Today I’m interviewing award-winning author and artist, Kevin James Breaux. You can keep up with all the Breaux news at his website,http://www.kevinbreaux.com. And I promise not to rag on him too much for his Halo Reach skills.
Me: Kevin, thanks for doing this interview! And congratulations on the award Soul Born has won! For our readers who aren’t familiar with Soul Born (and shame on them!), what would you like our readers to know about the book?
KJB: I would like them to know that it was written by a child of the 80’s who grew up on D&D, Ultima: Exodus, He-Man and of course the Dragonlance books.
SOUL BORN begins a series that will take the reader on a journey from the beginning of this medieval world as it is born into a fantasy world. I drop the reader into the story, as the action unfolds, to follow the path of Opal. She is a powerful magic user who is on a journey of self discovery. She believes she has killed for all the right reasons, and will continue to do whatever is needed to fulfill her desires.
This first book was developed with lots of twists and turns, it’s not nessecarily a mystery, but there are lots of secrets and my characters are not always who they first seem to be. Early reviews call Soul Born “brutal” and “a fun throwback to the 80’s action adventure fantasy novels we all grew up on”. It’s funny but in two different reviews people compared my work to Dungeons and Dragons. One was trying to insult me by doing so… seriously, I took it as a compliment anyway.
Me: I know I keep pestering you about this, but Soul Born is going to be out soon in Kindle format, am I correct?
KJB: Yes, last week I asked my publisher, Dark Quest Books, and they told me that Amazon recently changed its interface or program, with publishers submitting e-books. This set things back for my publisher, but he thinks it will be released within 2 weeks.
Me: Do you have a time frame on when books 2 and 3 will be out?
KJB: One each year. So the sequel, I hope, will be released fall/winter 2011. I would love for it to be released in September instead of November like Soul Born was. A little breathing room with the holidays is nice for a release. At the moment book two is being read by my publisher. I will keep people updated to its release on my blog.
Me: So I see this picture on your website of two kids playing an Atari 2600…are either of them you?
KJB: YES! I am the one sitting. Nice wood grain Atari 2600 right! I loved Atari so much growing up. I still have mine and it still works. I started a collection of Atari 2600 games that are still MIB, and I have about 8 now. In that picture my friend and I are playing Indiana Jones for 2600 and I would SO love to name that friend, as he is now a big-wig at a company that a lot of people know of.
Me: And you still play video games to this day? Any favorites? Any that you’re really looking forward to?
KJB: Favorites? Do you have time for me to list them all from every generation system I have owned and still own? I guess I will stick with XBOX 360. I enjoy RPG games the most, ones that are either hack and slash or turn based strategy. At the moment my favorite game of the last two years is Dragon Age: Origins. For me it had everything. I love creating and developing characters in my writing and in my gaming. So Dragon Age had lots of that. I also loved the way the game handled battles and fighting. I played it through three times: once as a mage, another as a rogue and last as a warrior.
I am looking forward to Dragon Age 2.
I often go back to the old NES and Genesis games between current gen releases. Last summer I played KOEI’s original Nobunaga’s Ambition from start to finish. I had not played that game all the way through since the second time I beat it back in the late 80s. It was a ton of fun. I recently started a game of Warsong for Genesis, and I have been thinking of going back to one of my all time favorites… Final Fantasy Tactics.
Me: So I see that you partook in tabletop RPGs back in the day. What were some of your favorite systems? What was your first system?
KJB: The first RPG I played was D&D back in the early 80’s. I still have all my old hardback monster manuals and… I swear to the all mighty publishers in the sky, I have my original module The Secret of Bone Hill right here on my desk. I dug out all my stuff the other day and have been reading the modules for fun.
Growing up I played Top Secret, Star Frontiers, Robo-Tech, and Toon… BUT my favorite of all time is CAR WARS. Steve Jackson, I love you buddy! I played Car Wars in middle school, again in high school and in college. It never gets old, and it’s so easy to pick up and play.
For about two years in college my friends and I all started a Vampire the Masquerade Campaign and read all the White Wolf Books. Great books! I still pick them up from time to time and read them. The Book of Nod and the Gehenna books are fantastic reads.
Other than that I played in a Mech Warrior Clix tournament with my friends. Ten matches over ten months a couple years back. I came in second place and yes I still have an army of Clix.
Me: Have you ever considered getting back into the RPG hobby?
KJB: Almost everyday. Alas writing takes up most of my time.
Me: Would you play a new edition of Car Wars if SJG released one?
KJB: I would play Car Wars as a new edition, old edition, video game or even as live reality show hosted by Brooke Burke (she is a cyborg-FYI).
Me: How has your background and familiarity with RPGs and video games influenced your writing style, if at all?
KJB: As a fantasy author I remember what was fun with RPG games, and I apply some of that into my writing. I like to think that my style is easy to read and crosses genres. I think most non fantasy readers can read SOUL BORN and understand it.
Me: If they came out with a Street Fighter style video game where Joss Whedon, Frank Miller and Frank Herbert were playable characters, which would you pick and why?
KJB: I would have to pick Frank Miller. I mean he is the Sin City creator. Anyone who can give birth to Marv, has to be able to take a few punches. Anyway, I don’t think Joss can fight… He might be able to lightly wound the others with fancy quips at best. Herbert, I can’t say… never seen the guy in action on the streets. So I have to totally stick with Frank Miller, and use the Down, Up,Up, Left,Left… ROBO-COP 2 finishing move.
Me: So, gamer, video gamer, artist, author…what’s the next step? Is there anything more you’d like to do?
KJB: I want to write a comic book. I want to hook up with Megan Fox. I want to win the lottery. Basic everyday guy stuff, I guess.
Me: Ben at Troll in the Corner has practically mandates that I ask this question in all interviews so here goes: when you were gaming, what was the favorite snack food of the group?
KJB: Back in my Vampire RPG days, during college…. well… Zima and Rice Crispy Treats probably. LOL!
Me: And finally, when vampires step into the sunlight, should they be weakened, explode into a ball of fiery flesh or sparkle like Ke$ha at a strip club?
KJB: They should scream like Zartan… “I hate the sunlight!” and then burst into flames. UNLESS they are first or second generation vampires closely related to Caine. I think those guys can walk in sunlight on a cloudy day, like Dracula.
[tags]interview, literature, fantasy, kevin james breaux, halo reach[/tags]