Kevin Hearne is the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Druid Chronicles, an urban fantasy series about a 2,100 year-old Druid hiding among us, dodging the attentions of Irish gods who want to kill him. He used to teach high school English, but now he writes full time, reads comic books, and plays with his doggies. His latest book, SHATTERED, came out this summer.
Tell us about your latest book.
My last book was HUNTED, the sixth book of the Iron Druid Chronicles. Atticus and Granuaile are on the run from Artemis and Diana, goddesses of the hunt, and they have to run across Europe to get the help they need.
Henry: For those not familiar with the Iron Druid series, Atticus is the titular druid of the series. He frequently has both favorable and unfavorable interactions with gods, demons, and the like. Successfully evading Artemis and Diana sounds like a formidable challenge. Another fun fact: Atticus’s pet Irish Wolfhound (the tallest dog breed) is inspired by Kevin’s pet pug.
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
Turning off the Internet and just getting myself into a zone. Distractions abound these days.
What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?
I’ve met some incredible people—other writers, all interesting folk who make me laugh, and many readers who are entertaining individuals as well. And I’ve traveled much more than I would have otherwise, seen more of the world. And best of all, I don’t have to wear pants anymore when I go to work. Pants were invented by The Man to oppress us, you know. I’m sticking it to The Man.
Henry: Down with pants! As long as you’re sticking it to the man in the privacy of your own home, my friend.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Don’t give up! I sold my third completed book, not my first, and I was writing for nineteen years before I first got published. Your first efforts may turn out to be unpublishable, but that does not mean they are a waste of time. I learned so much from my first two terrible novels; I wouldn’t have been able to write HOUNDED without writing them first.
Henry: Nineteen years!? Well, we’re glad you are indefatigable. It was worth the wait.
What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?
The Manticore! Three rows of teeth, man. That’s bold. Think of all the cavities! And the halitosis! Even Altoids would be all DUDES, THIS IS HOPELESS I CANNOT FIX THIS BREATH.
Henry: I did not see that coming. You took that and ran with it. I have a manticore in my upcoming picture book, MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES. And they shoot spikes out of their tales. Like frickin’ sharks with laser beams! All books are better with manticores. And pirates.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I hug trees, play games, paint a little, go for walks in the neighborhood with my headphones on and just wail the hell out of my air drums. Because of that old saying, right? Bang your head like no one’s watching. I think some of the neighbors might be scared of me. This one paranoid guy was really protective of his grass and unaware that he was conforming to a stereotype.
CODGER: Stay off my lawn, kid!
ME: I’m forty-three!
CODGER: I don’t care, you kids keep your drugs and your heavy metals away from here!
ME: Still forty-three!
Henry: Heavy metals!? What were you doing shlepping around platinum, plutonium, and palladium? And in any event, that sounds like the exchange from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
King Arthur: Old woman!
King Arthur: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
Dennis: I’m 37.
King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I’m 37. I’m not old.
King Arthur: Well I can’t just call you “man”.
Dennis: Well you could say “Dennis”.
What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
I’m not usually this morbid.
Where can readers find your work?
Wherever they like to buy books! They can check out the series on my site, kevinhearne.com, and I have a bunch of links there to find me on social media if anyone wants to say howdy or just follow for the fun of it. Thanks for having me!
Henry: It’s been fun. But people, don’t distract him too much. He has more books to write!
L-to-R: Jason Hough, Henry Herz & Kevin Hearne at Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego
This interview is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Book Examiner.