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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Guest post from George O'Connor, author of The Olympians series + GIVEAWAY | Aphrodite Blog Tour

Anyone who knows me (and probably most of you, who internet-know me) knows that when it comes to mythology, I'm always down. From the time I was a very small child, I've just eaten it up, thanks to healthy doses of things like Clash of the Titans, Conan/Red Sonja, The Beastmaster, Hercules/Xena, etc., etc. (ie, all of the things that my dad and I watched OVER AND OVER, much to the chagrin of my mom). Can't get enough.
So of course, I was more than happy to have George O'Connor, author of the graphic novel series, The Olympians, stop by to chat with us about the latest installment, Aphrodite: Goddess of Love - and give YOU a chance to win a copy!
Enjoy and good luck! =)

Hi, all you Book Rat-ifiers, my name is George O’Connor and I’ll be your guest blogger for today. I’m making a blogcrawl in celebration of my new book Aphrodite: Goddess of Love and the good ratfolks at Book Rat have been kind enough to lend me their platform. Aphrodite is the sixth volume of Olympians, an ongoing graphic novel series that I write and draw which retells classic Greek Myth, one deity at a time.
Book Rat is my eighth stop on my Aphrodite blogcrawl, and I try to draw inspiration on what to write (because most of my hosts have rather foolhardily allowed me to choose my topic of rumination—bwahahaha…) from either the blog’s mission statement or title. Now, Book Rat, that’s pretty evocative to be sure, but of what? Rats don’t feature all that much into Greek mythology (I guess because this was in the days before the Norway rat swept over the world to its current level of prominence). The only Olympian with any sort of rat connection I can really think of is Apollo, both due to his role in bringing plagues and in protecting harvests from locusts and rats. But that’ snot fun to write, and besides we’re here to talk about Aphrodite.
So, I thought, extending my brain, what other connotation does ‘rat’ have, besides the larger mouse-like mammal? Before we go any further, I do want to say that I like rats. I have a few friends with pet rats, and they’re delightful and affectionate animals. AS a New Yorker, there are many times that I have been entertained by their antics, running around in the subways.  Rats, by which I mean the rodents, are good people. Which I say, because of course, a rat is also a term for a decidedly bad type of person.  A dis-trustworthy, unreliable, sneaky type of person. NOT THE SORT OF PERSON ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS BLOG WOULD EVER, EVER BE CONFUSED WITH.
Aphrodite is not a rat. She’s a being of pure love, literally. She has had her share of affairs and certainly that involved sneaking around, but that’s because, as a being of pure love, she has a lot of love to share. Human morality doesn’t apply to Olympians Gods. If it did, the myths sure would be a lot more dull, and I certainly would have a lot less readers.  No the ‘rat’ in Aphrodite is none other than Zeus, King of the Gods himself.
At this point I invite the reader to take an examination of the cover of Aphrodite: Goddess of Love with me. Front and center is the beauteous Goddess of Love herself, holding aloft the golden apple, her prize for winning the Judgment of Paris. Beneath her winged son Eros (Cupid), her lovely attendants the Charites give their adulation; ion the right side, Athena and Hera, her competition in the Judgment of Paris, look on scowlingly. And there, behind Hera, is Zeus himself. The dirty look on his wife’s face is nothing compared to the look on his. Additionally, he has his back turned to Aphrodite, a sure sign of his displeasure. But why?
Aphrodite, as I mentioned, is a being of pure love, a self-made deity wrought from sea foam and pure Eros, the love force, the generative power of the Cosmos. Zeus, as even someone with the most casual acquaintance with Greek myth will know, is a God who likes the ladies. His greatest love is power, but his every other love after that is every other pretty face he sees. His greatest weakness, in effect, is that he falls in love every few minutes or so. And Aphrodite, lover personified, who just to be in her presence is to fall in love, has the ability to make Zeus fall under the sway of love’s power. Over and over and over again.
Zeus is threatened by the power of Aphrodite (not the first time a man has felt threatened by a powerful woman, certainly not the last). Zeus, who loves being the King of Gods and all the attendant power that brings, feels threatened by this newcomer Aphrodite, who moments after she comes ashore after her self-creation already has the gods at each other’s throats, vying for her attentions. This goddess can cause me some problems, thought the king of gods and men. So he engineers a power play. He positions himself as a father figure to Aphrodite, and marries her off to his son, Hephaistos. And when that move still doesn’t control her enough, he engineers a contest, a power struggle between Aphrodite and the two other most powerful goddesses on Olympus, Hera and Athena.  Power struggle designed in the most degrading way possible, as a beauty contest, and one judged by a mortal at that.
And that is the story of the book Aphrodite: Goddess of Love, and the story of that book’s rat.

The folks at First, Second have offered up a copy of Aphrodite to one lucky winner in the US or CAN. Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. Giveaway ends February 22nd at 12am EST. Winner will have 48 hours to respond with shipping info, or a new winner will be chosen.
PLEASE do not leave sensitive info, mailing addresses, or email addresses in the comments!

And make sure you check out more on the Aphrodite blog tour!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Aphrodite: Goddess of Love by George O'Connor
Get It | Add It
Mythology/Graphic Novel, 80 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by First Second
In volume six of Olympians, graphic novel author/artist George O'Connor turns the spotlight on Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Look for the same thoroughly researched and wonderfully accessible comics storytelling as O'Connor tackles the story of the Aphrodite from her dramatic birth (emerging from sea-foam) to her role in the Trojan War.

O'Connor has outdone himself with this volume: the story is riveting and the artwork is beyond compare. Greek mythology has never been so vivid!

George O'Connor is the author of several picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Kapow!, Kersplash, and Sally and the Some-thing. JOURNEY INTO MOHAWK COUNTRY was his first graphic novel, a long-held dream that weaves together his passion for history and ongoing research into Native American life. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


  1. Honestly I can say I have enjoyed reading Mr. O'Connor's post on the blogs on this blog tour. I love how he is using each blog's theme to write his post around. 3 of the blogs I follow (including this one) have been featured. I was even thinking to myself this morning what would his post say if he was on a tour at my blog!! LOL!! Angela's Anxious Life might be a hard one to do. Anyways... I love these books!! Can't wait till the whole series is out!


  2. Bravo! Most Greek mythology texts of all types focus on the negative aspects, and apply human (and Christian) morality to the gods. It's very refreshing to read someone who has clearly done his homework on Greek mythology, and clearly honors it in his work. I'd also like to add the extreme injustice poor Hera suffers, given Zeus' constant wandering eye (and other body parts) when his wife is the deity of, among other things, marriage. I look forward to checking out Aphrodite, and his other graphic novels!

  3. Stunning!! Thanks for the opportunity to win :)


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