Today BLI is thrilled to welcome Kevin Hearne, the Author of the critically acclaimed and highly anticipated Iron Druid Chronicles. HOUNDED, the first book in Kevin’s series of stories about the adventures of Druid Atticus O’Sullivan is to be released on May 3rd. Book 2 ~ HEXED will be published on June 7th. Fans of Kevin’s series won’t have to wait long because HAMMERED, Book 3 of the series is scheduled for publication on July 5th!
Kevin! Thank you so much for joining us today, it’s such a pleasure to be able to chat with you.
Kevin can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I teach high school English and raise my daughter in the finest traditions of modern geekery. She loves her Star Wars, Monty Python, and Doctor Who, which means she uses the Force to help a five-ounce bird carry a one-pound coconut through all of space and time. I’m very proud.
Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
I write at the kitchen table where I have a full view of my bird feeder. The feeder is only six feet from where I sit, just a window separating us. The birds do their thing, and the cats watch them intently, and it’s this great little tableau where all seems very peaceful, but you know that serious shit could go down if the cats decide they can’t take the temptation anymore. It’s peace with a predatory edge to it. Perfection.
HOUNDED was written without an outline, but I did write chapter outlines for the second two books. The outlines helped quite a bit—I wrote much more quickly. But I didn’t follow them slavishly, either. If you looked at my outline for HEXED and compared it to the finished book, you’d see I completely rearranged the order of events, left out some plot points but added others and even a couple of major characters. So I like a scaffolding to my stories to speed things along, but I exercise a lot of freedom in building the story from there.
What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Given all our entertainment options these days, a real book lover is the one who consistently picks up a book for fun—I really think it’s that simple. Casual readers pick up books when they have time to kill on a cross country flight.
You’re a member of the League of Reluctant Adults and we have to admit that we are huge fans. Why did you join their ranks? What makes you a reluctant adult?
Nicole Peeler invited me to the League; she was one of the very first people to read HOUNDED—she blurbed it for me, in fact—and she must have realized while reading it that I have some maturity issues. Saying yes was a no-brainer, because I was already a fan of some of the writers in there, and I’ve been slowly getting familiar with the rest. As far as what makes me a reluctant adult, well, I hang out with teenagers all day and make rude noises; I recently put fried bull balls into my next book because Kelly Meding triple-dog dared me; and whenever I’m in a restaurant, I catapult sugar packets off the end of my spoon (real sugar works best; sugar substitute packets don’t have the proper heft).
If you were given a chance to visit any urban fantasy world (they can be from books/tv or movies) which one would it be and what characters would you like to meet and have a nice beer with?
I’d like to visit Merlotte’s from the Sookie Stackhouse novels. It would be amusing to hang out with Lafayette and Hoyt and watch Lafayette just mess with Hoyt’s head. Because you know he would.
Your Iron Druid Chronicles are set in a vivid urban fantasy word- what is the ultimate UF appeal for you? Do you plan to also write in other genres—for example fantasy?
I love the basic premise of fantasy and mythological critters living among us in the modern world. To me, the genre is still a vast, unexplored frontier; there is so much room to try new things, and focusing on a Druid was my attempt to do that. I do have an epic fantasy on the back burner and I toy with it every so often. Hopefully I’ll be able to wrestle that into shape soonish.
Why did you put a druid against the powerful fae? What makes this legend interesting to you?
A lot of the original Fae—and by that I mean the Tuatha Dé Danann—don’t get much love in fiction aside from the Morrigan. What you mostly see are stories that come from later English or Germanic traditions and they have very little to do with Irish mythology. So I wanted to explore that pantheon a bit and take people back to these somewhat scary beings who went underground centuries ago to become the Fae. My manic need to do so was inspired by my daughter, who was obsessed at the time with Walt Disney’s fairies. Like any good Irish dad, I explained to her that those weren’t true Fae; they were shallow American corporate creations designed to titillate her and empty my wallet. I told her instead that the real Fae would have taken her to Tír na nÓg when she was a baby if I hadn’t guarded her crib with a squad of dwarven ninjas. Most kids only get dangling mobiles, see. She was suitably thankful.
You’re using a wide range of mythologies – i/e Norse and Hindu – are you planning on using other myths and legends from other countries in future novels? And did you decide to not make your novels western culture centered on purpose?
Yeah, since I’m fascinated by what all these old gods would do in the modern world—fighting for relevance and all that—you can look forward to seeing quite a few of them. You’ll see Finnish, Russian, Chinese, Roman, and Native American deities for starters. Down the road—provided people like the series and I get more road to play with—you’ll see gods from the Nigerian, Japanese, and Greek pantheons.
Why do you think the appeal of the “Iron” title books is rising at the moment even though they mostly don’t even belong to the same genre? Is Iron the new Blood?
I was surprised as anyone by the sudden appearance of all these “Iron” titles. It’s kind of fascinating, really, how the zeitgeist manifests itself sometimes. All of these titles were conceived in isolation months apart by people who don’t know each other (or don’t even write the same kinds of books, as you said), but now they’re being released in quick succession. I’m powerless to explain.
What are the 4 characteristics a good hero should have? Does Atticus fit that bill?
Sorry, but the Reluctant Adult is going to come out here. A good hero should have:
1. A nice smile.
2. Improbably tight buttocks.
3. An awesome sidekick.
4. Good credit. Atticus has all of these. And this list, by the way, is why Batman is better than Superman. Superman never had a decent sidekick.
Are you listening to music while writing and if yes can you give us a glimpse into your Iron Druid Chronicles playlist?
I do listen to music quite a bit while I write. It’s classical guitar instrumentals, mostly, because lyrics can derail me from using the words that want to bubble up out of my subconscious. I really enjoy Rodrigo y Gabriela. But when I have to write violent scenes, I change it up. I listen to DragonForce, Megadeth, Amon Amarth, stuff like that. After a minute or so of their music, I’m ready to kill off some characters and let the limbs fall where they may.
Will there be more books in this series?
I sure hope so! Like any other series, it depends on sales. If people buy it, then the publisher will happily let me continue. I’ve plotted through book six and I’m planning on ending it at seven or nine. Eight is simply impossible.
Anything else we should keep our eyes open for?
If things go well, a secret project I’m working on will be announced sometime over the summer. And you should keep your eyes open for me at San Diego Comic Con, if you’re going.
Now to the mean questions.
Can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Hmm. Well, I’m not a fan of the hard sell, but if you’ve ever wanted to talk to your dog (and have him answer back), if you’ve ever been curious about the old Irish pantheon, and if you’d like a truly different urban fantasy hero—a Druid in the desert—then you’d probably enjoy my series.
Can you summarize Hounded for us twitterstyle (140 characters or less)?
Gods! Demons! Polish witches! A vampire with a grudge against Thor! Whiskey! Redheads! A magic sword! Smoosh together, that’s HOUNDED.
Kevin, thank you so much for joining us today, it’s been great fun!
Where to find Kevin:
Kevin has generously offered a signed Bookplate to one lucky commenter & BLI will be pre-ordering the winner a copy of their choice of HOUNDED or HEXED from the Book Depository!
All you have to do is leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please leave us a way to contact you.
(Email in blogger profile or twitter name – no way to contact you – no entry).
This giveaway is open worldwide!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, April 30, 2011; and we will announce the winner on Sunday.