So this one is a first for me, in a couple of ways. For one, it’s the first time I’ve done something like this at all. For another, it’s the first of a series of behind-the-book featurette videos related to Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure that will be posted leading up to the book’s official release date on July 21st!
Only three of the nine featurettes will be publicly available. The rest will only be visible to those who’ve subscribed to my mailing list. But more about that in a few days.
For now, please enjoy your very first look of me looking awkward on video as I talk about (without spoilers) the plot of Zeus Is Dead!
I’d like to thank David J. Taylor and Amy Louise Herndon at SciFiCommons for their generous time and effort with the filming and editing of these videos!
Oh, and feel free to like and share the holy Hades out of it.
So at long last I may reveal the cover for my upcoming comedic contemporary fantasy, Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure…
Presenting Chapter One of Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure!
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“The question of who killed Zeus is unimportant. Trouble neither us nor yourselves further with this. It is only for you to know that the gods of Olympus have returned.”
“’Cept I’d also add that it was me. Next question?”
—Hera and Ares (live press conference, June 18, 2009)
“Though none of them ever went into details publicly, it seems clear that the Olympian gods’ return was sparked by whatever happened to Zeus.”
—excerpt from The Gods Are Back and How It Affects Your 401(k)
Zeus watched his child stumble through a rain-drenched wilderness, the victim of a mudslide that had lamed an ankle and snatched a pack containing food, water, and a spectacularly nifty smartphone. The child winced with every step back to the trail, but did not stop. The king of the gods swelled with pride at his offspring’s courage even as his immortal heart broke: no aid could he ever give.
Long ago, it would have been simple for him to help. He could have stopped the rain, ordered Artemis to lead the child to safety, or even dispatched a full squadron of rescue helicopters. (Okay, so helicopters weren’t an option 3,000 years ago—save once, and that was a very special case—but he had used the other options a dozen times over.) Now, he could not risk even dropping a granola bar into the child’s pocket as encouragement. [Read more…]
Big news! I’m excited!
Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure now has an official cover!
What’s that you say? What’s it look like? Well, to quote Bill Cosby quoting Noah: “I can’t tell you. Ha ha ha ha ha.”
Well, okay, that’s just mean. I want to show you! I want to tell you! But I can’t. Not just yet. But soon!
Wednesday, June 11th, to be exact. At noon, Pacific Standard Time, we’ll reveal the front cover for my comedic contemporary fantasy set in a world where reality TV heroes kill harpies in northern California and the Greek gods have their own Twitter feeds.
But wait, there’s more! (You probably figured that out already, what with all the other text below this, huh?) Are you familiar with Goodreads, the fantasti-huge site for readers, book reviews, and general book-related awesomeness? (It’s like Facebook for books, but, ya know, good!) Well, if 40 people add Zeus Is Dead to their “to read” bookshelf by June 11th (click that link to to the book’s Goodreads page and click the “Want to Read” button), I’ll release online an exclusive chapter from the book!
I need your help to get the word out, so please tell your friends! Heck, tell your enemies! (And that woman you always see at the grocery store with whom you can’t think of a good way to start a conversation? Now you have a way!) Add the book to your to-read shelves! Why am I using so many exclamation points?! Because I’m excited!
By the way, here’s what author Jonathan Charles Bruce had to say about Zeus Is Dead after reading an advance copy:
Delivering us from a sea of endlessly morose and self-important supernatural fiction, Zeus Is Dead understands that Greek mythology is more than a little bit insane and—rather than ignore the unseemly aspects—embraces them with the appropriate level of snark and style. Munz’s tale echoes the bureaucratic insanity of Douglas Adam’s creations, the banter of Grant and Naylor’s Red Dwarf, and the grudging cynicism of Ben Croshaw in order to bring us a clever, hilarious tale of adventure and grudging heroism.
I guess what I’m saying is that unless you really like your supernatural fiction all mopey and dull, you’ll find something to love here.
I quite like the cover (designed by artist Greg Simanson at Booktrope Publishing). I can’t wait to show it to you!
So a couple of weeks ago a fellow writer named Eric M. Ralph (who has the death sentence in twelve systems for aggravated punnery) asked me to talk about my writing process as part of a greater blog tour that’s spreading across the Internet: The Writing Process Blog Tour! (Cue fanfare, streamers, balloons…maybe a unicycling monkey in a Lara Croft cosplay for some reason…) His invitation to action ended with “Don’t make me destroy you,” so of course I said yes!
