Tell me a little about yourself, personally.
Hello, I’m Deston J Munden. I’m an African American high fantasy and science fiction author from North Carolina. I also have a Bachelor’s Degree in Game Art Design. I’m a huge fan of old samurai films, cooking, Dungeons & Dragons, competitive video games and orcs that fight to the death and go into a bloody rage.
What is the name of the book or books you have published?
Tavern (Book 1 of the Dargath Chronicles) and Dusk Mountain Blues (Book 1 of the Dusk Orbit Blues).
Where can they be found?
Amazon. The link can be found at the end of the interview.
Do you have any current WIPs?
My current project WIP is Dusk Ocean Blues, the sequel to Dusk Mountain Blues. I also have Duke’s Brand, the sequel to Tavern, on the back burner and currently within the hands of my beta readers.
How are they going?
EHHHHH. About that…
Dusk Ocean Blues is going slower than I want. I have a lot of things going on but I’m working on it every day still. I feel like the story is solid and it’s going a direction that I want it to go, but I’m just taking my time with it. I’m focusing on improving my narrative style and that tripping me up a bit. There are times where I have bursts of progress and then there are days where I don’t feel like I’ve made a dent on this project. I also have to be aware that this is the first draft. There are going to be problems. This is my first delve into sci-fi so I’m trying to give myself a break.
What got you into writing?
Video games. Honestly, it’s true. Video games got me into writing. When I was younger, I would make stories about my characters in certain video games such as Pokémon (which I still play) and Final Fantasy (which I also still play). Soon, they started to develop into original stories…. well as original as they could be to a youngster. It wasn’t until high school when I got incredibly serious about the topic. I started writing full novels around that time, some of which I still have on flash drives and my hard drive. They are terrible but I’m still proud that I have gotten this far.
After college, however, was when I decided that I wanted this as a career. My Game Art degree was done but I felt like I wanted to write more than I wanted to draw. I was a decent artist, but I had a passion for writing and everyone in my programs saw it. So, I took the time to focus on that. From then on, it was a huge strive to get better and better. Earlier this year, I published my first book and I’ve never been happier.
What keeps you focused?
Music and sheer willpower. I work at the same time every day. I start the day by responding to emails and doing some marketing/social media posts. Once 8:30 hits, my writing begins. This is currently my job, so I take it very seriously.
What gives you inspiration?
Anything, to be honest. For the sake of discussion, however, I’m going to say video games, books, music, and research. The first three are common. I get inspired by just playing through video games, listening to a lyric of a song, or getting thrashed by an author that is better than me (Nicholas Eames, James Jakins, and Jonathan French). When it comes to research, I fall down rabbit holes. There are small things that just push me into a research frenzy. You don’t know what you can learn that will give you some inspiration for your novel. Try to learn something every day.
How do you battle writer’s block?
I write anyway. It sounds easy but it’s not. When it’s your job, you don’t have the luxury to sit on the writer’s block. Your job wouldn’t allow you to take a rest if you weren’t feeling it.
Did you decide on traditional or self-publishing?
Self-published. My goal is to be a hybrid though.
What made you make that choice?
I wanted to get it published with my creative control. After almost getting scammed by a vanity publisher, I decided that I wanted something that I could control. I’m enjoying it so far. I do want to get more into the traditional side of things. Besides, as a self-published author, I get to have a stronger say in stuff like the cover. That’s a big part that sold me on the process.
How does it feel to be considered an author?
I still don’t believe it. A few of my friends often introduce me as an author and I get warm in the face. A lot of my writer friends are now intimidated by me. When I ask to read their work, they will shy away and tell me that I’m a real author, so they don’t want me to read their work. I try to ensure those people that I’m still very much a normal person, just with a book out. It’s still surreal to me as I got into my next book. A part of me even believes that it’s all luck and I can’t do it again. I hope I can prove myself wrong in that regard.
What’s your social media platforms for people to find you?
You can also buy my book here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tavern-Dargath-Chronicles-Book-1-ebook/dp/B07PWTR89Q/