I am excited to welcome Kevin James Breaux, author of Blood Divided.
There exists an ancient elven proverb, dating before the time of man. Life and death, like day and night, meet at a point where they blend into one. It is that brief moment when anything is possible.
There was a time when four sparks of life burned brighter than the sun itself. Megan was born with power, Lucien born with station. Autumn was born full of life, while Nathan was entwined with death.
Peace has come and gone… The conflicts of old have returned-rejuvenated and driven. This is the beginning of the end. The children of Karn have come of age, and now they will take part in shaping the fate of Illyia.
Will they join forces, or with blood will they be divided?
For those of my readers unfamiliar with Soul Born and Blood Divided, can you give us a brief look at your novel and what readers can look forward to?
Here are a few paragraphs from Soul Born and then a few from Blood Divided.
Page 5 of Soul Born
He was much heavier than he looked, but then again unconscious bodies always were misleading. Opal was learning as she went—this was a lesson her aching muscles would remind her of for days to come. She would have called upon her magic to carry him, but a powerful spell would be required to finally put her plan into motion.
Laying his head down to rest in the mossy forest grass, Opal took one last long look at her project. Karn was the man of her dreams and she could not wait to love him and to be loved by him. This will work, she told herself for the thousandth time, this will work.
Wispy light, like thin pink mist, formed around his and her heads. She was the key that unlocked the jumbled mess inside his mind. Without her, he would be useless to the others, she made sure of it; she had to or risk her own well-being.
The magical energy that filled Opal’s young body had its limits, but she had not yet reached them. At times, she felt so powerful she thought she could move the world—this was not one of those times. She had taxed her body heavily over the past two days with little sleep or nourishment to replenish herself. It was not the magic that ebbed, it was her body. She needed rest desperately.
Page 5-6 of Blood Divided
Autumn jogged through the city on her way to the harbor, her movements so precise and graceful, that the hundreds of people around could not help but stare. Autumn was an incredible beauty. Her half-elf blood gave her an exquisiteness nearly matching that of her mother’s. Her long blonde curly hair had a slight tint of green that caught the sun and sparkled like precious jewels on sunny days like this one. Unlike her brother, Autumn looked more elven than human. It was a small blessing, as this helped her gain more acceptance from both the human and elven communities. The only visible human characteristic she displayed was her brown eyes. True elves were never born with brown eyes. It was a detail she good-naturedly referred to as her curse.
Autumn did not have to wear a crown; traveling merchants, soldiers, tavern owners, and farmers alike all knew who she was and always greeted her kindly with a smile and cheery hello. All of Kel Tora treasured the princess, and she loved them in return, donating both her time and coin when possible.
“The ships are almost here. You better hurry, Princess Autumn!” a farmer yelled to her as she jogged up to his stand.
Autumn snatched up an apple in her left hand as she ran past. Still moving, she twisted around long enough to give the farmer a quick wave and a giggle. As she faced forward, another farmer pulling a goat through the crowds blocked her path. Unshaken, Autumn continued to run toward the obstacle before her. In her eyes there was no quandary; instead, it was a perfect opportunity to show off one of her greatest skills. As Autumn was only three steps from colliding with the goat, she bent down, planting her hands in the dirt. Whipping her legs up over her body, the princess performed a handspring over the farm animal.
In her mind, it was nothing but a simple move she had mastered long ago, but the crowds around her saw it as truly amazing. As she planted her feet firmly on the ground and centered her weight to regain balance, the citizenry who had watched her began to applaud.
Autumn stopped her race through town for just a moment, and took a quick bow before jogging toward the harbor.
“That girl is phenomenal,” a farmer stated to a young customer at his stand.
What made you decide to start a new fantasy series? What was it about this world that made you want to share it with everyone?
I wanted to write a fantasy series about characters that, for the most part, are driven by their selfish desires. While there may be a “big bad”, he/she/it is more there to be a catalyst and fire up my characters to make their moves. I like to say that the people in the Soul Born Saga are trying to make the best of bad situations, but not always choosing the most honorable ways to do so.
This is how one of the main characters in the series, Opal, is best described in Soul Born; book one of the Soul Born Saga. Opal has killed for what she believes are all the right reasons.
Overall, Soul Born is an epic dark fantasy that is not about good and evil, it’s about the shadows that lie in-between. Whereas Blood Divided changes speed and starts off as a typical fairy tale princess story, until it’s suddenly twisted, turned upside down and submerged in blood.
Blood Divided sets up the final clash in Flesh Ended, which I am writing at the moment. Flesh Ended is sort of my version of the movie Expendables, where all the top action stars return. Expect to see a major clash.
