VIP backstage with author Nicholas Eames

Written by: Jonathan Kevin Castillo

Features | Jun 4, 2018

Rising rock star, Nicholas Eames' debut fantasy novel, Kings of the Wyld, takes us back to some awesome classic sword and sorcery adventures with everything and anything under the sun, including people with bunny ears (careful, they bite). The story follows aged warrior, Clay Cooper, former member of the disbanded legendary mercenary group, Saga, as he is pulled out of retirement by frontman Gabe, for one last gig.

Oh yes, this book is all about musical references, primarily rock and metal. This book is everything Dragon Age 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Mass Effect 3 onwards, ever wish to be. Great characters with individual story arcs, great adventure, epic fun, and ACDC. Think of this as, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt but ten times bigger and 100% zero quests on returning a supposed magical cooking pan to its owner.

Also, Nicholas Eames happens to be a gamer, and was cool enough to give us a backstage entrance into his gaming experiences.

JON
When did you start gaming? What was your first console?

EAMES:
Not until I was thirteen! I'd played a few games like Archon on the Commodore 64 and Super Mario on my cousin's Nintendo, then finally my brother and I got a Nintendo of our own. I was hooked for all time after that.

JON
I think I remember you tweeting that Shining Force is your favorite game. Why Shining Force? What are you playing lately?

EAMES
I LOVE Shining Force, but I wouldn't say it's my favorite game. Some old-school favorites include Phantasy Star 3, Brigandine, and pretty much every Final Fantasy. Mass Effect 2 is probably my favorite game of all time, though, simply because the characters are all so amazing.

JON
Your novel, Kings of the Wyld, was released last year, and the sequel, Bloody Rose, is due in August. Does the writing process (brainstorming included) ever stop even while playing games?

EAMES
I'm definitely one of those people who need to 'fill the creative well' as it were, and video games are the best way I know how. I've had plenty of great ideas while playing games-from Dragon Age to Total War-though I'll admit that sometimes I keep on playing when I should probably be working (or sleeping!) instead.

JON
If Kings of the Wyld was a videogame, what kind of game you think it would be?

EAMES
I'd like to see it as a top-down isometric game like Pillars of Eternity, or else a turn-based strategy game, since I love those.

JON
Lastleaf was a pretty interesting villain. I like his backstory leading up to who he became in KOTW. Are there videogame villains out there that you liked for their backstory? (... You're gonna say Sephiroth, aren't you?)

EAMES
I SURE AM! Sephiroth is for sure one of the coolest bad guys out there. Even subsequent Final Fantasies haven't been able to top him. Kefka is pretty great as well, though a touch on the maniacal side. Honestly, though, I'm more drawn to flawed heroes than misunderstood villains.

JON
What would be an interesting videogame crossover with The Band? And how do you think they would handle the crisis on that world?

EAMES
Let's say the folks from Dragon Age: Inquisition. I think Iron Bull, especially, would fit right in. Heck, he might even be a one-man-band!

JON
Music is important to The Band. I can totally see Clay Cooper going home with Baba O'Riley playing in the background. What are your favorite game music?

EAMES
Final Fantasy, by far. No one compares to Nobuo Uematsu. I'm seen the Distant World Symphony twice (and Video Games Live three times). As for other awesome game music? Halo, Destiny, Shadow of the Colossus, Deus Ex: Human Revolution all stand out for me as well.

JON
Can you share with us anything memorable moments related to gaming in general?

EAMES
My brother and I used to play Final Fantasy 1 together in a blanket fort built around the TV. And by 'together' I mean that I played while he acted as 'Map Boy', guiding me through the dungeons and offering advice now and then. On a related note, I watched him beat the last boss of Final Fantasy 9 when all his characters except Vivi were dead and he was one hit away from death. It was pretty damn dramatic.

JON
Some authors like Patrick Rothfuss and NK Jemisin livestream on Twitch. Have you done that? Or considered it?

EAMES
Oh, I'd love to someday, yeah. I'm not sure I'm popular enough yet that anyone would care, but hopefully down the road I could attract a crowd. Not a Rothfuss-sized crowd, of course.

JON
Any games out there you recommend people should play, if they haven't already? You may also toss in any recommended reading as well.

EAMES
Games-wise: The Persona games are great, and Fire Emblem: Awakening is 100% worth buying a 3DS for. If you can get XCOM:2 and the War of the Chosen Expansion on sale, then you're in for a treat. Don't bother buying them at full price, though-they're obnoxiously expensive. Also, if you think the MMO you're playing is better than Final Fantasy 14, you're out of your effing mind.

As for books: The Traitor Baru Cormorant is terrific, as is the recently released Jade City. Also, Guy Gavriel Kay is my favorite author of all time, so I'd recommend him for sure. Tigana, The Lions of Al-Rassan, or Under Heaven are great entry points for his writing.

Jon to readers: He forgot to say "Kings of the Wyld" and his upcoming sequel, "Bloody Rose" for some reason. 

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About Kings of the Wyld (Shamelessly copy-pasted from Nicholas Eames' website)

Clay Cooper was once a member of Saga, the most renowned mercenary band in the world, but has since retired to live in peace with his wife and young daughter-until the night his old bandmate Gabriel shows up on his doorstep, desperate for help. Gabe's daughter, Rose, is trapped in a city half the world away, besieged by a host of monsters known as the Heartwyld Horde.


Clay reluctantly agrees to go along, and together they set out to reunite the disparate members of their old band: Moog, an absent-minded wizard; Matrick, a cuckolded king held prisoner by his own wife; and Ganelon, a deadly warrior who has spent the decades since Saga disbanded encased in stone.


Reunited, they set out across the vast, monster-infested forest called the Heartwyld, clashing along the way with feral cannibals, vengeful gods, and a relentless bounty-hunter named Larkspur. The Horde awaiting them at Castia, however, is the greatest threat of all, and to overcome it Saga must convince both their aging peers and a generation of restless youth to risk everything in pursuit of a mercenary's most valued currency: everlasting glory.


It's time to get the band back together.

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You can check out more on Nicholas Eames on his website, The Heartwyld.

If you have a Kindle, you should definitely check out Kings of the Wyld ebook.

And the upcoming sequel, Bloody Rose.

If Fully Booked, Power Books, or National Bookstore has a copy, get one or two or three and save our local bookstores!

About the author: Jonathan Kevin Castillo

Reviews Editor. Jonathan is hiding from a lynch mob after messing with the wrong basketball team. His favorite song is "Boys do Fall in Love" by Robin Gibb.


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