Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Q&A Interview and Contest with Kevin Hearne

Kevin Hearne Interview Intro:

Hello everyone!  Book Monster Reviews and LITERAL ADDICTION are very proud to welcome the fabulous Kevin Hearne to our sites today!

Kevin has a wonderful Bio on his website and instead of trying to paraphrase, we figured we’d just borrow it for today’s Event:

Kevin Hearne“Born and raised in Arizona, Kevin got hooked on superhero comic books at an early age. He felt that the reading primers about Dick and Jane and their dog, Spot, were poorly plotted and featured flat, lifeless characters. Naturally, he wanted to read about heroic people in tights pummeling naughty people in tights—and he wanted them to keep up a steady patter of puns and make lots of references to back issues. Comic books were thirty-five cents back then and he got two dollars for his allowance. Life was awesome.

He remembers vividly seeing Star Wars when it was first released. He was seven years old, and his parents took him to see it at the Cine Capri in Phoenix, the largest screen in the state. When that Star Destroyer came looming out of the top of the screen, it was the coolest thing ever. Now he was hooked on comics and science fiction, though he hoped the Princess Leia coffee-roll hairstyle wouldn’t catch on. He played with TIE fighters, X-wings and action figures, and he used the Force and a plastic light saber to keep the peace as a Jedi. His beagle, when dressed with an appropriate wig, made a satisfactory Wookiee.

In high school he discovered the twin stimulants of Mountain Dew and Van Halen, which completed the now-famous social equation: Soda + guitar rock + comic book collection = hardcore nerd.

He attended college at Northern Arizona University, earning a degree in English Education. It was during this time that he first got the writing bug, thanks to Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He worked for the college newspaper both as an editorial cartoonist and as a feature columnist, and started a novel that he never finished featuring frogs and a junior high principal. It would be the first of many unfinished novels.

He taught high school English for three years in California before returning to teach in Arizona, where he continues to wax rhapsodic on the unparalleled style of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Kevin’s first novel, The Road to Cibola, took him six years to write and is an utter piece of trash that will never, ever be published. He can’t even tell you what genre it is. It involves the Russian mafia, Aztec treasure, eco-terrorists, and a national network of chop shops. However, from this experience he learned the extremely important lesson that he could finish a novel while holding down a day job. He’d work faster next time, and maybe write something that belonged in a bookstore.

He decided to try an epic fantasy. He wrote for three years and came up with 200,000 words or so, which turned out to be a bit long for an unknown author’s debut. He chopped it down and sent off a 114,000-word version to some agents, who all rejected it, but he also sent it to one publisher, who replied after only two weeks that it had passed the “first round” and would get passed on to other editors soon. He danced in the kitchen and put the letter on his fridge. A modicum of slush pile success! However, no other word came for many moons. He began to work on something else while he waited.

Kevin had an idea for a web comic featuring a Druid who could communicate mentally with animals, especially his own hound. Zuda.com was running a contest, and he scripted out eight pages and completed six of them before realizing that if he submitted his work, DC would own a piece of the characters, or maybe own them outright. He didn’t want that, because he liked these characters too much to share with anyone else. So he wrote a novel about Atticus and Oberon instead, and it turned out to be great fun and easier to write than anything else he’d tried before. He finished writing Hounded in eleven months, and still hadn’t heard back from the publisher about his epic fantasy. What the heck, he said, let’s try to get an agent with the urban fantasy.

He sent out a round of twelve queries and got some nibbles, but all ultimately rejected him. Sigh. He tweaked his first chapter for the twentieth time, revised his query letter, and sent out another round of twelve queries. He got some more nibbles, more rejections, but also an offer of representation from Evan Goldfried at Jill Grinberg Literary Management! Yay! Happy dance in the kitchen!

Evan sent Hounded to nine publishers on September 9, 2009, along with teasers for the next two books in the series. Inside of two weeks, four of those publishers bid on the book at auction, and one of them, ironically, was the same publisher who had been sitting on his epic for a year. So it only took him nineteen years to become a “fortnight success.”

