Monday, August 11, 2014

Blog Tour, Interview & Giveaway: Zeus is Dead by Michael G. Munz!

Title:Zeus is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure
Author: Michael G. Munz
Genre: Contemporary Mythological Fantasy
Release date: July 21st, 2014
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
Length: 446 pages (paperback)

Book Synopsis:

The gods are back. Did you myth them?

You probably saw the press conference. Nine months ago, Zeus's murder catapulted the Greek gods back into our world. Now they revel in their new temples, casinos, and media empires—well, all except Apollo. A compulsive overachiever with a bursting portfolio of godly duties, the amount of email alone that he receives from rapacious mortals turns each of his days into a living hell.

Yet there may be hope, if only he can return Zeus to life! With the aid of Thalia, the muse of comedy and science fiction, Apollo will risk his very godhood to help sarcastic TV producer Tracy Wallace and a gamer-geek named Leif—two mortals who hold the key to Zeus's resurrection. (Well, probably. Prophecies are tricky buggers.)

Soon an overflowing inbox will be the least of Apollo’s troubles. Whoever murdered Zeus will certainly kill again to prevent his return, and avoiding them would be far easier if Apollo could possibly figure out who they are.

Even worse, the muse is starting to get cranky.

Discover a world where reality TV heroes slay actual monsters and the gods have their own Twitter feeds: Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure!

Get Zeus is Dead now from Amazon & BN!


What inspired you to write Zeus is Dead?
Oh, the inspiration has come in little chunks ever since the mid-1990s. I grew up reading Greek mythology, and soon after I started writing novels I knew I wanted to write a new myth with those characters. I loved the idea so much, though, that I wanted to develop my abilities for a while in order to do it justice. In 2002, when I first wrote the short story "Playing With Hubris,"—in which a modern man meets two people in a café claiming to be Apollo and Thalia—I realized the potential that lurked within putting mythological characters into our modern world. I played with the concept in a couple more short stories until, in late 2008, I decided it was time to use the concept in a novel-length tale.

Once I realized that Apollo, who seemed to have far more things to keep track of than the other gods, would have so much more to do with so many more mortals in the world, everything just fell into place after that.

What is your favorite Greek myth? Why is that your favorite?
I really like The Odyssey. It's a long one, with all sorts of adventures, and Odysseus is one of my favorite Greek heroes, because he's one of the clever ones.

The Odyssey is a great read. My personal favorite is Hades & Persephone. Now, let's pretend Hollywood agents are banging down your door right now, optioning Zeus Is Dead for a film or tv adaptation. Who makes up your dream cast?
Well, okay, just because you asked, I'll pretend. I've never ever thought of this on my own, of course. Heavens, no!
The Immortals:
Apollo: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Ares: Jeffrey Donovan
Dionysus: Nathan Fillion (I had him in mind specifically when writing it, even)
The Erinyes: Helena Bonham Carter, Natalie Dormer, & Gigi Edgley?
Hades: George Clooney
Hecate: Claudia Black
Hera: Lena Headey
Hermes: David Tennant
Poseidon: Bruce Campbell
Thalia: Isla Fisher
The Mortals:
Leif Karlson: Arthur Darvill or Fran Kranz
Richard Kindgood: Mark Sheppard
Jason Powers: Chris Evans
Tracy Wallace: Emma Stone or Alison Brie

There are a number of other characters I'm undecided about just yet: Demeter, Artemis, Aphrodite, Thad, etc.

David Tennant and Helena Bonham Carter? Yes to that. I've heard that some authors have to use a very specific pen or drink only one tea while they write. Do you have any writing quirks like these?
Before I switched to writing on a laptop, I used to always write with a gold Cross pen that used to be my dad's. (He's fine. He just gave it to me.) I still carry it with me. I also prefer to write outside of my home. For one thing, despite the additional stimuli, there are fewer distractions for me than there are at home, and I can really get into my "author" mindset. I prefer cafés—cliché be damned—but not any café will do. The best places to write are visually warm, cozy but not claustrophobic, and vibrant but not crowded. I also can't write at a table that puts my back to the room. The thought of people looking over my shoulder as I write—even though they likely have better things to do with their time—is too distracting.

Plus Frank Herbert's Dune taught me to never to sit with my back to the door. Assassins, you know.

That's true. Damn those pesky assassins. Do you remember a definitive moment when you realized that you wanted to be a novelist?
I had that particular epiphany during the summer after my freshman year of college when I was staying at my parents' house and feeling pretty isolated. (I should mention that it wasn't some sort of Harry Potter-esque forced-to-live-in-a-closet-all-summer sort of deal. My parents are great people, and even if they had forced me to live in a closet, I'm sure it would have been a very comfortable closet. I was just having trouble dealing with being away from everyone that I'd gotten know that year.)

Reading was, therefore, one of my refuges against my late-teen/early-adult angst. I have a vivid memory of eating popcorn in my bedroom while reading Terry Brooks's The Elfstones of Shannara for the first time. When I took a moment to reflect on how much I was enjoying it, I had this watershed moment and realized how fulfilling it would be to give others the same enjoyment via my own writing.

I'm fairly certain that it had nothing at all to do with the popcorn. But I can't prove it.

