Cover reveal: SCOURGED
Hey everyone! Hope you’re enjoying BESIEGED right now, which has so much stuff set between books 8 and 9 that you can consider it book 8.5. But here’s the cover for book 9, SCOURGED, which will be out April 3!
Super chuffed about this—the wraparound image has some Irish stone ruins on there. That’s right…Atticus back in Ireland! Woohoo!
Hope you’re excited as I am! I should probably finish writing it now, huh?
BESIEGED tour all set!
For this tour I wanted to try to visit places I’ve never been before, especially some places out east, and I’m happy to say we’ve put together a pretty spiffy list. Only Boulder is a repeat visit; every other stop will be my first time there!
If you’re in driving distance of these places I hope you can come for a visit since I obviously don’t get there often! And bring your friends, please! Make an event of it. You’re welcome to bring books you already own though it’s appreciated if you buy at least Besieged from the store hosting me. Two events are in libraries but there will be a local bookstore in each case to sell you whatever goodies you want. If you want me to sign my whole series I’m happy to do so, but we might sign three and then ask you to come back through the line to keep it moving for folks who just want one or two.
If you can’t make any of these dates, I have three happy things to share with you:
- You can call any of these stores, preorder a signed copy, and once I come through town, they will have me sign it and either ship it to you or hold onto it for pickup.
- I will have another tour in October for A Plague of Giants. West coast peeps—I’ll see you then! San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle for sure. I’ll head east from there but we haven’t planned that far yet so I can’t say where. I won’t be returning to any of the places on the Besieged tour, though. I try to get around.
- I’ll be in New Orleans for StoryCon in September, and they have a public signing on Saturday, Sep. 16. You can see me there plus a buttload of other amazing authors if New Orleans sounds like a good time to you. (Seriously, check out the link and look at the list of authors who will be there.)
In other news—other books! I have three other books besides Besieged coming out in the second half of this year, and you can preorder ’em wherever you snag books (except for The Squirrel on the Train, you need to grab that direct from the publisher) and make my mom smile!
July 11: Besieged
August 1: Urban Enemies (my story in this anthology features Loki)
October 17: A Plague of Giants
November 30: The Squirrel on the Train
Thank y’all for reading. Hope you enjoy what I’ve been working on for a while.
Peace & tacos,
Tour info and other goodies
I’m excited about touring for BESIEGED because every single city on the tour (except for the last) will be a city I’ve never visited before! Since I’m based in the west it’s tougher for me to get out east very often. Or, you know, at all. So I told my publisher I wanted to make a special effort this tour to head east since folks out that way have been very patient. Plus I want to meet them! And ride on a train. I want to see if the snacks are different from airplanes. Or if I even get snacks. Snacks are important. I’m watching you, Amtrak.
If you’re anywhere near these cities, this is (an extremely rare) chance to say hi! Keep in mind a couple o’ things:
1) I have absolutely no limits on the number of books I’ll sign. Bring your copies from home. Bring your friends’ copies. Or buy them all. Clean out the store’s inventory! Either way, I’m there for you.
2) If you can’t make any of these dates, call any of the stores and preorder whatever you like, and they will have me sign it for you while I’m there and then ship it to you or keep it for you to pick up at your convenience. I’m including phone numbers for that purpose. Do give them a call! I will not be selling signed copies of this on my website later.
So here’s the tour:
July 11: Richmond, VA! Fountain Bookstore, 6:30 pm. (804) 788-1594
July 12: Washington, D.C.! Politics & Prose, 7 pm. (202) 364-1919
July 13: Baltimore, MD! Barnes & Noble, 7 pm. The Power Plant location, 601 E. Pratt St. Signing only, though we can chat and take a selfie when you get to the front!
July 14: Philadelphia, PA! Philadelphia Free Library, 7 pm. With special guests Chuck Wendig and Fran Wilde, who also write amazing books and will sign them for you and yeah I am already geeking out about this. This is going to be a heck of a good time. Books will be available for sale on site! At the Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.