An aside for aspiring writers: please note that Kevin wrote three books and got rejected a lot before he landed an agent and a publishing contract. And note also that twenty-three agents passed on a novel that four publishers couldn’t wait to bid on. Keep writing and don’t give up!”

As mentioned, Kevin is the proud creator of the IRON DRUID CHRONICLES.  The Chronicles currently has 3 installments, “Hounded”, “Hexed”, and “Hammered”.  Book #4, “Tricked” is due out 4/24/12 and that is precisely what we have Kevin here to celebrate and promote today. 

For those of you not yet familiar with THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES, we wanted to give you the synopses for 3 available and 1 upcoming books to peak your interests:


Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.




Hexed (Iron Druid Chronicles, #2)Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn't care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they're badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor's rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.




Hammered (Iron Druid Chronicles, #3)
Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully—he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.

One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plain of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.





Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #4)Druid Atticus O’Sullivan hasn’t stayed alive for more than two millennia without a fair bit of Celtic cunning. So when vengeful thunder gods come Norse by Southwest looking for payback, Atticus, with a little help from the Navajo trickster god Coyote, lets them think that they’ve chopped up his body in the Arizona desert.


But the mischievous Coyote is not above a little sleight of paw, and Atticus soon finds that he’s been duped into battling bloodthirsty desert shapeshifters called skinwalkers. Just when the Druid thinks he’s got a handle on all the duplicity, betrayal comes from an unlikely source. If Atticus survives this time, he vows he won’t be fooled again. Famous last words.

O.K, now that you’re scrambling to your favorite bookseller to find them, we’re going to interrupt you because we have an Interview with Kevin to get to know him a little bit better and find out some more about these amazing books. 


LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Hi Kevin! We’re very happy to have you here today.  Thank you so much for taking time out of your very busy schedule to chat with us for a bit. 

KEVIN: I appreciate you asking me to stop by.

LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: We always like to start out learning more about our guest authors.

Q1): What are 3 things about yourself that we couldn’t find out easily on the Internet?

KEVIN: 1) I’m a really good cook but holy cow do I make a mess in the kitchen. 2) I used to be in a band called Dr. Xerox and the Low Toners; I was Dr. Xerox. I wore a black cape and a red beret on stage. 3) My wife and I fell in love while reading The Importance of Being Earnest in college—we were in several English courses together.

Q2): What are 2 things that always make you smile, and 2 things that never fail to piss you off?

KEVIN: Comic books work wonders for me, as do doggies. Turn-offs would have to be poorly chosen typography and corporate America’s war on medium. If you order medium anything, they try to sell you a large for fifty cents more. I ordered medium on purpose, damn it!

Q3): What are some things that you enjoy doing when you’re not writing or taking care of other author business?

KEVIN: The aforementioned cooking and comic books. Painting miniatures and playing a game called HORDES with them. I also enjoy listening to these two IT friends of mine complain about “migrating that shit to my Cloud.” Their jargon is so alien that I don’t understand half their speech, but it’s fascinating because I didn’t know you could put words together the way they do and have another human being understand it.

Q4): What’s a typical writing day like for you?  Do you have anything that you absolutely have to have with you to get the creative juices flowing or any interesting writing quirks? 

KEVIN: I’m weird. I don’t have a typical day. But since I’m a nonviolent person and I find myself writing about characters that regularly practice violence, I usually have to play some really aggressive music to get myself in the proper frame of mind to envision blood and guts and stuff. If I turn on the DragonForce, somebody’s gonna die.

Q5): If you could have 1 superpower, what would you want it to be and why?

KEVIN: Talking to animals would be awesome. Think of how easy it would be to train them. Walks and mealtimes and everything would be simpler.

Q6): What authors or titles (if any) do you feel inspired you to become the author that you are today?

