Blog Tour: Minotaur by Phillip W. Simpson

Oct 1, 2015

Hello, creatures of the book world! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Minotaur by Phillip W. Simpson. I've been looking forward to this book because it's about, well, a Minotaur! And I don't know about you, but that seems awfully interesting. Phillip is here today talking about myth and fiction, and you can enter to win a copy of his book, so be sure to check it all out!



[Beauty and the Bookshelf: Here's Phillip to talk about Mixing Myth with Fiction!]

All myth and legends are asking for a right good retelling. Why? Because no-one was around to verify the ‘so called facts’. Even Homer writing about the Trojan war in the Iliad wasn’t there. The Trojan war was around 1300 BCE (before Christian Era – essentially the same as B.C.) and Homer was probably writing around 850 BCE. We are talking at least four hundred years difference here.

Stories from two years ago get diluted, exaggerated and willfully changed. Heck, stories from two days ago get the same treatment. Do you expect any less from stories that are thousands of years old!

So what is a myth and how is it different than fiction? Myths are verbal traditions. Why? Because most of the ancients were illiterate. The ancient Greeks certainly were (prior to and during the Trojan war). Seems odd to say it because the Iliad and the Odyssey are two of the more famous works of literature.

Most of the ancient Greeks were duller than mud (in the literate sense). Sounds harsh but there you are. Not much smarter than your average preschooler. I wouldn’t say that to their face obviously because I’d get a right good kicking (if the events in the Iliad are anything to go by – everybody gets a right good kicking in that book).

A myth is handed down generation from generation, story teller to story teller. They are part cautionary tale, part entertainment. They usually have a lesson to impart or a warning – essentially that if you mess with the Gods, you’re going to get it. If you are guilty of hubris (pride), then you’ll get it even harder. And don’t annoy Zeus.

So, a myth is a made up story with a message attached. How is that different than fiction? It’s not really. Fiction is a made up story with (usually) a message attached. Basically, the two are almost interchangeable and easily mixed. The only difference is that with a myth, the so called ‘facts’ are almost uncontested. In other words, people accept the myth. Well, accept is perhaps too strong a word – they just can’t be bothered querying something that was clearly made up and isn’t really relevant anymore. It’s not like the Gods are going to strike us down for our heresy or something (Please don’t smite me, all mighty Zeus).

Myths and fiction are old friends. You could say that myths were the first forms of fiction. The first best sellers, the first blockbusters. I’d imagine that great storytellers would’ve been regarded as rock stars with legions of adoring fans.

Finally we come to Minotaur. I took the myth and fictionalized it. Basically, there’s so many holes in the myth it could impersonate Swiss cheese. The fictionalization was easily done due to a lack of eye witness accounts, scanty evidence and a tale that’s been twisted to promote the interests of the most powerful city state at the time (Athens). In other words, creative license. The two words an author loves the most!

And it’s not like I’m the first (or the last) author to do it either. My next two books are based on Greek myth. There’s just so much rich fare contained within, I can’t control myself.

Oh and Zeus? Watch yourself. You never know, it might be you who gets the treatment next (please don’t smite me).


TitleMinotaur
Author: Phillip W. Simpson
Publisher: Month9Books
Publishing Date: September 29, 2015
Pages: 278
Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble

“Where shall I start?” asked Minotaur.

Ovid made an expansive gesture with both hands. “Where else but the beginning of course.”

Minotaur nodded his huge head. “Yes,” he said. “Yes,” his eyes already glazing over with the weight of thousand year old memories. And then he began.

So begins the story of Asterion, later known as Minotaur, the supposed half bull creature of Greek legend. Recorded by the famous Roman poet, Ovid, Asterion tells of his boyhood in Crete under the cruel hand of his stepfather Minos, his adventures with his friend, Theseus, and his growing love for the beautiful Phaedra. And of course what really happened in the labyrinth.

This is the true story of the Minotaur.


Phillip W. Simpson is the author of many novels, chapter books and other stories for children. His publishers include Macmillan, Penguin, Pearson, Cengage, Raintree and Oxford University Press.
He received both his undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Archaeology and his Masters (Hons) degree in Archaeology from the University of Auckland.

Before embarking on his writing career, he joined the army as an officer cadet, owned a comic shop and worked in recruitment in both the UK and Australia.

His first young adult novel, Rapture (Rapture Trilogy #1), was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for best Youth novel in 2012.

He is represented by Vicki Marsdon at Wordlink literary agency.

When not writing, he works as a school teacher.

Phillip lives and writes in Auckland, New Zealand with his wife Rose, their son, Jack and their two border terriers, Whiskey and Raffles. He loves fishing, reading, movies, football (soccer) and single malt Whiskeys.



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