Alright my lovelies, you might not know today’s guest yet, as he is a debut author, but trust me: You Want To Know Him!!!! Did I put enough exclamation marks you think? Just a few more for the effect..!!!! LOL So Kevin Hearne’s first book, Hounded, will hit the shelves May 3rd, and it’s definitely worth a pre-order. This Book Rocks. Read the ARC, loved it, and pre-ordered a finished copy. ‘nough said right? But you can still read my review if you’re not convinced *winks* Ok, ok, enough fussing, please read on what Kevin had to share with us, and stick around for a giveaway!
These Are the Druids You’re Looking For
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from an Irish guy! Hopefully you’re reading this with a flagon of your favorite brew close at hand and a nice bowl of lamb stew. Failing that, hopefully you now want a flagon of something delicious and you’re wondering where people buy flagons these days.
Tynga graciously let me pick today to appear during Paranormal Spring Break because the main character of my series (The Iron Druid Chronicles) was walkin’ around when St. Patrick started spreading Christianity throughout Ireland. Born as Siodhachan Ó Suileabháin around 75 BCE in what is now Co. Tipperary, he uses the name of Atticus O’Sullivan for the modern day. He’s living in Tempe, Arizona, the last of the Druids, hiding out from some unpleasant members of the Tuatha Dé Danann and their Fae minions. I mined quite a bit of Irish mythology and history to flesh out the back story, but what I found most fascinating was how little we actually know about the Druids.
We know they held fantastic sociopolitical power in ancient Celtic societies, and we know they had a long training period involving lots of memorization—but everything else is tough to nail down. When one considers that absolutely nothing has survived written by a Druid, and that everything we know about them comes from Greco-Roman sources with their own agendas or later Christian sources writing tales casting Druids as the bad guys, you really have to take everything you read with a metric ton of salt. The human sacrifice thing, especially, is disputed; there’s simply no hard evidence, and since both the Romans and the later Christians wanted the Druids wiped out, it would make sense for them to accuse the Druids of barbaric practices. What seems fairly consistent across all accounts is that the Druids had some talent with divination and they held respected positions in society as judges, bards, and seers.
During the Victorian period in England, interest in Druids enjoyed a revival that continues to this day—in fact, the UK recently recognized modern Druidry as a distinct religion. However, one must remember that all modern Druidry is based on practices and rituals that someone made up in the nineteenth century, since the Druids pretty much had vanished entirely by the fifth or sixth century (and much earlier on the continent) and they didn’t leave a single written record of their practices behind. To their enormous credit, today’s modern Druids readily admit this, and I do not mean to denigrate their faith in any way by pointing this out, since it clearly is a meaningful and vital part of many people’s lives throughout Europe. What I’m trying to point out is that for an author like me, the lack of firm evidence on ancient Druidic practices represents a golden opportunity to Make Some Stuff Up.
Atticus O’Sullivan represents a blend of historical fact, mythological research, and stuff I had a lot of fun making up. And unless I’m mistaken (which is entirely possible!), he might be the only male protagonist featured in Paranormal Spring Break, aside from YA books. If you’re looking for something a bit different in urban fantasy, I hope you’ll give Hounded a try. If you like it, you won’t have long to wait for a sequel—Hexed is coming out June 7 and Hammered on June 28! Don’t be shy about stopping by my blog and commenting or saying hello on Twitter (@kevinhearne) or Facebook!
Huge thanks to Tynga for inviting me to spend a blessed day with you! Before I go, a toast! Raise your flagon, whether ye be Irish or no: To Spring Breaks, to old gods and new friends, to fine books and finer beers, to the birth of love and the death of sorrow—may you drink your fill of every possible happiness. Sláinte!
Thank you so much Kevin for this amazing post! Because you head to part, would you let us know what’s your best spring break memory?
My best Spring Break memory is the time I spent it hiking with my family in Arizona's Rim Country. The smell of pine needles under your feet, herons still as statues in the shallows of the lakes, chipmunks scampering up and down the Ponderosas—well, it was heavenly. I know lots of people can't wait to get to the beach during Spring Break, but I usually wind up hugging a tree in the high country somewhere.
Thanks to Random House/Dey Rey I have a copy of Hounded to offer to one of you!
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.
This giveaway is open to US & Canada only
To enter, just leave a comment letting us know how you celebrate St-Pat’s day ^^
Don’t forget to include a way to contact you!
If you want to earn an extra entry, spread the word and provide a link in a different comment =)
Tweet: WIN Hounded, 1st book in the Druid Chronicles Series by @KevinHearne ! http://bit.ly/fpDHLk hosted by @Tynga & @parajunkee #Giveaway PLZ RT
Ends April 6th, 2011.
To anxious? You can purchase Hounded here: