Fantasy Authors Unplugged: The Unity Game by Leonora Meriel

“The Unity Game” is science fiction with philosophy


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. 

Goodreads * Amazon

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


What inspired you to write The Unity Game?

The plot of “The Unity Game” came from my desire to write about New York. I had lived there for several years and been inspired by the intensity and the drive of the Wall Street life. However there are many books about New York, so I decided to write about it using parallel stories that would put it into a new perspective: these were a planet of highly evolved aliens and an after-life dimension.

Is the main character based on anyone in real life?

Practically all of my characters start off with a real life person I have met, but this just gives a framework for the personality required for the book to fill in. After the first draft they usually have little in common with the original person. It works best when I meet someone just once, and then an idea emerges around them – of course there is little relation to who they really are, as I don’t know them – but the possibilities have sparked in my mind. The main character of The Unity Game started off in this way.

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What moved you to include philosophy into science fiction?

I think the philosophy came first, and then the science fiction later. The burning question behind The Unity Game is – what is the meaning of life on Earth? Why are we here, and what purpose do our lives serve? These questions require philosophy to answer them, on one level, and on another level, I realized that I couldn’t answer the question of life on Earth, without exploring it from a place that is not Earth. That’s where another planet and a highly-evolved civilization came in.

How do you develop and write your novels?

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 and 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.

What did you learn from writing this book that you didn’t know?

I learned a lot about the life of the philosopher Socrates, as he is a character in the book, and I had to do a lot of research to make it accurate.

What draws you to writing speculative fiction?

I never wanted to write books that were formulaic or generic in any way. It is my life calling to write novels and I burn to create something different, thought-provoking and that will the open hearts or minds of readers. Speculative fiction fits naturally with my desire to push ideas and writing styles to a new place.

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Do you have any hobbies from which you gain writing insights?

I run and walk a lot. These are both amazing companions to writing, as they give you fresh air, nature, space for new thought, great emotions and extra creativity. I also meditate, and I am often flooded with ideas by the end of a meditation. It’s intense and uplifting!

Are there any scenes or actions taken in this book based on a personal experience?

A lot of the New York scenes are based on personal experience, as I lived in Manhattan for several years, and worked for the largest law firm in the world, so I saw the Wall Street life close up. One of my most vivid memories was bonus day in the large investment banks. The bankers were getting bonus checks that were for hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, however the overreaching emotion was rage. They felt cheated and underpaid and furious. It was such a surreal situation – for people to be receiving such vast amounts of money that ordinary people could only dream of, but not have a shred of happiness. I knew this scene had to go in the book! 

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.

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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. 

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Thanks for stopping by today and reading about Leonora’s book. Make sure to click the book link above and take a look at the available sample – I’m sure you’ll find it intriguing.

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