Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Kevin debates the new generation systems. Still enjoys his Xbox 360

To New Generation System or Not to New Generation System? That IS the question.

The brain of a gamer.



It’s been almost a year since the Xbox One and PS4 were released. And I have not made my move to the new generation systems.

I know. That’s madness! Especially for a serious gamer.

Yep. I’m one of those nutsos who stood out in the cold all night to get a Xbox 360 on release day back in November 2005. And in PA, that was a COLD night!

I’m a lifelong gamer. There is no other way to describe my history with video games.

I was in the arcade on Long Beach Island when I was four and five years old. My first system was the Atari 2600. My dad bought for me back in 1981 when it was seven years old. That day was the ignition of one of my deepest passions… console video game systems. 

Since then, I’ve prided myself with being on the cutting edge, buying systems when they are released. Well, as a kid, within months of their release. I will never forget seeing the NES for the first time in Woolworths in Montgomery Mall.  My mom ended up buying it for me, probably within a month of its release. 

Same with the Sega Genesis. When that was released, I think it was near a holiday, but I bugged my parents into giving it to me early so I could play it more with my best friend during the week off from school. :)

This brings me to adulthood. In college, I took a day off to go to Toys R Us on the day of the Sega CD release. I thought there would be lines, panic, desperation. There was none. I strolled in and pulled one of the first tickets! Remember… in back in the day, you had to pull a ticket at Toys R Us, pay for the game, and THEN get the game from the backroom. 

How was school today? My mom asked.

My one friend at college thought I was crazy for skipping school. BUT at the same time he thought it was cool that I did. Priorities right? I had them! ;)  

(side note kids - during all but my last year of college I RARELY played video games during the school week. Only on weekends. I conditioned myself like this back in middle school and it stuck)

Moving forward, I bought a Sega Saturn on the month of its release and a 3DO pretty much right away. BTW- I traded that Sega Saturn in for a Playstation which was called a PSX back then. I had made the wrong choice of systems in that generation. So when I corrected my mistake it was maybe two-three months after the PSX came out. :)

OH…but from this moment on, I was on point.

When the PS2 came out I was ready. I had pre-ordered it. But those pre-orders took a few weeks because of supply and demand. My friend, who worked at a game store, got extras and sold them on ebay for 2x and 3x their value. I was shocked. And I made a mental note. Next system released, I buy two and sell one.

When the Xbox came out. I was stuck at work, but I sent my dad out 7am to the stores. He scored me one at Walmart. I think they did not set up the Xbox with pre-orders… or I would have pre-ordered one. So, yeah, I only got the one. No ebaying for me.  

Which brings us to 2005… when the 360 was coming out. I had a plan. Pre-order one at Gamestop, order one online, and then head out and get one at some store like Target… But that last part was harder than I imagined.

I live in the suburbs. But I saw fights outside of Walmart and Target. I saw campers. I saw lines that were 100 or more long. I say a mob scene turn bad at Sam’s Club. Where I ended up, was outside of a BJ Wholesale store at 4am. There was one person waiting there. So I joined it. He said he knew they were going to have 10+ systems. So I waited there until they opened. Funny story, the line grew to maybe twenty people. One of them was the Gamestop manager, from the store I pre-ordered my system. So I got my Xbox 360 and I was pretty darn happy with myself. BUT I still had to get to work. And magically, I did. About 15 minutes late… sure… but I got there and no one knew any better. SCORE!

The Xbox 360 has been my primary system for years now. In fact, I would have preferred to keep it that way for another five years.

Still… when the PS4 was announced, I felt like I had to jump. So, I set up a pre-order at Amazon. There was no way I was heading out to stand in a line again. I’m too old for this 4am in the cold crap. :)

A few months passed and I cancelled that pre-order. I just wasn’t feeling it. And I was kinda broke. Then the Xbox One was announced and I never bothered to pre-order it. Part of me said I was making a mistake. The hype! The hype! It was sucking me in.

I guess I matured… I guess I got smart. See, I remembered all the warnings from the previous generation. Buggy systems. Overheating systems. Price drops. No good games… etc.

Then I started thinking back to those early Xbox 360 days. Yeah, me and the Xbox 360 didn’t really gel until about 2008 when FABLE came out. But it really wasn’t until 2009 when I fully embraced the system. In my opinion, it took a few years for the “good” games to come out. I was playing WoW, and nothing on Xbox 360 stole my attention from it.