KEVIN: Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest inspired me to begin writing. I love Douglas Adams, and Alan Dean Foster got me started on fantasy. He’s still writing today, and I hope I get to meet him sometime and say thanks.

Q7): If you could spend the day with any of your characters, who would you want it to be and what would you want to do?

KEVIN: I’d like to hang out with Oberon because I love dogs. We’d definitely have to put some sausages on the grill.

Q8): Was there any specific inspiration behind the creation of the IRON DRUID CHRONICLES?

KEVIN: As the lengthy bio above mentioned, it started as a webcomic built around a Druid and his Irish wolfhound. The worldbuilding was really just grafting Irish myth onto modern Tempe, Arizona.

Q9): We know that the series started out as a back-to-back-to-back 3 book series, but we see now that there are at least 2 more in the works.  How many books do you ultimately have planned for the series now?

KEVIN: I’m under contract for six at the moment. I’d like to do nine.

Q9): What can readers expect as the series progresses?   

KEVIN: More gods, more pantheons, are going to take an interest in Atticus’s activities, and attempt to use him to advance their own agendas.

Q10): What were some of the challenges that you encountered while bringing the IRON DRUID CHRONICLES to life?

KEVIN: Getting the languages right. By and large I’ve been fortunate to be either accurate or close enough that nobody has made fun of me. I’m sure I’ll screw up at some point, but I do my best to get foreign words and sentences down correctly.

Q11):  What are you the most proud of with the series thus far?

KEVIN: I guess I’m just happy that I’ve entertained some people. Books have always been my escape from the ickiness of the world, so if I’ve managed to provide an escape for others, well, that’s the best possible outcome I can imagine.

Q12):  Do you see any of yourself in Atticus?  What about any of the other Chronicles characters, any modeled somewhat after people you know?

KEVIN: Some of Atticus’s attitudes are mine, certainly. The only character modeled after someone I know is the widow MacDonagh, who’s based on my late grandmother.

Q13):  What else do you have in the works or in mind outside of the IRON DRUID CHRONICLES that your fans can look forward to?

KEVIN: I have an epic idea that I’ve been wanting to mess with for a while, but keeping up with the series and the day job hasn’t left me any time to tinker with it. I’d also like to try writing a mystery.

Q14):  What question have you always thought it would be great to be asked in an interview but have never been asked, and how would you answer that question?

KEVIN: Not enough people ask about the ideal breakfast. I mean, you can tell a lot about a person by having them describe their perfect breakfast—not just what they eat, but where they eat it, see? What’s the perfect morning, in other words? Some people don’t even eat breakfast, and that makes me sad, because there’s a gigantic void in their existence. Some people want breakfast served to them in bed. That tells you something. My perfect breakfast is on a sunny morning in Flagstaff with the windows open. You can hear birds chirping and smell pine or flowers or something else pleasant that grows in the earth. We’re listening to The Indigo Girls. I’m cookin’: I make cheese n’ chive omelets, sausage, and toast made from homemade bread with orange marmalade. Orange juice with pulp to drink. Then we (my wife and I) walk down to Macy’s European Coffee House on Beaver Street and have a San Francisco cappuccino. We sit at the green benches outside and watch people and pet the dogs that are always hanging out there.

Q15):  Is there anything special you’d like to say to your readers while we have you here today?

KEVIN: I’m really grateful to you for reading my books and spreading the word!

LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Kevin, thank you so much again for being with us today.  We’re excited to introduce some new readers to your incredible series and hope that we can help promote and spread the world about “Tricked” a bit for you.  We’d love to have you back to celebrate and promote the release of “Hunted” if you’re interested. 

KEVIN: Sure, that would be grand.

If you want to keep up with Kevin, you can find him online at his Website, on Facebook, Twitter and/or GoodReads.



Kevin is offering up a signed copy of TRICKED to a winner from Book Monster Reviews and another winner over at the LITERAL ADDICTION site.

