Interview With Author Kevin W Cousins
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
To me, writing about myself has never come across as a natural process. I feel disconnected from the events of the past, even the exciting parts. Conversely, when I sit down to write a story, I draw from these experiences in a way that I find interesting.
As far as my work goes, I don’t see myself as an author. I’ll never be a Tolkien, Wells, or King. You won’t find a Ph.D. in my biography nor word formation as concise and eloquent as Orwell or Lewis. No, I see myself as more of a literary storyteller. If I can create a picture in your mind then, as far as I’m concerned, I’ve done my job.
When I’m not making my own worlds, I live an average existence in a small town by the river. Our home, these days, consists of myself, a loving wife, my stepdaughter, her fiancé, and their two adorable children. I was married, a tale worse than any of my horror stories, and have an estranged son somewhere in the world.
As of this interview, I’ve written, drawn, and published twenty-one books. Here’s the list so far: ex-hi-bi-tion (also available in Audible), ex-hi-bi-tion More Shorts, Larry and the Creeping Horde, Bride of Larry, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Larry, Larry the Spider Addition (2nd Edition), Larry (an illustrated adaptation to the short story), Second Chance Gate, Crossing, Crossing 2, Bignose (illustrated), Grazer’s Edge, Grazer Claws, Grazer Wire, Grazer Disc, Grazer Sharp, Trail Grazer, Hairgrazer, Grazer Burn, Grazer Consequences, and Hanlon’s Grazer.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Hanlon’s Grazer is the tenth book in the Hugo Grazer Chronicles. Although it’s my intention to write more about the Grazer family, this book was written as an ending to the time period discussed throughout the book series. I hope to go back and fill in some dates with new stories but these books make up the framework. As for inspiration, the series takes place in the 1980s into the early 90s. I used my experiences from that period, from growing up in a lower income single parent family, my failings as a young adult, and spun it on its head. What remains are mysterious creatures, a secret government organization, and Hugo Grazer’s family.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I get the sense that most writers come up with their own system and that’s what propels their stories. For me, my pattern has changed over time.
The old-school method of writing included multiple drafts. I type, two-fingered, until I get the basic idea on the screen then go back several times, moving sentences, ideas, and characters until I’m satisfied with the result. I keep a progress journal but don’t always put every single idea inside.
My first few books were a struggle to get into print. As I’ve progressed, it’s become more about how much information to tell the reader.
Is that unusual?
What authors, or books have influenced you?
There have been a number of authors that have got me thinking about writing, Stoker, Levin, Robert E Howard, etc. Many of the books today, however, are examples of what I don’t want my writing to reflect. These concepts are fine for their fan base but I don’t want them to influence my story creation. The simplest answer to this question is that I’m influenced by internet searches, the news, old radio programs, my outdated comic collection, and classic authors (Poe, Lewis, Orczy, and so on).
What are you working on now?
When Hanlon’s Grazer went to print, I pondered what I’d do next. I had a lot of ideas but, the way the process typically works is that I’ll fool around with a few concepts and then put them away. By then, I’d set my heart on a specific project. In this case, I started working on two children’s books but decided to work on an Addition to the Hugo Grazer Chronicles. I’ve been drawing, writing, and organizing this illustrated book since the end of March. It’s been a lot of work and I hope, when completed, it’ll be well received.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
To date, the method that has worked best for me is to step out my front door and tell anyone that’ll listen.
“Hey, buddy. I have this wonderful book of short stories I want to tell you about. There’s an alien spider that terrorizes a family, an autistic man that becomes a superhero, and even a zombie story. It’s called ex-hi-bi-tion. You should check it out.”
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Yes. If you don’t want to lose money upfront, avoid any service that charges hundreds of dollars. There are plenty of ways you’ll lose money as a self-publisher. Your first goal, however, is to get published! Find a company that charges a small sum and get your work out there.
Warning! If you haven’t already noticed, the online competition is INSANE!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I believe it was in Barbara Abercrombie’s A Year of Writing Dangerously. She used a castle analogy for writing. The idea was to ‘pull up the drawbridge and get to work.’
What are you reading now?
I just finished Norm MacDonald’s Based on a True Story. There are funny parts but, overall, I’d have used fresh standup material.
What’s next for you as a writer?
That’s always a dilemma. After the Hugo Grazer Chronicles Addition, I was considering a murder mystery. Time will tell.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Hobbit, any of Ian Fleming’s 007 novels, Where the Wild Things Are (I love Sendak’s work), and maybe the Bible (there are a million stories inside).
Author Websites and Profiles
Kevin W Cousins Amazon Profile
Kevin W Cousins’s Social Media Links