I am delighted to be able to interview one of the Mixed Up File’s very own! Greg R. Fishbone is a very talented author and has an awesome new book to share with us today.
Who is Greg Fishbone?
A lawyer by day and author/illustrator by night, Greg fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and fun. He and his wife live in the Boston area with their daughter and two cats of varying temperament.
Tell us about your latest book. Was it fun to write?
My latest book is The Amorphous Assassin, the second book in the Galaxy Games series. It’s a blend of sports and science fiction with an international cast of all-star kids and one very dangerous alien.
This is the first time I’ve written a sequel, being able to build off an existing world with a known backstory. I wanted new readers to be able to pick this book up and quickly get oriented and invested in the story, but I also wanted readers of the first book to remember the ongoing story lines and deepen their understanding of characters they already knew. It was a challenging balance to create, which made it a whole lot of fun for me to write.
Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere! Places I’ve lived, things I’ve done, people I’ve known, books and articles I’ve read, TV shows, movies, those weird insurance commercials with the talking lizard, daydreams, nightmares, randomly-firing neurons… Sometimes it feels like it all sloshes around in my head until it comes out like a story-flavored smoothie. Everyone can do that, but each person’s story flavors are unique and special to them.
Why do you like writing sci-fi?
Science fiction is the genre of what isn’t, but could be. And since we humans keep advancing our scientific knowledge, our technology, and our society, science fiction is a constantly moving target. Writing science fiction means, first, defining what science fiction means today, then redefining it for tomorrow.
And what draws you to write for middle graders?
I was in that range is when I got drawn into books and read some great authors who permanently expanded my mind—Madeleine L’Engle, Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkein, Ellen Raskin, Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. LeGuin, Ray Bradbury, Natalie Babbitt, Piers Anthony, Arthur C. Clarke, and others. Plus my eldest daughter is in third grade now, so I especially like the idea of paying it forward to her and her generation.
It seems that you have always been drawn to superheroes. Can you tell us about some of the ones you have created in the past?
Ages ago I had a superhero team that called themselves the Super Seven, with the joke being that they weren’t very super and there were only six of them. Or eight. Or three. Or a hundred. The Super Seven were always adding or subtracting members, but they could never quite get their membership to stabilize at seven.
I also had a kid superhero team made up of Sporkboy, Spoongirl, and AquaRegia. They were a lot of fun.
What would be your ultimate super power?
Having an undo button for the real world. It would give me the ability to say, “No, that thing didn’t just happen, but here’s the better, cooler, and more interesting thing that happened instead.”
When did you start writing?
I used to write for fun with my friends after school, all through high school and into college. We’d take turns alternating chapters in a convoluted story that lurched in random directions and never reached an ending.
Why did you become an author?
Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed, and I found that liked it even more as worked to get better at it. I’m still learning new things, refining my technique, and constantly being blown away by what some other authors are able to do. Besides, if I can’t have an undo button in the real world, being able to do it in a fictional world is the next best thing.
Can you name one teacher that inspired you to write or had an effect on your life?
Rabbi Wohlgemuth, who was a Holocaust survivor and taught at the Hebrew high school. He was such a spellbinding storyteller that his words still resonate in my memory as a general background buzz of warmth, wisdom, pain, and laughter.
What is your favorite part about being an author?
As an author, I’m part of a select group that gets to enrich the lives of people we don’t know and usually never get to meet. Except when we do meet them, which is the very best part of all.
Anything else that you’d like to add:
Thanks for doing this interview, and also to everyone who took time to read it.
My Galaxy Games series isn’t from one of the biggest publishers around. It doesn’t have a huge buzz about it, and you may have to go out of your way to find the book online or to order it from your local independent bookstore, but finding just the right read is worth a little effort. I know kids will have a lot of fun reading this series, and it’s been a labor of love for me to create books that fill a gap on the shelf where nothing like them currently exist.
And if you enjoy these books, or any other books, please share them with friends, recommend them to other readers, and drop a note to the author. We always love hearing from you.
Thanks so much, Greg! If you’d like to learn more about Greg’s books or just drop him a line, check out his website HERE
Greg has generously offered to giveaway an autographed copy of his latest book.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*****Jennifer Swanson is a self-professed science geek and author of over 25 books for kids. You can learn more about her at www.JenniferSwansonBooks.com