I’m in Europe!
If you are (or know someone who is) in Poland, Germany, or the Czech Republic, then I hope I’ll get to see you (or them) while I’m there! Please spread the word, won’t you?
Very excited about this trip & grateful to my Polish publisher, Rebis, for getting me over the Atlantic, as well as my German publisher, Klett, and my Czech publisher, Laser, for letting me swing by while I’m in the area.
The big shindig is Pyrkon in Poznań, Poland, and while I think they have me doing something on Friday I’m not sure what it is except happiness. I’m basically going wherever they tell me to go. But! On Saturday, April 25:
10:30 am: They’re gonna put me in a big room with a translator to meet readers and take questions, and I am just going to geek out on Slavic myth and how much fun I’ve been having writing the Polish coven recently in STAKED. Plus tell ‘em how much I’ve enjoyed discovering the poetry of Wisława Szymborska.
12:00 pm: Modern Youth Literature panel! I happen to admire all of these things: Modernity, Youth, Literature. So this sounds excellent!
13:30 pm: I’ll be doing an autograph session at the Rebis booth at Pyrkon and asking people to spell their spiffy names for me. I love accent marks and stuff so this is going to be fun.
April 28: Appearance at Otherland Bookshop at 8 pm in Berlin, Germany! I’ll have a translator there as well. Address: Bergmannstrasse 25, D- 10961
May 5: Prague, Czech Republic
I’ll be at the Municipal Library at 4 pm! Cannot wait to see you, Prague!
May 6: Brno, Czech Republic
I’ll be at the Municipal Library there too at the same time, 4 pm!
That gap in between Berlin and Prague? I’ll be in Rome, researching goodies for STAKED, and most likely writing like mad in a café somewhere. Because I’m about halfway through the book now and once I put the European pieces together we’ll be crankin’ up the speed.
While I’m in Prague, THREE SLICES will be released worldwide on ebook and audio! Hope you guys enjoy —it’ll get you all set for STAKED!
Oh, do I have a treat for you guys. I’ve been cooking something up with Super Mega Spiffy Authors Delilah S. Dawson and Chuck Wendig. It’s a tight anthology of novellas called Three Slices and it’ll be on sale in ebook and audio on May 5 (pre-order links below). It features a cover and interior illustrations by Hugo-award winning artist Galen Dara. Wanna see?
Ye gods, Galen is good. I love this illustration. I mean, Atticus is PRETTY. And lookit, that’s Oberon on the cover for the first time! The other distinguished person there is Mekera, who you’ll meet in my novella, A Prelude to War. The story picks up right after the end of Shattered: Atticus wants to strike back at Werner Drasche for what he did and he goes to ask his old friend, Mekera, for some help, but discovers she’s being watched. Meanwhile, Granuaile is ready for round 2 with Loki and cares nothing about the consequences that picking such a fight might bring. It’s absolutely vital to the series and it’ll whet your appetite for book 8, Staked, which I’m working on now. Consider this IDC 7.5!
And yes, the audio version of A Prelude to War will be narrated by Luke Daniels, never fear, and it’ll be out the same day as the ebook (Pre-order link below)!
But you’re getting a lot more than just an Iron Druid novella here. You’re getting two more awesome stories by authors who make me squee, and with whom I dearly wished to collaborate.
Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys by Delilah S. Dawson will introduce you to her Blud world (or return you to it if you’re already a fan) and basically convince you that you should read all the things she writes. And holy horses, Batman, the illustration for her story is so damn awesome I nearly shat kine when I saw it:
Last but certainly not least, we have a Miriam Black story by Chuck Wendig called Interlude: Swallow. Like mine, it’s a nice piece to chew on in between his full novels, and this one is set in between The Cormorant (book 3) and Thunderbird (book 4). Miriam Black is so hardcore—if you haven’t begun that series, it kicks off with Blackbirds and I highly recommend it!
There are two additional illustrations in Three Slices—one of Granuaile vs. Loki and another of Miriam Black—that you’ll get to purr over and say, ooooh, how gorgeous!
And honestly that’s the main reason we’re putting this together the way we are. Chuck, Delilah, and I are huge fans of Galen Dara as well as fans of each other, but the likelihood that we’d all get to work together via traditional means was pretty slim. Especially considering that these stories, while set in very different worlds, are tied together by a secret, semi-batshit theme. It’s not a theme we could sell to a major house, but it’s a mountain we all wanted to climb and we did it. We hope you’ll be as entertained reading them as we were writing them.
Three Slices is available for preorder now in ebook and audio.* If you have a smartphone or tablet rather than an e-reader, you’ll get the glorious full-color illustrations. They’ll still be glorious on an e-reader, mind, just black and white. Links below:
Pre-order the Ebook: Kindle or iTunes/iBooks
I’d give you a link to the Nook pre-order but they don’t offer pre-orders for some inexplicable reason. It should be available on May 5 though, so if you’re a Nook reader please check for it and keep checking until it’s live!
