The Phantom Virus by Mark Cheverton
Herobrine, the artificially intelligent virus, was deleted. The computer it resided in was completely destroyed. Without their leader, the few survivors of its evil army were cast away into the shadows. It looked as if there would finally be peace and happiness throughout the servers of Minecraft.
But suddenly, and mysteriously, software began misbehaving. Sheep fell from the sky. Snowballs appeared out of nowhere. What seemed at first like harmless glitches quickly became dangerous. Pigs begin walking backwards, it starts to snow in the middle of the desert, and sheep are falling from the sky.
Gameknight999, the User-that-is-not-a-user, has no choice but to investigate. But the odd yet harmless pranks are turning deadly, and it’s not long before entire villages are completely destroyed. Examining the arrogant clues, Gameknight is no longer so sure that Herobrine was destroyed after all. Is it possible he escaped? Everything points towards a deadly trap far worse than anything that
Q: Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write in?
I actually ended up in the middle grade genre purely by accident. I started writing my Minecraft series of books because my son, who was 7 at the time, was cyberbullied while playing the game. So I wrote my first Minecraft novel, Invasion of the Overworld, strictly as a teaching tool, to try to explain to him why it wasn’t his fault that he was bullied. So I wrote to his age level at the time. I actually had no plan on publishing the book, but self-published it just for fun . . . the rest is history.
Q: What are you reading right now?
I am re-reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons. This series is, in my opinion, a science fiction masterpiece.
Q: If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?
I think I’d want to be Hazel from Watership Down. Hazel is incredible clever and brave and a great leader, and always willing to help someone in need. Those seem like incredible traits to strive for.
Q: Where’s your favorite place to write?
I go to a local coffee shop to write. They have a coffee shop on one side and a pizza place on the other. I sit on the pizza side in the morning, in the dark with my headphones on, and write. They keep bringing me coffee which keeps me happy, and at lunch time, I’ll grab something to eat and then write a few more hours. Below is a screenshot from a video I made while at the coffee shop. You can find the video here.
Q: What’s your favorite classic movie?
I think my favorite classic movie is North by NorthWest. It really shows how Hitchcock can control the pacing and suspense of the movie to keep the viewer engaged and hooked into the movie. I’ve spent a lot of time studying this movie as well as other Hitchcock movies, to try to incorporate what he does into my writing. In a nutshell . . . it seems impossible.
Q: If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?
I’m a boring cat fan. We have three cats, and they hate it when I’m sitting in our office, writing, instead of paying attention to them. One of them, Tiger, will frequently sit next to me on a spare office chair while I write. He’d prefer to be on my lap, but that makes writing difficult at times, so he gets banished to the adjacent chair.
Q: Milk, dark, or white chocolate?
Dark for sure!
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
My favorite holiday is of course Christmas. My wife and I spoil our son too much, I’m sure, but I love getting him stuff and surprising him with a gift he didn’t expect or hadn’t thought of.
Q: What’s your favorite emoji?
I guess my favorite emoji is either the typical and boring smiley face, or the thumbs up
Q: What did you want to grow up to be when you were in middle school?
When I was in middle school, I wanted to be an astronaut and walk on the moon.
Check out more Mark Cheverton titles here!