Kevin Hearne's Blog, page 15
June 10, 2011
Press release – Orbit acquires IRON DRUID trilogy by Kevin Hearne
Little Brown's SF and Fantasy imprint Orbit has acquired an imaginative, witty and action-packed new urban fantasy trilogy which is currently storming the bookstores in the US. Orbit UK Editorial Director Anne Clarke has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in the first three books in Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series from Evan Goldfield at Jill Grinberg Literary Management.
The trilogy, set in Tempe, Arizona, introduces us to Atticus O'Sullivan, rare book salesman, herb peddler, and 2,000 year old druid – the last of his kind – who has been on the run for over two millennia from a very angry ancient Celtic god. The books are set in the modern day world, where gods, myths, and magic are very much alive. The first book, HOUNDED, primarily features the many Celtic gods; HEXED will focus on Coyote and the Bacchants; HAMMERED will be about a plot against Thor. (Everybody hates Thor.)
Kevin Hearne says: "I'm thrilled to be with Orbit UK and hope people will enjoy this blend of history and legend dropped into the modern world. The rich mythology of the Irish is endlessly fascinating to me, and an allusion to British lore in Hounded will eventually become important later in the series as Atticus finds himself in trouble near Windsor Castle."
Anne Clarke says: "I first read the manuscript for HOUNDED in 2009 but it was before I moved to Orbit, and although I loved the story, I couldn't see a way to make it work on my list back then (I was mainly publishing crime thrillers). When I heard the Iron Druid was still looking for a UK home I couldn't believe my luck, and I'm delighted to be bringing Atticus to the UK after all. And since we're publishing these books this September, October and November, I don't have long to wait to share them with everyone else here too. You're in for a treat!"
…Be assured that my happy dancing is unchained. Several people in the UK have contacted me, asking when the eBook version of my series would be available for download in the UK, and now I can answer—this autumn! I'm very grateful to Anne for giving the new guy in the US a chance.
Stay tuned for another announcement on Monday. :)
June 9, 2011
DENVER, baby! Yeah!
The signing and such wasn't scheduled until later that night, so we had the day to mess around. Took the Kid to the Denver Zoo because they have awesome critters there and they're the greenest zoo in the United States. They're also more involved in species preservation than any other zoo I know of. They had a baby komodo dragon! Baby this, baby that…might have a baby snow leopard someday if they're lucky, because they have a pair! Animal pics follow, click to enlarge:
Tiger! They had five!
After the zoo it was time to head over to the Broadway Book Mall. It's the coolest wee store I've ever seen—Nina was so kind and welcoming and she knows what's important. She has a shelf for ZOMBIE LITERATURE, my friends. This store rocks! She also had a signed copy of The Wise Man's Fear, so I had to buy it. She has signed stuff from Carrie Vaughn, Connie Willis, and more; honestly, if you're in Denver, you gotta go check this place out.
I met some great local authors n' artists—shout out to Bonnie and Laura! And a couple of my dear yearbookin' friends stopped by and made my day, because I haven't seen them for a couple of years. When it comes to my nerdhood, I specialize in several fields. Yearbook nerds are called Yerds and we obsess over things like ligatures and Photoshop filters. It makes us happy. See how happy we are?
We Three Yerds: Carrie, Kevin, & Andrea
This was also my opportunity to meet a couple members of The League of Reluctant Adults for the first time, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein! We promptly misbehaved. Or rather, Mario did. Here is the soon-to-be-famous Grope Attempt:
I'm missing all the action.
Jeanne was about to whip out her kung fu after that. Mario's lucky she left her shank at home.
Maturity has left the building.
Mario promised to behave after that, but Jeanne still wanted to express herself in a dignified manner.
I've given up at this point. :)
We went to The Great Divide Brewing Co. tap room after the signing, and here are the samplers of their beers:
I only get one of these.
