Today, I am excited to share with you a Success Story with Kevin Mooseles. Kevin is the author of the Resistance Is Dead.
Kevin Mooseles: Success, Zombies, and Fight Club
About Kevin Mooseles
Kevin Mooseles, grew up in South Florida, and has lived in Durham “Stranger Things” North Carolina for the past twelve years. Growing up reading classic literature and essays, and also playing an unhealthy amount of video games gave him a knack of analyzing staples of pop culture with the magnifying glass of Sherlock Holmes at the Escapist Magazine. Eventually, Kevin moved on to fiction through his current zombie series, The Resistance is Dead.
My questions are in bold.
Kevin, tell me briefly, how did you become an author?
I first dreamed of writing fiction when I was a young boy. The core ideas for my series bounced around in my head unwritten for at least a year before I connected with an old friend who was recruiting talent for his publishing company, TNM.
Being placed in a position where I was held accountable for producing new fiction chapters on a schedule brought me from that “Gee, it would be great to be an author one day” place, to finishing my first book in a very short period of time.
I think a lot of very creative people suffer from that daydream state of planning without taking action which can last for years because they don’t have someone holding their feet to the fire. Once you get in the habit of putting your butt in the chair on a regular basis you are in the game.
You have a new book coming out; can you give us a sneak peek?
My next book will be the final chapter of my current series, The Resistance is Dead. It is not coming any time soon. I wrote the first two books pretty much back to back in two years. As I was finishing up the second book, President Zombie, I found myself the target of a drive-by shooting.
Part of me, because of the subject matter of my series, wants to nervously joke about it being an Illuminati hit. The truth is, I was most likely subject to a simple gang initiation ritual.
This SUV shot at me about fifteen times in maybe a minute. I immediately sprang into action, hid behind a tree, and wasn’t hit by one bullet, somehow.
The event changed my life. It happened last July. Huge paradigm shift for me, and so I took a hiatus from writing to get my life in order. I am currently working on the next book, and I’ve been planning quite a bit to have it all unfold and tie together just right.
Fans of the series know the bar is set high, and a lot of questions have been raised which will be answered. This series was always a tribute to the work of George Romero and John Russo specifically.
The third book is my dedication to the memory of George Romero, who is a hero of mine. Book 3 will be called the Undead Conspiracy. The cover art will feature the pyramid seal from the back of the dollar bill, except the eye will glow green and a horde of zombies will be at the base of the pyramid.
Is writing side hustle or your main gig?
Side hustle for now. Working on making it the main gig. I have a strong work ethic, so working by day and writing by night is doable. I dream of one day being able to walk away from the day job and be able to pour all my energy into writing. Patience, persistence, and the need to constantly improve will get me there.
What is one thing you have learned being a successful author?
Success is a relative term. It is a bar that keeps pushing itself further and further out. The pursuit of it can rob you of the satisfaction of your accomplishments. Setting and achieving goals is fantastic.
That is how we grow. But it is very important to make sure you relax and enjoy the ride every once and awhile. Don’t let the drive consume you, because it will if you let it.
What is one mistake you made that you wish you could change?
I would have named the first book “When the Dead Return” instead of just “The Outbreak”. It expresses the heart of what that book is better, I think.
I’ll tell you what, figuring out how to explain what is going on in my series without spoiling everything is like learning how to dance in the middle of a minefield.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Find a local writer meetup and get involved. Hook up with at least one other writer and hold each other accountable until you are both in the habit of regularly writing. Edit their work and let them edit yours. Don’t freak out when your work comes back covered in red and suggestions.
Not all of the suggestions will make sense, but more of them will than you might want to admit at first. Give yourself permission to write improperly so that you can correct, learn, and grow into the habit of writing properly. Also remember to have fun. This craft is a joy to participate in.
What are you most proud of?
Surviving this long with most of my sanity intact, I suppose.
Honestly, I am very proud of the fact that my first book rose up to become the #1 Bestselling Amazon Kindle Occult Horror book for the entirety of April 1st, 2017. With exposure there was interest. That gave me a lot of hope.
The bump in exposure coincided with a “Freebooksie” promo, so you indie authors out there who are looking for something that might help with exposure, check them out. There’s also a “Cheapbooksie” site, I believe, which I would suggest you use instead.
No revenue on free giveaways, after all.
Many authors and bloggers have trouble finding time to write. Do you have any tips?
Apart from what I’ve already shared about finding a way to be held accountable, I do have to say that a certain amount of passion for the work is needed if you are to stand any chance to succeed.
