Author Spotlight: Deston J. Munden

  • a fantasy dork, awkward orc, and overall good sport

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Deston J. Munden!

Deston “D.J.” Munden is a fantasy and science fiction author, living near the Outerbanks of North Carolina. Somewhere in the vague realm of his late twenties and early thirties, he lives with his brother in a small house in the woods where he taught himself how to imagine and write down worlds with orcs, swords, and magic (and sometimes mutants and spaceships). When he’s not writing, he’s playing video games with his best buds, rolling horribly on multisided dice, eating double his weight in food, trying out new recipes, collecting samurai memorabilia and watching as much anime and reading as much manga as humanly possible (sometimes doing more than one of these things at once).

His current work includes the Dargath Chronicles novels and Dusk Mountain Blues, his sci-fi web series. He’s a huge fan of the fantasy and science fiction genre, including both the modern and classic works. Nothing he loves more than finding new authors all over the genre and then recommending them to all of his friends (that are willing to listen at this point). This will be his official debut in the fantasy world he has grown up in (at least in his head) his entire life.

D.J., thanks for agreeing to be here today. While most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

For obtainable pets, probably a cat right now. I really loves cats (I love dogs too) so I would love to just have a little furry bean to sit in my lap or prowl around my quiet house.

As for not so obtainable pets, a white dragon wyrmling. I would love a small mini dragon that will grow up to rule the territory where I live. It’s a dungeons and dragons fantasy, don’t mind me.

Who doesn’t like a nice pet friend! But, there is a reason dragons are traditional fantasy pets! Just make sure you know who will rule and who will be kept.

What do you write? And how did you get started?

I write exclusively fantasy and science fiction for now. There’s something about these two genres that has truly inspired me to write. I’ve always been a writer. Ever since the fourth grade where I wrote my first fan fiction, I’ve been writing almost every day since, slowly improving my craft. It wasn’t until after college where I realized…wait…I could be getting paid for this. So, I started writing actual novels. I’ve had original works that I hadn’t finished, but I decided then that it was best to get some done. Several books in and I don’t regret it one bit. Basically, I decided one day to just get started and I did. Sometimes it’s just like that.

I’m a huge science fiction and fantasy fan myself. Your ‘coming-to-writing’ story sounds familiar to me, and probably many of my readers.

What do you like to read?

Again, fantasy and science fiction. Occasionally I like to venture into historical fiction (especially with samurais, vikings, or knights) and westerns but fantasy and science fiction takes majority of my time. I’m also a huge fan of comics, manga (Japanese comics), manhwas (Korean comics), and manhua (Chinese comics). They take a large majority of my time when I’m not reading or listening to a novel. I’m just an overall dorky fella that likes to read.

Glad to hear your book reading includes graphic tales and audio books. Those are often underrated.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Outline your book.

Hahahahaha. No. I can’t do it. I can have a general idea of how I want my book to go but I need to be sitting down and writing it to develop ideas. Outlining just doesn’t do anything for me. I end up going off the outline or changing stuff that I believe just doesn’t work while I’m writing the novel itself. I’m a panster in every sense of the word and I’m gonna stick to it.

Ha! Exactly what Christiane said last week. You could try my method! Write a high level outline and then ignore it unless I get stuck. Then again, my latest work-in-progress veered quickly off the outline and I’ve been flailing… I admire exploratory writers, but it’s not my sweet-spot.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Finish your first draft at all costs.

You can fix a first draft; you can’t fix a blank page. I think people get caught up so much on planning and getting that first draft just right that they forget that it’s not gonna stay like that anyway. You can fix things. You can move things around. The best thing you can do is write down your story to yourself. You gotta get those words down, fam. The page isn’t going to fill itself. Even if you go back and realize, wow, this was a terrible book… at least you learned how to finish something. Not a lot of people even finish the book they start. Don’t be another statistic.

Umm… I’m pretty sure you and Christiane aren’t the same person, but your writing preferences are a perfect match. But, I still agree! All too often, you hear wanna-be-authors who never made it past those first fifty-pages, too caught up on getting them perfect to finish the actual story.

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Tavern (Dargath Chronicles: Book 1)

In the magical world of Dargath, the story follows Xel— an orc tavern owner, an information broker, a healer, and guildmaster of the Blackwind Company. Though a resident of the city of Lladad for only two years, Xel has found a place far better than the forest from which he came.

When a simple act of kindness reels him into unraveling a plot to destroy his new home, Xel is forced to do what needs to be done with the contacts that he has to protect it. Xel’s morality, his livelihood, and his ambition are pushed to their limits against a wizard powerful enough to rip the city apart.

He must scheme with vipers, mingle with royalty, blackmail in the slums, and fight assassins and mercenaries. Most importantly, he needs to lean on the support of his friends to keep him steady and safe from his own inner demons tempting him with tales of failure.

Dusk Mountain Blues (Dusk Orbit Blues: Book 1)

The Caldwells have one goal in life: to be left alone. They’ve been living on the backwater planet of C’dar for years, smuggling and scavenging their way to a comfortable life on their Homestead. But you know the saying about all good things – they come to an end. The Civilization wasn’t content with falling apart the first time and has finally caught wind of the ol’ boys and girls on their little rock in the middle of nowhere. Ain’t nothing much they can do about that, though…except fight ’em.

It all comes down to three generations of Caldwells— Luke “Drifter” Caldwell, Woodrow “Appetite” Caldwell, and Cassie “Kindle” Caldwell—as they fend for everything they call home.

What is isolation worth?          

A space opera compared to X-Men meets Red Dead Redemption! Now available on audible!

Check D.J. Munden out across the web!

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