Today, I’d like to welcome Lee Pletzers, author of “The Game” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Lee Pletzers is a displaced New Zealand writer of the weird, wonderful and grotesque. Since 2001 he has made an impact on the genre world and thrives within its limitless boundaries. Over seventy short stories have slammed his name on anthologies and magazines across the globe. Five novels impacted humanity and two novellas were the icing on the cake. He still sends his books out to independent and legacy publishers, looking for that elusive million dollar cheque.
OK – HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why? That’s a no-brainer. Yes, I would break the law. Heck, I’d nuke the world to save a loved one. Why? I’m pretty much a loner. I don’t have a lot of real-world friends. My wife is my best friend. If something happened to her or my kids or brothers and sisters, you can bet that the world will burn until I get them back. Love is a precious, beautiful, chemical reaction driven by olfactory senses. You don’t want to lose that.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living? The difference is: Alive– Breathe in, Breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Truly living: Breathe in – WOW – breath out. Breathe in – Holy Shit! – Breath out. Breathe in – OMFG – breathe out. The world is filled with all kinds of wonder and excitement. This is your moment on this planet to explore and enjoy the wonders the world has to offer. Travel, see stuff, and do stuff. Don’t hurt others in your pursuit of happiness. Love, hate, smile, cry. Race a car. Do cartwheels. LIVE LIFE. The world needs you, and you need it.
No.3 What motivates you to write? That’s hard to answer. Motivation is a hard thing to pinpoint. I have been professionally writing since 2004 (my second publishing contract—publisher closed, move on – such is life) and the motivation is low these days. The truth is, I love to write and I truly hope people enjoy my tales and share with their friends. Many years ago, at the tender age of ten, a vampire short story I wrote was read (by the teacher) in front of the entire class. I loved that. I still do. For me, the elusive billion dollar contract is not important. It would be nice, don’t get me wrong. But the main thing is being read and readers kind enough to leave honest reviews. Also, motivation may be the enthusiasm after a story idea spark that drives me to start and finish a tale. Writing is not the easiest task in the world, but it is the most freeing. It is also a very lonely task. It’s just you, the keyboard and your imagination.
No.4 Why do humans want children? I have no idea why people want children. Me? I’ve always wanted kids. Sons to be exact. I got my wish, with two boys, always dedicated to in my books. I’m the last of the line. The final Pletzers. The pressure was great. My kids are great. Now they are grown and rocking their life and continuing the bloodline. I’m a super happy grandfather at the age of 44. I think the real reason people want kids is for the reason above. My personal reason for wanting children. I can also understand the reason people don’t want children. I believe they are missing out on a wondrous time, high stress levels, and premature gray hair, plus a dwindling bank account. LOL. But I wouldn’t trade a second of it.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book “The Game”? The landscape and the rules. The story itself was brewing in the back of my mind for many years. I even tried to write it a few times, but the each attempt failed. I wasn’t ready to write this type of book. I wrote other books, other stories. I built up my skills. I sold around 30 short stories and my second novel, The Last Church (SF/Horror), before I wrote The Game. I read and watched a lot of fantasy tales. A lot of SF and a bucket-load of horror. My three favourite genres. I didn’t know it at the time, but I think I was teaching myself how to write The Game.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far? Don’t take life too seriously. Have fun. Do what you love. Find that one thing that inspires you and ignore naysayers. This is your life. Not your mothers, fathers or friends. They have no right to try to relive their life through you. This is your time. You live once on this plane. Live the way you think your should live. Be happy. Life is too short to be offended and angry all the time. Let that negative shit go. Let it wash over you and be gone. Don’t allow it to affect you. A beautiful smile will return and you will learn how to NOT worry, stress, or panic over every little thing. I just realised the above sentence can be summed up in four little words: Don’t worry, be happy.
No.7 How did you come up with the title “The Game”? The easiest question. I had no idea what to call the game that is played in the book. I named other fake games mentioned in the book but could never come up with a solid name that I liked after several attempts. Nothing seemed right. I asked my writing group back in 2002/03. They came back with a host of names and, again, not one stuck. Nothing felt right. And with writers, especially me, if it doesn’t feel right, it has to go. So, in the end, I decided not to name the game played and as it had no name, the title, The Game, felt right. The first publisher that contracted this book called it Gonzo Girls. I didn’t like it but I didn’t think I had a choice in the matter, so I started advertising Gonzo Girls (under my pen name, Richard Lee). The publisher broke the contract (time wise. One year turned into four years and no publication in sight) and I pulled the book. My second publisher is Triskaideka Books in NZL. They are awesome.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism? Like water off a duck’s back. You need a really thick skin in this business. Or any business actually. Everyone is entitled to their opinions (regardless of how wrong they are). Dealing with criticism is an important life skill. At some point, someone will bitch about you, or fashion style, your writing skills, etc. In the real world, there is no safe space to run too. You can handle the comments in one of two ways—positively or negatively. Think about the comments before reacting and jumping on Twitter or FB. The person might not realise they are hurting you. Constructive and destructive criticism seems very clear cut, but oftentimes, the criticiser is not good at word formations or is too direct. Always be positive. Not everyone is out to get you. Only some of them 🙂 Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People
No.9 Why should people read your book? Why shouldn’t they? It’s a rip roaring yarn that came to me when I was 13 years old and I believed I was from another planet, due to minor social skills and a complete and total fascination with Dr Who that continues even to this day. The Game is unlike most books you will experience. It’s a fantasy, with unreal creatures (the snakes are my favourite), game characters that act like people you know or wish not to know, and changing landscapes that can only exist in a twisted imagination. It’s a science fantasy story as a virus in computer code can enter the real world and impact change.It’s an adventure story and mystery as Lisa18 searches for her brother. She not only finds him, but she finds her father and a love interest. It’s a love story as the virus falls in love with the game creator. It’s a drama as a drug addled woman finds a way to escape a tortuous lover. It’s a thriller wound so tight you’ll scream when the virus, hell-bent on destruction—finds a way out. You’ll nod your head as another character escapes the game and becomes the real life embodiment of its nature.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing? Nothing does not exist. Try to think of nothing. It’s impossible. It has no shape, no form, and no substance. It is invisible. Transparent. And lifeless. Hence, there is something. Quantum mechanics tells us that there is no such thing as nothing. There is no empty space, ever. Tiny particles and anti-particles fade in and out of nothing instantly.
Thank you Lee 🙂
For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book!
A thinking, breathing, calculating virus wreaks havoc in virtual reality gaming.
You play, you die.