Now… Now, I play a ton of 360…. and can’t imagine moving to a new system. Even if its Xbox to Xbox. Especially with no backwards compatibility. Yeah, I one of those guys who bitches about that with every system.

But the biggest thing for me is this… Microsoft is releasing its best games for both 360 and Xbox One… so why bother moving to the new system?

I mean, I can’t deny the pull. I can’t not think of how I was normally going crazy waiting for the new systems to arrive. Just like that South Park Ep. where Cartman is waiting for the Wii. lol

Poor guy. He just wants the new system to come out.
My gamer brain.. (Mother Brain seen above) says… You should buy that new system. You always buy them right away. What are you waiting for? You need to get that new system!

But then I think. Okay what games would I play on it. One of maybe a couple that are out? Then I look back at the 30-40 games I have for Xbox 360 and think… Oh look, SKYRIM and Dragon Age: Origins. I can still play them. I’m fine waiting.

So when will I move to the newest generation systems? No plans as of yet. Had Dragon Age: Inquisition came out ONLY on the new systems, that would have forced my hand. But nope, it’s out for 360 and that will keep me busy for a good six months. Sorry Sony and Microsoft. Maybe Black Friday 2015.
Oh look, my Skyrim character...

 Write Makes Might!

Kevin James Breaux
www.kevinbreaux.com

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kevin James Breaux's been busy. Busy writing.



You all know my motto. :)



Been busy.


First off. My streak with being in the top 10 and top 20 at Publishers Marketplace stretched well into Sept. I was still holding strong in the #1 positions for a while that first week, but then dropped the second week. I am still amazed how long I was listed. Thanks so much to all of you who were visiting my page.




So, I've been writing pretty steadily for the past two months. I'm working on the sequel to ONE SMOKING HOT FAIRY TAIL, which my agent has read and loves. Hopefully, it will land a deal in the next six months to a year. I'm patient…but yeah, I’m also excited to see it out there on its own two feet. OK… I can’t wait for one of my newest works to be released. They really showcase my skills and all I have learned in the past three years.


The sequel to OSHFT has yet to be titled, but I have several working titles for it. I haven’t picked one yet. You know me, the title and cover art are both as important as the book itself. I love a good witty title, and hate the bad boring ones. :)


Over the past two months, I've written close to 20K words. I'm moving slow with this book because I'm researching a lot of things and also going back to the first book to fact check. I keep saying "I'm being mindful when writing" now. I guess that’s my overused tag at the moment, but it’s true. I want to make sure the two books, which are separated by a small amount of time, are tightly woven together. I'm building a nice paranormal-urban fantasy world here and want it right. 


I also had one of those moments, rare for me, where I wrote 5-6k words and then deleted them and started over. I had one character take a turn for the bad and then was like…meh…that may not work well for readers. So I did struggle for a week with how to fit a few plot puzzle pieces together, but I'm back to smooth sailing now. Around 82K words at the moment. Now in the third and final act of the book. I’m very happy with it.


This week, I got an e-mail from a fan in the UK. She found Soul Born in a store not long ago, bought and read it. She was very kind in her e-mail, and knew all about my issues with Soul Born’s former publisher. She reached out to let me know how much she enjoyed the book… and get this… she was surprised I replied. I always reply. Authors out there who do not reply to fan e-mails… SHAME ON YOU!  :)


Here is a quote from the email:


“I also wanted to contact you just to say I did read your book and I thought it was fantastic. I often find it hard reading books within that genre, since there's so much history and background to take in, its sometimes a tad too much. But I followed your story really well, I thought it was a great read, wonderful characters, stunning plot, it was amazing! And I have to confess the ending made me shed a tear or two.”


The weirdest thing to happen recently. Someone totally challenged me on a topic that is REALLY personal to me. I mean really personal. It was not an attack. And this is not something I would fight over, but something I was shocked to hear and made me wonder. It kinda knocked me over. I was like… WOW…someone actually thinks that of me? Me?


Every artist has a fire that fuels them. My fuel is my own. Being challenged as I was made me rethink if I was properly feeding my fire. The answer was clear. I’m not. So I need to adjust. In the end, I realized this; maybe, just maybe, this person's words will actually make me a better artist and writer now. 


