September 15, 2013

Bloggerversary Part Uno: Book Review, Giveaway with a Q & A w/ Kevin Hearne

at 9/15/2013 10:00:00 AM
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.

Where to begin? I first heard of Kevin Hearne from another book enthusiast I met at Mysterious Galaxy. It so happens that Kevin Hearne was going to be at the same Mysterious Galaxy. I took a chance and bought all of the Kevin Hearne books they had. I don't regret it because his stories are awesome! I don't usually read stories with a male lead protagonist, but I'm glad I did. 

Atticus O'Sullivan is a young man in his twenties who has a "new age" type book/herb store. He also happens to be a 2,100 year old Druid, the last of his kind. He lives in Arizona with his Irish wolfhound, Oberon. He's be on the down low for some time now because he has a weapon that is coveted  by many, specifically a Celtic god. I did have some reservations about reading anything with a male protagonist because I am so used to the lovey dovey romance novels with a dashing hero, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually liked this book. Atticus may be older than dirt, but his mannerisms are that of a modern day college student. That's actually a very good survival technique. 

After so many years of running and hiding, Atticus decided to stay in Arizona and plant some roots. In  Arizona, there is quite an abundance of supernatural creatures. Witches, werewolves, vampires, ghouls, ghosts, gods and goddesses. There's a several plotlines going on throughout the book, but Kevin expertly weaves them together to make a pretty bad-ass story. The pace was good; not too fast but not too slow. You meet new characters in Attitcus' life after every other chapter and they are just as interesting as the Iron Druid whose older than dirt.

A character that took my interest was Granuaile, the sexy, but modestly dressed bartender who works at the bar/restaurant that Attitus frequents. At the mention of a female character my mind immediately jumped to love interest, but that was not the case, for which I am glad. Granuaile is a pretty, young woman who also happens to share her head with the spirit of a Hindu witch. She's one smart cookie and the fact that Hearne focuses more on her intellect than her womanly wiles earned him brownie points in my book. I'm super excited to read the next book in the series.
Book Links

So, as part of my bloggerversary, I will be giving away a lottttttttt of stuff. The shipping bill is going to be enormous, but you guys are worth it! So up for grabs in relation to Kevin is 2 ebook copies of Hounded and a SIGNED print copy of Hounded. There will be 3 winners.

*NOTE: This giveaway is for residents of USA only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Speedy Q & A with Kevin Hearne
Me and Kevin at Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach for his Hunted Release Party

CR: If your IDC series was to be made into a TV series, who would be in your ideal cast?

KH: I'm kind of rooting for a completely unknown cast if it's ever made into a series or movie. I'd rather see the cast become known through the series.

CR: To you, what is the most enjoyable part of being a writer?

KH: This might sound silly, but it's true: I love that I'm not required to wear pants when I work.  

CR: With Shattered in the works, what can you tell readers to expect from the books to come?

KH: We'll continue to see other points of view from other characters besides Atticus. I like the challenge and it also allows me to tell slightly different stories in new voices.

CR: Out of all of the characters that have sprung from your imagination, who do you most identify with and why?

KH: I suppose it would be Granuaile. I'd love to be bound to the earth and learn its secrets; I'd love to go on the journey she's on.

CR: If you had to choose one person from your books to be stuck in an elevator with, who would it be and why?

KH: The widow MacDonagh, since she's based on my grandmother.

CR: I remember you said that you were going to write a Star Wars novel, how is that going?  

KH: Still going. Working on it now. Can't say much else because I'm under a Nondisclosure Agreement.

CR: Who is you absolute favorite comic book hero and why?

KH: I think it's Poyo from the comic book CHEW. What's not to love about a bionic rooster assassin?
About the Author

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. So it only took him nineteen years to become a “fortnight success.”
The point for aspiring writers: please note that Kevin wrote three books and got rejected a lot before he landed an agent and a publishing contract. He did it without any contacts in the industry—he was just a name attached to a story. And that story wasn’t for everyone—twenty-three agents passed on it and five out of nine publishers passed on it too. Luckily, all you need is one agent and one publisher to like your story. Keep writing and don’t give up!
Hunted, book six of the Iron Druid Chronicles, will be out June 25. Kevin is now working on a Star Wars novel set in the Classic era. His nerd dreams have come true. He’s also working on book seven of IDC.
He still collects comic books.
Author Links

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