Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ale, Sausage and a visit from Kevin Hearne

Hey all!
I have found another book I must let you all know about, it's both AWESOME and unusual. Here is a little blurb about it-

Atticus O’Sullivan has been running for two thousand years and he’s a bit tired of it. After he stole a magical sword from the Tuatha Dé Danann (those who became the Sidhe or the Fae) in a first century battle, some of them were furious and gave chase, and some were secretly amused that a Druid had the cheek to defy them. As the centuries passed and Atticus remained an annoyingly long-lived fugitive, those who were furious only grew more so, while others began to aid him in secret.

Now he’s living in Tempe, Arizona, the very last of the Druids, far from where the Fae can easily find him. It’s a place where many paranormals have decided to hide from the troubles of the Old World—from an Icelandic vampire holding a grudge against Thor to a coven of Polish witches who ran from the German Blitzkrieg.

Unfortunately, the very angry Celtic god who wants that sword has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power, plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good, old-fashioned luck of the Irish to kick some arse and deliver himself from evil.

Uh huh...yes.. Kevin doesn't mess around with the Tuatha De' Dannan, no shiny fuzzy warm winged creatures are they, rather the strange, twisted, amoral beings that mythology tells us about. I couldn't read this book fast enough! It's the beginning of a trilogy with the second book Hexed coming out on June 7th and the third book Hammered coming out on July 5th. I asked Kevin to stop by for a quick interview, in between signing books and grading tests.( Kevin teaches high school English.)

Well lets just jump into things-

What triggered the original idea?

It started out as a comic book I was going to call American Druid. It was just supposed to be a project to keep me busy while my epic fantasy was out on submission, and I basically wanted a magic user who could talk to his dog since I've always wished I could talk to mine. After finishing six pages of the comic, I realized it would be better suited to an urban fantasy novel and took a step back to reevaluate everything. The story got bigger from there as I got into the background research.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I read parts of The Annals of the Four Masters and the Fenian Cycle, as well as a Dictionary of Celtic Mythology by James MacKillop and some old accounts by Julius Caesar. Though of course I took some liberties here n' there, I tried to stick to the myth n' history as much as possible, because I'm tired of seeing the original Irish stuff being watered down and corrupted by other traditions.

Do you have a favorite member of the Tuatha De' Dannan?

Oh, heck yes. Brighid is a tall shot of whiskey. Poetry, Fire & the Forge in one package? That's hotness.

Is some of Atticus' "modern lingo" channeled from your students?

Yeah, a bit of it. But I don't think I'm going to have him start calling things "sick." I don't wish to contribute to that confusion. What a bizarre development in modern slang that is. The other term that's popular right now is to call cool things "legit." Atticus might use that one. Apparently, being legit is even better than being sick. When I was in high school, sick things were rad and legit things were balls rad. Slang was so much simpler back then.

Let's talk play-list, what did you listen to when writing this book?

Depends on what I'm writing at the time. I'm a fan of Rodrigo y Gabriela( THIS BAND IS GREAT FOLKS!) and Six Parts Seven for most things—instrumentals, basically. But when Atticus has to throw down, I put on some heavy stuff. Megadeth, DragonForce, Yngwie Malmsteen, that sort of thing. Angry music that makes you all stabbity, you know, like you want to hunt down all the spiders in your house and mount their heads on toothpicks as a warning to all other creatures with exoskeletons that they'd better not disturb THIS guy while he's writing. That's nothing special, though; I'm sure everybody does that.

Since you love the wolfhounds, what kind of pets do you have?

I live in a rather wee place and don't have enough room for a noble hound, so I have a pug and a Boston Terrier. The pug's name is Manley (after the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins) and the Boston's name is Sophie (after the novel Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder). I also have two cats that my wife adopted.

If you could sit down and dine with 5 deities who would they be and why?

1. Manannan Mac Lir, Irish god o' the sea. I want to know what's lurking in his domain that we haven't seen yet and I want to check out his cloak o' mists.
2. Vainamoinen from Finnish tradition, because I have to hear him play something on his kantele. If you've never heard of it, that's an instrument made from the lower jaw of a pike and the hairs of a blond woman. That has to have a rather unique sound, don't you think?
3. Brighid, for reasons mentioned above. I want to hear a ballad or something from her.
4. Coyote from Native American tradition. He's gotta have some great stories to tell.
5. Athena, Greek goddess o' wisdom. I'd like her advice on how to solve a few of the world's problems.