July 15: New Haven, CT! The Yale Bookstore, 2 pm. (203) 777-8440. Appearing with audiobook narrator Luke Daniels! Woohoo!
July 16: Cambridge, MA! The Harvard Coop, 2 pm. (617) 499-2000.
Appearing with audiobook narrator Luke Daniels! Squee!
July 17: Burlington, VT! Phoenix Books, 7 pm, 191 Bank St. (802) 855-8078
July 18 or 19, still confirming: Denver, CO! The Tattered Cover on Colfax, 7 pm. Appearing (I hope!) with Carrie Vaughn, who’s launching a new series with BANNERLESS. Geeking out about this too because I must have it.
Sorry if your town isn’t included—my travel budget is not unlimited and I can never visit all the places I’d like to. The fact is we (the publisher and I) lose money on tours! We just do what we can because 1) holy crap I have to get out in the sunlight once in a while and 2) we like to make readers happy because readers are awesome. Hope you can make it to one of these if you’re in the northeast!
- Iron Druid merchandise is now available at the Tinker’s Packs and the majority of your purchase benefits Worldbuilders, a charity that helps feed hungry people through sustainable agriculture. They have Third Eye Books & Herbs T-Shirts and dishwasher-safe stoneware mugs, along with some pretty spiffy stickers that would look great on your laptop or bumper or whatever. Check it out—the mugs look like this:
- If you like your speculative fiction with an Antifascist tilt, then I have a deal for you! Join me in the Antifascist Fiction Club and get the spiffy enamel pin below. It requires a $20 Patreon subscription to Fireside Fiction but you get stuff: The pin! Amazing speculative fiction every month! (Seriously, Fireside is publishing the best authors these days.) Wallpapers from artist Galen Dara! And $5 goes to the ACLU and SPLC every month in your name!Peace & tacos, friends!
Besieged cover reveal
Woohoo! It’s a scared, shaven Atticus with his archdruid, Owen Kennedy! Lookit Owen’s fist! The brass knuckles. The brass knuckles! I love it so much. That’s the cover of Besieged, out July 11!
This particular tableau comes to you courtesy of the story “Haunted Devils,” narrated by Owen.
I should mention here (in case you missed it on the cover) that this is not the next Iron Druid novel. It’s a novel-length collection of short stories you can think of as book 8.5, since five of the nine stories take place after Staked and lead directly into book 9. Of those five stories, two are narrated by Owen and one each by Atticus, Granuaile, and Perun. The other four stories are all narrated by Atticus and take place earlier in series chronology. They’re presented to you in chronological order, though. Want a brief rundown?
“The Eye of Horus” details how Atticus originally ran afoul of the Egyptian pantheon.
“The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” is a reprint, though this version has been revised & expanded somewhat.
“Goddess at the Crossroads” shares how Atticus met William Shakespeare back in the day. Also reprinted from a small press run, also revised.
“Gold Dust Druid” has Atticus in San Francisco in 1850. Oberon’s commentary made me laugh quite a bit in this one.
“Cuddle Dungeon” is narrated by Perun, set in Edinburgh.
“The Bogeyman of Boora Bog” has Owen sharing how he came to be Siodhachan’s archdruid waaay back in the day.
“Blood Pudding” follows Granuaile’s encounter with a nest of vampires in Poland, guest starring Leif Helgarson and the Sisters of the Three Auroras.
“Haunted Devils” is an Owen story in which we learn much more about his grove of apprentices.
“The End of Idylls” takes place directly before the events of book 9, wherein Atticus shares the long-promised story of Faolan with Oberon.
Audio preorders will be available later. Luke Daniels will record for North America and Christopher Ragland for the UK/Aus/NZ peeps.
The brass knuckles, y’all!
Peace & tacos—
It’s a new year! Yay!
I have lots of words coming out this year for y’all and a buttload of projects in the works. Stayin’ busy over here!