So, I’m off to write. I have big hopes for 2015. I'll have the sequel to OSHFT done by then. I start the re-edit of BLOOD DIVIDED and the e-book publication of the all-new version of SOUL BORN. I look forward to writing the sequel to my Norse Age book, and well… I'm positive my agent will find an amazing publisher/publishers for my work she represents. 

(Hi, TOR. How you doin'?)



Write Makes Might!

Kevin James Breaux

www.kevinbreaux.com

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kevin James Breaux is in the Top 20 at Publishers Marketplace



What an Amazing August!


I started off August with a phone call to my agent, Marisa Corvisiero. That was one of the most amazing moments in my writing career. But something else was happening that day and week... I was climbing the ranks of Publishers Marketplace’s Top 20 Writers. The day I spoke with her I was in 19th place. By the end of that week, I had jumped to 14th and then 7th. Holy smokes, I breached the top 10. :)

Below are some screenshots. Feel free to click them. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. :)

#19

#9


This is not the first time I've been on the list. It normally occurs around the time of a book release or other news. This time, although REALLY glad, I was a little confused with how or why it was happening. The highest I'd ever reached before was 6th place. I was sure I was not going to top that record.

Here is my profile: 




So for a week I bounced around. Then the next week, August 11-17, I checked, and I was still on the list. What? Wow! I started off the week in 7th place and dropped and then moved back up again.  I was super excited and so was my agent. 

#1


When August 18th came, I randomly checked the top 20 list, fully expecting I was no longer there. And guess what. I was 4th place, then 2nd, then I hit 1st place! 


Craziness!


All in one day, I shot to the top and help first place.  I could not believe it. What an honor. My agent was thrilled. My wife was excited. My parents were shocked. During the week of August 18-24, I was in 1st place three days. Top 5 all week. I managed to knock people who have been in that top placed for months down. I’m sorry. But I did. 
Screenshots on my phone are more clear. But don't show the whole web page.





I was pumped. Still am. How pumped?

Play my theme music! 

Wait, what is my theme music? Is it something like Hulk Hogan's theme music? Always! But not in this case. :) Maybe the Duck Tales Cartoon Theme? Sometimes. Sure. I mean LIFE is like a Hurricane. No denying that. :)

But right now? Right now, I think it might be this, Knights of Badassdom - Your Heart Sucks My Soul.  Or maybe just this... since this is always in my head, Streets of Rage 2 SOR Super mix. (What? Don't judge. I am a lifelong gamer.)  :)
 
8/23/2014 and still #1. Honored.

So anyway, three straight weeks passed with me in the top 20. Which is simply amazing, considering the other people in that top 20 are HUGE stars, best-sellers, and people in the media. 


I have to admit, when August 25th hit and I check the list… yeah, I kinda expected to be there and my name was gone. LOL.

Most of this last week of August, I have been off the list, but I did return today: 13th place. Take a look. Maybe I'm up or down a few spots. 



So what does it really mean to be on this top 20 list? Well, it means people in the industry are searching my name on the site and viewing my profile. (seen here.)  It means people are interested and THAT makes me very happy.

So if you're reading this and have looked up or viewed my profile in the last couple weeks, I appreciate the support and thank you.  As you know, my agent is preparing to pitch one of my books to some publishers... so getting all this attention on a well-known and popular industry website is very helpful.


Thanks again!

Write Makes Might!


Kevin James Breaux



Thursday, August 7, 2014

August is here and it started with Kevin James Breaux talking to his literary agent on the phone!


July… yeah. Glad that’s over. This July was one of the most annoying months of my life. And changed my opinion about the month itself. That’s right, July, I’m talking about you. We’re done. Buh-bye!

Now THIS… this is August. August and I are getting to know each other better and becoming fast friends. How? Why? Well, let me just say this… 

Monday, I spoke with my agent, Marisa Corvisiero on the phone. 

BOOM! (Boom is the masculine gender version of “squee”)

I’ve been waiting since sending my first snail mail query in 1998 to get to talk to “my” agent on the phone. I’ve sent hundreds of queries every year since 2007, and had so many partial and full requests, but I never found the one… So much hard work. So many sacrifices. So little reward. But this is my passion. This is why I am here—to be creative.