Pre-order the audiobook: Audible
And if you’d like to buy a print of Galen’s art, she sells ’em—not just these but many more! (She did the cover of “The Chapel Perilous” for me and also an Oberon illustration featuring a quote from Shattered.) Support Galen and prettify your life here.
Happy reading (or listening)!
*It’s not in print and if that’s your preferred method of reading, I’m very sorry. The fact is publishers very rarely print novellas (I can think of only one in recent memory) and when they do they don’t print them with full-color illustrations. Ebook and audio are basically the only viable platforms for stories of this length (too long for a short story and not long enough for a novel), and in truth it’s a blessing. Before ebook and digital audio, these stories would simply never have been written because writers could never get taco money for writing a novella. Publishers paid for short stories or novels and almost nothing in between (and still do). So while the lack of print is kind of a bummer on the one hand, the opportunity to tell these stories at all is turbo spiffy for writers. Thank you, as always, for giving our stories a try!
My underrated list
Somehow I landed myself on a Buzzfeed list today, which would normally be a WOOHOO I HAVE ACHIEVED A POP CULTURE BROWNIE type thing, but it kind of wasn’t. I’m always turbo grateful for publicity and stuff, but this one was a bit of a head scratcher because of its title and its contents and yeah, basically everything. It’s called 29 Underrated Book Series Every YA Lover Should Read. There are some really great series listed there and I don’t want to throw shade on any of them. But I’m perplexed about the use of the word “underrated” here since many of the listed series are NYT bestsellers and in several cases have had movies made about ’em. I mean, the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini? Great stuff. And a great guy! But it’s sold 15 million copies according to an article in Rolling Stone a year or two ago, plus a movie and such, so that’s not really underrated. That’s holy-shit-I’m-gonna-buy-me-some-damn-yachts money for books that clearly many people enjoy. And Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan? Yep, that’s millions of copies and a couple movies too. How’s that underrated when it’s so super-duper popular? Reading through that list of “underrated” series made me think of Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
In my particular case I was more perplexed by the YA title. I don’t consider myself a YA author. It’s true that younger readers have read and enjoyed my stuff, but I wouldn’t give HEXED to an 11-year old and tell ’em to enjoy the hot scratchy sex between Atticus and the Morrigan. Younger readers can obviously read whatever the heck they want, but I’m not shelved in YA and can tell you when I’m writing I’m not thinking, “Ha ha! Those younger readers sure are going to appreciate my use of ‘monstrous fuckpuddle’ here!”
So I thought I’d provide my own unsolicited list of underrated series, albeit mostly for adult readers and much smaller than 29—I’m only throwing out five, a manageable list. And when I say underrated I mean they haven’t hit the NYT list yet, but damn it, they should because their stories are fabulous and deserve to be read. I’ll provide the series name and the first book to get you started. These are series, mind, not single books, and in no particular order.
1. The Borden Dispatches by Cherie Priest. Start with MAPLECROFT. I’ve said it before and will say it again: This is genius-level work. Should be a movie. Cherie should be bathing in cash and wearing money to the gym.
2. Prospero’s War by Jaye Wells. Start with DIRTY MAGIC. What I wrote for the cover blurb remains true: Kate Prospero is my favorite heroine.
3. The Eric Carter books by Stephen Blackmoore. First one is called DEAD THINGS. Urban fantasy LA noir with a necromancer fond of using a straight razor. Fast reads, punch-in-the-gut stuff, and I would whisper sweet nothings in Stephen’s ear and nibble on it too if I could get the third book tomorrow. Or the next day.
4. The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone. Begin with THREE PARTS DEAD. Max writes some beautifully complex shit. And when you talk with him you realize you haven’t been doing a hell of a lot with your brain. He’s wicked smart and almost illegally nice.
5. Anything by Diana Rowland. She has two different series going and they’re both great. I dig the White Trash Zombie books in particular. The main character, Angel, has to become a monster to become a better human, and it’s brilliant. Start with MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE.
Obviously there are metric fucktons of other deserving but underrated series out there to read—this is by no means a comprehensive list, just five series off the top of my head that I think should be getting far more attention than they currently are. So give ’em a gander, try one or all of ’em, and see what you think.
Hey, regardless: Thank you for reading anybody’s work, period. I’m super grateful to everyone who’s given my work a chance.
Bad Poetry, Well Spoken
Some of you may have noticed by now that I am often amused by goofy shit. And so when someone offers me the opportunity to goof off I have trouble resisting. In fact, I do not resist at all. I volunteer to take it too damn far.