On July 11, you’ll get BESIEGED, stories of the Iron Druid Chronicles. It’s essentially book 8.5. It has four stories set in the past—adventures in Egypt, Jacobean England, and California during the Gold Rush—and five that are all set after the events of STAKED. Most of the stories are Atticus & Oberon, but you’ll also get two from Owen, one from Granuaile, and one from Perun! Hope to have cover art for you soon. Since y’all can preorder in ebook & hardcover now (audio preorders will be available later) I’m gonna put up links and thank you in advance—preorders mean a lot! Amazon B&N iTunes
Less than a month later, on Aug. 1, I have another short story appearing in URBAN ENEMIES, an anthology of urban fantasy stories told from the point of view of villains. Mine’s told from Loki’s point of view. Besides me, the full anthology features stories by Jim Butcher (the Dresden Files), Kelley Armstrong (the Cainsville and Otherworld series), Seanan McGuire (October Daye), Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger), Lilith Saintcrow (Jill Kismet), Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville), Joseph Nassise (Templar Chronicles), C.E. Murphy (Walker Papers), Steven Savile (Glasstown), Caitlin Kittredge (the Hellhound Chronicles and the Black London series), Jeffrey Somers (The Ustari Cycle), Sam Witt (Pitchfork County), Craig Schaefer (Daniel Faust), Jon F. Merz (Lawson Vampire), and Diana Pharaoh Francis (Horngate Witches). Preorder links: Amazon B&N iTunes
On Oct. 3, I shall release A PLAGUE OF GIANTS unto the world, the first volume of my epic fantasy trilogy. Obviously I hope y’all will follow me to another world—one I’ve been working on for many years! Cover art and more info coming soonish.
In terms of what’s in the hopper, I’m working on four or five different projects this year:
1) Another of Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries! This one is called The Squirrel on the Train
2) Scourged, book 9 of the Iron Druid Chronicles
3) A novella from Owen’s point of view
4) The second book of my epic fantasy trilogy, A Blight of Blackwings
5) Another project that’s super sekrit right now
Thanks so much for reading! Peace & tacos, y’all.
Boora Bog and cake
It’s my birthday! I’ll probably have cake later! SO YAY!
Broadly speaking, I think many of us would agree it was a miserable trip around the sun, but for me, anyway, there was this bright spot: I got to write something with a bit of novelty to it. After first asking my editor, Tricia, if she’d be cool doing this old-school, I wrote one of the short stories to be published in BESIEGED entirely on a 1956 Olympia SM3 typewriter, and she agreed to edit it by hand too. We were going to do just this one story up to the “Acceptance” stage as if computers didn’t exist. Once I got her notes back—a handwritten editorial letter, plus stuff she wrote in the margins of the manuscript—I retyped the whole thing. First draft was seventeen pages; second draft was twenty-one. She accepted the second draft, but it came back with an editorial letter too and some marks for the next stage—copy editing. And now you (yes, you!) can snag this one-of-a-kind fantasy artifact in an auction on eBay, to benefit Worldbuilders (which benefits Heifer International). You’ll get my marked-up first and second drafts, plus Tricia’s editorial letters and the letter I wrote to her after the first draft, explaining how I’d addressed her comments and asking a couple of questions. This is a rare look at the writing process, much of which is so often deleted by our word processing software these days. (You may find my process marvelous or more likely may find it kinda funny, but regardless, you will probably agree I’m not an A+ typist.) And should you wind up winning this, every penny you spend helps hungry people eat through sustainable agriculture. The kind of thing a Druid would appreciate, in fact. So, if that sounds like your cup o’ tea, and you have the means: Please consider it? This is a link to the auction.
