Welcome to the Spotlight – Greg R. Fishbone!

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I’m so happy to take part in Greg R. Fishbone‘s blog tour for his new novel Galaxy Games: The Challengers!  Stay tuned (see below) to find out how you can win a copy of his fantastically funny novel for middle-graders!

Galaxy Games: The Challengers by Greg R. Fishbone (Tu Books/2011)

Tyler Sato is thrilled to be celebrating his eleventh birthday.  His relatives from Japan gift him with a star – naming it Ty Sato in his honor.  When it’s discovered that Tyler’s star is not a star but a spaceship headed right for earth, Tyler’s eleventh year is sure to be a stellar one – or so he hopes!  During the course of events, M’Frozza, the alien girl in the spaceship, introduces the Galaxy Games to Tyler and the globe – causing Very Important Events to occur for all of Earth. On the other side of the world, Tyler’s cousin Daiki has his own problems, including a  judo champ (a girl!) who is desperate for a friend.  I recommend this fun read to anyone who loves a story about friendship, space adventure, and intergalactic games! There’s great humor throughout – I laughed out loud many times!

Spotlight on Greg Fishbone:

What was the initial spark for THE GALAXY GAMES?
The initial spark came at a writing conference workshop run by an editor who works with series for middle grade boys. She challenged me to come up with a pitch for a sports series, on the spot, and present it to the rest of the group. My basic idea was to put the children of Earth up against children from other planets in the biggest and most important sports tournament of all time. That’s a series I would have loved to read myself when I was growing up, especially if it were packed with fun and adventure. It also had to be a multicultural series, because I wanted the Earth team to truly represent all of Earth.
That original editor complimented my pitch and encouraged me to submit a proposal, but ultimately declined to publish it. It was a few years until Tu Books came into existence, responding to a need for more multicultural science fiction and fantasy books for young readers, and they really understood what I was trying to do.
I laughed out loud more than a few times while reading your book. Do you have any advice on writing humor?  Are you as funny off paper as on?
I like to laugh and I think I have a pretty good sense of humor but I was never the class clown at my school. Actually, I’m more of a quiet introvert than anything else, but luckily you don’t have to be a stand-up comedian to write funny books. My advice to other authors would be to find things that make you laugh and try to figure out why those jokes work and how they can be even better. It’s about developing your own style rather than just repeating what you’ve heard or read elsewhere.
You spent some time living in Japan. What is your favorite food memory while in Japan?
I regret not being able to experience a traditional home-cooked Japanese meal because my food experience was limited to fast food and whatever I could prepare for myself. That said, here is my Top Ten List:
10. My apartment came with an electric rice-cooker!
9. One of the first useful Japanese sentences I learned was how to order a “Big Mac set” with no cheese and extra pickles for take-away.
8. Tuna onigiri. Yum!
7. Oden from the local street vendor.
6. That one restaurant with sushi plates that run on a conveyor belt past your table!
5. A vehicle that looked like it could have been an American ice cream truck, except that it sold roasted yams wrapped in newspaper.
4. The day I discovered that fried tako balls have octopus inside and were nothing like the Mexican-style tacos my mouth had been expecting.
3. A dozen varieties of Pocky!
2. Choosing between sports drinks called “Pocari Sweat” and “Post Water”.
…and my Number One favorite food memory: 2AM at an all-night Denny’s in Takadanobaba ordering yellowtail teriyaki and a strawberry bubble-tea!\
Note from Debbi: Okay, now I’m hungry!

Greg Fishbone is an author of galactic fiction for young readers. He also serves as an Assistant Regional Advisor for the New England regions of the Society of 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.

Love fun and games? Greg is hosting a fun puzzle game with a grand prize for one clever reader. Collect all 31 pieces from Greg’s blog tour stops and solve the puzzle!  Here’s puzzle piece number 13-

Here’s a link to the blog tour and the other puzzle pieces: http://galaxygam.es/tour/

Now, how would you like to win a copy of Galaxy Games: The Challengers with a book plate autographed by the author himself? All you have to do leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing. (LJ feed readers click here.) The only rules are that you must have a US mailing address and you must leave your comment by midnight PST Friday, October 14. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 18th. Good luck!

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9 responses »

  1. Debbi
    Great interview with Greg, and fantastic review of Galaxy Games. I’m glad I read this…now, Galaxy Games sounds like a book I must read now. Interesting Fun and off in Space!!! Congratulations Greg-See you in the spring at NESCBWI, as usual!
    Mona

  2. Oh, I’d love to be able to buy a roasted yam on the street, especially on a cold day. Yum! Please enter me for the contest, Debbi! Congratulations, Greg. :)

  3. Thanks, Debbi!

    I’ve actually discovered a restaurant in the Boston area that offers sushi on a conveyor belt. It’s Wasabi in the new section of the Natick Mall that used to be the old Wonder Bread and Hostess factory. Now I suffer from factory-fresh Twinkie cravings while satisfying my conveyor-belt sushi cravings. :D

    • We have a few of those conveyor belt sushi restaurants in this area. Hubby and I went to a local izakaya on Friday (Japanese tapas) and we were in heaven! MMmmm! I’m hungry! Thanks for letting me host you on your blog tour! Can’t wait for book 2! :)

  4. Okay, you got me on the food memory question. Sushi on a conveyor belt sounds like the best idea! Thanks for the fun interview. Galaxy Games sounds intriguing!!

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