Jul 6, 2014

The Universe Builders Interview

My interview today is with Steve LeBel who is the author of The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty.

Welcome, Steve.  Can you tell us a little about your book?

The main character is a young god named Bernie who just graduated from God School.  He isn’t the smartest kid, but he worked hard, and he has a good heart.  He managed to get his dream job working for The Business as a universe builder.  His new boss told him to build his own universe – anything he wants – so they can see what he’s capable of doing.

Unfortunately, an old school rival is determined to see Bernie fail.  And he uses his godly powers to sabotage Bernie’s world.  If Bernie doesn’t do a good job, he’ll be fired.

As the book progresses, things get more complicated, the stakes get raised, and Bernie has to make choices about what is important in life.

Can you tell my readers what inspired you to write your first book?

I got the idea back in school when I first heard that God had a name.  The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why God would need a name.  The only thing I could think of is, he would need a name if there is more than one of him.  That got me thinking about a world of gods and goddesses who make universes for a living.

Wow, that sounds interesting!  Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to put pen to paper and share your experience with the world?

My background is in the corporate world where I served as president of a hospital for 17 years.  I retired and started an internet company which I sold after 11 years.  After retiring again, I decided to try my hand at writing.  In writing some short stories, I was delighted to find people enjoyed my humor, which gave me the motivation to take on a novel.

Is there a message in your book that you wish readers to grasp?

I get asked that question a lot.  Since the book is about gods who build universes, people tend to ask me about hidden meanings.  They really aren’t any.  The book is just supposed to be fun and funny.  One reviewer said the book is “a fascinating tale of good vs. evil and a young hero on a journey of self-discovery.”  That’s about right.

What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a book?

The hardest part for me is the editing.  I don’t like going over something again and again.  And the frustrating part is that each time I do, I find ways to improve it.  It gives me a sense that it might never be finished.  Fortunately, I have a copy editor (and some writer friends) who told me “Enough is enough.  It’s ready!”  Otherwise, I would probably be tweaking it still.

What's next for you? Any new projects in the works?

The biggest project for me now is getting my new book off the ground.  As you know, writing is only a small part of what it takes for a book to be successful.  There is a lot of marketing and promotion required.

Do you have any advice for other writers who are just starting down the self-publishing path?

The two things I learned are 1) You won’t get rich by writing.  A lot of amazingly talented people have written great books.  So, make sure you are writing for other reasons; if you make money, that’s a bonus.  2) Authors are the people who have to promote their own work.  The publishing companies rarely do much.  If you aren’t willing to do your own promotions, it’s not likely your work will become well-known.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

If you enjoy highly imaginative worlds, tongue in cheek humor, characters that will make you laugh and tug at your heartstrings, then you will enjoy this highly original book.

The ebook was published in June 2014 and the print book will be available by August 2014.  You can get them here:

Thank you for stopping by today, Steve. If my readers would like to find out more information, how can they do that?

I would be delighted to hear from your readers.  They can reach me through any of the links here: