Today’s spotlight falls on novelist and teacher Kevin Eads, a fellow author of mine at Dark Moon Press. Kevin’s an incredibly prolific guy with a lot of great, and frightening, ides–but I’ll let him tell you.
Tell me a little about how you got started writing.
I probably started writing when I was young as I had quite an imagination. It stemmed from growing up on a 40 acre farm in northern Indiana. I was drawn to the spooky and usual. I moved to the city in high school and started rapping. I even recorded three songs…two were used on an independent horror movie soundtrack. After finishing law school, I was inspired to start writing again, and I started writing horror screenplays.
After meeting Eric, (Eric Vernor, Dark Moon Press CEO and founder) I started to write short story collections and novels to submit to him, and now, 20 some books later, I am still at it.
You write in a number of different genres. Do you have any particular favorite authors?
While I write mostly horror, I have dabbled in pulp fiction as well, writing short stories with old 1940’s style private detectives.
My favorite author is probably Ian Fleming. I absolutely love the James Bond novels. I thoroughly enjoyed the way that Mr. Fleming could tell a story.
I also enjoy Edgar Allen Poe. When I was teaching, I always read the Tell Tale Heart to my students before I started class.
One thing that I don’t like is an author who uses too many words to describe anything. I don’t want to read a book that is 1000 pages long. You will lose my attention. Keep it simple but keep it interesting.
How did you find Dark Moon Press?
Eric Vernor was a student of mine at the college where I was teaching. He had recently started Dark Moon Press. We started chatting after class and connected with a love of classic horror films. I talked to him about some of my ideas and he was interested in publishing me. I was happy to work with him.
I will never forget when my first book “The Amulet of Elisabeth Bathory,” came out. While it is not what I would consider one of my best books…as I have improved with each and every year, holding it in my hands was an amazing feeling. I don’t think I can ever really describe what it was like to hold that first book, only that it was amazing.
I actually hope to start my own little publishing company one day, having been inspired by Eric’s work here at DMP. It would be something completely different though, as not to compete against a good friend of mine.
Is there a type of writing you haven’t tried or a subject you haven’t tackled that you’d like to take a shot at?
I had started writing a coming of age comedy set in a grocery store, but I was not able to finish it. I also took a stab at writing an action story, but have yet to finish
I like to play to my strengths, which are largely horror. I add to it of course and have elements of comedy in the stories as I find horror amusing. I also have added romance and political thriller elements to other stories as well.
What’s your favorite way to promote your work?
I like to promote my works in whichever ways I can connect with the fans. I love doing radio interviews and podcasts. I also love going to book signings and horror conventions.
What’s the most important piece of advice you have for new writers?
The first thing that I would say is not to give up. Getting started is rough and can certainly crush your ego at times. The creative process is difficult, challenging and rewarding. Focus on the reward at the end…keep your eyes on the prize. Also, find a good editor, and listen to them. Don’t let it hurt your feelings, instead, use what they are telling you to create a great work of art.
Do you have a particular writing process, or does it vary depending on the genre or subject you’re working with?
It really depends on what I am writing. When I am writing fiction, I run certain ideas through my head at night before I go to sleep. As I have a wild mind and imagination…I don’t sleep well. I probably spend an hour or so at night running the ideas through my head. I do this many nights before I am finally ready to get behind the computer and start writing.
If I am working on non-fiction, much of what I am doing is research. Just like when I was in law school, I have to motivate myself to get behind the computer and pull up some books, and start the research process. Don’t get me wrong, when I get started, I enjoy what I am doing. It can just be a challenge to get started.
Do you have a favorite book?
A favorite book…no I do not. I have quite a few that I like. As I mentioned before, I love all of the Ian Fleming James Bond novels. I find them all an exciting read. I also loved the Raymond Benson James Bond novels that followed in the 1990’s. Mr. Benson tells a story that makes me feel like I am reading Fleming.
As far as horror book though, I would have to say Stoker’s Dracula. I find it fascinating how he told a story through letters, diary passages, and newspaper clippings.
What are some of your interests besides writing?
I enjoy watching old classic horror movies, which should come as no surprise. I enjoy making beer and traveling, especially day trips to wineries, breweries, zoos, amusement parks, and museums.
I think again all that I described as interests helps inspire me as a writer.
What do you think is your greatest strength as a writer, and what one area you most need to work on?
I think that my greatest strength is that I never have a lack of ideas. I have been told by many people, including those who have worked in Hollywood, that I have many outstanding ideas. That though leads to my weakness. I am not a patient person and in the past I had put together stories before they were ready. It is something that I have obviously worked on. I also lack patience waiting on editors.