2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Michael has read 1 book toward his goal of 50 books.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Author Interview - Kersten Hamilton

Today is supposed to be Author Spotlight, but instead of giving you something even better. An interview with the one and only Kersten Hamilton! Her YA debut novel, Tyger Tyger is about to be released next month and I've had the pleasure of reading it beforehand. I've actually had the book and finished it a while ago but I finally got down to writing a review and doing and author interview. So I know present to you, Kersten Hamilton!

The Author

Who is Kersten Hamilton?
I was born in a trailer in the mountains of southern New Mexico. I escaped electrocution when a typhoon blew power lines down over yet another trailer in a swamp in Washington state, and drowning when a station wagon spun out of control and onto thin lake ice in Alaska. Most of the bullets missed, and none of the incidents with bears, snakes, wolves, and angry moose were fatal.

I went to school as little as possible, read as much as I liked, and raised goats.

I have worked as a woodcutter, a horse wrangler, and a wilderness guide, as well as other, much more boring things. Right now my life is relatively tame, but I do enjoy hunting dinosaurs in the Ojito wilderness.

Why writing and not something else?
Writing is what I was created to do. The thing I like best about being a writer is that you never really get there. Not when you have a book published, not when you get good reviews or bad reviews. Being a writer is all about the process of creating - and that goes on forever!

Who is your favorite author and which authors inspire you?
Probably my favorite author of all time is George MacDonald - not because of his writing, though I do like his ideas very much. It was the way he lived his life. He was a completely honest and good man who befriended, mentored and encouraged many other writers, even those with serious philosophical differences in their world views.

I am inspired by Eiichiro Oda, Charles Dickens, J.K. Rowling, Robert Heinlein, Leo Tolstoy, Isaac Asimov, Mark Twain, Flannery O'Conner, and Hayao Miyazaki, Jane Austen, Louis L'Amour, H. Beam Piper, Neil Gaiman, J.R.R. Tolkien...Do you have forever? Because this list is like the song that never ends...

That's one of the best things about living when we do. There are more books than we can read in a lifetime!

How are you able to preserve through writing a book and actually finishing it?
It is actually very hard for me to write books. I have severe dysgraphia.

Finishing a novel can feel like trudging through an endless muddy ditch. But there is a Japanese proverb that says: "If a man dies in a ditch, he should die falling forward."

Yep. I just keep moving forward.

Tyger Tyger

How did you come up with the idea for the novel?
Tyger Tyger started out as a picture book that was too long and dark to sell! I started expanding the concept into a YA novel, and it became a whole world. That's creative chaos for you!

What is and was your favorite part of the writing process?
Building characters. I love my characters.

If you could change anything, would you?
Do you mean in the novel, or in the real world? I wouldn't change anything in the novel - although I know there are some decisions I made and scenes I wrote that bother people. They need to be told just that way for this story.

There is a great deal I would change in the real world. That's part of the reason I write.

Why Goblins? Why not some other creature like Imps or Ogres?
Because of George MacDonald.

When I was a child, a goblin crept out of the dark and slipped her paw into my hand. The creature's name was Lina, and I met her in a book by George MacDonald.

Lina was a dog-like creature with green eyes lit by amber fire, and a huge mouth with icicle-like teeth. Curdie, the hero of the story, could feel the real hand of any creature inside its flesh glove, and when Lina put her paw in his hand: "a shudder, as of terrified delight, ran through him... instead of the paw of a dog, such as it seemed to his eyes, he clasped in his great mining fist the soft, neat little hand of a child! The green eyes stared at him with their yellow light, and the mouth was turned up toward him with its constant half grin; but here was the child's hand!"

When I read those lines I felt it. Lina was a small part of George MacDonald's book. After I met her, I knew that when I grew up I wanted to write a book full of that kind of goblin creature. So I did.

A question I like to ask every author is, what do you honestly think of your finished novel?
I honestly don't think about it, though I do hope other people like it. I am a journey person. The book I wrote last week was wonderful while I was in the fire of creation; but now my head and heart are all wrapped up in a new story about the Goblin Wars.

I know from experience though, that I will go back and read Tyger Tyger five or ten years from now and think, "Wow! I love this book!"

But of course I feel that way - I always write the kind of books I love.

Future Novels

Are there any plans for future novels of Goblin Wars? If so how many?
I just finished the second novel, "In the Forests of the Night". There will be at least 3 books in Teagan's story arc; but the world is wide open for more if readers like them enough.

So it's called the Goblin Wars Series, or should I say Trilogy for a more correct term, but do you think that perhaps it could turn into a Chronicles perhaps, where you'd introduce more characters and different creatures?
Absolutely! I have lots of plots and plans...

Do you have any plans for books outside of the Goblin Wars Trilogy?
I write all kinds of books. I finished a very young picture book last week, and I will be finishing a young MG steampunk book this month, and then a 'Holes'-esque story set in New Mexico.

Now before we finish this interview, I'd just like to say thank you so much for allowing me to read your novel before its release and doing this interview with me. You truly are an awesome author and I bow to you. But one final question, any advice or last words to readers of your novels and future authors?
Pft. Don't bow to me, Mike. Just get busy and write some good books for me to read!

My best advice for new writers is: read widely. Read many genres at many levels. There is no such thing as a book you cannot learn from. Love many books but study the masters.

Thank you for interviewing me, Mike!

That was an epic interview! I say we all give her a round of applause for her awesome responses =D

As you can see Kersten Hamilton has much to say and many wise words to spread. We learned some things such as information on the book and future books, some future works we can expect and even one thing that amazed me, sometimes you can be challenged with your dream. But no matter what just keep going and defeat that challenge as Kersten has done.

Again I thank her so much for allowing me to read Tyger Tyger and for interviewing her. I advise everybody to go out and buy the book which comes out in November! Only a few days away. And the thing is, even with the book not out yet, she is getting a lot of recognition. So just imagine when the book is out and people finally know who she is. I smell a success in someone's future. And I just want to wish you much success in your future, may you become a well known author and have your dreams come true. Hopefully people will see how good it is and it'll be picked up for a movie.

Thank you guys for reading this and tomorrow I will post up my review of Tyger Tyger. I can't wait because I haven't posted up a review in a while and finally I have one. So until tomorrow just hang a bit tighter to your chairs.

And pre-order Tyger Tyger!


Kersten Hamilton said...

Thank you for interviewing me, Mike! I *do* hope people like Tyger Tyger, but a movie? I dunno. I'm sort of just a book person....

:) Kersten

Leonor said...

I want this book -.-'

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