Super Duper Mega Spiffy Audiobook Narrator Xe Sands recently took a hiatus from Twitter and then returned feeling guilty about it.
Because I am just helpful like that. Xe accepted, and so it began. I whipped up four very bad yet mercifully short poems for Xe to record as penance for her frightful Twitter absence. And she dutifully recorded them because she’s serious about making it up to us all. Silliness abounds.
So here is some Bad Poetry, Well Spoken—just click on ’em to take you to the free Soundcloud stream :
And, if you’re an audiobook fan, you might enjoy some of Xe’s work! She has a listing of her books on her site. Happy listening!
Dahlonega Lit Fest
THE KEVIN WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA. (Again.)
The last time I ventured out of the house was in October. I went to Woodstock, Georgia, to make up for missing Dragon*Con. Now I’m going back to Georgia in advance of Dragon*Con (I won’t be there this year either) and if you’re in the south at all, I hope you can make it, because it might (??) be my only trip in that direction for a while. I’ll be at the Dahlonega Literary Festival this weekend, March 28-29. It’s FREE! Check the schedule, show up, say hi, have a good time!
There are going to be other splendiferous authors there too! People who make me squee and write genius books, in fact, like Cherie Priest and Delilah S. Dawson. Plus the delightful Molly Harper and Frances Mayes and many others—the list is on the site!
BONUS: On Saturday there is this doodad called Lunch with the Authors. The authors split up like a Scooby-Doo episode and go to different restaurants in town and you can join ’em! Delilah and I are going to be at Pueblos on Main Street. I have heard the margaritas there are ehhhhhhhhxcellent. So: Wouldja like to have a margarita with Delilah, the Monsignor of Margaritas, and a taco with the Tacopope? Make your reservation! Give Pueblos a call! (706) 867-7155
You’re welcome to bring your own books to sign at the festival or buy some on site from FoxTale Book Shoppe. Couple o’ things to note: FoxTale will have paperback copies of SHATTERED available for the first time—they won’t go on sale until the 31st nationwide but you can get ’em early there! Also? You can get Delilah’s new book, HIT, a bit early as well—it’s not supposed to be out until April! (GREAT book btw, I read an advance copy!) Also also: If you can’t make it, call FoxTale now and place an order with them for signed books from me or any other author. We’ll sign them while we’re there and they will ship them to you! FoxTale’s number is (770) 516-9989.
Huge thanks to the Dahlonega Lit Fest for inviting me. It’s gonna be fun!
IDC Wallpaper Contest
Back in 2011 when the first three books came out, I did a few Iron Druid wallpapers for fun, featuring a quote and an image of some sort along with the IDC logo. But I’ve had four books, two novellas, and a few short stories come out since then, and I need a fun contest because the US paperback edition of SHATTERED comes out March 31 and I wanna give some away. I have five signed copies for super-spiffy entries and my publisher is throwing in a few extra for random winners so we have some pretty decent odds here for people who’d like to participate. This contest is US only, though you can enter overseas if you want as long as we have a US address to mail the book to—your friend Archie or Veronica or whatever.
Whatcha gotta do? Design an IDC wallpaper and email me a jpeg of it by Wednesday, March 25. It’s not that tough! You need:
1) An IDC quote from any of the novels, novellas, or short stories. Exchanges/conversations are OK.
2) Attribution for the quote including the character(s) and work it’s from (e.g. —Oberon, in Hexed)
3) The IDC logo.
4) Image should be 2560 x 1440 so that people can use it on their desktops if they wanna. EVERYBODY WINS A BUNCH OF SPIFFY WALLPAPERS WHEN WE’RE THROUGH. :)
5) Using pictures with the quote is optional. You can just design the type if you want. Oh, and my email is kevin (at thingie) kevinhearne dot com.
I realize that this is a tiny bit tougher than snapping a photo, but there is a method to my madness here: There are people in the world who enter contests just because they like free stuff and not because they’re genuinely interested in what they might win. I prefer to give my books to people who will dig them, so my contests always require a wee bit more effort than a mouse click on a Rafflecopter. But hopefully they’re fun too.
Here are a few examples of the wallpapers I did way back when—note that they include a quote, attribution, image, and the IDC logo:
Fun fact: I used a picture of the lead singer from Iron & Wine as the Slavic thunder god. :)
So have fun! Make something you would enjoy for yourself—you win no matter what! Looking forward to seeing your entries, and thank you as always for reading!
Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles
I’m so very excited to announce the release of Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles! These two stories were previously available only as bonus material and attached to ebook editions in North America, which meant a lot of people have been missing out for four years. I wanted everyone to have access to ’em for cheap, plus make an audio edition for the audiophiles out there, so here we are. Two Tales will be out May 18 worldwide, available for preorder now on Amazon for 0.99, but will also be available on iTunes/iBooks and Nook! Audible will have the audio narrated by the legendary Luke Daniels.