They look good, and the one I'm excited about is the Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, which you see on the far right. I tried it and it's a heavy drink, hints of both chocolate and coffee to it, 9.5% alcohol content. It's something to sip and enjoy, not chug. Unfortunately, I can't say anything about the other beers because MARIO DRANK THEM ALL and I couldn't order more, since these were ordered on Last Call! Yes, he stole my beer. Brazenly. In a Hawaiian shirt. Proof:
Oh well, at least I can report that the Yeti is good! I had a great time last night and now I'm writing this in Laramie, Wyoming, at the Hastings store here. It's a cool town! I signed their stock and chatted with the nice people who work here. After another hour or so I'm headed back down to Ft. Collins for a signing at Old Firehouse Books.
I really dig Denver…wish I could explore some more. Methinks I might do this again next summer, it's been so much fun! More later on Ft. Collins!
June 8, 2011
Meant to get this up on release day, but just couldn't get to it—better late than never!
Many people have told me that the cover for HEXED is their favorite cover in the series, and I confess that it is mine also. Atticus is lookin' right at us, pointing the pointy part o' Fragarach in our general direction, and he looks as if he might be saying something along the lines of "Drop. Your. Sword." to someone like Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride. If you've read the book already, you know when Fragarach comes out to play and you can imagine very well who's getting the ol' evil eye. But let's pretend you haven't read it yet and treat this like a caption contest. What's Atticus doing here? Who's he talking to? About what? Time to have fun!
1.) This sucker's international, unless you're from Trinidad & Tobago. I've never gotten over my disappointment that the proper demonym for your country isn't "Toboggans". That totally crushed my spirit when I was learning about your country in sixth grade geography, and this is my petty revenge.
2.) Take a giant swig of your creative juices and snap a digital photo of HEXED in an amusing composition. Perhaps Atticus is pointing at something in the foreground…perhaps he's protecting something in the background? Title it or write a caption for it—or both. You can use the paperback, a cover display on your electronic device, or even use the cover art digitally if you want to do the entire thing in Photoshop. See? No purchase necessary.
3.) Either post your composition somewhere and link to it in the comments below, or send me a jpeg as an attachment in an email sent to kevin at kevinhearne dot com. You have until Wednesday, June 15!
4.) By entering the contest you give me permission to post your picture here and on my author Facebook page in an album I'm creating for the purpose.
5.) I will pick two winners at random so you'll have a chance at winning even if you ran dry of creative juices long ago. But I will pick five winners because they make me smile, chuckle, titter, or even guffaw. I haven't had a good guffaw in a long time. Last time was back in '98, I think.
6.) As a hint, I tend to enjoy wordplay and double meanings quite a bit. Be punny and you're more likely to make me titter.
1. One of five signed copies of HAMMERED, third book in the series.
2. One of two signed copies of HEXED, which you may already own, but think of all the Cool Points you'll have if you own a signed copy too! ;)
SETTING THE BAR LOW:
I composed a simple one and snapped the photo with my cruddy cell phone camera, so it's going to be pretty easy to beat. I'm posting it here as an example of the sort of thing we're all going to enjoy:
Don't. Touch. My nuts.
All right, Atticus fans. Go have fun! Can't wait to see what you guys come up with! Remember, I need it on or before June 15!
June 7, 2011
Today was a looong drive from Ouray to Colorado Springs—a completely beautiful drive, mind you, with so many lovely things waiting for me when I finally made it to the Springs. But first! Did you know that Gunnison is a pretty spiffy little town? We got there too early for me to check this place out properly, but I bet there's something nummy inside:
There was a really cool indie bookstore right across the street from this place, making it the perfect one-two combo for this particular tour. :) It's called The Bookworm, and I got to meet the owner, Kristyn, who was super nice and apparently shares my love of maps. I wished I could have stayed in town longer, but I had to keep motorin' like Sister Christian. (That was a pander to the vast Night Ranger demographic.) Anyway, here's Kristyn's lovely store:
So I got to the Springs just in time, and Jessica at the Borders on Southgate Road was turbo helpful. Once I was all set up, one of my former students came in! She just moved to the Springs after graduation and I was so happy to see her!
Me & Mikayla
That Borders still has some signed copies of both Hounded and Hexed available, so do drop in if you can!