Did you have a favorite character to write? A least favorite?
My favorite was Thalia, the Muse of Comedy (and Science Fiction). She's a geek, upbeat, and she has zero filter. If she has a spirit-animal, it's a hummingbird on crack. My least favorite? Well, I enjoyed writing The Fates, but they were a challenge. They needed to be sufficiently...askew from the rest of the characters. Writing them was a slow process, but I had to live up to the statement I make in the book that "The Fates are beyond."

How would you describe Zeus is Dead in 10 words or less?
Hilarious, geektastic adventure about the gods' return to our world." or "The best book with chainsaw-wielding erinyes that you'll ever read." or maybe "Why you should stay out of antiques shops in Swindon."

I know that you've written science fiction books in the past, and that Thalia in Zeus is Dead is a muse of science fiction and comedy alike. What are some of the sci-fi films/shows/books or comedic works that have helped influenced your storytelling?
My greatest sci-fi influence is Hyperion by Dan Simmons. I aspire to become that skilled at weaving such an intricate tapestry of plot and character. Combining sci-fi and comedy, there is of course none greater than Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide series. The TV series Farscape is also a big influence – that show had a knack for turning established concepts on their strangest ear and finding something new. (Thalia even uses "frell" now and again. I figure a muse of sci-fi had to have a hand in making Farscape great, after all.) I should also mention Rich Burlew's "The Order of the Stick" webcomic, of which I am a fan. This is far from an exhaustive list, of course...

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers out there who want to put their book out into the world?
Be patient. I mean that both with regard to the writing itself and the submission process. For the former, I know (believe me) you're excited to get your story out there, but you wouldn't send your child out on a winter day without a coat, would you? Be sure you don't send your story out before it's as polished as you can get it, even if it means a rewrite.

For the latter, querying agents and publishers takes time. It's a gauntlet of frustration that you have to run, and sometimes it seems like the only progress you're managing to make involves collecting rejections. Don't give up. Learn how to query, how to pitch (there are some great resources online for this—and I'm suddenly thinking I should put some up on my own site soon), and remember, it will take time, unless you get lucky right off the bat.

Or your dad owns a publishing empire. (Be sure to ask your dad if he does. Dads can keep these things secret!)

Oh, and if you do decide to go the self-publishing road, don't rush in. Take a little time to research your options and have a look at tips from self-published authors who've done it well. (Brian Rathbone is one I'd recommend on that front.)

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about Zeus is Dead or future works?
You mentioned my sci-fi novels (The New Aeneid Cycle). Though I've been focused on working with Booktrope to launch Zeus Is Dead lately, I am still working on writing the third book in that series as well, which is tentatively titled "A Dragon at the Gate". What's more, Booktrope will be re-publishing the first two books (A Shadow in the Flames and A Memory in the Black) within the next few months.

Lately, people often ask me if Zeus Is Dead is suitable for kids. I wrote it for adults, with adult or immortal characters, so there is some mention of sex (but no actual sex scenes). Think of it as in the same vein as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in terms of maturity. Or, if you've never read that, if Zeus Is Dead were a movie, it'd be rated PG-13.

Also, if you've never read The Hitchhiker's Guide, read it!

...But after you've read Zeus Is Dead. ;)

Thank you so much, Michael, for stopping by for this interview!

About the Author
An award-winning writer of speculative fiction, Michael G. Munz was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Washington State in 1977 at the age of three. Unable to escape the state’s gravity, he has spent most of his life there and studied writing at the University of Washington.

Michael developed his creative bug in college, writing and filming four exceedingly amateur films before setting his sights on becoming a novelist. Driving this goal is the desire to tell entertaining stories that give to others the same pleasure as other writers have given to him. He enjoys writing tales that combine the modern world with the futuristic or fantastic.

Michael has traveled to three continents and has an interest in Celtic and Classical mythology. He also possesses what most “normal” people would likely deem far too much familiarity with a wide range of geek culture, though Michael prefers the term geek-bard: a jack of all geek-trades, but master of none—except possibly Farscape and Twin Peaks.

Michael dwells in Seattle where he continues his quest to write the most entertaining novel known to humankind and find a really fantastic clam linguine.

Find out more about him at While there, it wouldn't hurt to get a FREE copy of Mythed Connections, the spiritual prequel to Zeus is Dead.

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You can follow the rest of the tour by clicking here.

And for more fun, click here to take a quiz to see what Greek myth character you are! I'm The Fates- what are you?


  1. This book sounds great, and I love the interview, such a funny guy. I'd have to say that I think Hades would fare best in our world (this might be favoritism but oh well). He could definitely pull off the rock star look or fit in with the goths with plenty of minions at his command.

    1. I can see Hades chillin' with the goths. I mean, I'd go mosh with Hades.

    2. Took the quiz and I got

      God of the Sun, Healing, Prophecy, Truth, Light, Music, Literature, Gelatin Desserts, Archery—look, a freaking lot of stuff, okay?

      You're an artist. Also, you're an overachiever. Admit it. But that's a good thing! You get things done, and you neither shirk responsibility nor abide those who do. Okay, so sometimes it means you don't really get a lot of free time, but if you don't do this stuff, then who will?

      Just ease up before you have a heart attack, okay?

  2. Thanks for inviting me to do the interview! I hope you all enjoy the book.

    And hmm, Hades and Hecate could band together to have their own joint goth temple, couldn't they?