Author Spotlight: Eric Shapiro

  • an acclaimed, award-winning writer-filmmaker. Eric is a dark soul. Positive attitude. =)

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Eric Shapiro!

Eric Shapiro is the author of Red Dennis, the writer-director of Living Things, and an acclaimed, award-winning writer-filmmaker. He co-owns and edits The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper.  He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.

Eric, 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?

Definitely Falkor from The Neverending Story! That took me a minute, but there’s actually no other answer. And thank God I don’t have to feed him!

A classic selection and one of my favorites. Did you know that when you write fantasy, there’s no reason NOT to add puppy-dragons. *winks*

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

On most days, it’s either news or dark fiction—which often have a lot in common. Generally I just sit down and start typing. I try not to think. Usually the first two paragraphs are agony, then I’ve dropped down into more of a meditative flow state where I can access my emotions. My book Ass Plus Seat actually covers the entire process.

You sound like me! When I struggle to get started, I do my “just five minutes” approach. If nothing happens, fine. But really, nothing beats sitting in front of your keyboard for getting out words.

What do you like to read?

All kinds of things. I’m trying True Crime lately, during Covid sheltering-in-place, but it might be too bleak and disturbing for me. But in general I like to read things that are fast, incisive, shocking, and anti-bull****.

I’ve enjoyed a decent amount of televised true crime, but I must admit, I shy away from it in my reading. I know it’s probably just the escapist in me.

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

Ways to ‘find your voice’

Anything to do with “finding your voice.” Your insight is the thing to track or look for. If you think too much about your “voice,” your writing just becomes mannered and obvious. Just work toward sharing your insights; look and see and share.

 I think that’s to stop people from poorly imitating their favorite authors, but it’s true. Voice is the one thing that can’t really be taught, everything else is a level of mechanics.

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

Start writing and then the muse will appear.

It’s so true: She doesn’t come to you. You go to her. Every single time. If you’re not sitting there putting in the physical grunt effort, she thinks you’re boring and annoying. But if you’re exerting yourself and being present, she loves to come and dance and play.

I’ll admit that’s both true and untrue for me. True, in that the muse doesn’t come when I’m not writing, but untrue in that the muse doesn’t always come.


Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Red Dennis

Dennis Fordham has it all: the wife, the kids, the established small business. And yet…he’s slipping. Something’s changing in his mindset. He’s regretting all the chances that he never took. And he’s getting a bad itch to visit illicit massage parlors. Even worse: He’s also starting to talk kind of funny. Only it’s not a joke — his strange words terrify his dental hygienist, who tells his whole Northern California community that he harassed her. When Dennis tries to push back, he’s met with intense resistance. Which is when his troubling thoughts turn into violent ones…

A story of red rage, red madness, and a bright red all-American psycho, RED DENNIS gives us a man on the edge, then invites us to follow him down into the abyss.

Ass Plus Seat

Writer and filmmaker Eric Shapiro worked professionally as a ghostwriter for over 3,000 clients around the world before co-running a Silicon Valley newspaper with over 30,000 readers. In between, he’s written acclaimed fiction books under his own name, along with award-winning screenplays. ASS PLUS SEAT, his first nonfiction book, is where he shares his secrets, exposing and exploring how for years he’s motivated himself to write each and every day.

ASS PLUS SEAT is an essential guide to help writers dealing with procrastination in the midst of the writing process. It’s a book on how to write from the standpoint of staying disciplined and inspired, complete with good tips for writing and expert advice for writers. Put it on your shelf next to the other classic creative writing books for adults, whether you are seeking inspiration to engage in the act of novel writing or screenwriting. 

Put ‘Ass Plus Seat’ on the shelf alongside Strunk and White, and Stephen King’s ON WRITING…” –Mason James Cole, author of Buster Voodoo

I wish I’d read this sooner! I’m going to get back to my manuscript – not tomorrow, but right now!” –Shannon Giglio, author of Short Bus Hero

Short of a Picnic12 short stories about 12 different characters with 12 different mental illnesses.

It’s Only TemporaryIt’s the last day on Earth. A meteorite will hit at sundown. A heartbroken kid hits the road to say goodbye to the only girl he’s ever loved.

The DevotedIt’s the last day in the life of a suicide cult. But as the clock ticks, one of the cult members gets second thoughts and stages a revolt.


Check Eric Shapiro out across the web!

Amazon | Goodreads | Milpitas Beat

Author Spotlight: James Schannep

  • a purveyor of interactive fiction & gamebooks for grown-ups

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to James Schannep!

James Schannep has a son and a daughter, a cat and a dog, enjoys both running and napping, loves vanilla and chocolate, has a desire to travel but also to stay put and write. He loves horror, comedy, and nearly everything in between. Rather than being torn asunder by his dichotomies, he harnesses these schizophrenic impulses by writing branching fiction with over fifty possible endings.

James, 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?

I always wanted a pet dinosaur as a kid, so it’s going to be really hard not to say dinosaur, but… if we’re talking fantasy, I’m going to have to go with Lying Cat from Saga. Let’s face it, a dinosaur would be a bit much for a lot of life, but a walking, talking lie detector that’s fiercely loyal and gives smugly sarcastic side-long glances? It’s perfect. Purrfect. Oh, my car needs a new transmission? What say you, Lying Cat? It’s time to renegotiate my contract? Sorry, Lying Cat absolutely needs to be in the room for that. I don’t have enough time to get my writing done? Okay, okay, Lying Cat — thanks for keeping me on track. And you’re right, I do still want a dinosaur, if we’re being honest.

Now I have the ‘Dino, the Last Dinosaur’ song stuck in my head. But yes, I could see a cat being friendly and Lying Cat being… so much more helpful.

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

A chance conversation with a friend contained the question, “Why aren’t there any Choose Your Own Adventure books for adults?” That led down a Google rabbit hole, a writing experiment, and eventually a passion for a new form of storytelling.

Yay for a new era of choose your own adventures!

What do you like to read?

Part of the fun for me is that each interactive book I take on is in a different subgenre. So, for a few months I become a zombie fanatic. Then, once that’s done, I read all the best mystery writing I can get my hands on. After I finish my detective story, I become immersed in the superhero genre, and on and on it goes.

Love it! I know some authors who are more interested in research than writing…

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

Don’t worry about the details, it’s fiction.

No. No, no, no, no. I love learning; as a writer, as a reader, as a human. So if consuming entertainment can also teach me something? Good! I believe if a detail in a book can be accurate, it should be accurate. In addition to being a small way to improve upon society through microeducation, researching various topics also prevents us from alienating certain segments of our readership. We all know the nurse who hates the way X portrays hospitals or the soldier who can’t watch Y because the details are laughably wrong. Don’t they deserve to be immersed in your stories as well? 

I’m with you one-hundred percent. I’ve heard one of the things you should try to never do is to kick your audience out of the story, triggering their disbelief, and making them stop to think about the story. Getting small details wrong can ruin the story for plenty of people.

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

No one can tell the story the way you can.

I’m going to write a haunted house story next. Haunted house stories have been done…ahem…to death, but no one has ever told a haunted house story the way that I can. And if I don’t, who will?

Definitely! I’ve heard writer friends stress out, because a published book sounded superficially like theirs. But, Pocahontas, Avatar, and Fern Gully all have the same plot, but very different styles and moods. And they’re all enjoyable in different ways. Just because a plot sounds similar to yours doesn’t mean your story will be seen as a copy-cat. As long as you’re not plagiarizing, you should be fine.


Shameless Self-Promotion time!


New release time! SPIED has just launched. 3 Unique Storylines. Over 50 Possible Endings. Just one question…Can YOU Crack the Code as a Secret Agent?

SPIED is a suspense thriller unlike any other — YOU are the main character. Recruited from the lower-levels of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to become a field agent (finally!), it’s up to you to break into secure facilities, solve cryptic puzzles, expose potential moles, and suavely talk your way out of any situation before shadowy forces [REDACTED] the world!

Praise for SPIED: “Filled with so many twists and turns, Schannep had me both shaken and stirred.” -Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series

If spies aren’t for you, check out James’s other choose-your-own-adventure stories: Murdered, Infected, Superpowered, Marooned, and Pathogens.


Check James Schannep out across the web!

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Book Trailer | Amazon

Author Spotlight: Cas E. Crowe

  • a YA dark fantasy/horror/thriller writer, artist, creative thinker, and jogging addict.

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Cas E. Crowe!

From a young age, Cas E Crowe knew she wanted to be a writer. As a child, she spent her lunch times at school creating weird and haunting stories for her classmates to listen to. An admirer of all things spooky and quirky, her grandfather recognised her unusual hobby as a gift and built her a haunted dollhouse to stage her stories.

Cas studied a creative arts degree majoring in design and a graduate certificate in animation at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. She has worked as a shop-assistant, a graphic designer, an office manager, and now pursues her dream of writing. The Wayward Haunt is her first novel in the Wayward Series, a story that spun in her mind for ten years until it was finally typed onto a computer. Amongst Cas’s likes are writing, painting, drawing, travel and watching movies in her pyjamas (at home, not at the cinemas). She resides in Brisbane, Australia with her cat, and is furiously typing away at her next novel.

Cas, 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?

A dragon of course. Who wouldn’t want a dragon? No one would dare rob you in the middle of the night. I wouldn’t mind a tiger either. I was very envious of Princess Jasmine and Raja when I was a little girl. I guess that’s why I have a calico cat now.

Classic choices, all around. I guess the next question is if the dragon is the classic fire breathing one, or something less direct. But… I digress. Moving on.

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

I like to write young adult, dark fantasy, and horror. Ever since I was a child, I have been intrigued by chilling, ominous stories. I honestly don’t know why. My favorite day is Halloween, closely followed by Christmas. I had a haunted dollhouse growing up as kid which my grandfather built for me because he knew how my imagination worked. And by haunted, I mean he made it look scary with cobwebs, rickety furniture pieces, and smashed windows that were actually just filed down clear plastic. I’d create my own monsters and ghosts, which meant Barbie always ended up in difficult and scary situations. I’m not sure what happened to Ken. He probably died a horrible death. I guess it was inevitable that I would write in this genre.

How did I start writing? Well, unfortunately when I was very young, I couldn’t read or write. I hated it because it was such a struggle and I was way behind the rest of my peers. I was bullied for it, which made everything worse. Eventually my mum organised for me to be taught by a private tutor. Mrs Swann recognised my love for storytelling and was quickly able to show me that reading and writing was the same thing—delving into stories. After about a year and a half, I was better at reading and writing than any of my peers.

The idea for The Wayward Haunt and The Wayward Series come to me when I was at university, but it took some years before I felt confident enough to attempt writing the first novel. It wasn’t easy. The first draft was horrible. I did about five rewrites and two self-edits before letting it go out into the hands of beta readers. Their advice was so valuable. I did more edits based on their feedback, found an editor who was brilliant, designed my own front cover, marketing, book layout and typography for the print edition, then converted this into an epub and mobi file for digital publication. It has been a long, exhausting, but creative and fun
process. All up, it has taken just over five years. I think I chose to become a writer because I had a story I wanted to tell, and I wanted to prove that I could accomplish writing a novel.

Oh wow! What a rough start, but you’ve clearly made up for lost time.

What do you like to read?

I enjoy reading YA novels in horror, dark fantasy, and the paranormal genres. Everyone is curious about things we do not understand, and I think reading these genres helps you to explore that in a safe environment. Everyone at some stage in their lives will face death, loss, tragedy, and despair. Bad things happen to good people. It’s not fair, but it happens. It’s a subject people don’t like to openly talk about, which is why I think readers enjoy delving into these themes through characters and story. It’s why I read them.

So true. The darker side of fiction helps demonstrate that bad things happening doesn’t mean the end, and models ways of dealing with the rougher side — in both healthy and unhealthy ways. But, because it’s just a story, it can be easier to accept. Many people have books that have helped them through rough times.

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

Write every day.

I remember when I was studying creative writing at university, we were told to write every day. Well, that has proven to be impossible. Sometimes you simply can’t write because of various other commitments. There’s no reason to feel shame or guilt about this. I’ve learnt that writing has to be achieved at your own pace. You have to find a time and a schedule that works for you, and you have to be realistic about what you can achieve in the timeframe you have given yourself. Otherwise, the writing process won’t be fun. It will be grueling and frustrating.

Indeed. Life happens and beating yourself up for not upholding some magic standard is an unhealthy way to live. I do the NaNoWriMo challenge most years, but then I have to take a full month off because everything else in my life piles up while I’m doing it.

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

Pay attention to your point of view.

Don’t do any head hopping, and by that, I mean stick to one perspective character’s voice, and no switching POV characters within the same scene, paragraph or sentence. When aspiring writers do this, it makes the writing confusing, clunky, and totally unenjoyable. If you’re going to write a story from a range of different perspectives, break it up using chapters. Each character tells their story in their own chapter.

So true! Head hopping can seem like a way of showing the readers a fuller picture, but don’t be lured in! Readers often find it jarring and it will bounce them out of the story. Plus? It’s a novice move. There are some writers who can get away with it (especially some romance scenes), but for most of us, we fall short of the skills and we don’t really have the need to try that we might think we do.


Shameless Self-Promotion time!


My first book, The Wayward Haunt, was published June 2020 and is the first novel in The Wayward Series. It is set in a war-torn dystopian world and explores the concept of ghosts, hauntings, war, death, tragic pasts, and star-crossed lovers.

The Wayward Haunt

The Council of Founding Sovereigns rules the earth. The United League of Dissent seeks to overthrow them.
In the middle of the centuries-fought war, teenager Zaya Wayward is sentenced to the filthy coal mines of Gosheniene. Accused of a murder she didn’t commit, the true identity of the killer must remain secret—the black-veined woman, a cursed, sadistic wraith fuelled by violence and rage.
 

When Zaya is conscripted into service life at the Tarahik Military base, the ghost is waiting. Zaya’s ability to see the dead is the key that could annihilate human existence, and sinister forces will go to unstoppable lengths to get it. 

Determined to find the link between her past and a puzzle that threatens the world, Zaya joins forces with Captain Jad Arden, the pair propelled into a breakneck chase across haunted wastelands, desolate ruins, and ravaged cities. But Jad has secrets of his own, and Zaya’s feelings for him could be her undoing.

One thing the wraith does ensure — the wrong choice will cost Zaya her life.

I am currently writing the second book in series The Four Revenants, which picks up right where The Wayward Haunt ends. The expected release date for The Four Revenants is early 2022.



Check Cas E. Crowe out across the web!

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Author Spotlight: Brenda W. Clough

  • a science-fiction and fantasy writer

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Brenda W. Clough!

Brenda W. Clough, the first Asian female SF writer, spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. She has lived in Laos, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Germany. She returned to Pittsburgh, PA to earn a degree in English/Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University in 1977.

Several years working as a meek mild-mannered reporter for a major metropolitan newsletter enabled her to write a fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown. And she’s been publishing new stories ever since. Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer was set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest.

Now she’s now dipping into historical fiction with eleven volumes of Victorian thriller.

Brenda, 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?

It would be great fun to have an owl like Archimedes, Merlin’s pet owl in THE SWORD IN THE STONE. Archimedes was of course as intelligent as a person, and could talk. Also he did pest control!