But first, a little about Eric: He does lots of stuff™! He also likes to write: books, short stories, poetry, speeches, and really disturbing puns. He has a self-described odd sense of humor, a blue and orange bow tie, and a novel: And God Said…An Absurd Tale of Love, Power, and Paperwork. (Hey, I should check that out…) You can find his own part of the tour here, but ignore any libelous codswallop about me that you find there.
And now, on with the content!
What am I working on?
I’m working on two things at the moment. (Well, three, if you count this blog entry. Though maybe that only counts if it’s RIGHT this moment—in which case I’m only working on this entry and nothing else but—okay, I’m over-parsing the question, aren’t I?) So, yes, two things: Working with my publisher (Booktrope) on the final part of the publishing process for Zeus is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure (my comedic fantasy about the Greek gods returning to public life in the modern day), and writing the third and final book in my cyberpunk series The New Aeneid Cycle.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It’s written by ME! (Boy, what a silly question!) Okay, so honestly I always think this is a bit of a loaded question. Every author brings their own unique perspective, voice, and nuance to any story they tell. A good deal of what comes from me is likely my sense of humor, which ranges from deconstructive to just plain goofy. There’s less of it in The New Aeneid Cycle, as those are serious novels (though certain characters within them have a sense of humor that’s informed by my own), but the humor nozzle is on full blast for Zeus is Dead. I had so much fun writing it.
I’ve also found that I have a thing for the concept of memory and of Greek mythology…
Why do I write what I do?
Some writers write to give voice to their deepest yearnings, strongest opinions, or universal truths they feel cannot be expressed in any other form. While such things do find their way into my writing, my primary motivation is simply to tell a good story. I write to entertain, both myself and my readers. I love to grab a reader’s emotions, pull them to the edge of their seat with excitement, laughter, or intrigue, and keep them there for as long as I can.
I confess I also take a special delight in making a reader curse me at the end of a chapter because they just can’t help but turn the page. (If a beta-reader wants to beat me over the head because they just finished a chapter and I haven’t yet written the next one, I consider it a success.)
How does my writing process work?
Heh. “Writing process.” Like it’s so organized. …Well, okay, so it kind of is. I tend to front-load the work in the sense that I prefer to plan things out ahead of time:
- I get my premise, which can often take a long while as I search for an idea that excites me enough to keep me interested the entire time it will take me to write a novel.
- Sketch the main characters, create a “step sheet”/outline that shows the flow of both character arcs and plot progression, and a general bunch of notes about the setting itself to help inform the writing.
- Actually write, using the step sheet and character sketches as a guide. This does NOT mean such things are inviolate. On multiple occasions I might come up with new ideas as I go (and certain parts of my outline might simply say “whatever seems to make sense for the characters at this point”), change directions, or even discover that the characters themselves have tapped me on the shoulder (or punched me in the face) to say they’d do things differently.
- Edit, revise, agonize, improvise, and probably eat some pizza.
Next on the tour…
Rachel Frost: An author, artist AND musician, Rachel is in the midst of writing a sequel to her first NA novel (Tsirash), in between a multitude of art and music projects. Nevertheless, she still has the good taste to play lots of video games.
Mary Lynne Gibbs: A former city-dweller now ensconced in Kentucky farmland, Mary is both an author and an actress. Her interests lie in fantasy, scifi, paranormal, and adventure fiction (so hey, she’s got excellent taste), and in creating worlds with strong female characters.
J. Edward Neill: J. Edward is a dark fantasy writer living in the southeastern United States. Among his inspirations are Dan Simmons’ characters, Shakespeare’s truths, and Tolkien’s wordiness. You’ll find no elves or dwarves in his writing, but epic tales written for adults with sharp (and slightly twisted) minds.
Gareth S. Young: Gareth is a lover of all the stuff and most of the things (that’s a direct quote), as well as a watcher, listener, thinker, and dreamer (that’s another direct quote). His psychological thriller Monsters, with a 4.4 rating on Amazon, is set in my own backyard in the shadow of Mt. Rainier (that’s a sentence I mostly wrote myself).
Look for their contributions on May 19th!
Whew, it’s been a busy few weeks here. I’ve been a bit slow in updating the blog, but I assure you it’s all for a good cause. There’s a lot happening on the Zeus is Dead front, which is what’s filling up most of my time, and most of that is due to the final edit on the manuscript itself. My Booktrope editor is giving me a lot of great comments and notes. It’s making the novel even better than it was, but it does mean that much of my time is taken up in reviewing and incorporating those notes into revisions. It’s fun (and it’s fantastic to work with someone as excited about the book as I am), but time consuming. Our deadline is April 15th, so I’m working hard to meet that. [Read more…]