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First novel a learning experience

May 10, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Matthew DeBettencourt has spent nearly seven years creating a new world, and he hopes people will take the time to explore it.

Called "The Island of Time," his world is a book series — one out now, two others in progress — aimed at teenagers. But it's mostly based on characters he and his siblings created at a younger age and literally built with Legos.

"The way I write, I know the whole story already, and as I come up with ideas, I write them on index cards," he said. "I had a stack of cards when I was done."

The basic concept of the series is a combination detective story and science fiction. Taran invents a time machine and brings figures from various eras of history together on an island; Dawn investigates the murder "of a man who doesn't exist" that, naturally, ends up involving some of those figures.

DeBettencourt said the characters came from his Lego play, but the ideas are partly inspired by the work of Mary Higgins Clark and H.G. Wells.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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