Backstory: I hauled my typewriter out to the kitchen and began writing “The Bogeyman of Boora Bog” on the afternoon of Saturday, July 30, and celebrated the occasion with a finger of fine Irish whiskey:
Because writer brains are weird, I got inspired by another story idea in the first week of August and worked on it until the muse let me rest; then I finished “Boora Bog” after DragonCon and sent it off to Tricia in New York. To the poor FedEx employee who had to deal with me giving it to her care, oh my gods, I’m so sorry: “THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT,” I said in all caps. “YOU CANNOT LOSE THIS OR I WILL DIE.” Because I didn’t make a copy. I not only wanted to do this as if computers didn’t exist, I wanted to do it as if copiers didn’t exist. It’s one-of-a-kind, as I said. And I was feeling so smug about living dangerously right until the point I had to hand it over. “We’ll be very careful,” the nice FedEx lady assured me, and pried the envelope from my clutching, white-knuckled fingers. I did not actually poop myself at that point, but it was a close thing.
This story is narrated from the point of view of Archdruid Owen Kennedy, who taught Atticus everything he knew. It tells the story of how Owen came to meet Atticus for the first time and take him on as an apprentice, so we’re talking sixty or seventy years before Jesus got squeezed out into a manger. But the story doesn’t just describe the meeting: It reveals why Owen chose to train Atticus the way he did, and how that ultimately allowed his apprentice to make the kinds of choices that would one day turn him into the Iron Druid.
An important story, in other words.
When Tricia’s letter came back with the manuscript in October, I cannot even tell you how happy I was. First, the manuscript wasn’t lost! But also, Tricia’s really good at her job. I got excited about the story all over again after reading her letter and notes, because I knew what I had to do to make the story better.
I think it took me five days to revise. Working on an old-school typewriter really is much slower than working on the computer. But I sent it back, worked on finishing the rest of the stories in BESIEGED, and waited to hear back. And just yesterday, I heard.
Tricia accepted Version Deux! But I have learned after working with her for six years that she never says that she “accepts” things. Nope. That’s the language of agents and contracts. When Tricia is satisfied with a story, she tells you to have a drink. Do a shot, make a cocktail with an umbrella in it, get yourself a really fancy bottled water, whatever works for you. Just celebrate, because the Metal Editor is pleased! Behold, I have proof:
So yeah: This is one of my happy things in an otherwise heinous 2016. I got to have a bit of a time-machine experience, composing and editing in a way very few writers do anymore. I loved it. But, I admit, I wouldn’t want to do a whole novel that way. A single story was perfect. And should you wind up owning this manuscript, I hope you’ll enjoy reading it months ahead of everyone else: BESIEGED doesn’t come out until July 11.
Anyway: Thanks for reading this & for reading my stories. If I could give y’all cake I totally would. I hope you do get to have some cake today. Just because you’re spiffy.
Peace and gravy and no Nazis,
All the signed books!
Hoo boy, do I have deals for y’all!
Signed books are spiffy gifts, so you can get 20% off all my titles until Dec. 15 by using the coupon code SHENANIGANS during checkout: CLICK HERE to get signed IDC for cheap!
BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE. A bunch of other awesome sf/f authors are also running awesome deals for their signed books through Dec. 15! You could totally get all your holiday stuff done right now! Just click on the author’s name below to head to their sale.
- Brad Beaulieu – The Lays of Anuskaya novels | 12 Kings in Sharakhai
- Wesley Chu – The Tao Trilogy | Time Salvager
- Jason Hough – The Dire Earth Trilogy | Zero World
- Brian McClellan – The Powder Mage novels and novellas
- Michael J Sullivan – Age of Myth | Riyria Revelations & Chronicles | Hollow World
- Brent Weeks – Night Angel Trilogy and Lightbringer novels
critique and tuckerization
Worldbuilders, run by Patrick Rothfuss to benefit Heifer International, is pretty much my favorite charity. The way it works is, authors and other creative folks donate goodies, you bid on ’em and snag ’em, and then hungry people get to eat through sustainable agriculture. It’s great for everyone.
Wanted to draw your attention to four auctions on eBay right now that benefit Worldbuilders. Should you win, you not only get the spiffy doodad, but every penny will help hungry folks & it’s a charitable donation. So here are the four current auctions (another one will pop up later) you can bid on, should you wish:
- If you’re a writer, I’ll critique the first 15K words of your manuscript. I’ll mark up the heck out of it, letting you know what works and what could stand some revision.