After the books, it was time to get my beer on. I went to visit Bristol Brewing Company because they, like me, happen to like doggies. They have a brew called Laughing Lab Scottish Ale, an eight-time award winner for good reason. Excellent stuff! The big surprise for me was how good their honey wheat beer was. But before I go on about it, here's what I sampled:
Since I mentioned last post that I'm not generally a fan of ambers and IPAs—an idiosyncrasy of my tastes—I'm always impressed when I can find one that I wouldn't mind drinking for a while. Compass IPA was one of those; it had a really interesting taste owing to the blend of hops they use, but it didn't have the unpleasant aftertaste that makes me avoid IPAs as a rule. Great crisp finish.
For me the winner on this tray is the Beehive Honey Wheat. I wan't expecting it to rock so much, but it does, friends, it does. If you like wheat beers, make the trip. Worth the drive.
Laughing Lab is an outstanding ale that made me wonder why I don't drink Scottish ales more often, other than the obvious reason that I'm Irish. Very tasty.
I fear I can't give you a fair evaluation of Mass Transit since I'm not a fan of ambers in general; it would be like asking someone with a fear of heights if they'd like to take a ride on a ski lift.
Both the Yellow Kite Pils and the Black Fox Faustian were very palatable, and judging by the Yellow Kite shirts I saw people wearing, they're quite popular brews locally. But look, I have to tell you what else is awesome about this place besides the beer: Scott and Kevin.
Scott and Kevin were a couple o' cool dudes I met at the bar who were ready to share their personal beer histories. Listening to them was kind of like watching Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias sing "To All the Beers I've Loved Before." Kevin is of the opinion that there is some seriously amazing shit going on down at Pagosa Springs, and based on his recommendation, I will make sure I go there next time I do a tour like this. He also told me that Bristol makes a pumpkin beer that doesn't suck even a little bit. It's shoulder-to-shoulder in there when they tap the few kegs they make in October, and it's all gone in a couple o' days. Scott, for his part, shared with me the revelation that there is a beer out there that tastes like pecan pie. PECAN PIE. I will be making a pilgrimage soon, methinks.
When I finally got back to my hotel I was overwhelmed by kind wishes and kinder reviews for Hexed, and I also got some fabulous news that I'll share in a few days. It's been a completely glorious day.
OK, I have to get some shut-eye because I have Denver on June 8! If you can make it to Who Else! Books in the Broadway Book Mall at 7:30, I'd love to meet you! Cheers!
June 6, 2011
Today was the cushy day; I had no book events to do. That doesn't mean I'm not doing book-related business. This blog is kinda booky, wouldn't you say? I also need to write another post for the League of Reluctant Adults tomorrow. Plus an interview with Suvudu…all book-related business, just conducted outside of bookstores and in a place that's so dear to me that I'd call it sacred geography. I'm talkin' 'bout Ouray, Colorado.
I'm writing from room 215 at the Ouray Victorian Inn. It has a balcony overlooking the Uncompahgre River, supafly wifi and the ability to grant you Inner Peace. Driving here was lovely. You get vistas like this:
And you run across these beautiful lakes near 10,000 feet surrounded by snow-capped geological events and trees:
So when you put me near all these trees and they smell like the way the world used to, I'm going to have to hug one. It's mandatory.
Got into town and went straight to the Ouray Brewery, which wasn't here the last time I was in town about five years ago. They built it in this old building and it has two floors plus rooftop drinkin'. Here 'tis from the side:
Not showin' ya the bottom floor, just second floor and da roof
So, you walk in, and RIGHT AWAY you know this place is going to rock, because they have swing seats at the bar and people are friendly.
You can get a sampler thingie of their beers, so I did. Right now they have a guest beer from Odell Brewing in Ft. Collins called Easy Street Wheat. I actually featured that one in a Still Life with Dwarfs and Beer some time ago, so no need to rehash that; Ouray Brewery is working on a porter for that last slot but it wasn't quite ready on the day I walked in, hence the guest beer. Here's the lineup:
Brews from Ouray Brewery!
