Think of it: The entire world's collected mythology and folklore is waiting to be mined for fictional gold. That's what makes urban fantasy the most exciting genre to read and write for me. The potential for supernatural shenanigans in the present seems infinite. To narrow the focus a bit and keep myself sane, when I sat down to write Hounded, the first book of The Iron Druid Chronicles, I made myself a list of what I wanted to contribute to the genre. I wanted an unusual hero, easily distinguishable from others; I wanted to give man's best friend a voice, and I wanted it to be a big best friend, like an Irish wolfhound; I wanted a little old lady sipping whiskey on her porch, some gratuitous allusions to Shakespeare, and a beautiful, (mostly) normal girl in there with freckles and strawberry lip gloss; and I wanted a whole lot of gods and goddesses trying to survive in a secular world, especially from some pantheons we don't hear about all that often. Also, because they kind of scare me, no leather pants.
The Iron Druid Chronicles follows the adventures of Atticus O'Sullivan, a 2,100-year-old Druid who's discovered that it's the little things in life that make it worth living, and he can continue to enjoy those things so long as he hides from the Irish gods who want to kill him. Unfortunately, once he decides to take a stand, he draws the attention of all sorts of beings who thought the last real Druid had passed from this world long ago.
Part of the great fun of writing a character this old is figuring out where Atticus was during all of history's great events and whether he might have had a hand in them. But the pith, the core of what makes him so interesting to me is how he handles outliving all his friends and loved ones: How does he hang on to his humanity when his lifespan is greater than that of every other human?
The Iron Druid Chronicles still has plenty of familiar urban fantasy elements, but I hope readers will enjoy this very different hero who can talk to both gods and dogs, yet loves nothing so much as conversing with friends over a fine plate of fish and chips and a pint to wash it down.