Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Interview with Kersten Hamilton!

Today, I'm lucky enough to have Kersten Hamilton, the author of Tyger Tyger and In the Forests of the Night on my blog for an author interview! :D  I hope you enjoy!


Hi Kersten! I’m thrilled to interview you on my blog! I loved Tyger Tyger! I was also lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of The Forests in the Night, and I loved it, too! For the people who haven’t started your series yet, how would you describe it?

Thank you, Ambur! I am really, really bad at describing my own work, so I am going to let some blogger friends describe if for me:

“…a fast-paced adventure with a backbone of Celtic myth and heart of romance.” Pat Esden

“One of my favorite things about your book is Teagan and Finn and they’re relationship. Teagan is smart and brave and doesn’t do dumb things that make you want to pull your hair out. Meanwhile Finn is absolutely sexy and cocky and sexy and brave and sexy… They’ve got great chemistry.” Ello from The Inkpot

“Hamilton is a wizard at creating tension, building on characters’ strengths and weaknesses until the plot really takes off.” Kirkus

“I loved the characters, the dialogs that had that witty and querky feeling I adore, the world-building…. I loved it because it was so utterly different from other YA fantasy novels. It was all at once touching, hilarious, action-packed and fast-paced.” Roxanne, The Honeyed Knot

Google Fionn Mac Cumhail,
and you get images like this ;)
I’m a huge Finn fan...I seriously love him! You’ve written an amazing character, and so I was wondering about the original Finn Mac Cumhaill from Celtic legend. Can you tell us a bit about him? Or about the parts of the legend you brought into your story?
      I love him, too. :) Fionn Mac Cumhaill is the “King Arthur” of Irish Myth and Legend—the good warrior who will rise again when his people need him the most. I imagined what it would be like if he returned today…and Finn was born!

You write such wonderful characters, where do you get the inspiration for them? Are any of them based on actual people?
      Conjuring characters from thin air would take more talent than I have. Ms. Skinner, for instance, is based on several people I have known who abused their power. The first one probably made the deepest impression on me.
      When I was about ten, I befriended an abused dog. He was in bad shape, but I nursed him back to health and named him Joe. He was my best buddy. But because I couldn’t afford a license the dogcatcher took him away. He was a scrap of a dog that had no chance of being adopted by anyone else. The dogcatcher told me I had two weeks to get enough money to buy Joe a license or he would be put down.
      I worked as hard as I could, earning money any way I could think of. My family didn’t have enough money to keep food on the table. There was no one else to help me. I didn’t earn enough.
On the day they killed Joe, I was sitting on a rooftop wishing I was strong enough to fight the world and save him. Smart enough to have thought of some way to earn the money. But I wasn’t.
      That dogcatcher who exercised power with no heart became my personal model of human evil.
Other characters in my books spring from flesh and blood, too. I use little slivers of my own soul to animate some of them…but I’ll let my readers guess which ones!

Tyger Tyger was the first book I ever read with goblins in it, and it definitely made me want to read more of them. They seem to have some amazing folklore (just like Finn ;D). Do you have any recommendations for books with goblins in them?
      My goblins owe a great debt to the creatures and themes in the books of George MacDonald which I read as a child: The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie.
      I was also slightly obsessed with poems like Harold Monro’s poem, Overheard on a Salt Marsh:

What word (or several words, if you need them) would you use to describe each of your characters?
Teagan: Smart/loving
Finn: Courageous/haunted
Aiden: Magical/wistful
Abby: Fierce/loyal
Mamieo: Wise/determined

And finally, are you excited for In the Forests of the Night’s release? And does it feel different releasing a sequel compared to the first book in the series?
I am thrilled! And it does feel different. When Tyger Tyger came out, I had wild hopes and dreams for it. But it was very different than most YA that is being published, and didn’t shoot out of the gate like a rocket. It didn’t cause much of a stir…at first. But the people who read it really, really loved it. Their emails and letters were like gifts to me, keeping me going as I wrote the second book. In the Forests of the Night comes out with an established and excited group of fans ready and waiting. Releasing it in November feels like giving my readers a special Christmas present – one that took a year to prepare and wrap up for them. I can’t wait for them to open it!

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Ambur!
- Kersten Hamilton

I've already reviewed both Tyger Tyger and In the Forests of the Night on my blog, and I absolutely loved them both! The Goblin Wars Trilogy is one of my favourites, and I wholeheartedly recommend them! Here are their Goodreads pages: Tyger Tyger | In the Forests of the Night

Did you like Kersten's answers in the interview? I know I did. :D

And in other exciting news...In the Forests of the Night comes out today! Are you going to be going out to get your copy? :D

Happy Reading!!!



  1. Wonderful interview, Ambur! Tyger,Tyger is on my tbr list!

    -Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews

  2. This is a series I am looking forward to reading. Thanks for the interview!


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