It isn't every day that a 2,000 year-old person consents to an interview. So when the opportunity arose to interview Atticus from Kevin Hearne's very well received Iron Druid series I couldn't pass it up. Hearne's series starts with Hounded, which is all kinds of pleasing with its snappy dialogue, lovable characters, and fun action. Already the sequels Hexed and Hammered are available with at least 3 more to come in the series over the next few years. I myself have read the first two volumes and it is one of the most enjoyable series to debut in quite a few years. Think of it as a mix of Highlander with the humor of Christopher Moore and the god aspect from American Gods. Now on to a few words from the star of the series Atticus.
MH: Thanks for taking the time to join us today. It isn't every day I get to interview a 2,000 year-old druid.
ATTICUS: Happy to do it. Used to be a hatter myself, once upon a time. I cheated, though, and bound everything using magic—none of those chemicals that make you go mad and gestate brain tumors. Just say no to mercury poisoning, dude.
MH: Ahh, a kindred spirit! Those chemicals are bad? Humph? Maybe I should learn your techniques...
Currently you're running a New Age store in Arizona. Are you tired of all those college kids coming in looking for special herbs?
ATTICUS: They can be annoying, but you have to take your yang along with the yin. I also get college kids who come in looking for books that will make them better human beings, and I'm glad I can give them a place to find such books, and show them that they don't have to consume something corporate every day. Running an indie store is my own small way of sticking it to the Man.
MH: From what I've heard you've been sticking it to the man for centuries. Most notably Aenghus Óg. What's the deal with you and him? Seems like he is hounding you wherever you go?
ATTICUS: Yes, I ruined a scheme of his back in the first century and he's held a grudge ever since. He tells everyone he's after me because I stole a sword of the Tuatha Dé Danann called Fragarach, but I think that's somewhat secondary; his true beef with me is that I made him look bad once, and then kept doing so as he failed to find me.
MH: Well a God doesn't like to be shown up. Who was the most interesting person you've met throughout your lifetime?
ATTICUS: One of the most entertaining people I've ever met who has grown to be more interesting with the passage of time is Benjamin Franklin. I met him while he was staying in France, and man, did he know how to party. His bad-boy image has been tamed quite a bit with plenty of coats of patriotism over the years, and that's one of the things I find interesting about him. But he also had ideas about sharing inventions for the benefit of mankind that some of today's politicians would view as suspiciously socialist. He was a staunch Deist when I knew him, but those views evolved as he got older. In short, he was an incredibly complex individual—as were all the Founding Fathers—but he's presented to young people today as this very simple, morally righteous man. I find that interesting.
MH: What is the most difficult part of being an immortal and what is the best besides the whole longevity thing?
ATTICUS: It's unspeakably difficult to watch your loved ones grow old and die. And you can't stop loving people, or else you become something other than human. There's no upside there. The best part is seeing first-hand the progress humanity has made in terms of Really Good Ideas. Chimneys were a good one, and toilet paper was brilliant, let me tell you. People take those things for granted now, but there was a time when neither one existed, and life was significantly rougher. Ahem.
MH: I can see how losing people all of the time can be hard. But it seems like you've made friends with some god-like beings. And that dog of yours, Oberon, looks to be spry.
ATTICUS: Oberon is about fifteen years old thanks to a regimen of Immortali-Tea, so he's already doubled the average wolfhound's lifespan. He's the best hound ever. Keeps me sane and grounded in many ways.
MH: How did you choose Kevin Hearne to chronicle you so late in life? One would think you'd have had a bard following you around long ago. Was it that his last name reminded you of Herne the Hunter?
ATTICUS: I thought, well, here's an Irish guy who can write, he appreciates good beer and fish and chips, so why not? And part of it was pride, or even base vanity; since I was going to take a stand and reveal myself after millennia of hiding, I wanted the world to know I was around. Herne the Hunter is a swell guy as far as ghosts go, by the way—no relation to Kevin.
MH: Besides being immortal what is one thing most people don't know about you?
ATTICUS: I am terrified of gummy worms. Bad experience in San Diego. Gah! *shudders*
MH: And now most importantly and to go along with my other main proclivity what is your favorite hat or type of hat?
ATTICUS: These days I like baseball caps. I wear a Diamondbacks one during the season. But you know how sometimes people buy those caps and then keep the little golden stickers on front bill? I've been trying to figure out why they do that. Can someone explain why they think that is a good idea?
MH: Thanks for your time. We'll all be sure to check out Hounded and Kevin's blog and twitter to see what he keeps saying about you.
ATTICUS: Appreciate you taking the time to natter a bit. Kevin's working on book four now, called Tricked, so there will be plenty more to come. Cheers!
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