KEN MOONEY Author interview
A little introduction:
Hi folks, I’m Ken Mooney and live in Dublin and have been writing since…I can barely remember. While my day-job is more of a focus on finance and the arts, I’ve been writing and publishing for the last decade or so. My works tend to lean towards horror, fantasy with some queer and gay leanings. A bit like me, really.
When did your love of books begin?
I don’t remember when exactly. My parents used to make the point of getting me books as presents, always encouraging me to read. Some stories would regularly get me hooked: I remember reading Lord Of The Rings when I was about 8–9 years old and being in awe. Same can be said for watching the X-Men and Batman cartoons, which got me reading associated books or fantasy. As such, I don’t know if it’s books and reading that’s drawn me in: it’s fantasy, other worlds and other lives.
When did you start to have the wish to become an author?
I can’t remember a specific time or desire, but I’ve always been drawn to stories. While we call it “fan-fiction” now, I know I was drawn to tell my own stories involving characters or worlds, and sharing those stories with my cousins or friends when I was barely even 10. Similarly, I remember doing an art project in school about the same time, which was meant to be describing what careers we wanted when we grew up. I’m no comfortable drawing, but what I drew was someone sitting at a table in front of a computer…cos yeah, that was me writing.
How have you found the process for becoming an author?
It’s been both ridiculously easy, and very tough. It’s very easy to get a simple idea, but putting that idea into a full story is excruciating. I’m also very hard on myself (and other books and stories); I want to know the finer points of everything, the logic, the who-what-when-where-why and the reasons behind everything. As such, writing my own works can be draining, and I find it very easy to get annoyed at myself, because I need to know everything I am writing, like who is where, what they are thinking, what they are wearing, how they are feeling. I actually enjoy all of that when it comes together though, and I even enjoy the marketing side of things too. Marketing your own work, regardless of how it is published, is not easy; and is quite often murdered by some individual who has to write a negative review about your work, solely because they have missed the point entirely (and especially if they haven’t actually finished the work at all.)
What would you say to those wanting to become an author?
DON’T DO IT! I joke, of course; but be prepared that writing is only maybe 40% of the work you have to undertake. You need to commit yourself to the marketing, the branding and all that stuff. Even if you have a publisher and a team of people to help you, YOU will need to be involved in that process.
Tell us about your book/books:
As above, everything leans a little bit queer, a little bit horror and a little bit fantasy. My first novel Godhead brought the Greek gods to the present day, and the reason I comment on bad reviews is because of this very book. The opening chapter is sent in the original time of the Greek gods before jumping to the present day, and one of my most negative reviews was from someone who clearly didn’t even read the second chapter. There’s a sequel The Hades Contract and a few shorts to accompany. I will return to the world at some stage, but the books were written while I was dealing with some health issues, and going back to that world and those characters isn’t a great trip. But I will return . On the back of that, I wrote my own diaries into The Astrocytoma Diaries: my dealings with a brain tumour and treatment involving that; what I love about this is that it has helped other people who were or are going through similar, and I’ve become good friends with people who have been through the same because of that book, and these are friendships and connections that go far beyond books. I’ve also written some queer romance that is specific to the Irish marriage referendum and everything around it: Tackling The Issue and After The Tackle were my attempts to write about that: starting as romance, the words went a lot deeper, dealing with the casual homophobia that tends to get thrown out into the world.
My latest book, Apocalypse…Whenever is probably the one that I’m most proud of, a tongue-in-cheek non-fiction look at ways in which the world might end…but hasn’t yet! It was originally published under a different name while I was dealing with the brain tumour; as such, I wasn’t able to market it or sell it the way I wanted to at that time, but Covid and various other things made it seem like the book deserved an update. It covers some real-life horrors, the various beliefs of the world and their gods, all in a way that I hope to be both educational and fun.
What do you love about the writing/reading community?
The support, friendship and creative energy that comes from it. And yeah, even the love. If someone loves your work, they will go out of their way to say it (mind you, so will some people who might hate it.) That love will inspire you, keep you going, pick you up on the bad days (and, trust me, I’ve had many.)
If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?
Please, wherever you buy your books and in whatever format, please (PLEASE!) leave a review. No matter how short, no matter how honest, writers like myself need to see these reviews: it drives us, it encourages us, it gives us the power to keep going. There’s also an honest marketing thing there too: it helps other people to see our work. Even a bad review (boo, and all) means your book is more visible than a book with no reviews. A visible book means that more people might see, might review, might even love. That said, if you don’t like a book: there is nothing wrong with that, but maybe consider your reason for doing so before you give a negative review: the bit that you didn’t like might be there intentionally, and might be the very reason that someone wrote that scene.
Where can people connect with you?
I’m everywhere, really. You’ll see my own website at KenMooney.com where I’ll blog as and when the mood strikes me (Covid hasn’t really helped with that.) You’ll see my books in most digital formats and outlets, and those that are in print are in most locations (or, ask about them in your local book-shop.) I’m also on Twitter @kenmooney or on Facebook at Ken Mooney Writes Stuff