Why Opal? What was it about Opal that drew you to her and want to tell her story?
Opal is a maelstrom of power and emotion. You will love her and hate her at the same time.
In the beginning of Soul Born, you will meet Opal as a young woman, a mage at a school of magic who is trying her hardest to overcome years of disregard and disrespect by her instructors. Opal is bullheaded and quick tempered, but she is also very talented. She knows she is as powerful as the men who lord over her and has decided it is time to show them.
While reading Soul Born you might think, at times, that Opal is capable of anything and then later wonder why she can’t avoid a simple trap? In that way she is true to real life. Even the smartest people make stupid mistakes. Think of sports figures, mega talented at their game, but then make tragic mistakes like not playing taxes. While Opal’s power is immense in Soul Born, her experience is low and as much as she might say or think otherwise she is not fully prepared to be out on her own. Opal makes a lot of mistakes and often lets her selfish desires rule her decisions. It is the contrast of her power and her flaws that make her so much fun to write.
By the end of Soul Born you will find Opal a very changed person. Ok. Ok. Ok. I really don’t want to spoil it… but within the first pages of Blood Divided you will find Opal has changed even further! (insert evil laugh)
The Soul Born Saga is as much the tragic tale of Opal as it is a story of survival for Tala, the other main character. Tala, the elf, who some people like to call a refugee, is equally fun to write. She’s playful and loves life, while at the same time is weighed down by a huge responsibility. She wants to be free of it, but at the same time Tala knows it’s this commitment that has shaped her life and given her everything she loves… at the cost of a few scars of course. In Blood Divided you will find Tala stuck once more in a very uncomfortable situation.
Which do you find is more central in your writing: the characters or world creation? Why?
Characters. I am a very character-driven writer. I also look first for character development in all the books I read and movies I watch. My favorites give me tons of information on the players and allow me to build the worlds out of my own imagination. For example: Jaws. I would rather learn more about Hooper and Brody than the economy of the town or size of Amity Island. I am NOT the guy who asks, “Where are the bathrooms on the Enterprise?”
Have you always had an idea as to where the series/novel is going? Do you know where it is going or is the storyline evolving as you write?
For the Soul Born Saga I knew where book one would go. Then I knew where book two would go. Book three took me on a ride, one which I am still on. I am only 50% sure were that books destination will be… Some days I think it might pave the way into a second trilogy. That’s a pretty exciting feeling for an author.
Which authors do you read and/or think “Damn! I wish I had thought of that”?
I try not to read too much in my own genres just for that reason. Also, I feel it corrupts my creative thought process. With all the social networking and how small the world feels now, it’s better to shut some of that out. Of course I am jealous of the Dragonlance books and G.R.R Martin’s HBO show. But I need to not think about it and focus on my own work.
A lot of writers will tell you it gets hard to sit back and enjoy a movie, when you find yourself breaking down the plot in your head and are stuck thinking of better ways to tell the story. I recently found myself feeling that way about comics. As a huge G.I. JOE fan I just want to write the Joe comics myself because I have such a hard time reading the ones out there now. I miss the 80s Joes.
For my readers unfamiliar with your work, what would you say to convince them to pick up a copy of your book?
I’ll be your best friend. Seriously, I will.
Well… I think the Soul Born books are a good mix of styles. Being Cajun I guess you could say I created a gumbo of fantasy with a dash of 80’s sword and sorcery, some dungeons and dragons action and adventure for flavor and a whole lotta spicy blockbuster movie thrills.
If you read the books, email me, I will respond.
What kind of reading experience are you hoping to create for your readers? What do you want them to come away from your books saying, thinking, and feeling?
I would like them to finish my books and feel free to email me and tell me what they thought, good or bad. I like having discussions with readers; it’s how we writers grow. I would love for readers to spot all the hints and secrets I have peppered throughout the books, and get all my meanings.
Honestly, I have had some readers who have done just that and by emailing me I was like… wow… you totally got it! Cool!
There is a real connection formed when that happens.
Meet Kevin James Breaux!
Kevin James Breaux has devoted the past ten years of his life to crafting short stories and novels. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and the Paranormal Romance Guild. Breaux is always enthusiastic about the challenge writing presents. He lives by the motto “Write makes might!” and sees each new page as an opportunity to improve and advance.
Contact Info: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Amazon
Want to purchase Kevin’s novels?
The Water Kingdom
The Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women (The Blood, Sun, and Moon #1
Ending Summer Nights
Zombie Jesus and Other True Stories
Dark Water: Beaming Smile
Anthology of Ichor III: Gears of Damnation
Dead History: A Zombie Anthology
Awesome interview Kevin!