The New Aeneid Cycle Blog Tour ~ Guest Post by Michael G. Munz

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-




Inspiration for Writing The New Aeneid Cycle

A Guest post by Author Michael G. Munz

It's difficult to describe a specific inspiration for writing the two novels that, so far, comprise The New Aeneid Cycle. (I say "so far" because I'm working on the third and final novel, which I hope to have finished by the end of this year.) Sometimes it feels like I draw inspiration from so many places that it's hard to narrow it down enough to talk about them in any sort of manner that isn't just one long list.

The trouble, I suppose, involves my tendency to absorb things from numerous sources, which then germinate in my head before sprouting anew, often without my realizing their original influence at first. (Wow, that sounds terribly pretentious, doesn't it? "I am the fertile earth in which others' work grows in order to become the mighty oak!" Get over yourself, Michael! Honestly, that's not how I meant it. If anything, I mean I sometimes lack self-awareness of my influences until I really step back and ponder it.)

In thinking about how to answer the question of what inspired me to write the series, therefore, I've decided to focus on one of the central themes in the second book in the series, A Memory in the Black.

Well, okay, first let me step back a bit to give you a general answer about why I picked the cyberpunk genre in general. I love to write stories that tweak our modern world with some additional element, be that fantasy (a Greek god in a Starbucks, anyone?), supernatural, or science fiction. When it comes to sci-fi, while I do enjoy settings centuries or even millennia in the future (Hyperion and Dune are two favorites, and of course I love most Star Trek), it's more interesting to me—as a writer—to work closer to the present. Cyberpunk allow me to pose more immediate questions of how technology might affect us on societal and personal levels. Plus—and I fully admit that this is also a huge draw for me—how cool would it be to have a camera in your eyes, or to plug a wire into your mind and enter a completely immersive version of World of Warcraft where you see and feel everything as if you were really there? The genre represents an excellent playground to write in. Yes, cyberpunk can be bleak, but I try to inject some hope and humor into my own take on the genre.

As for A Memory in the Black, the concept of memory has always fascinated me. There are people and experiences in each of our lives that we want to remember forever. Sometimes a memory is all we have left of such things, so we struggle to keep those memories as fresh and complete as we can, frightened to lose them. (This aspect of aging can terrify me if I think about it too much.) Other memories are so terrible that they haunt us forever, as much as we might strive to forget them.

So I often wonder how much of our memories comprise just who we are. Our personalities are shaped by our experiences, but how much? And what if we no longer remember those experiences? How do memories of things like love, betrayal, or guilt guide our actions in the present? Memories are the fuel for obsession, devotion, determination, and desire. In A Memory in the Black, aided by the wonders of cyberpunk technology, I get to explore this from multiple angles and through multiple characters, both human and...otherwise.

Also there are some interesting bits about an alien derelict on the moon and assorted cybernetic mayhem, so that's fun, too.

Now there IS one other major element in this series for which I could talk about my inspiration, but to do so would require giving away a significant spoiler for the first book: Who are the Agents of Aeneas, and what do they want with Michael Flynn?

So I'll just be quiet about that, for now.

Thanks for reading!



Synopsis–A Shadow in the Flames
Northgate is in turmoil. Decaying, violent, and corrupt, it is a common enough city in 2051, yet soon, discoveries beneath the Moon’s surface will mark the city with their first distant echoes.

New arrival Michael Flynn is jobless and down to his last few dollars, but he still dreams of making a positive difference of his own. He has no family, no friends—save for the freelancer known only as Diomedes—and tonight the apartment they share will burn to the ground.

When Diomedes becomes his mentor in a search for the arsonist responsible, Michael will get the chance to realize his dreams. Joining them is Felix, a wise-cracking “information bounty hunter” who claims that neither the arsonist nor the man Michael idolizes are quite what they appear.

Will Michael find the courage to pass through the flames unscathed, or will the violence that surrounds him incinerate all that he is? Those who search the Moon will be watching...

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Synopsis–A Memory in the Black
Save humanity from itself. It is the goal of the worldwide conspiracy known as the Agents of Aeneas. For months they have struggled to unlock the secrets of an alien spacecraft buried on the Moon. Now word of that craft has leaked, and multiple groups plot to seize it for themselves.

One man has plumbed its depths and returned alive. While Agent Michael Flynn protects him from those who believe that he knows too much, together they must find a demon from Michael’s past: the freelancer Diomedes. Michael’s violent ex-mentor, Diomedes murdered a man at the heart of the spacecraft’s discovery. They must learn why.

Meanwhile the vigilante Gideon, slain by Diomedes six months ago, has been seen alive in the city of Northgate. His baffling return will draw two women into dangers far beyond those that lurk in the city.

Memories that haunt them all will entangle their fates as one in the blackness.

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Author Bio
An award-winning writer of speculative fiction, Michael G. Munz was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Washington State 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 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. Among his sci-fi influences are the writings of Dan Simmons, Frank Herbert, 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.

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