OK, straight up, I'm not a guy whose palate particularly enjoys Ambers or IPAs, but these were actually drinkable for me. That's an accomplishment in itself. They're all very, very good, but if I have to rank 'em 1-5 (which I don't, but I'm gonna) based on my own preferences, I'd go with Saison #1, Kolsch #2, IPA #3, Pale Rye #4, and Amber #5. But see, everyone's different. My mom tried these too and she'd rank the Amber #1. You can't go wrong visiting this place, honestly, it's all good. I picked the Saison for my full pint, which is a spring seasonal they have vaguely reminiscent of Blue Moon but A BAJILLION TIMES BETTER! They put three malts in it and then finish it with three different hops plus oranges. It's yummy. That was my accompaniment for the bison burger I ordered with a side o' sweet potato wedges. NOMNOMNOM.
Wherever you are right now, it's probably not this awesome. Sorry!
Look at this cool little dude I spotted hangin' out in a tree near Box Canyon Falls—I think he's a woodpecker of some kind but I'm not sure. If it's fancier than sparrows or quail then I kind of suck at identifying birds, but I love to take pics of cool ones when I can.
Sigh. You may as well call me Woody. I know you want to.
You want to see the river behind my hotel, right? I know you do. This is the Uncompahgre, swollen with runoff and doin' its best to cut the canyon deeper:
June 5, 2011
Whew! Long day, but you know what? The wifi in THIS hotel rocks, so I'm going to get to show you some more pictures than yesterday! At least one more, anyway…
T0day's trip was to Durango, and we did the beer first and the books later. Durango is home to Ska Brewing, Steamworks Brewing, Durango Brewing, and Carver Brewing. It was to the latter we repaired for our repast. Carver has been solar powered for some years now, so the treehugger in me appreciated that. They have a neato patio, great breakfast there, and plenty o' great beers. (I've been there before.) Today I tried their La Plata Pilsner, a Czech style pilsner (which means, in my view, that it tastes better than any American pilsner) and I have to say it dethrones Pilsner Urquell, the grandpappy o' Czech beers. La Plata is smoother than Urquell and the taste is all there. Carver Brewing has two bars, and we were seated in the back bar, which leads to the patio and looks like this:
Our palates satiated, we walked down Main Street in Durango and did our best to find eclectic shops while avoiding tourist traps. There's plenty to see on Main Street, lots of it awesome, but one thing blew them all away. It was a flyer advertising an upcoming concert for one of the more boldly named bands I have ever heard of: Shotgun Jesus. I don't know what to say about it except that it DEMANDS your attention.
There are so many things here to enjoy. The third eye. The Chocolate-Mint horns. The apparent need for TWO sets of collarbones. The misspelling of "resurrection." The mind-boggling decision to equip TWO shotguns for Shotgun Jesus, and the second one, when (IF?) Jesus needs it, will be grabbed by the barrel instead of the stock. And what I love most is that the artist clearly didn't want to try to draw HANDS, so he hid them behind Jesus's Technicolor Dreamcoat or whatever the heck it is he's wearing. And what exactly is a Freedom-Billy Funk Jam? Discuss.
OK, to the books: I have to give a huge shout-out to Amy and her people at the Waldenbooks in the Durango Mall. They set the whole thing up on very short notice and made me feel so welcome. And to prove that it's a small world, I met a guy while there who went to the high school up the street from where I teach. Totally awesome people in this town. Not only do they read urban fantasy, but they also know what a Freedom-Billy Funk Jam is! Anyway, Amy & Co. still have signed copies of Hounded and Hexed in stock, so drop by there and pick one up if you're in the neighborhood! Here's a picture of my NEW SPIFFY BOOKMARKS at the signing thingie. Unfortunately, I am also in the picture.