I love, love, love the cover art by Galen Dara! (So much that I’m gonna post a bigger version of it down below for ya.) She did the cover for “The Chapel Perilous” too. I think she captured the first story, “Kaibab Unbound” perfectly. You have the squirrel! The witches! Atticus in his owl form! And the sense that THERE WILL BE BLOOD!
The second story is “A Test of Mettle,” set concurrently with the events of book 3, Hammered, in which Granuaile discovers that Atticus doesn’t have final say on who gets to be a Druid’s apprentice.
Both stories have been somewhat revised from their original editions and contain some shiny new words. There won’t be print versions of these, very sorry—there’s no way to do that for cheap, so they’ll be ebook and audio only. I hope you enjoy them, either as an introduction to the series or as delicious fun for a longtime fan, and thank you so much for reading!
The embiggened version of the cover:
Galen is simply the best. Visit her site to see more gorgeous things.
Paperback is a-comin’
Just so thou shalt know, in case ye may have wondered: The paperback edition of Shattered is coming March 31. There are completists in the world who appreciate having their series all in the same format, which I totally understand, and many peeps who’d rather not pay hardcover prices, which I also understand! Or maybe you’re a new reader and just catching up—whatever the case may be, the wait is almost over!
Two places you can get signed copies if you happen to be in the area when I’m slinging ink:
Dahlonega Lit Festival in Dahlonega, Georgia, March 28-29. Yep, you can get it early! Foxtale Book Shoppe will be selling them there and if you call/email them ahead of time, they will totally have me sign one for you while I’m there and then ship it to you!
Denver Public Library, Park Hill Branch, April 4, 2 pm: I’ll be chatting with peeps, taking selfies, and signing whatever you’d like. You’re welcome to bring your own copies with you or there will also be an indie store there selling shiny new copies.
You can pre-order the Shattered paperback here:
…or from your favorite indie store! If you don’t have one near you there are many of them out there willing to ship! Many thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy!
Peace & tacos—
I wrote a Star Wars book
I was nine years old when THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK came out. When Luke Skywalker was hangin’ upside down in the wampa cave and summoned his lightsaber to his hand using the Force, I thought, “Whoa! How’d he learn how to do that?” My nine-year old self who played with action figures, TIE fighters, and X-Wings never thought that someday I would get to write the answer and have it be canon, but that’s exactly what happened, and you can snag it today wherever you like to score books (or audiobooks)!
HEIR TO THE JEDI is standalone adventure, which means you don’t have to read any other Star Wars books to dive right in—a knowledge of the movies is all you need. It’s set in the period after the Battle of Yavin but before the events of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and it addresses at least some of those “How did we get here?” questions. (For those who might wonder, it’s also set chronologically before the Marvel Star Wars comics that just began last month.)
It’s also a story told for the first time from Luke Skywalker’s first-person point of view. If you check this out you’ll get a summary plus a bunch of handy links to various retailers if you’re an online shopper. There have been quite a few very kind reviews, but here are just a couple from Roqoo Depot and The Wookiee Gunner.
I’m not touring for this particular book but there are a couple different ways to get signed copies if you’d like one:
1) I’ll be at the Park Hill Branch of the Denver Public Library at 2 pm on April 4. You can bring in your copy or buy one there—a local indie bookstore will have copies. They’ll also have copies of the paperback release of SHATTERED, the 7th book in my Iron Druid series.
2) You can order one directly from me (US only) in Oberon’s Treat Shop. I ship them via US Media Mail.
Hope you dig it, and thanks very much for reading!
Bonus Silly Trivia!
My working titles for HEIR TO THE JEDI:
1. NERFHERDER APOCALYPSE
2. DAMN THE CANTINAS
3. NOODLE SCOOTER LUKE
Heir to the Jedi Winners!
Wow, what a great contest! Over a hundred entries of Star Wars geekery! Thank you all so much for making me smile & sharing your love of Star Wars!
It was a truly difficult decision—there were some car entries in particular that I thought were amazing—but I have picked three winners and then a couple more random winners via the ol’ Random.org.
If you’re one of the winners below, please email me your US shipping address (use kevin at thingie kevinhearne dot com) so that I can send you your signed copy of HEIR TO THE JEDI!
First up, Nancie in Ohio with her Weimaraner Leia and Wolfhound Wookiee! A WOLFHOUND WOOKIEE
Next we have Penny/Noah in Illinois! There were quite a few awesome displays of action figures and such but I really appreciated that these are out of the box and played with! PEW! PEW! PEW!
Jeff in California cracked me up with this! Vader at tea time!
Jose in California sharing a little family time! Jose is the Mandalorian. :)
Heather in North Carolina made a Battle of Hoth birthday cake for her son!