Blog Post (6/6/2019) Birthday Sale (and progress)

It was my birthday on Tuesday! As a celebration, I decided to put my book, Tavern on sale for the week. It’s been a wild ride this year. I’ve done things that I didn’t think that I would ever do in my life. All thanks to you guys. So, consider this a thanks for all you have done for me. The old man (though not as old as I would like you guys to believe) is grateful for every person that has bought, talked about, and spread the word of my books to everyone they know. I can’t thank you enough.

On to the progress! We are closing on the end of Duke’s Brand. I only have a few more chapters and I’m steadily hammering away words for it. After that, it’s the Dusk Mountain Blues editing. That one is going to be very interesting (also I hate editing so there’s that). I will have a progress report outlining all of that as it comes on. We have also thought of the name of the next two Dargath Chronicles books. I will reveal them when we get closer to release Dusk Mountain Blues.

Other than that, there’s not much else to say. The details on the sale will be posted below as well as some progress on my book. I hope that you have a wonderful day. I hope to have a blog post topic soon.

See ya on the flip side,

Deston J. Munden


BirthdaySale

 


Progress

Book Progress


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Blog Post (5/28/2019) Where (in the seven heavens) have I been?

So, it shouldn’t be any surprise that I’ve been a very busy person since my book release. I didn’t realize that so much work went into a book release and I underestimated the amount of time that I was going to have to put in for marketing and getting myself out there. There are still book signings, more review copies, keeping my twitter and Instagram active, and etc that I have to do but this blog post isn’t about that. This blog post is about progress and not my degrading sanity.

So, the first thing you might have noticed is that Dusk Mountain Blues (the chapters, not the page itself) has been removed from the site (and Wattpad). That’s because it’s in edits by the amazing Nicole Ball (Ball N Services) on Twitter. We’re coming through some of the issues the story I’ve been having, and we are going to try to get it to a publishable state. Hopefully, if all goes to plan, I will also have another publishable book by the end of the year. That’s a good thing.

I will also be joining the #SPFBO this year, hosted by Mark Lawrence. It’s going to be an interesting experience and I hope that it is received well. My nerves are completely fried, but I think I can manage.

Lastly, Duke’s Brand first draft is on the ending stretch of its development. I have 9 more chapters to complete and I have a good idea of where I’m going to take the story from here. Should be a very interesting experience all and all. All goes to plan, I should have it finished within the next few months. I’ve also been kinda on a roll. I’m pleased with everything I’ve accomplished so far.

So, there’s that! Keep in contact and I hope that you’re having a good day.

See ya on the flip side,

Deston J. Munden


Progress

Book Progress

ANNOUNCEMENT!!

Time for some exciting news everyone! My #fantasy book, Tavern, has its official release date, March 26th! The official cover and map reveal to be some time this week!

Blog Post (12/20/2018) Talent (Yeah, It Exists…)

Blog Post (12/20/2018)

Talent (Yeah, it exists, doesn’t mean that it’s required.)

There’s this misconception I’ve seen going on. A friend, my brother, and I got into a discussion about talent. They are in the mindset that if you aren’t talented at a thing, why bother even trying to attempt it? I got into one of my passion filled rants on the topic that I have no choice but to share with you guys now. Listen up people. Say it with me: natural talent is not the be all, end all.

I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t good at writing. Honestly, I was terrible (if you want proof, I can give you proof, just DM me). Throughout my entire high school life, I was surrounded by writers that were better than me. Same with artists. I kept telling myself why even bother to work on something when there are other people that are better. I soon realized that’s not the mindset anyone should be in. There are going to be people that are going to be better than you are. That’s just the reality of the situation. It doesn’t mean that your efforts should be trivialized or that you aren’t improving because you aren’t the level that you want to be.

The only person you need to be comparing yourself to is yourself. I will tell anyone, do what you want to do creatively every day. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be a huge project or even a lot of progress. Just do it every day. At the end of say eight weeks, look at the progress you made. Then keep doing that until you reach a year or two. You’re going to see improvement if you are legitimately working on your project or craft. I feel like so many people get caught up with comparing themselves to others that they don’t see what they can do with their talents.

My friend from earlier (and you know who I’m talking about if you’re reading this) said that they don’t have the skill to do what they wanted. It boiled my corn because I’ve been talking with them for years. I’ve seen their creativity and their ability to create. But this person is probably one of the most creative people I’ve seen. Their potential is out of this world. They consume so much creative media and can speak to you about what they liked or didn’t like in a piece (especially anime and manga). But he got it in his head that he’s not talented. It drives me up the wall. I know he could do something amazing but he got in his head that why bother?

Why NOT bother?

What do you have to lose? You have all your life to do something that you want to do. Why not take that gambit and keep improving? Yes. You might not be as skilled as you want to be at first. It’s going to take some time to get where you want to be. Even then, you might not be as skilled as the people that you admire. But you gotta think, there’s someone out there that’s going to see your work and think that you are their favorite author or artist. What do you have to lose? Just try it!

Rant over. But for real, guys, don’t get caught up on what you view as natural talent. Yes, there are people out there that’re going to be really good at what you want to be good at. That doesn’t mean that you can’t attempt to share your creativity with the world. It might surprise you. Your idols might just become your peers.

