Charles Breakfield


Breakfield writes with his co-author Rox Burkey. Together they write The Enigma Series and multiple short stories in various genres. Charles is a technologist who specializes in network connectivity, security and leading edge technology integrations. Charles’ love of wine tastings, cooking, and Harley riding has found ways into the stories. As a child he moved often because of his father’s military career, which even now helps him with the various character perspectives he helps bring to life in the series. He continues to try to teach Burkey humor.

Breakfield and Burkey started writing non-fictional papers and books, but it wasn’t nearly as fun as writing fictional stories. They found it interesting to use the aspects of technology that people are incorporating into their daily lives more and more as a perfect way to create a good guy/bad guy story with elements of travel to the various places they have visited, either professionally and personally, humor, romance, intrigue, suspense, and a spirited way to remember people who have crossed paths with them. They love to talk about their stories with private and public book readings. Burkey is also conducting regular radio interviews with other authors, which is interesting. Her first interview was, wait for it, Breakfield. You can often find them at local book fairs or other family oriented events. The original series is based on a family organization called R-Group.

Recently they spawned a subgroup that contains some of the original characters as the Cyber Assassins Technology Services (CATS) team. The authors have ideas for continuing the series in both of these tracks. They track the more than 150 characters on a spreadsheet, with a hidden avenue for the future coined The Enigma Chronicles tagged in some portions of the stories. Fan reviews seem to frequently suggest that these would make good television or movie stories, so the possibilities appear endless, just like their ideas for new stories. They have completed book video trailers for each of the stories, which can be viewed on YouTube, Amazon’s Authors page, or on their website, Their website is routinely updated with new interviews, answers to readers’ questions, book trailers, and contests. You may also find it fascinating to check out the fun acronyms they create for the stories but summarize on their website. Reach out to them at Authors@EnigmaSeries. com, Twitter @EnigmaSeries, or Facebook @TheEnigmaSeries.

Smashwords Interview

How did you get started in fictional writing and where are you today?
Breakfield and Burkey began working together in the 90s in the high-tech world. We were contact center consultants for a manufacturer based in Richardson. At that time telecom corridor was on a meteoric rise. Skilled people couldn’t be hired fast enough and when the Nortel office space became too tight, many of us were told to work from home until more buildings could be built. Then came the Dot.Com bubble burst and our high telephony world saw the wheels sheer off the company. Cutback after cutback continued with quarterly layoffs common occurrences. In one very painful instance, HR simply herded targeted employees into a large meeting room so they could be laid off in mass.

The situation was easily classified as fluid. During this rough time of worrisome layoff potential, Rox Burkey found a publishing company that wanted professionals to write technology white papers for them, so she volunteered us. In our profession we’d built training materials for Nortel along with certification courses, in between visiting customers sites to meet with all levels of the business and provide written analyses of things the business could consider to improve their technology utilization. For us, it seemed like an easy jump to add that into our regular work.

Trouble was that writing high tech manuals is reasonably unsatisfying, let alone somewhat dry to the majority of the population. It takes six to nine months to research and write a tech manual. By the time it through the editing, reviews, and then released, it’s out of date. After our second non-fictional technology book, Charles Breakfield stomped off and said no more.

Shortly after that, Rox Burkey popped up one day with her contagious enthusiasm and said, “Okay, new deal! Let’s write fictional stories with high tech baked in. We get to pitch our stories and keep our love of technology in the background, it’ll be great!”

It would have been too, except The Great Recession of 2008 slammed into us very hard. Breakfield was laid off and Burkey was stuck in a lab technician role that bordered on mental cruelty.

Our Enigma Book series was born during those dark times. We dug ourselves out of those tough years, partly because we are hardworking individuals and because we had the diversion of working on something we actually liked, storytelling. In 2012, we landed back at a new high-tech firm in different business units, and our first book The Enigma Factor saw its printing debut. We also launched our own small press to publish The Enigma Factor so we could retain artistic control. With 10 Techno-Thrillers in the series today we are glad we took that path.

We have been fortunate to win some awards for the books and our short stories which we take to events in Texas such as North Texas Comic Book Shows, Libraries, and book festivals in and around Texas. Talking about our stories is fun, but listening to readers and hearing ideas during interactions as these events make for great new characters. Yep, book 11 is in the works.

Breakfield and Burkey
Have you had some struggles or obstacles along your writing path?
There is a huge gap between a kept author supported by a huge New York publishing house and being an author managing their own small press. Writing, for us, isn’t the hard part. Writing fictional Techno-Thrillers and short stories is the fun and juicy part. Marketing is the real challenge. As technology geeks trusting social media doesn’t come easily. We’ve made friends with many new people that wouldn’t have been possible without the writing.

Even though our stories are set in multiple countries, we spend a lot of time traveling within Texas to build a grassroots support. As a small press, we are part of a new wave of authors trying to get mindshare in a business with the inroads to technology allowing hundreds of books to be released daily. New friends like Dallas Geeks, North Texas Comic Book Show, Good Morning Texas, Published Page Bookstore in Cleburne, Decatur Library, Carrolton Library, and Dallas Area Writers Group (DAWG) are much like extended family to us. Libraries, author writing groups, screen writer groups, and film production houses here in Texas are our favorite targets for us to gain mindshare.

We’ve had to learn so much on our own. Paperback is one process, eBooks has a whole different learning curve, especially with file formats. As we took our properties to audiobook formats, we learned a significantly different process with some mistakes along the way. No mistake however in our virtuoso narrator of 8 books in the series Derek Shoales. In trying to take our stories to the screen we are coming across a whole new set of people with a totally different expectation for conversation on our stories.

Breakfield and Burkey
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