After we left the mall, we went to commune with nature. We drove out to Lemon Reservoir, only about twenty-ish miles or so from Durango, and enjoyed the day use area. We hung out by the river feeding into the lake. My wife, especially, found it relaxing. Here's a picture, rather than my words:
We don't get vistas like that in Arizona. We get some dramatic ones, some really beautiful ones, but we're not used to seeing stuff like this—you know, with lots of WATER. We love it. We drove out to the other side of Durango after this and took a wee hike in the area ravaged by forest fire years ago. Know what's cool? Seeing the forest come back. Proof for your eyes:
Around those burned-out stumps you see lots of new saplings growing, which might look like bushes at first glance, but are really the trees themselves coming back from the root. I loved seeing this. After that, it was dinnertime at the Bar D Chuckwagon. They feed you BBQ beef and beans, baked potato, a biscuit, spice cake and applesauce, and after that, you get a show. Funny and talented fellas there—here's a pic:
June 4, 2011
I know this is supposed to be the COLORADO Book & Beer Tour, but I haven't actually gotten out of Arizona yet. That's because I needed to do some research for book four (may we all get there someday). That book, if the gods smile upon me, will be called TRICKED, and it will take place in three places: Flagstaff, Tuba City, and Kayenta. So that's where I stopped today, and I'm typing this in a Kayenta hotel room with a very loud French couple next door. They sound angry but I can't be sure.
If you bought the ebook version of Hounded, then you got to read the bonus short story called "Kaibab Unbound," the conflict of which begins in my favorite coffee joint in DA WORLD, Macy's European Coffee House. I took a quick snap of it before we went to lunch (and for all of these, you can click to enlarge):
Lunch was across the street at Beaver Street Brewery, because there needed to be some beer on this day of the tour, and dang if they don't have some excellent stuff there. They have some incredible food, too. Check out this Green Goddess salad with salmon on top:
The beer we had was called Lumberyard Raspberry Ale. Incredibly clean and refreshing and NOT syrupy or hypersweet like many fruit beers can be. It's a subtle thing, and a very high standard for Colorado to meet or beat. In honor of Oberon, I ordered the Brewer's Platter for lunch, which has two German bratwurst and a spicy sausage served with beer mustard, mashed potatoes and cinnamon apples. Nomnomnom:
After Flagstaff we drove up to Tuba City to scout out the location where SOMEBODY DIES. I can't show you that location. What I will show you instead is this beautiful horse that escaped from a corral and was trotting along the mesa with a couple of cowboys in pursuit about a hundred yards behind him:
From there we drove up to this mesa just outside of Kayenta that has some simply beautiful sandstone formations to it. It's called Tyéndé Mesa. (If you want to say that right, it's tee YEH in DEH, capped syllables stressed.) This will be where the bulk of TRICKED will take place. I took a photo from the other side of Highway 160 to give you an idea of how dramatic the rocks are:
What you can't see from this picture is the road that skirts the bottom edge of it, and all the hidden gullies and washes down there. There are oases back there. Springs seep out of the rocks, creating these little unexpected patches of green where people take care of sheep. I shit thee not. Here is proof, from a picture taken about six miles along one of the craziest roads I have ever driven in my life:
BLAM! KER-BIFF! Doesn't this landscape knock you out? In the background you see sandstone. SOLID ROCK. In the foreground, grass grows in very sandy soil and supports a herd of sheep and a cute little sheep dog! The shepherd was on a horse outside the frame. This whole little field is below the "street level" you saw in the previous picture. That rock you see in the background is also right behind us; we're in a wee canyon here and this is how the Navajo have been getting along—sheep and a few goats do just fine in these sheltered narrow canyons that most of us don't even know are there. I have some more pictures of this sort of thing—and I planned to post them, too, honest!—but the wifi here is so damn slow it's taking forever and I want to sleeeeep. Forgive me!
Tomorrow I'll be in Colorado for sure—Durango!!! Come back for more!
June 1, 2011
I got scolded. I got TOLD. I got extremely bushy eyebrows curling together with disapproval at my signing table, because I didn't have free bookmarks or any other free thingies to give away, like postcards or business cards or Shih-Tzu puppies. So I did something about it, because bushy eyebrows frowning my way always remind me that my hedges need trimming, and I don't want to think about that if I can help it. I designed some bookmarks and I'll have 'em by Friday. They look like this:
Left side is the front with a UV coating, right side is the back.
