Kevin is the author of the popular Iron Druid Chronicles, featuring two-thousand-year-old druid Atticus O'Sullivan, and his Irish Wolfhound Oberon.
drey: Hello Kevin! Welcome to drey’s library, and thank you for taking the time to visit us this month as our Author!
Kevin: 'Tis a pleasure.
drey: Please introduce yourself to our readers, in 10 sentences or thereabouts…
Kevin: I'm a mild-mannered high school English teacher by day, and an even milder writer by night. I kind of wish I had a batcave or something to write in, because that would make my life sound exciting—especially if there was a secret entrance behind a bookcase—but the reality is I write at my kitchen table after dinner. I have a wife, a daughter who likes to draw, and two cute little dogs—a pug and a Boston terrier. In theory, there may be cats in the house, but as they completely ignore me, I'm going to ignore them right back. I imagine they will howl most piteously when they discover I have dissed them on your blog.
drey: Oooh, you are one brave soul, to put up with howling cats...
How long have you been a writer? When did you realize that this is what you’re meant to do?
Kevin: I started writing in college, after reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Ken Kesey was brilliant. My books aren't in his league, but hopefully people are entertained.
drey: Tell us a little bit about the Iron Druid Chronicles… Why a centuries-old druid (as opposed to anything/anyone else)?
Kevin: Part of it was simply because I'm Irish and interested in Celtic mythology. But another part of it was finding a magic user who could communicate with animals—not as a familiar, but as a true companion—because this was always going to be a series about a man and his dog. Making the man a Druid made more sense than making him a demon or a foul-tempered short-order cook.
drey: True, true... And I love the interactions between Atticus and Oberon--they make me laugh!
Can you share your road to publication? How did you celebrate getting published?
Kevin: It took me nineteen years, so my advice to any aspiring authors out there is to keep writing and don't give up. I wrote several books before I wrote HOUNDED. The story of Atticus and Oberon was actually something to keep me busy and entertained while I was waiting to hear back on another book. That book never got published, but once my agent submitted HOUNDED, four different publishers bid on it in just two weeks. After years of rejection, it was overwhelming to see a reaction like that from editors. But it came about partially through some market analysis: write what you want, by all means—I definitely wanted to write about an ancient Druid living in the modern world—but also keep an eye out for niches on the shelves that you can fill. I celebrated filling the Druid niche by drinking a lot with my friends and family at an Irish pub. :)
drey: Who are some of your favorite urban fantasy authors? What impact have they had on your own work?
Kevin: I like many of the same ones most folks do: Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs. Nicole Peeler is brilliant—she always makes me laugh. Every book of hers has a really loud "Bwah hah hah!" in there somewhere for me. Mostly the impact has been an attempt on my part to explore new territory. When you look at Carrie and Patricia's work, they've done werewolves so well that it's difficult to think of how to offer something fresh there. To be different, you almost have to go in the opposite direction, and for me that meant werewolves wouldn't be dominant in my series (heh!) and they'd be lawyers instead of blue-collar types.
drey: Oooh, a new author to stalk--I haven't read Nicole Peeler (yet!), and "bwah hah hah"s are a good thing!
We know that Atticus can slay gods… But let’s play Smackdown: The Urban Fantasy edition. Throw Atticus in the ring against the protagonist of another urban fantasy series. Who’s his opponent, who wins, and why?
Kevin: Regardless of the opponent, it depends on the setting. If you fight Atticus the city, where he's cut off from the power of the earth, you have a shot at winning. If you're outside, he's probably going to take you out, because he's a very skilled martial artist who will never tire so long as he can draw on the earth—and he's immune to most magic.
drey: Dang. I wouldn't want to be on his bad side... Or if I am, I'll have to make sure he's not anywhere near the earth...
What do you do to recharge your batteries?
Kevin: I hug trees. I get out of town and go walking in the forest, watching birds and squirrels and reminding myself that there is much more to life on this planet than whatever's trending on Twitter.
drey: Heh. I tweet when I'm not working, which means I have tweet-spurts followed by a whole lotta nothing...
I haven’t read Hexed or Hammered yet, so don’t know if Hammered is the end of the series. If it is, what’s up next for you? If it isn’t, what can we expect next for Atticus?
Kevin: The series will go on for a while, happily. I'm currently under contract for six books. Book four, TRICKED, will be out April 24, and you can expect some problems with trickster gods in that one. :)
drey: Six books? YAY!! I love it when I can get more of the characters I like... You'll have to visit us again in April!
And last but not least, the quickie-5 (Halloween edition):
- The Nightmare before Christmas or The Nightmare on Elm Street?
Tim Burton for the win!
- Trick or treat?
Treats are cool.
- Haunted houses or haunted hayrides?
I prefer houses.
- Costumes: Hand-made or Purchased?
It's all good. It's just fun.
- Pumpkin pie or pumpkin seeds?
Everyone, you can find Kevin online at his website www.kevinhearne.com, on facebook and twitter. And check out his books--I'll have a showcase up next week, but feel free to pick 'em up anyway. *grin*