of a slog?
I spent a lot of time editing and revising this book to get it just right. That could have been a slog but it was actually a lot of fun as well, coming up with little ways to make things better and better.
Do you have any advice for folks who’d like to write a series of their own?
Some of the last changes I made in The Challengers were meant to provide hooks into future books in the series, and I nearly painted myself into a corner when it came time to pick up those hooks and run with them in the second book. My advice would be to do your advance planning as well as you can but feel free to pitch the plans out the window if you come up with something even better.
I’m cackling now as I think of what’s coming up in Book #2. :D
Thanks so much for stopping by! To find out more about Greg and his books, go to his website at http://gfishbone.com/ and the Galaxy Games series site at http://galaxygamesseries.com
And for all our treasure hunting readers, here is the next clue in the Galaxy Game!
Greg R. Fishbone, Author - gfishbone.com - Twitter @tem2
The Challengers - Book #1 in the Galaxy Games Series
Follow the Galaxy Games Blog Tour, all October long!