April 17 – Chat with Kevin Hearne
Tuesday April 17, 2012 – Tuesday April 17, 2012
Join us for an Online Conversation with Author Kevin Hearne to learn more about his popular Iron Druid Series, including the recent release of Tricked, as well as his insight into just what it takes to write a novel. Or two. Or three. And then get them published. Kevin is not afraid to tell you like it is, so don’t be afraid to ask. Whether you write genre (or not), you’ll have a great time hanging out with us in our Virtual Salon, talking about writing with Kevin. We don’t care what you wear or drink during the session. But be warned, if you are not careful, you might learn something.
Kevin’s first novel, The Road to Cibola, took him six years to write and is an utter piece of trash that will never, ever be published. He can’t even tell you what genre it is. It involves the Russian mafia, Aztec treasure, eco-terrorists, and a national network of chop shops. However, from this experience he learned the extremely important lesson that he could finish a novel while holding down a day job. He’d work faster next time, and maybe write something that belonged in a bookstore.
He decided to try an epic fantasy. He wrote for three years and came up with 200,000 words or so, which turned out to be a bit long for an unknown author’s debut. He chopped it down and sent off a 114,000-word version to some agents, who all rejected it, but he also sent it to one publisher, who replied after only two weeks that it had passed the “first round” and would get passed on to other editors soon. He danced in the kitchen and put the letter on his fridge. A modicum of slush pile success! However, no other word came for many moons. He began to work on something else while he waited.
Kevin had an idea for a web comic featuring a Druid who could communicate mentally with animals, especially his own hound. Zuda.com was running a contest, and he scripted out eight pages and completed six of them before realizing that if he submitted his work, DC would own a piece of the characters, or maybe own them outright. He didn’t want that, because he liked these characters too much to share with anyone else. So he wrote a novel about Atticus and Oberon instead, and it turned out to be great fun and easier to write than anything else he’d tried before. He finished writing Hounded in eleven months, and still hadn’t heard back from the publisher about his epic fantasy. What the heck, he said, let’s try to get an agent with the urban fantasy.
He sent out a round of twelve queries and got some nibbles, but all ultimately rejected him. Sigh. He tweaked his first chapter for the twentieth time, revised his query letter, and sent out another round of twelve queries. He got some more nibbles, more rejections, but also an offer of representation from Evan Goldfried at Jill Grinberg Literary Management! Yay! Happy dance in the kitchen!
Evan sent Hounded to nine publishers on September 9, 2009, along with teasers for the next two books in the series. Inside of two weeks, four of those publishers bid on the book at auction, and one of them, ironically, was the same publisher who had been sitting on his epic for a year. So it only took him nineteen years to become a “fortnight success.”
An aside for aspiring writers: please note that Kevin wrote three books and got rejected a lot before he landed an agent and a publishing contract. And note also that twenty-three agents passed on a novel that four publishers couldn’t wait to bid on. Keep writing and don’t give up!
Kevin wrote Hexed in five months and Hammered in six to accommodate the back-to-back release schedule. He’s currently at work on his fourth book in The Iron Druid Chronicles, Tricked, plus a complete revision of his epic now that he’s learned a few things.