eSpec Books interviews Kenneth Shannon III, contributor to The Awakened Modern, edited by Hal Greenberg and Greg Schauer, now funding on Kickstarter

eSB: What do you like most about The Awakened series, and why?

KS: Hal Greenberg’s word is great as it toes the line between full on fantastical elements and real life. The concept of this connection between animal and human or human and the elements/magic breaks the standard mold because it doesn’t go all out. Like a nice blend of super hero and fantasy fiction.  In this Modern take it allows for some interesting elements. 

eSB: What kind of challenges did you find writing for this series?

KS: Answering some of the questions for our story.  What would a gorilla do when it became sentient? How would it act? When technology and magic meet what and how does that work? In real life if this was occurring how would people really react? Answering those and still finding a bit of humor in them was a fun challenge to tackle.  But a challenge none-the-less.

eSB: What interested you in writing for this series? 

KS: I love writing and Hal and I go way back making it such a pleasure to work together. But what makes it holds my attention, is the Awakening process and the exploration of what would happen when that happens. Exploring not just the what, but later the why is fascinating. Any the fun of slowly seeing so many excellent authors get the ability to cross their characters paths and in unexpected ways in the future adds to the excitement for me.   

eSB: If you could have a special power or familiar, what would it be and why? 

KS: I would have mind control and/or reading peoples’ thoughts. Basically, Professor X.   I love exploring the wonders of what other people are thinking.  And to know what is really going on in their heads would likely be terrifying, but also would unlock more for me on the human condition.  Something I enjoy exploring. We humans are interesting creatures.  But our minds and our souls, or just the concept of those souls, is intriguing to me. I think that power would help me develop a better understanding.  Maybe in the long term also help people who want to change destructive behavior.  LOL.  So apparently, I want to be a superhero psychologist.

eSB: Sunrise or stargazing?

KS: Stargazing. 

eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up? 

KS: I work with Hal at a company called Samurai Sheepdog and am in charge of board game design and development. I have a number of projects in the works both with and without Samurai involvement. Tournament of Camelot is a fun easy, trick taking card game with the sotyr text derived directly from the original text in the Library of London on the Arthurian legend. I also uses a “Catch up” mechanic which makes it fun for experienced players to play with casual players because the worse you’re doing the more fun stuff you get! Also have a game with Wizkids call The Witching Hour coming out at GENCON in which you play a team of Witches who are part of Coven.  One of you has done something bad with their magic and demons manifest to try and take all your souls. While 100% cooperative, everything you do to help yourself, hurts another player!  Games farther in the distance include Ettin, a game which can play 2-100+ people (16 per box) and Beyond the Edge, a massive Space game which has a growing list of amazing authors working on it including Richard Lee Byers and Ed Greenwood!  Both of those should arrive in 2018.

Born in West Palm Beach Florida, Kenneth Shannon (aka Ken) is a veteran game designer who has designed and written for board games such as Tournament at Camelot and Approaching Dawn: The Witching Hour as well as award nominated RPGs. He is currently lead designer on Adventure IN, a principal designer for Fall of Man, writing for the Awakened II, Awakened III and Awakened Modern, and has a candy-coated assortment of other projects. Since his start 12 years ago in the industry, he has edited and/or written for Mystic Eye Games, Thunderhead Games, Bastion Press and more recently for Samurai Sheepdog.


Facebook –  Kenneth C Shannon III

Twitter – The Witching Hour

Websites –,,

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