Interview with Michael G. Munz
Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself?
I’m a speculative fiction writer and proud geek from the tiny little town of Seattle, Washington. When I’m not writing, I can be found reading, gaming (primarily on a PC at the moment), and occasionally venturing out into the natural sunlight to bike or interact with my fellow human beings and the occasional llama. I’m also excited to say that I recently won a Bronze Medal for fantasy in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards!
Of all the books you've written, do you have a favourite?
I’ve completed a total of four books, three of which are published, and of those four my favorite would have to be my comedic fantasy Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure. It was a blast to write, and an amazing challenge to try to plumb the comedic potential of Greek gods returning to our world while at the same time crafting an adventure story that holds together throughout the comedy.
You write in several genres. Do you have a favourite? And if so, why?
I write in sci-fi and fantasy, and my favorite at this point is fantasy. Both have massive potential for imagination, but fantasy seems to fit me more. There are generally fewer constraints, and with fantasy I don’t run the risk of a real-world technological advance making a story concept passé the way I might with science fiction. That’s not to say that I can’t still have fun writing science fiction, of course.
Who is your intended readership?
Geeks! And I use that term with pride. Being a sci-fi/fantasy writer, I’m a consumer of a lot of geek culture myself, and I think my own writing reflects that. It’s especially the case with Zeus Is Dead, as I lampooned, revered, referenced, and generally embraced a lot of geek culture in the narrative itself. Note that it is intended for adult geeks, or at least an audience mature enough to enjoy Douglas Adams’s works.
Why did you write Zeus Is Dead? What was your inspiration?
I’ve been fascinated with Greek and Roman mythology since I was a little boy. One of my favorite books to read (right after Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox) was a collection of myths. That interest carried through high school and even a few college courses. By then I’d realized that the Greek pantheon itself was full to bursting with a myriad of characters, all with very human passions, vices, strengths, and weaknesses. I wanted to use them in a myth of my own, and somewhere along the way the idea struck me that a juxtaposition of mythological characters in the modern day could be mined for hilarity, and then it just developed from there.
What did you enjoy most about writing your book?
Zeus Is Dead was the first humorous book I’ve written. For the first time I was able to embrace all the little side jokes that my brain always makes when I write—things I previously had to mostly ignore due to writing a more serious work. (Sometimes I managed to work some of that humor in anyway, via a comment made by a character with a sense of humor, but most of it had to be squelched in order to maintain the proper tone.) With Zeus Is Dead, I just let it spill onto the page. Some of it was lost in the editing process—as it should be—but not having to hold back felt very liberating.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I had that particular epiphany when I was nineteen during the summer after my freshman year of college. I was staying at my parents’ place, which was on the south end of a big island here in Washington State’s Puget Sound, and about an hour and a ferry ride away from anyone I knew. As a result, I was feeling pretty isolated and depressed. (I should mention that it wasn’t some sort of Harry Potter-esque forced-to-live-in-a-closet sort of thing. My parents are great, and even if they had forced me to live in a closet, I’m sure it would have been a very comfortable one. I was just having trouble dealing with being away from everyone that I’d gotten know that year.) Reading was one of my refuges against my late-teen/early-adult angst. I vividly remember lying on my bed eating popcorn while in the middle of reading Terry Brooks’s 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 the way Brooks’s writing was giving me.
I’m pretty sure it had nothing at all to do with the popcorn.
Are you working on another book?
I am! I’m doing my best to finish up the third and final book in my science fiction/cyberpunk series. Following A Shadow in the Flames (book one) and A Memory in the Black (book two), it’s tentatively titled A Dragon at the Gate. I’d hoped to have it ready for publication by this December, but it’s taking a longer than I’d planned to tie things up in a satisfactory fashion. I hope to have it completed by late winter 2016.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
After A Dragon at the Gate, I’m going back to the world of Zeus Is Dead. I don’t want to reveal too much just now, but it’s entirely possible that the title of that book will be Zeus Is Undead. Will there be zombies? It’s highly likely.
An award-winning writer of speculative fiction, Michael G. Munz enjoys writing tales that combine the futuristic or fantastic with the modern world and human themes. His driving desire is to craft entertaining stories that give to others the same pleasure that other writers have given to him. Among his influences are the writings of Dan Simmons, Terry Brooks, and Douglas Adams. Michael dwells in Seattle where he continues his quest to write the most entertaining novel known to humankind and find a really fantastic clam linguini. Find out more about him at michaelgmunz.com.
Zeus Is Dead
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!
Bronze Medalist: 2015 Readers' Favorite Book Awards
Finalist: 2015 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards
Zeus Is Dead is available at Amazon