I love a good pint, actually I am predisposed to cider, so what is your favorite beer?

The Bramble Berry Brew at Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff, Arizona. Best beer EVAR. It finishes really clean and has just a hint of raspberry freshness to it. Only "fruit" beer I can stand, actually; all other fruity beers taste artificial or over-sweetened somehow. When I first tried it I wasn't expecting much, so I was astounded by its quality; to my palate it's the most refreshing drink on the planet. But I'm REALLY looking forward to trying this beer called Chocolate Oaked Yeti. It might be crap, but I want to be able to say I tried it.

Yeah I can't wait to try that one either...anything with chocolate and Yeti in it wins in my book..
Thank you so much for stopping by...

you can buy Kevin's book here-
Barnes & Noble

You can find Kevin here-
Kevin Hearne website

Monday, May 2, 2011

Run, Run , Run , Run, Runaway....

This blog post has been a long time coming. Lots of strange goings on in real life, forcing me into a writing distraction.

Anyroad, this tale takes place many (MANY) years ago, when a young Synde was still in high school (19XX, heh heh). There was a club in
Los Angeles (about 30 minutes from my home in Orange County) called Rodney's English Disco. Rodney Bingenheimer was a short gnomish kind
of guy who was completely beloved by the music industry, especially the British Glam musicians. Many of said musicians hung out at
Rodney's club—the holy grail of hangouts. I won't go on about how a
bunch of underage teens could get into a club that had free running
drank, because of course that would be illegal. WE KNOW I don't go in
for that illegal kind of stuff.

So we would dress in our Glam finery and go out to Hollywood to see
who we could see. It is there I met Joan and Cherie. Joan was outgoing
and driven with a very ballsy sense of humor, and Cherie was a quiet
watcher. When I first met them both, they had only just come to know
each other, so often the three of us would hang out and star watch.
Joan had no problems talking to Jimmy Page, but Cherie and I would
just hang back and watch. One night outside of Rodney's they told me
about the band they had been putting together. Joan had met a guy
named Kim Fowley and he had wanted to put an all girl rock band
together. It turns out that had been how Joan met Cherie. All this
time they had been rehearsing and now they were going to play live.
They wanted me to come and see them play at the Whiskey. I was both
excited and jealous. At that age I secretly wanted to be in a band
myself, however my singing NO! ( I even had a band name:
Sweet Revenge.)

So a week later, I went to the Whiskey to hear Joanie's band. The
audience was full of underage kids. (The fake ID business must have
been booming in LA that week!!) When they took the stage, Joan was
wearing her trademark leathers, and Cherie in her now infamous blue
spandex jumpsuit. The other girls—Sandy, Jackie and Lita—I didn't know
at the time, so I don't remember what they were wearing.

Finally they started playing. Let me tell you, TRAIN WRECK! Missed
chords, slow starts, awful vocals...and yet there was a seed
germinating. A tiny spark that told me something special was
happening. I remember that first time I heard Cherry Bomb, I knew it
was a hit! As bad as it was, the audience was singing along by the
end. No one could get that hook out of their heads. I didn't get to
talk to them after the show. Kim swept them away to talk to the press
and such.

Little by little I lost touch with them. A few years later I was
standing in line to see Blade Runner in San Diego down the street from
a concert venue. I walked to the street to have a cigarette just as a
huge tour bus went by. I heard a voice shout "Hey Synde" and when I
looked up to the window, Joan was hanging out of it flipping me off
(her way of saying "hi"). She pointed down the street and said, "Come
see us." I didn't though...

Cut to 2 years later when I am in college and working at Magic
Mountain. I get my list of acts for the summer and there is Joan Jett
and the Blackhearts. The day came, and Joan was nice, but her manager
(I won't mention his name) was like the worst stage mother ever...
hovering over her like a demented moth. But the show was fantastic.
Her band was tight. And I loved every second.

I haven't seen her since that night, but she continues to inspire. I
wish her all the best.

**I love Rock n Roll
so put another dime
in the jukebox baby******************