Saturday, November 5, 2011

Interview with Kersten Hamilton

I'm so excited!  Kersten Hamilton, the author of the wonderful Goblin Wars trilogy, stopped by to talk to me here at Into the Mystic!  Kersten has written "Tyger, Tyger" which just released in paperback and the soon to be released "In the Forests of the Night".  You can find my reviews of these books here and here.

ItM:Where did you get the idea for The Goblin Wars trilogy? What made you want to set an ancient Irish legend into modern day? 
The seed of the series was actually planted by a goblin named Lina from George MacDonald’s book The Princess and the Goblin. I read the book when I was a about ten.
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. I felt the child’s hand, and I knew I wanted to pull a child out of a goblin one day. That was the moment the story that became Tyger Tyger started growing inside me.

ItM:  You write a lot of children’s picture books. How does your writing process for picture books compare to the writing process for a YA novel? 
Believe it or not, writing YA is much easier than writing picture books, even though YA takes longer and is more absorbing. Many people think that picture books are ‘easy’ because they are short. That’s not true. In a picture book you must have all of the same elements of story and character, but you only have a few hundred words (at most!) to work with. Picture book readers have less life experience to bring to the book with them and that makes writing more difficult as well.

ItM:  What were your favorite parts in the books?
I like every part of these books: the snappy dialogue when the whole group is gathered and tossing ideas about literature, history and love; the suspense of being stalked by evil; the moments when the characters fight for their lives and for each other; the awkwardness of awakening love. Kissing scenes make me blush, though.

ItM:  Is there any chance that these books will be made into movies?
Not the remotest. They don’t have the requisite love triangle or sufficient explosions to attract Hollywood. But…that’s all right with me. The books are my art—they belong to me and my readers. The movies would belong to someone else. I’m not sure I want to give them away.

ItM:  If there were a movie for The Goblin Wars, who would be your dream cast? (Ok, really, how do you picture Finn, right?) 
I can’t imagine trying to fold Teagan, Mamieo, Abby into the bodies of an existing actress. They are too much themselves. Now, it is possible that Johnny Depp could play all of the parts. That might work. Okay, I’ll fold a little here. I did have a picture similar to this when I wrote Finn. Only slightly younger, of course:

ItM:  Can you share a secret from “In the Forests of the Night”? 
Hmmm. How about: Someone (or some creature) is more than you expect or have been led to believe.

ItM:  You have a cool contest going for the release of the 2nd book and also the release of “Tyger, Tyger” in paperback. What can you tell us about the contest?

Yes! I am holding a book trailer contest! Create a book trailer for In the Forests of the Night and you can win $1,000 for your library:

ItM:  Anything you’d like to share about book 3?
It is going to be longer, unless this ends up as a four book series. My excellent editor has assured me of enough time and space to finish the story as it needs to be finished—whether that is accomplished in one book or two, the readers will not be left hanging. Which makes me very happy.

ItM:  What are some good books that you have read recently that you would recommend?

I have very eclectic reading tastes, to say the least. Here are some of the books I have read in the last weeks that I can recommend:

Save the Cat! is a book about screen writing by Blake Snyder; Grand Sophie, which is a Regency Romance by Georgette Heyer; Alec Forbes of Howglen by George MacDonald. I am on a historical binge.
I’m reading several other books as well, but they would not be to everyone’s taste, such as Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. I want to understand that he was a human—and how a human could accept such evil, even convincing himself that it was good. It feels strange and sad, touching Hitler's mind through a book.

ItM:  Finally, can I have Finn? I would trade you my husband for him.
Of course! But you will have to settle for a timeshare. I already have 356 husbands, a standard poodle, one red Maserati, a castle in Monaco and a diamond ring that have been traded for a share of Finn. Finn doesn’t know this yet. I’m not too worried about that—but Teagan doesn’t know either. This does worry me. I may have to go into the author’s equivalent of witness protection when she finds out.  
Thank you so much for stopping by, Kersten!  If you have not yet read "Tyger, Tyger", run get a copy before the release of "In the Forests of the Night!"  You will be able to purchase book 2 on November 22, 2011!


  1. when is the 3rd book called n when would it be out

  2. I THINK it's called "Thy Fearful Symmetry" but I'm not sure when it comes out. It's not listed at all on Goodreads. : (