So, you wanna hear something funny? Monday, yeah, well, I have not been that nervous to call a girl on the phone since I was in high school. Seriously, you’d think I never talked to women on the phone before. I was starting to panic before I called, but as soon as I heard her voice I relaxed, and guess what? We communicated perfectly, like two old buddies. It was so easy to talk to her. Easy and fun!

The truly great thing was, I got a feeling, very early on in our conversation, that she and I have many similarities. I agreed with everything she was saying, not because I thought I should, or wanted to impress her, because I actually truly agreed. I bet if Marisa was to explain her business models to me, it would sound the same as me explaining mine to her. But hers would probably resonate a better education. :)

One of the first things she said to me was how much she loved my work. She said she loved my tone, voice, syntax, and personality. I was shocked. I hope I said thank you. I’m pretty sure I said I appreciated her comments. It’s not often you hear such high praise from an industry pro, and as an artist/author sometimes you feel like all your work is not paying off. Monday, I felt heard. I felt seen. I felt accepted. And yes… Acceptance Is Amazing.

Marisa even told me that my sense of humor came out in my writing, which was great to hear, as I often wondered that.  Phew. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thinks I’m funny. :)

As an author, you always read about how you want to find an agent who loves your work. When I did not have an agent, I had one perception of that statement. Now that I have an agent, I have a whole new perspective and understanding of what that means. Knowing my agent is excited by my work makes me very happy and very confident it will find a good home. Regardless of feeling like I had won the lottery for the second time in a row, I kept my cool. I did my best to remain honored and humble. I did not want to lose myself in the compliments, there was still much to learn.
So, my first question to her was this, “What should I be doing while she is doing her end of the work? How can I help the process?” Her answer, again, kinda rocked my world. Marisa told me that I was already doing exactly what she would suggest, and I was doing it well. She commended me on my social media skills, another part of my writing career that I had often thought I was doing well, but wondered how an agent would grade me. Apparently, I score very well. :)

The call took a great weight off my shoulders. I want to be a good teammate, actually, I want to be an essential part of the team. I want to carry my weight and the weight of others. I want to succeed and I want to make sure the other people on my team do as well. So hearing that I was good with social media, made me happy. I have a good sense of balance with things and now I know I can keep moving forward as is, and continue to help others on my way. 
By this point in our conversation, I was not thinking about how I was talking to my agent, or how I have wanted an agent for so long in my career(my life) and that I finally had one. I was focusing on what she was saying and processing it all. I was hearing the voice of a professional who was just as excited about talking to me, as I was excited about talking to them. I was hearing the voice of a friend, someone who felt the same way about the toughness of the industry as I did. I was hearing the voice of my future, and I could finally see it start to take shape.  

I was energized.

And then this happened after the call! :)  (notice the Breaux support. Nice!)

Marisa was very kind. She offered me insights, suggestions, and aid with my future projects with such a degree of sincerity that I was blown away. When you think of it, agents are totally swamped with work. I mean they have 100 hours of work to fit into a 40 hour week, and often have full-time jobs in addition to their work as agents. Not to mention families and friends. So how do they do it all? A good agent has dedication, and loves his/her work. I could tell Marisa was that kind of person from following her on social media, but after talking to her on the phone, I get the feeling she is some sort of Time Lord-Wonder Woman. She loves her job/jobs. She loves her family. She loves books… and she loves her clients. And she gets to them all.

I wish I was that amazing.

I am a doer. I want to work hard. As we talked, Marisa gave me homework, some things she wanted from me for her pitches and her website. Also more stuff for her to read. :)  You better believe I was right on top of all that.  Put me in coach, I’m ready to play? Well, for me, I’m more like the revving engine of a sports car, sitting at a red light. I’m ready. Give me a green light and I will go—I will show you high performance.

 
Vroom. Vroom.


So where do I stand with my projects? I have books ready to be published and an agent who is ready to start pitching them. She loves my work and, dare I say, she loves me. So, you better believe I’m gonna work hard to make her proud. I know this is going to be a great team up for a long time and that we are going to see much success together.

This is #TeamCorvisiero 
And… WRITE MAKES MIGHT!


Thank you, Marisa. 
Visit her site here: http://www.corvisieroagency.com/


Kevin James Breaux
www.kevinbreaux.com