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WesternSFA
A Chat with Kevin Hearne
by Catherine Book
Kevin Hearne was one of the more popular celebrities at the 2015 Phoenix Comicon and since he’s moved to Colorado I was very appreciative of the opportunity to talk with him.

I noted that it seemed that he’s really struck a chord with fans with his Iron Druid series.  I asked him why it was so appealing.  He chuckled a little when he said it was probably due to Oberon (a dog sidekick) who was supposed to just be a little comic relief; but he now has his own fans.

Does he rely on social media to connect?  He does like Facebook and Twitter, which is working for him.  He’s been dabbling in some other new channels but hasn’t found a lot of fans there; he’ll be ready for them should they become more popular.  He commented that he doesn’t really promote his own books; it’s really from other writers or fans who point people to him.  So he tries to return the favor by commenting on the books he really enjoys.  He does answer his own email and said that sometimes it’s a nice break to spend time doing it.  He’s sure that social media does impact his career but it’s hard to measure and be sure.  I noted that his signing lines are long; surely that translates into income?  Oh, yes, he said he’s able to make a living by writing.  Just speaking for all his fans – thank goodness!

He’s working on the eighth book, “Staked,” in the Iron Druid series now which should hit the bookstores in January.  Then he plans to work on an epic fantasy.  Whoa….I stopped:  did that mean the Iron Druid series is coming to an end?  Yes, he replied, it will end with book nine.  (sigh…)  The new epic fantasy is a planned trilogy called “The Seven Kennings” – an old English word meaning “to know something really well.”  He’s already finished more than half and as soon as “Staked” is done, he’ll be switching gears to focus on it.  The first book will be titled “A Plague of Giants” and will be a magical world very different from his urban fantasy Iron Druid series.

What else would he like to work on someday?  He’s got this idea for a collaborative urban fantasy novel with two other writers where each writer would take a POV within the story.  He thinks it would be a lot of fun and hopes to get to it one day.

When he writes, what is the most important element: setting, characters, plot?  Always characters, he answered.  That’s what people are most interested in.  He thinks that when a character has a defining moment, where they do it just isn’t quite as important, somehow.  When he started with the Iron Druid series, the plot just sort of ‘suggested’ itself to Kevin once he knew who his characters were.  And we can all see how well that turned out!

How does he write?  He said he used to write linearly and without an outline.  He had the luxury of experimenting when he starting out; but, as deadlines became a feature of his life, he found he needed an outline so he could make sure he was productive every day.  He doesn’t necessarily follow the outline but it gives him structure and a starting point of his day.  He has a self-imposed quota of 1000 words a day, sometimes he gets more. Is environment significant?  No, he replied, he actually changes it up a lot.  He finds that a change of scenery stimulates his creativity a bit.  It takes him between five months and seven months to finish a book.  He’s flexible enough to be able to switch between projects and found that after he left Iron Druid alone to write the Star Wars tie-in, he came back to book 8 feeling refreshed and it’s going along so quickly he expects to break his record of five months by a couple of weeks!

Is there anything in particular of which he’s most proud?  Yes, he answered.  He likes a short story titled “The Chapel Perilous.”  It’s an ebook available for 99cents, originally published in “Unfettered.”  It’s got a lot of grail legend stuff that he geeks out over.  He also really likes a novella he just wrote called “A Prelude to War” which follows after Iron Druid book 7, “Shattered,” which will bridge to the new Book 8.  It’s available as an ebook and audio.  It’s part of a small anthology titled “Three Slices.”  Amusingly, the anthology theme is Tyromancy which is divination by coagulation of cheese…really.  It was a lot of fun and he and two friends were able to put together something that would never have happened with a traditional publisher – look for it on Amazon, B&N or iBooks. 

Anything else new coming our way?  Kevin has a short story coming out through Subterranean Press soon, with a number of other authors, titled “Fantasy Medley #3.”  It’s about Atticus meeting Shakespeare.  So, it seems that even with the series coming to an end, there may be more small opportunities for us to enjoy time with Atticus & Oberon. But…I can hardly wait to see what else he’ll give us!

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