Now arriving from outer space: Greg R. Fishbone

Welcome to From the Mixed-Up Files, Greg. Thanks for stopping by on your whirlwind blog tour.

greg fishbone photoGreg R. Fishbone is an author of galactic fiction for young readers, including the Galaxy Games series of humorous middle grade sci-fi novels from the Tu Books imprint at Lee & Low Books. Greg also serves as an Assistant Regional Advisor for the New England regions of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, is a two-time NESCBWI conference co-director, and founded of the Class of 2k7 debut author group. This summer he participated in the NASA and NSF-funded Launch Pad program at the University of Wyoming, intended to provide authors with better knowledge of astronomy and theories of science literacy. Visit his website at for more information.

What the publisher says about The Galaxy Games:

Things are looking up for Tyler Sato (literally!) as he and his friends scan the night sky for a star named for him by his Tokyo cousins in honor of his eleventh birthday. Ordinary stars tend to stay in one place, but Ty’s seems to be streaking directly toward Earth at an alarming rate. Soon the whole world is talking about TY SATO, the doomsday asteroid, and life is turned upside down for Ty Sato, the boy, who would rather be playing hoops in his best friend’s driveway.

Meanwhile, aboard a silver spaceship heading for Earth, M’Frozza, a girl with three eyes and five nose holes, is on a secret mission. M’Frozza is the captain of planet Mrendaria’s Galaxy Games team, and she is desperate to save her world from a dishonorable performance in the biggest sporting event in the universe.

What will happen when Ty meets M’Frozza? Get ready for the most important event in human history–it’s off the backboard, around the rim, and out of this world!

Can you tell us little bit about yourself?

A: Sure. I’m a reformed lawyer who writes humorous science fiction and fantasy for young readers. I live in the Boston area and serve as Assistant Regional Advisor and Webmaster for the New England regions of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The Challengers is my second book.

Is this book in any way autobiographical?

A: Not really. I’ve played sports and I’ve lived in Japan, but I’ve never met any space aliens. At least, not that I’ve known about.

You spent time in Japan? In the book, you have many different honorifics after the Japanese characters’ names. Can you explain the meanings of the different ones?

A: There’s a honorifics chart and glossary in the back of the book, which I hope will be useful for readers. Each honorific suffix defines the relationship between the person speaking and the person being addressed, so the same person might be called Takeda-san, Takeda-sama, Takeda-kun, or Takeda-sempai, depending on the situation.

Illustrated by Ethen Beavers

Greg, this book takes place in part in outer space. I understand you were a participant in the NASA and NSF-funded Launch Pad program at the University of Wyoming, intended to provide authors and their readers with better knowledge of astronomy and science literacy. Did you use what your learned during that program in writing this book?

A: The Challengers was completed before I attended Launch Pad this past summer, so all I could do was kick myself over all the extra details I could have worked into the mountaintop observatory scenes. I will be able to work a lot of what I learned into Book #2 and beyond.

The first portion of the book switches between three different venues. Your author notes must be color-coded. Was it hard to keep track of each of the different timelines for the different characters?

A: Ha! Yes, my notes actually were color-coded. Checking the timeline was a technical challenge but it got a lot easier after I dropped a bunch of scenes out of an earlier draft.

Galaxy Games: The Challengers is the first book in the series. Have you written any of the other books yet? Will they follow the same characters?

A: I have just completed the first draft of Book #2 and have outlines for others. A lot may change but Book #2 a good mix of fun new characters as well as returning favorites. Well, hopefully they’ll be other people’s returning favorites too, rather than just mine.

Puzzle piece #10For those playing along with the great puzzle piece hunt, here’s one. And remember to check out Greg’s Galaxy Tour blog at

Thanks again, Greg, for joining us on your book tour.

Wendy Martin spends her days drawing fantastical worlds. In the evenings she writes about them, then she visits them at night during her dreams. Visit her universe at her web site

Wendy Martin