Dodgebomb: Outside the Wire
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

First Time Author Darrin Pepple talks Dodgebomb:Outside the Wire in the Second Iraq War

Army Veteran, Star Wars Superfan and now accomplished author Darin Pepple took time out of his schedule to discuss his debut novel with Reviews & Dunn.

Reviews & DunnWhat can you tell prospective readers about your debut novel Dodgebomb?
Darin Pepple – Although Dodgebomb is fiction, it’s a gritty, unheroic, satirical war story that is much more realistic than most Hollywood films or stories out there about Iraq and Afghanistan. Derrick, I’m sure you’d agree as a veteran, that you’re tired of popular culture portraying everyone who fought in our generation’s wars as being a PTSD basket case or a Navy SEAL sniper. I try to break the clichés and show readers common soldiers’ experiences – dealing with Arabs, fighting Al Qaeda, finding humor, enduring loss, and emotional burnout, all while driving around and dodging bombs day after day.

Reviews & Dunn – When did you realize that you wanted to write a novel?
Darin Pepple -About around 2014 when I began to transition out of the Army. I started to write as catharsis for dealing with military bureaucracy and stupidity. Everyone says they’ll write a book one day, but I actually wanted to do it and finish it. Even if it was, a flop and I only sold copies to my mom.

Reviews & Dunn – How many drafts did you go through during the planning phase?
Darin Pepple – I’ve lost track because there have been so many iterations over the seven years I took to write it. At least four comprehensive drafts – first when I finished the manuscript, then I did a round of editing, and then I did two rounds with my editor.

Reviews & Dunn – I am a veteran, and I have always loved military movies. What is your favorite military-themed movie?
Darin Pepple – That’s tough because I’m a sucker for many. I’d say my favorite is Kelly’s Heroes with Clint Eastwood. It’s essentially a WW2 Bank heist of Nazi gold and is so violent and so good. It has Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, and Don Rickles too.

Reviews & Dunn – If you had an unlimited budget, whom would you, pick to portray Eddie Fitzgerald in an audio version of Dodgebomb?
Darin Pepple – It needs to be somebody young and sarcastic. Michael Cera from Arrested Development might be able to pull off the role with success. 

Reviews & Dunn – You are a huge Star Wars fan. From a personal standpoint, what was more of an OMG moment for you; the ending of The Empire Strikes Back or the closing moments of The Mandalorian Season 2 Finale?
Darin Pepple – That’s hard to compare because the first time I saw Empire, I was like seven. I don’t remember my OMG moment there, so it has to be when I saw the end of The Mandalorian Season Two. Which, by the way, was awesome – we all suspected it was Luke, but we couldn’t admit it until we saw his face.

Reviews & Dunn – What advice can you offer to first-time authors?
Darin Pepple – Write often but don’t quit your day job. Successful writing takes a lot of time and persistence, and it most likely won’t pay the bills. Still do it to satisfy your creative spark but don’t expect to become Stephen King any time soon.

Reviews & Dunn – Is there anything you would like to add, and where can fans find you on social media?
Darin Pepple – If you read my book, I hope you enjoy it. Many veteran friends have told me Dodgebomb is reminding them of the good and the bad experiences of their Iraq/Afghanistan deployments. My civilian friends are saying it is helping them understand those wars and the military better, which is great. Overall, I hope it changes the Iraq War narrative to something better.
Checkout my Dodgebomb Author Page on Facebook at:

Instagram at: @dpepamerica
Twitter: @pepple_darin

Thanks for doing this, Derrick!


Dodgebomb: Outside the Wire


Dodgebomb: Outside the Wire in the Second Iraq War is available for purchase on Amazon:

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