- I’ll Tuckerize you—I mean, use your name—for a character in my upcoming book, BESIEGED, out July 11. Your namesake (which will not be like you in any way except for the name) may or may not die a spectacularly gory death. And I will give you a shout-out in the Acknowledgments too.
- A signed, limited edition of THE PURLOINED POODLE. Leather cover, special insert. Purrrr. Very nice.
- A signed copy of THE PURLOINED POODLE along with an officially licensed replica of Atticus’ necklace from Badali Jewelry!
Check back for more next week—I’ll have a one-of-a-kind item up! As always, thanks for reading and for being spiffy peeps. Peace & tacos~
I’ve never “won” NaNoWriMo—that is, write 50K words in the 30 days of National Novel Writing Month—but I dig participating anyway because of the camaraderie. Lots of people telling stories and encouraging one another—what’s not to like?
Thought I’d share an app that has been working well for me recently and may (or may not) work for you. It’s called OmmWriter and I found it in the App Store.
What OmmWriter does is provide you a distraction-free desktop to write. Your dock disappears so you’re not tempted by all the many ways you can multitask. This is all about focusing on the task of writing. I know that other apps will lock down your social media or whatever, but then you’re still stuck looking at a desktop of distractions, or at the oppressive white nihilism of Word’s blank page. OmmWriter’s a bit different. Here’s what the default background looks like as I typed on my laptop:
Nice, eh? Snowy trees. The lack of bold or italics might be a nonstarter for some writers, and hey, that’s fair enough. That’s an easy fix for me; I will have to import into Word and do an editing pass anyway, so I can add that formatting later in exchange for focused writing now.
Move the cursor in OmmWriter and the bounding box appears with the minimalist controls:
The music is Zenlike ambient stuff, no lyrics, just soothing. You can turn that off and listen to whatever on your headphones or whatever, but I’ve been enjoying it. And you can also choose from fun little keyboard noises for extra clickity-clack, or turn that off.
Here’s a look at how you can customize the look a bit:
This has been great for me recently in terms of productivity and of course your mileage may vary. Just thought I’d share in case it looks like the sort of thing that might work for you too.
Hope you have a turbo-successful NaNoWriMo if you’ll be participating! TELL US A STORY!
The case put forth by Kace
I’ve been taking a break from Twitter partially to concentrate on finishing BESIEGED and partially to save myself a whole lot of stress and anxiety—lately, that’s all I’ve been feeling when I go there. And yes, a large part of that is the election stuff. But there’s more to it: I see continual abuse and threats against pretty much anyone who isn’t a cis het white male, and Twitter’s refusal to do anything except provide a block button, which does nothing when trolls can just make an egg account and keep coming. I don’t get any of that abuse (because of the cis het white male thing) but whoa dang, I see it happening to others and I feel angry and helpless—and of course it’s nothing compared to what the targets of that abuse must feel.
My unease with it clarified, however, with two excellent, detailed posts by author K.C. Alexander, who prefers to be called Kace. If I can encourage you to do anything besides vote, maybe take the time to read them?
The first post lays out the moral case for leaving Twitter.
The second post provides a valid alternative: A new social media platform called Imzy that’s built from scratch on the idea that harassment and abuse, like the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad Dum, shall not pass. They have already banished some Gamergaters that tried to establish a beachhead there, and trolls are easily banished from communities by the leaders of those communities. (And they can’t make an egg account and come back, either.)
Imzy is still in beta as of this moment, but is going into public beta in a couple weeks. Should you wish to jump in now, you can easily gain access by asking for an invitation from me here, or from a community of writers and readers called Fineapple Writers.
After my hiatus from Twitter and FB (meaning after Election Day), my activity in both places will continue to be very limited—I might simply push my Imzy posts there, if I do anything at all. These days I post happy pics on Instagram (@kevin_hearne) and various goodies on Imzy and I’m happier and more productive because of it—which tells me I’m doing the right thing.
I wish you much happiness always.
Peace & tacos~