See ya next Thursday (hopefully if my publishing business is not all over the place),

Deston D.J. Munden

 


Progress Report: December 20th, 2018

Book Progress

Blog Post (11/8/18) Why I Have Decided to Self-Publish Tavern

I’ve decided to self-publish Tavern after much deliberation. The choice was always available and its something I have been considering for a while. I thought to at least give traditional publishing a try before jumping into it, however. Now that I have and learned a bunch about the process, I think it’s fair to say that I believe self-publishing—at this time—is the best option for me. There are a couple of reason that I want to get into, the main which is creative control.

After talking with a hybrid publisher (don’t do a hybrid publisher, it’s not a good idea), I’ve learned a lot thing about the process of self-publishing. One thing struck a chord with me. Creative control. With self-publishing and indie industry, I would have control over things like the editing, cover artist, and formatting. I could basically take the time to create my own brand and image in my book. That appealed strongly to me. One of my biggest things with traditional publishing at this time is that I wouldn’t have any control over these processes and I wanted to at least experience that before I go forward with in that route one day. This appeals strongly to my creative side and I’m looking forward to learning more and more about the process as I step forward.

The second reason is the experience. Self-publishing will give me experience. The main issues with most of the agents that I have encountered are that they aren’t confident in my experience. I’m a fantasy author, first and foremost. Fantasy takes some experience to get into and most people are grandfathered in. This will give me some experience and help me network better in the future. I need a piece to read and I need to get used to the editing process.

The third reason is it’s something that I believe in. Tavern is my passion project, or at least the start of a larger world. For that reason, I want it out there. The rejections that I received for this project often told me that I had the skill but they weren’t confident in me as a marketable author or it wasn’t their style for their list. The latter I can understand. The former rubbed me the wrong way. I am a bit of an oddity in the industry and they aren’t confident that I will hit the audience that they think I want to hit. The thing is, I believe strongly in this project and in my ability as an author to survive in the genres that I write. I’m aiming to prove them wrong and perhaps one day catch the interest of an agent that will truly have my best interest in mind.

Lastly, you guys. I want to be able to provide a product for you guys to enjoy. Everyone has been incredibly supportive of me and my cause. I’m still hoping that one day I’ll be synonymous with some of my fantasy author heroes. For now, I’m going to have to work at it and build my way up. I did not choose this as a last resort. I chose this because I feel like this is the best for my career at this time. Wish me luck as I take the step forward.

See ya next Thursday,
Deston D.J. Munden

I will also like to thank everyone who already donated to my GoFundMe.

I will also like to thank Gareth L. Powell, Dyrk Ashton, A.Z Anthony, Garrett Robinson, Jonathan French, Sean Grisby and Jenna Moreci for all their guidance and advice. Also, everyone at the TL: DR Press, Reddit Writer, and amwriting community on twitter.

Blog Post (10/25/18) Enjoying Yourself (Write what you want, not what is expected of you)

There’s something amiss going on. I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of people writing what they think will become popular or what will be sellable in the market. I’ve always found that odd. That was until I started querying and trying to sell my books to agents and publishers. There’s this natural draw to want to write what you think would be sellable or popular after being rejected for so long. But, I think it’s important to realize that you need to keep writing what you want to write and read. Most importantly, you need to learn how to find your own audience. I’m here to give you some tips on that.

First off, read in the genres that you want to write in. For example, I’m a fantasy guy. My style is like that of Scott Lynch, Nicholas Eames, R.A Salvatore, Brandon Sanderson, or Michael J. Sullivan. It’s important to know and read the people in the genre that you’re trying to get into. Read a bunch and learn how your story fits into the general landscape of the industry. This will help you find an audience. It will help you find people to talk to and perhaps gain interest in what you’re working on. This will help you talk to people while also help you learn your craft. (Don’t forget to also read outside your genre sometimes, it will help you get some fresh ideas.).

Secondly, write what you want. Do you like magic? Write about magic. If you like dragons, write about dragons. Don’t feel like you gotta write something because of who you are as a person. I get this quite a bit as a black guy, I’m often told that I need to write something that will connect with only black people. I’m often told that being a fantasy guy, it will only work if I’m in an African setting or exclusively write black characters. Quite honestly, it hurt my feelings. I wanted to write about a fantasy world like World of Warcraft or A Song of Ice and Fire. I shouldn’t have to feel because I was born a certain way that I must write a certain way. If anyone tells you because you’re LGBT, a certain race, or a certain sex that you can’t write a certain setting, genre or style, don’t listen. You can write whatever you want. Write what you want to write and get people interested. If you’re interesting enough and talk about it enough, you’ll get people interested naturally.

Thirdly, communicate. You need to learn how to talk to people. People think writing is a solitary job. In some ways it is. But once you start sharing about your work, it slowly becomes apparent that you’re not alone in this. As people get interested, you’re going to have to learn how to talk to people about not only your work but your process, your ideas, and your general mindset. Not only should you be able to talk about your book, you should be able to talk about their books. Networking’s important. As a person with social anxiety, this was a huge challenge to me. But, I’m starting to learn and it’s starting to pay off.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to reevaluate how you want to publish your book or idea. Sometimes, you’re going to have to change up how you want to go about it. Perhaps, you need to reevaluate the premise, the execution, or even potential publishing options. What’s important is though, don’t change your story to better fit what you think is going to work. If you want to change it because you feel like you need to, that’s entirely different. But don’t change to fit the trend. Trends change. People change. That’s why you need to learn what you like and what you want.

See ya next Thursday,

Deston “D.J” Munden



P.S I have some exciting news. Really exciting news. I can’t get into detail with it yet, but things might be on the upswing majorly involving my work. I don’t want to jinx it. More news on that shortly.