Kevin Hearne is the author of the fantastic new urban fantasy series The Iron Druid Chronicles, the first three books are being released in rapid succession; with Hounded in May 2011, Hexed in July 2011 and Hammered in August 2011.
Unfortunately for fans the 4th installment is not due for release until April 2012. So while Kevin is busily working on Tricked we asked him to spend a little time answering some questions for us.
What got you started on your path as a writer?
Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which I read in college. It was such a brilliant book in terms of voice and point of view, and I wanted to find a unique voice like that for myself.
How do you juggle your work as an English teacher with writing your novels?
I can usually squeeze out 500-1000 words per day while I’m working. That slow but steady production helps quite a bit, and then when I’m on vacation or I have a good weekend I can manage to write a bit more.
How did you manage to turn 8 pages of a web comic into a full length novel, and then a series?
Once I began to research the old Irish legends for a plausible reason why a Druid might still be alive and hiding all this time, the plot of Hounded sort of suggested itself; Fragarach was a named sword given to an Irish king by the Tuatha Dé Danann, but there’s no record of him ever giving it back.
I decided to play with that, and once I had Hounded plotted, the consequences of the Druid’s actions suggested more adventures, and it grew from there.
Your current series is The Iron Druid Chronicles, what can you tell us about it?
The series follows the adventures of Atticus O’Sullivan, a 2,100-year old Druid who has spent most of the last two millennia hiding from various gods and monotheists who’d rather see him dead. Once he decides to stop running and fight, he discovers he’s a bit more powerful than anyone expected. He attracts the attention of several pantheons in the process, so fans of mythology should find plenty to enjoy here.
At the moment The Iron Druid Chronicles is 3 books and you are working on the 4th, which suprised me that it didn’t start with a H to tell the truth. Have you got a definite number of novels in mind for the series, or does that depend on what Atticus and Oberon get up to?
Right now I’m contracted for six, but as long as the series keeps selling well I’m sure they’ll let me write some more. I’m planning to write either seven or nine books for the series in total—some of the later details are a bit up in the air at the moment.
Oberon is a fabulous animal, he endeared himself to me immediately, and I’m wondering; do you have an Oberon in your life?
I have a couple of wee dogs because I don’t have a proper space for a large dog like a wolfhound. But I talk to my dogs quite a bit and I’ve always wished they could talk back. One is a pug named Manley (after British poet Gerard Manley Hopkins) and the other is a Boston Terrier named Sophie.
Where do you get your inspiration?
It is a sacred mystery and I don’t question it. Instead I maintain a shrine in the garden.
What is one interesting fact that we wouldn’t know about you?
I used to sing five nights a week next to the famous opera tenor Brandon Jovanovich. This was back in college. We were both singing waiters and paid the bills with our tips. His was the much better voice, of course. If listening to me was like eating a stale crumbly cookie, listening to him was a slice of smooth chocolate mousse.
I have read that you collect comic books, have you got a favourite?
Right now my favorite book is called Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory. I got to meet them at Phoenix Comic Con and just geeked out. Brilliant guys.
Can you give us a ballpark figure how many comic books you have? And do you actually read them or do you keept them pristine and as a collection?
At this time I only have around five hundred because I sold off the bulk of it about ten years ago and limited myself to reading just a few titles after that. I definitely read them—they’re meant to be read!
Seems like you must have a pretty hectic schedule so this next question may be a little laughable but what do you do in your downtime?
I like to hang out with my daughter. Usually we draw or paint together. We also enjoy watching Doctor Who—that episode with Vincent Van Gogh and the blind space chicken was our favourite.
What’s next for Kevin Hearne?
I need to finish up Tricked, book four, by the first week of August, and then dive into writing Trapped. Both of those are due to come out in 2012.
And, just as importantly, what’s next for Atticus and Oberon – or would that be spoiling the suspense?
Atticus and Oberon stay in Arizona for book four, but beginning with Trapped they’re going to be globetrotting quite a bit. Australia is a possible destination. I hope to get down there for research purposes.
Thank you for chatting with us!
I appreciate you asking me over. Cheers!