So if you come to see me in Colorado during my Book and Beer tour, you can grab one of these! I'll have them at San Diego Comic Con too, and in NY if I can manage to get something arranged there. "But what," you may ask, "do I do if I want one o' your spiffy bookmarks but I can't come to any of your signing thingies?"
I have a solution!
Send me a letter with a self-addressed, stamped envelope requesting one o' these beauties, and I'll send you one while supplies last. I might even sign it if I have the time and a silver sharpie lying around—but no guarantees on that, just a high probability if you do it sooner rather than later. :) Please make sure your postage is correct and that your handwriting is legible; obviously I cannot be responsible for misdirected mail. Send your letter for your FREE BOOKMARK to (I like how this is starting to sound like a cereal box giveaway):
That Spiffy Guy Who Writes Books
PO Box 21614
Mesa, AZ 85277
May 31, 2011
This summer I've decided to start a new series of still lifes. The beer will continue on, but instead of dwarfs, I will feature a badass instead. If you're wondering if I'll do this on the road while sampling the beers in Colorado on my Book & Beer Tour, the answer is YES. I fully expect to get strange looks while setting up my still lifes in the brew pubs, and I will document them if I can. :) Behold:
Still Life with Badass and Beer #1
Mace Windu, Jedi Badass of the Long Purple Phallic Symbol, defends my sandwich and beverage from the depravity of the Sith. A bit more about the beer, and then we'll focus on Mace.
The beer is Polygamy Porter from the Wasatch Brewery in Park City, Utah. The ad tagline for this brew is "Why have just one!" and I could not agree more. Aside from the hilarious name, this is the BEST porter I've ever had in terms of taste and drinkability. That silver medal in the World Beer Cup ain't no lie. If you like porters and have a good specialty store in your neck of the woods that carries this, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Failing that, the T-shirts for this beer will get you lots of curious stares, and you can order them online to stick it to the Man in Utah.
But now, back to Mace. Remember Mace? He's seriously hacked off about something, and perhaps you didn't notice that from the wide angle. Sorry about that. Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Mace ain't feelin' the love
Now I don't know about you, but Mace is really talking to me here, and it's obvious what he's saying. "WHY ain't there a muthafuckin' BEER in my muthafuckin' HAND?" He can't be saying anything else…can he?
Remember that my Colorado Book and Beer Tour begins next week, so check back every stinkin' day— starting Sunday—for photos of beautiful trees, beautiful beer, and (hopefully) some fans saying howdy to me in the Rockies! Cheers!
May 28, 2011
Oh, my, what a day! Great time with fabulous people!
I've long been a rabid fan of Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century series as well as her urban fantasy for Del Rey, Bloodshot. So I geeked out a bit (okay, a lot) that I not only got to meet her, but hang out with her a bit. I was on two panels with her today, The Big Idea and Urban Fantasy Authors. And I HAVE PROOF!
Gadzooks! I'm sitting next to Cherie Priest! Squeeee!
Cherie was so kind as to sign a copy o' Boneshaker for me. Sam Sykes was a wee bit upset that I didn't ask HIM to sign Boneshaker for me. I'm not sure why; he didn't write Boneshaker.
That's still Cherie. I promise it's not Gail Carriger.
The Big Idea panel was quite a bit o' fun—admission was free with a sacrificial can of Coke Zero. John Scalzi was a bag full o' spiffiness, as were all the other panelists. Here they all are:
John Scalzi, James Owen, Janni Lee Simner, Sam Sykes, Cherie Priest, Kevin Hearne, Jordan Summers
But enough of these people who write things! I know what you really want to see—people in costumes! There were some fabulous ones there and I ran out of space on my memory card before I could get all I wanted. I'll share a few here and then provide a link to my Facebook album of the Comicon, where you can check out plenty more.
Supergirl & Power Girl
Live long and prosper!
There's plenty more in the album, so go check it out right here.