“The Unity Game” is science fiction with philosophy
About the Book:
WHAT IF THE EARTH YOU KNEW WAS JUST THE BEGINNING?
A New York banker is descending into madness.
A being from an advanced civilization is racing to stay alive.
A dead man must unlock the secrets of an unknown dimension to save his loved ones.
From the visions of Socrates in ancient Athens, to the birth of free will aboard a spaceship headed to Earth, The Unity Game tells a story of hope and redemption in a universe more ingenious and surprising than you ever thought possible.
Metaphysical thriller and interstellar mystery, this is a ‘complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel’ from an exciting and original new voice in fiction.
Reviews for The Unity Game
“A complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel.” ~~ Kirkus Reviews
“Elegantly written, expertly crafted and a moving message. I found this book very hard to put down. Moving and poignant.” ~~ Lilly, Amazon US reviewer
“An engrossing, unique, and totally bizarre tale! I could not stop reading it once I started. Such a beautiful take on the afterlife, and its connection to those still living. A unity game, indeed!”~~ Brenna, Goodreads reviewer
“The Woman Behind the Waterfall” is literary fiction and magical realism
About the Book:
Heartbreak and transformation in the beauty of a Ukrainian village.
For seven-year old Angela, happiness is exploring the lush countryside around her home in western Ukraine. Her wild imagination takes her into birds and flowers, and into the waters of the river.
All that changes when, one morning, she sees her mother crying. As she tries to find out why, she is drawn on an extraordinary journey into the secrets of her family, and her mother’s fateful choices.
Can Angela lead her mother back to happiness before her innocence is destroyed by the shadows of a dark past?
Beautiful, poetic and richly sensory, this is a tale that will haunt and lift its readers.
Reviews for The Woman Behind the Waterfall
“Readers looking for a classic tale of love and loss will be rewarded with an intoxicating world” ~~ Kirkus Reviews
“The language is lyrical and poetic and, in places, begs to be read repeatedly for the sheer joy of it… A literary work of art.” ~~ Fiona Adams, The Richmond Magazine
“Rich and poetic in detail, it is an often dreamy, oneiric narrative rooted in an exaltation of nature… A lovely novel.” ~~ IndieReader
1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?
I’m the author of two novels: The Woman Behind the Waterfall, which is magical realism and The Unity Game, which is speculative science fiction. I am originally from London but I have spent most of my life living abroad, in New York, Barcelona, Kyiv and other cities. I studied literature, but spent several years working on Wall Street and then founding and running my own business before I decided to write full time. Now, writing is my top priority.
2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?
The time is always the morning – as early as possible, but the place can vary. If there is no one at home, then I write in my office or living room. However, if there are people wandering around, I’ll have to go out to a café. I’ll always choose a corner seat where I can observe the room, and one with loud enough music so I can’t hear other peoples’ conversations.
3: Where do your ideas come from?
I have a very creative mind and I am almost always turning several ideas round in my imagination at one time. I suppose it comes from being utterly fascinated with everything – with the planet Earth that we live on, with the mysteries of everything we don’t yet know, with the universe around us. I love to discover and delve into new areas. There are so many extraordinary things happening in the world at any one time, and so many stories to be told that should be known about. As a writer, it’s amazing to have the power to combine ideas and stories and “what if” scenarios endlessly in books. So, I’d say the ideas come from a combination of my insatiable curiosity, my vast fascination with everything around us, and a creative mind that likes to play with pieces of information and arrange them in interesting patterns.
4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?
I start off with many different ideas in my head, and I simply try writing about all of them. Some story threads fizzle out after a few thousand words and I understand that I didn’t have a very deep interest in the themes behind them. Others expand until a novel starts coming into shape. I often then integrate the smaller ideas as themes into the larger works. A novel has to have a question or a theme so burning, that it will carry you through up to five or even ten years of your life, and thousands of words.
5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?
When I started writing my novels I had no preconceptions of genre. I set out with passions and ideas and let the books emerge from these. It was only when reviews started referring to my work as “Magical Realism” that I accepted this for my first novel; with my second novel there were extraplanetary elements, so it clearly touched on Science Fiction. With the hindsight of two novels, I now understand that I write literary fiction and speculative fiction, however I would never like to set out with a fixed idea of what my novel will be. It’s a journey and an adventure to create and I would not limit this in any way.
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
David, the main character of The Unity Game, is an intense and driven New York investment banker, whose world starts slipping away when he has some alien experiences. Christian Bale would be perfect for this, as he self-destructs so brilliantly. There is also an ethereal, non-sexual, highly evolved alien that Cate Blanchett would suit perfectly. She is mesmerisingly beautiful so the lack of action wouldn’t be a problem. The third character is an after-life guide for my London barrister who dies in the first scene, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather show me around the after-life than Tom Hanks.
7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
I read as much as I possibly can – probably a book a week on average. I love literary fiction the most, but I’ve started to read more science fiction as well, and I try to keep a balance of at least one non-fiction book per ten fictions. Authors I love start from literary classics such as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, to current writers such as David Mitchell and Michael Cunningham and Eleanor Catton. I particularly love surrealism and great writing that heads in a strange direction, such as Haruki Murakami and Aimee Bender.
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
I’m coming to the end of American Rust by Philipp Meyer. It’s his debut and it’s absolutely phenomenal writing – huge and beautiful and devastating. I love reading debuts of talented writers because I know just how much they put into a debut – all of their dreams and ideas and passion. It’s also exciting to see the beginning of a writer’s career and imagine where they might go from there.
9: What is your favourite book and why?
That’s a really difficult question! I would have to choose 3 that I return to again and again. The first is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Its themes and language and beauty haunt me. The second is Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. When Michael Cunningham published his personal interpretation of this in The Hours, which also became a favourite. For my third, I would choose Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore as it constantly inspires me to be bold in my ideas, expression of motivations and language. It reminds me that in writing, everything is possible.
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
You must take yourself as seriously as possible if you want to write professionally. If you are a short story writer, then set aside an hour each day to write those short stories. If you dream about a novel, then set aside an hour for the novel – more if you can. Take a writing course; subscribe to a writing magazine; enter competitions. There are infinite ways to become a successful writer, but they all involve hours and hours at a desk – writing.
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
I am very accessible to readers. I am happy to have direct e-mails at email@example.com or alternatively I am on Facebook – www.facebook.com/leonoramerielwriter and also Twitter – @leonora_meriel and my website is www.leonorameriel.com. I have a lot of readers contacting me and it is one of the best things about being a writer – after years of creating something in solitude, suddenly you can talk with people who have read and loved your work. It’s very special.
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Leonora-Meriel/e/B01LYU9KTO
About the Author:
Leonora Meriel grew up in London and studied literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Queen’s University in Canada. She worked at the United Nations in New York, and then for a multinational law firm.
In 2003 she moved from New York to Kyiv, where she founded and managed Ukraine’s largest Internet company. She studied at Kyiv Mohyla Business School and earned an MBA, which included a study trip around China and Taiwan, and climbing to the top of Hoverla, Ukraine’s highest peak and part of the Carpathian Mountains. She also served as President of the International Women’s Club of Kyiv, a major local charity.
During her years in Ukraine, she learned to speak Ukrainian and Russian, witnessed two revolutions and got to know an extraordinary country at a key period of its development.
In 2008, she decided to return to her dream of being a writer, and to dedicate her career to literature. In 2011, she completed The Woman Behind the Waterfall, set in a village in western Ukraine. While her first novel was with a London agent, Leonora completed her second novel The Unity Game, set in New York City and on a distant planet.
Leonora currently lives in Barcelona and London and has two children. She is working on her third novel.