Mike Moody (@mikemoody) is a writer-Texan-nerd-person living and working in Austin, TX. You may have read his work at Badass Digest, TV Squad and Austinist. Or maybe you just got here by Googling “sallow round-faced Texan.” Whatever. Welcome!
And now prepare yourself for a conventional bio of sorts!
Hi, my name is Mike. I’m a writer living and working in Austin, TX. As you can probably tell, I’m a huge nerd. And like many nerds, I have a complicated relationship with the Internet.
I started a blog called Gold Teeth (Named after a Shins lyric — how terribly Braff-ian of me!) in 2005. I wrote about TV, movies, books and comics on Gold Teeth, and I eventually started contributing posts and reviews to other blogs, like BlogCritics and the now defunct Pop Syndicate.
I was also working as a newspaper journalist during this time, which was great, because I loved writing and I had a car payment to worry about. Working in the newspaper industry, I learned to write in a clear and direct voice, and I also learned to write with the reader in mind. (I also paid off my Volvo, which was a pretty huge deal.)
I wrote and edited for daily newspapers in Texas and California, including The Monitor and The Napa Valley Register. In 2005, after launching a few successful projects for different newspapers, I was named features editor for The Brownsville Herald, a mid-sized daily in Brownsville, TX.
I won a few Associated Press Managing Editor Awards while working at the Herald. I retooled the paper’s features, entertainment and education coverage, and I launched a weekly hyper-local entertainment magazine. (I also got to interview Frankie Avalon, who is one of the most charming S.O.B.s I’ve ever met.)
After a few years, I moved on to become the Online Entertainment Coordinator for the Herald’s larger sister newspaper, The Valley Morning Star. (And I fulfilled my lifelong dream of leasing a brand new Toyota Yaris. My pimping was big.) I launched a local entertainment events web site for the Star, and I guided the paper’s online entertainment coverage, editing stories and event listings plus blog posts and video segments.
In 2009, budget cuts forced the Star to let many journalists go and abandon several content projects, including mine. Like many newspaper journos around the country, I was handed a severance package, thanked for my contributions and asked to clean out my desk (I may have stolen a stapler or four).
Fortunately, my freelance writing career had started to take off, and I began writing for AOL’s TV Squad blog (Now Huffington Post TV) full time. Working for TV Squad was a dream come true. I worked from home (sometimes in my pajamas), wrote passionately about TV and pop culture, and I got to interview awesome celebrities like Sigourney Weaver and Star Trek’s Jonathan Frakes. I was part of the pop culture conversation, and I learned a lot about writing and editing for the web. It was a blast.
I also contributed to other great AOL entertainment blogs, like Cinematical, SciFi Squad, Horror Squad and Moviefone. Writing for AOL helped me discover my voice and my niche, and it also gave me the opportunity to connect with other writers and pop culture nerds all over the world.
I made time to freelance for several other sites and blogs during my three-year stint at AOL, which helped pay the bills and allowed me to connect with even more great writers, editors and readers. Freelancing didn’t pay a whole lot, but it paid enough. The real compensation came from seeing my name attached to a good piece of writing that would find a readership beyond my friends, family and local newspaper readers.
Sadly, I had to give up freelancing full time in late 2011, when AOL bought The Huffington Post and decided to let go of hundreds of paid freelance writers, myself included. I had rent to pay, a wife in grad school and another car payment, so I took a long break from writing about TV and pop culture and took a job in advertising copywriting.
In 2011, I started working for an e-commerce company in Austin, TX. I re-launched their blog and brought in thousands of new readers every month. I also took over their social media accounts, and I’ve written tons of content for their web sites and e-marketing campaigns over the past year. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished with this company, and I hope to accomplish a lot more.
You can read my freelance TV reviews at the Alamo Drafthouse Badass Digest blog.
I have a few awesome projects in the works, but I’ll tell you about those later.