Make sure you are a member of the Book Monster Blog (by clicking on the “JOIN THIS SITE” button at the top left hand corner of blog page), and then post a comment on the interview with your email address. 
*Any comments without an email address will NOT be entered into drawing.
Don't forget to drop by the LITERAL ADDICTION website (http://www.literaladdiction.com/) and follow the directions and links to enter their contest for an extra chance to win!!!


molly.frenzel said...

I've been waiting for this to come out for ever. Thank you for the wonderful interview and giveaway.


Erin said...

Wow - your books look wonderful - will definitely be adding these to my to be read list!! So looking forward to checking these out!

andieleah said...

I love the book covers...gotta check these out


Erin said...

And I completely forgot my email address in all of my excitement!
looking forward to reading your books!

alainala said...

i LOVE this series!! actually, its one of the few me and my boyfriend both adore (up there with Jim Butcher and Simon R Green)... Absolutely cannot wait to get Tricked. thank you for the chance to win!!

alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

Barbara E. said...

Loved the interview. I consider Hounded, Hexed and Hammered to be in the top ten of the books I read last year. I'm a total fan and I can't wait to read Tricked.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

roro said...

fun interview
i love the covers


Anonymous said...

I finished Hounded two weeks ago and am nearly finished with Hexed now. I think that Kevin Hearne is one of the most well-written authors that I have read (and, I read ALOT). The way his prose literally 'sings' to the reader, creating vibrant images in their mind while forming instant connections between the character's and the audience is wonderful! This story takes place in Arizona, where I live, which helps me appreciate the setting so much more. Can you imagine being in one of his classrooms?! Absolutely wonderful series!


Raonaid Luckwell said...

Usually I am the druid lover (obsessed with druids) however hubby got to read your books first and he absolutely LOVES them. I often hear "Hope there is a new book soon."

Raonaid at gmail dot com

Victoria said...

This series looks so good. I've been eying it for a while now. Thank you for the great interview.


miki said...

i love your serie, it's so original
i would be so happy to get tricked

thanks you a lot for this great giveaway

all the best

gfc: miki


Sheila said...

I will be honest I don't usually read books by male authors as usually about things I am not interested in but these sound really good, I love the mythology thing and always have.
Not sure I can enter as from the uk but worth a try.

M. Maxey said...

I'm so excited that Kevin has turned me on to this blog page 'Book Monster Reviews'. It is just what I've been looking for. I love this series and am look for more books like it. It is a new genre for me.



Allie said...

This looks like such a great series and I love that you are under contract to write more. amotherway@Aol.com

xsheilax said...

It appears my email has gone a bit wrong from an earlier comment.
These books look exciting and I would no doubt have to get the first ones too lol.
I love to shop books. :-)


Rebe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebe said...

I love these books! Atticus and Oberon are the best. I can't wait to read Tricked!


Vanessa theJeepDiva said...

What a great bio & interview! My husband who refuses to read was forced to listen to Hounded (audio book) on a road trip we took recently. On our lunch stop he looked at me in all seriousness and asked "is Atticus ever going to give Oberon a damn poodle." I laughed. He got so into the book he has since demanded I can't read them we must listen to them on road trips.

Not entering giveaway

Bonnie said...

Hi, OK..I just bought the first three of these books not long ago and I can't wait to read them. They are nearing the top of my TBR pile.
Thanks for the interview and the giveaway


Nya Rawlyns said...

I scored the first three in the series at ComicCon in NYC last fall, read them straight through and fell head over heels. Have been waiting with bated breath for Tricked to come out! I admit it: I'm officially a fangirl.

cindy vinzant said...

cant wait to read your books thanks for the interview


Linda said...

I came across this series some time back & managed to buy myself a copy of Hounded. 6 books tho! Ugh. Do I have a lot of catching up to do!

I guess your family can tell what's going on in the plot by what music is playing!


SdyLion said...

You have such an interesting body of work. I am glad to have this opportunity to get to know you and your series better. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

Pamk said...

my son is so waitingfor this one.
scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com