Jackie: The second book in The Iron Druid trilogy released June 7, 2011. Please tell us a bit about what we'll find in the pages of Hexed?
Kevin: Atticus has to repel the invasion of some witches bent on claiming Tempe for their own, and in the meantime he also has to deal with the remaining mess from Hounded, as well as the continued machinations of Brighid and the Morrigan. And, of course, there's plenty more from Oberon and the widow MacDonagh.
J: Because your first novel, Hounded, was only released in May, is it too soon to ask if movie rights have been inquired about? How do you think a movie would play out, especially with the Atticus/Oberon conversations?
K: There are people working on it, I'm told, but I won't get excited about it until somebody shows me the money. People like to talk a lot in Hollywood, but it's all fluff and noise until somebody puts a contract in front of you. If I do ever get an offer, you can be sure I will stress that Oberon cannot be cut out of the movie and he cannot be made to move his mouth with little CGI effects. That's actually what worries me most.
J: Oberon is a pretty cool dog, with lots of one liners and quick retorts. Why, then, do you think he's so fascinated with the higher maintenance French Poodles?
K: I think it's the curly fur. That's supposed to be hot.
J: Is there anything Oberon won't do for a sausage or a French poodle?
K: He won't eat horseradish. It repels him like oil does water. A sausage (or a poodle) dipped in horseradish would be totally safe from Oberon.
J: Can you really buy Smithwicks in Arizona?!
K: Heck yes! Rula Bula is a real Irish pub on Mill Avenue and they have Smithwicks on tap, as do many Irish pubs.
J: In Hounded, it was mentioned that Atticus avoided the Crusades by heading to the Orient. With Atticus' long history, how did you decide where he would have been at certain points in the past?
K: I wanted to give him certain backgrounds, certain experiences, so major historical events suggested themselves, and then I filled in the blanks with the places in between. There were also events I wanted him to miss completely, like the Black Death in Europe and the American Civil War, so that helped as well.
J: How much research went into the elements for this series, ie. Druidic principles, Witches' bindings, mythologies, etc.? Did it involve skulking around occult shops for added atmosphere?
K: I am not very good at skulking. I lack the requisite trench coat and porkpie hat. But I did look into the old myths and legends about Druids and plenty of mythology. I wanted to update the mythology a wee bit but keep it recognizably true to it origins. So far—insert superstitious ritual here—people are telling me I'm staying true to the Irish myths.
J: Would you say your typical day has changed since your books hit the stores? If so, how?
K: I get fan mail most days, which is mind-blowing. I'm just a nerd and not really used to the idea that some people think I'm kinda nifty; I'm from a generation where it wasn't cool to be a nerd. Luckily my students keep me grounded and remind me that I'm not really that cool. :)
J: For us Canadian fans, do you think there will be a book signing here anytime soon-ish?
K: Not soonish...I don't even have a passport! But I'm totally cool with signing bookmarks and sending them to people. If you'd like a free signed bookmark, you can send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope with enough postage to make it back over the border and I'll do it! Kevin Hearne, PO Box 21614, Mesa, AZ, 85277, USA.
J: Do you have any tips for burgeoning writers that you could share here?
K: Read a lot in your chosen genre. Nothing will teach you how to write better than reading. And then, don't give up. Took me 19 years of trying to get a deal, but if I hadn't struggled and improved my writing all those years, it wouldn't have happened.
J: The series has recently been extended to six books, can you give us a hint of what's in store for Atticus and Oberon, all Irish Misty and mysterious-like?
K: Coyote will return in Tricked, book 4, and then...well, Atticus won't be able to stay in Arizona, let's just say that. Thanks so much for having me, Jackie! :)
Thanks again to Kevin for taking the time from his busy (busier?) life to answer my questions!
So, do you all want to see what the fuss is about? (Did I mention that Hounded currently sits at #67 in the top 100 NOOK book sales?) In an effort to persuade Kevin to maybe visit Canada one day, I'm offering one lucky reader a copy of his book, Hounded and his second book, Hexed. To enter, please leave a comment below along with an email addy, so I can inform the winner. Contest is open to anywhere the Book Depository will deliver (which is almost everywhere!) Entries must be received no later than midnight July 1st. Good luck!