You have to write because you need to write. Because not writing makes your head pound with ideas all bottled up and shaken like carbonated inspiration about to explode from your ears or your fingertips.
Time and caring are often interchangeable in situations like this. If you find yourself in a slump with your writing, ask yourself why?
Why is everything else more important right now than getting better at this craft?
We always have time for what we care about. We make time. Not caring about your writing might tie into not really being in the habit of producing new content on a regular basis. You don’t make time because you don’t see the point because you aren’t writing, and so the loop of inaction continues.
If you force yourself to set aside a half hour a day to either stare at a blank computer screen or write something, you’ll start writing and you’ll find that a half hour will stretch out into a bigger and bigger chunk of time as you get results and you care about sticking to that routine more.
What authors are you digging right now? And why?
I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction recently. Steven Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People came to my attention a few months ago and I loved it. I’m currently at the tail end of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F&%$ and am looking forward to exploring more of Mark Manson’s work.
What suggestion do you have for people that are looking for ideas or inspiration for stories?
Look all around you and also search within. The best stories find themselves resting in between those spaces. If you have an old idea that has been sitting quietly in the corner of your mind for years, dust that sucker off and get started. More ideas will come when you treat the ones you have with care and respect. The muse is funny like that.
What advice do you have for authors looking to get published?
Do your homework before you make any decisions or sign any agreements. Also get an agent first. If your book isn’t good enough to land an agent, if isn’t ready to publish. Remember that you only get one chance at a first impression, so make sure that you give it your very best.
What are you looking forward to?
Doing rewrites for the third book. I’m only a few chapters into my first draft so far, and I’ve gotten that engine cranking again after a full year of not writing, so I’m happy with where I’m at, but I’m looking forward to the point where the story is no longer just fragging up my brain.
Any upcoming projects you are working on?
I recently wrote a short story called YouTube Channel of the Invisible Man and a friend suggested I develop it into a series of animated shorts. I’m contemplating whether it will be worth it to find an animator. The idea tickles me.
How has social media impacted your brand?
I’m still fairly new to the social media sphere, but the impact has been positive overall.
I’m still tinkering with the formula, though.
What does your social media strategy look like?
Step 1. Psych myself up to stop being such an introverted luddite dweeb and set up Twitter and Instagram accounts like millions of other people who live in the modern world.
Step 2. Maintain those accounts at a pace I’m comfortable with. Have fun, be myself, don’t just talk about my books all the time because that sucks.
Step 3. Profit?
Where can people find you online?
Running a brand, promoting and marketing can be a challenge. How do you manage it all?
I take it all one step at a time and don’t let myself get overwhelmed. Udemy has a few courses that have helped me figure that side of things out, one called “How to have fun Marketing your Book” was very helpful. I also read a couple of books by Jeff Goins that kept me going.
Any apps you can recommend?
No, and now you’ve got me wondering which apps I have been missing out on this entire time.
I use Google Drive, which makes reviewing work on my phone pretty easy. Does that count?
If someone was having a hard time managing projects, is there a book you would recommend?
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, because I’m a recent convert and recommending it to everyone for every reason.
Someone needs a good cookbook? I recommend that book.
I know I’m kind of late to the party, but there are so many solid principles and such a solid road map to discipline that I think it would absolutely help someone who has a hard time managing projects.
How important is fitness?
Very important. I started a weight loss journey after surviving that shoot out last summer and have dropped 45 lbs in that time. The more I take care of my body, the more empowered, imaginative, and effective my mind is.
How do you find time to workout? Do you enjoy it? If not, how do you stay motivated?
I go on long hikes on the nature trails in my neighborhood. I love it, so staying motivated isn’t an issue.
Anything I should ask that I have not?
I can’t think of anything. This was quite a thorough interview. Thanks for the questions.
What is the one thing you wish everyone knew?
I wish everyone knew that Chuck Palahniuk wrote the main structure of the narrative in The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails into his first book, Fight Club. That was the subject of my first article for the Escapist.
Understanding the connection between the book, the film, and the Downward Spiral album makes all three works stand out and pop in a brand new way.
I know this is going back 20-24 years and who really cares, blah, blah, blah. But the fact is that I care, and I think it’s a pretty awesome troll that Chuck pulled. I loved the Fight Club 2 graphic novel too.
Thank you, Kevin, for your time and great tips!
If you enjoyed this interview, here’s a few others you’ll enjoy: