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 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.
Good evening, Deston. Without releasing any spoilers, can you tell my readers what Dusk Mountain Blues is about?
Dusk Mountain Blues is a space opera and space western about hillbilly, moonshining mutants fighting off colonizers. It follows three generations of the Caldwells, following their perspectives in their fight against the Civilization and their hands of the law, the Bluecoats. It has themes of family, love, freedom, and conquering one’s past, all wrapped up in a fun read.
Who are your biggest writing supporters?
I would have to say my friends and my family. My parents and brother have always been a huge supporter of my writing career, often pushing me to write more and more. Then there are my friends, who are also writers. We get together and write on weekdays and discuss so many writing issues we have on the way. Without them, I would be lost.
What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading the Great Hunt by Robert Jordan, Book 2 of the Wheel of Time. It’s amazing. I’ll recommend it.
You live in a cozy home submerged in forestry, do you find nature to be the best inspiration and muse for writers?
Absolutely. Nature can bring out a lot of the inspiration that you have kept deep within yourself. One of my goals is to have a cottage for writing in the mountains somewhere.
When you think of your novels, what character stands out the most?
When I think of my novels, there are quite a few that stand out. One character has been well received by a lot of people: Woodrow “Appetite” Caldwell from Dusk
Mountain Blues. There’s something about the big guy that I find fun to write and explore. I’m not going to try to get too much into him, but he’s a father type character mixed with classic western elements and classic comic book characters like the Juggernaut and the Incredible Hulk.
What book could you read over and over and never tire of?
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. SO good. SO funny. I wish I could write as well as him.
What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer to you?
Keeping myself focused on the projects at hand. There’s a lot that goes into a writer’s head, so keeping that all straight is rather difficult. I’ve taken to making notes about certain things to keep myself on track. There’s also the whole aspect of keeping to a deadline. It’s a lot to deal with when you’re one man having to juggle writing, marketing, and social media.
If you didn't write fantasy what other genres would you write?
If I didn’t write fantasy or science fiction, I would probably write historical fiction. Specifically, I would write Roman, Samurai, or Viking historical fiction. I’m a bit of a history nerd when it comes to those three warrior classes so that would be a fun thing to explore. I currently do not believe myself knowledgeable enough to do it right now, but perhaps in the future.
Do you prefer to write at night or early morning?
Early morning. Even right now, I’m writing this at 6 in the morning. I have most of my energy in the morning.
What is your favorite fantasy creature and why?
Orcs. Anyone that knows me knows that orcs are my favorite fantasy creature. There has always been something about them that resonated with me. I suppose because I’m a small, meek guy that I’ve always wanted to be tough and strong. World of Warcraft didn’t help much. Then there’s Dungeons and Dragons. Once I picked up playing Dungeons and Dragons, I’ve gone full immersion into my love of orcs. Just let me play a big green guy with a battle axe and I’m a happy camper.
Do you have books coming out soon?
The next release on my schedule is the second book of my fantasy series (Dargath Chronicles), Duke’s Brand. It follows a character that I’m marketing as Neville Longbottom meets Thor from the MCU and Steven Universe. The main character is my first autistic main character and he has quite the past with his father and family. It’s one of the books that I’m most proud of. I hope that you can check it out later this year!
You can follow Deston at the following social media links:
Website : www.djmunden.com