A Few Moments With The Enigmatic D.J. Molles, Author Of The Remaining Series
For our very first interview, I have the opportunity to introduce you to D.J. Molles, author of The Remaining series.
Zetruc: Thank you for agreeing to take time out of your schedule to do an interview with Zombie Pop.
Z: I’m sure there are lots of questions that people want to know about you and your work, so I’ll begin with some of the basics. Who are you? You’re very reserved and I’m dying to learn more about you?
DM: Just a humble public servant. When I’m not working or writing, I’m mowing the lawn and taking out the trash and spending what little time I have left with my wife and daughter.
It’s funny, because I can see some folks on Facebook get a little irritated at my lack of response sometimes. Honestly, I never had a personal Facebook page, and probably never will.
My wife told me it would be a great way to get the word out to the readers, and it really has been great for that purpose. But I don’t do a lot of updates unless there’s something important to say. I do try to answer PMs if they have a specific question. I suppose this makes me seem somewhat aloof, and that’s probably somewhat accurate, personality-wise. I do read everyone’s posts, though, and I always appreciate the kind words!
DM: Oh, I’ve been writing almost as long as I can remember. I was a big reader as a kid because we didn’t watch a lot of TV in my family, and I guess experiencing all those books made me want to write some of my own.
Z: Are you a full time writer, or do you have a regular job, and write in your spare time?
DM: I work a full time job and write in the mornings and evenings. Hence my answer to your previous question!
Z: Why the zombie genre?
DM: I’ve always loved horror, and I’ve always enjoyed prepping. So what better genre than Zombies to combine those two things?
Long before I wrote The Remaining, I came up with a shooting competition that I conducted with some of my colleagues that I called ‘The Zombie Apocalypse’, where you had to run through a woodland course, shooting targets with various firearms, and you had to hit them in the head.
We still do it to this day. Recently, someone hung a picture above my desk that has an M4 on it and it says “The hardest part about a zombie apocalypse will be pretending I’m not excited.” I guess I’ve just always found the genre fascinating.
DM: I kind of grew up on Dean Koontz. He writes a good story, and I always enjoy the crazy characters he makes up. Stephen King is much darker, and I don’t like all of his stuff, but I like enough of it to mention him. Anything written by Cormac McCarthy sucks me in.
Z: Besides your own, what’s the last book in the genre that you particularly enjoyed? Why?
DM: I’d have to say Brian Martinez’s Mountain and the City series. Really grabbed me. I loved his narration style, and I thought the story was really interesting. If you’re reading this, and you haven’t read that series, go get it now. Most of them are 99 cents a pop, and well worth it.
DM: I never intended to publish The Remaining. It really started as a writing exercise. I just wanted to write something without thinking about whether a publishing house or an editor was going to like it. I wanted to write something violent, and horrific. Something about surviving by any means necessary.
I didn’t have a plan for the story, I just had a character and a premise, and then I sat down and started writing, constantly telling myself, “write whatever the hell you want, because no one is ever going to read this shit.”
Z: You use a ton of detail about military hardware, and techniques. I’m wondering have you ever served?
DM: No military service. A lot of it is from my personal experiences and training that I’ve received and put to use.
I also work in a field that attracts a lot of former military members, so many of my colleagues are former military, and I pick their brain sometimes.
Z: Now, I know that your wife’s a photographer and designs your covers, but who is the guy behind the mask?
Z: I noticed that in Fractured, the focus has shifted from Lee. Considering the injuries that he’s sustained, any chance that he won’t live through the ending of the series?
DM: He’s had a lot of injuries, and in that world, there are a lot of complications that can happen when you break your body down and don’t have doctors there to put it back together.
Lee is also the type to lead from the front, which is very dangerous.
Z: What makes a great character for you to write?
DM: They’re all bits and pieces of people I know, or have met, or have dealt with in the past.
Z: Hmmm. Do you think that there’s a chance of Zetruc appearing in Book 5 of The Remaining series?
DM: Maybe if I meet you in person.
Z: What are you currently working on? What can we expect next from you?
DM: I’ve been working on a little something. It doesn’t have to do with zombies, but I think it will be something all of my readers will still enjoy.
And there are some other projects on the horizon that I look forward to undertaking.
DM: As of right now, yes.
Z: What’s the most challenging thing you face as an indie author?
DM: Not enough time!
Z: As an indie author how do you market and promote your books?
DM: I think if you have a good product, most of the time it will grow on its own, and I’ve been lucky enough that that’s been the case for me. My wonderful readers have really made this series what it is pretty much through word of mouth.
DM: Read all the “how to write” books and magazines you can, then throw them all away and forget about them. Figure out your own way of doing things. If you don’t work well from an outline, then don’t do one (like me). If you like to make sure that each page is perfect before you even start the next one, then do it that way (what Dean Koontz does).
There are a million different ways to tell a story. I don’t really think that people care how you tell the story, so long as it’s a good story.