Oooh! What a fun choice. Does that make Archimedes a pet… or a friend, though?

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

You write what you read, you know. I’ve read fantasy and SF since as long as I can remember, so it came easily, to write it. Time travel novels got me into developing a convincing historical ‘voice’. I wrote a Hugo and Nebula-finalist novella, “May Be Some Time,” which was from the point of view of Titus Oates, an Edwardian explorer. From there it was easy to write the Edge to Center trilogy. Then I realized that no one had ever done a proper sequel to THE WOMAN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins. Since there ought to be more novels about Miss Marian Halcombe, I wrote them.

I find it fascinating to see how what you wrote before leads into your future works.

What do you like to read?

At this exact moment I am reading books about water sports — competitive swimming, water polo, and so on. Research for a novel!

What a fun genre of sports to read about! Research is never-ending.

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

Plan.

I do no planning. I never outline, do worldbuilding, create battle plans or character lists, nothing. I am a pantser born, flying without strings or a net. When I write a book, I have no idea what will happen next. The characters know, and the Muse knows, and eventually the word gets around to me.

The very thought terrifies me, but amazes me when I see the results.

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

Fix it in the edits.

This is allied to being a pantser: the work is forged in the rewrite. The first draft is just that, a rough sketch of the work to come. Everything can be fixed in the rewrite. 

That seems to be a favorite piece of advice for many writers, but especially pantsers. I wonder why… *wink*


Shameless Self-Promotion time!


Marian Halcombe

Marian Halcombe by Brenda W. Clough

The most dangerous woman in Europe meets the greatest danger of all: love.

Miss Marian Halcombe thrilled the world In Wilkie Collins’ Victorian best-seller THE WOMAN IN WHITE.

In this sensational sequel, Marian uses all the wits and wiles she learned then to save her husband Theo Camlet from charges of bigamy and then murder. Women are supposed to be rescued in her world, but Marian fights to rescue everything she loves: her husband and her happiness.

The River Twice

The River Twice by Brenda W. Clough

Calla Ang expects to be the next president of her Southeast Asian country, until a charming time traveler from Victorian England sweeps her into a dangerous tangle of overlapping realities.

Calla Ang has always known her own power. Her grandmother is the dictator of Jalanesia in Southeast Asia, and Calla’s future is to follow in her footsteps.

But after the Victorian time traveler Jack Wragsland invites her to 1867 to show Charles Darwin what a real scientific revolution looks like, Calla returns to the 21st century to discover Jalanesia is no longer the country she knew. As she and Jack thread their way deeper into an interlocking maze of alternate realities, there always seems to be a second chance…until suddenly there isn’t.

The only certainty Jack and Calla have as the universes change is each other. But if she can’t learn to handle power wisely, then even love will not be enough to save Calla, Jack, or her country.

The first volume in the EDGE TO CENTER time travel trilogy.

Revise the World

Revise the World by Brenda Clough

He said, “I am just going outside and may be some time.” He went out into the blizzard and we have not seen him since.

On March 16, 1912, British polar explorer Titus Oates commits suicide by walking out of his tent into an Antarctic blizzard, to save Robert Falcon Scott and the other members of the English exploration team. His body is never found — because he was snatched away into the year 2045 by scientists experimenting with a new faster-than-light drive.

The first section of this novel appeared as a novella in Analog Science Fiction magazine (April 2001) under the title “May Be Some Time.” It was a finalist for both the Nebula and the Hugo awards.

How Like a God

How Like a God by Brenda W. Clough 133x200

What would it be like, to get absolute power?

Would you wear a cape and fight crime? Rule the planet? Or perhaps you would be like Rob Lewis, and watch your world collapse around you. Does absolute power corrupt absolutely? Rob is going to find out.


Check Brenda W. Clough out across the web!

Website | BVC Authors | Facebook

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!

Website | Facebook | Amazon | Instagram | Twitter