Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Creative Stories: Kersten Hamilton

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Kersten Hamilton, author of the soon to be published book Tyger Tyger.
See my review of Tyger Tyger here.

About Kersten Hamilton
Kersten Hamilton is the author of several picture books and many middle grade novels. When she's not writing, she hunts dinosaurs in the deserts and badlands outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she lives. For more about Kersten, please visit

Andrea: Can you sum up your book Tyger Tyger, in a sentence?
Kersten: Writers are supposed to be able to do this—but I am very bad at it. I have the whole book in my mind, like a tapestry, and I see it all as threads and connections, knots of plot and colors of emotion. A writer friend of mine, Pat Esden, interviewed me and summed it up beautifully, though: “Tyger Tyger is fast paced adventure with a backbone of Celtic myth and heart of romance.” I added the word ‘Celtic’ to Pat’s sentence, because that’s such a big part of the book. J

Andrea: Out of all the characters in Tyger Tyger or the Goblin Wars series who's your favorite to write about?
Kersten: Finn. No, Tea. Wait! Mamieo…the truth is, I love writing most of my characters.
I say most because I do not love writing the bad guys.

Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars, #1)Andrea: Tell us a little about yourself. We know you’re a writer but what are your favorite things and what do you other than write.
Kersten: I like hunting camels, mammoths, and saber–tooth tigers—and the really BIG game, dinosaurs— in the desert badlands of New Mexico. They are bones now, of course. But I love being the first human to find a creature that hasn’t been seen for tens of thousands or even millions of years.

I also dream a lot about the forest garden I want to grow somewhere in the East where rain falls from the sky. In his book, Edible Forest Gardens, Dave Jacke describes a forest garden as: “…an edible ecosystem, a consciously designed community of mutually beneficial plants and animals intended for human food production.” Forest gardens mimic natural forests, and include trees, shrubs, and ground cover as well as insects and small animals that are essential to woodland health. I’m going to call my forest garden “Bombadil’s Wood”, and it will be a place where people can come and learn how to plant forest gardens of their own. You can find out more about forest gardens and why they are such an important concept by watching a series of BBC videos called ‘A Farm for the Future’ on YouTube. The first one is here:
Andrea: Do you see yourself as any of your characters, and if so which one(s)? Or did/do you model any of your characters after people in your life?
Kersten: Yes, and oh, yes! Several of the characters in Tyger Tyger are a little like me, and two are very like me. (I won’t tell you which two. You’ll have to guess!) Finn is very much like my husband Mark. If the goblins were after me, I know they would have to come through Mark to get me. :)

ButterflyAndrea: Surroundings sometimes influence authors in their writing process and books, do yours in anyway influence you?
Kersten: Incredibly. I look for light and mood when I’m searching for a place to write. I will take my laptop and wander in the bosque down by the Rio Grande River, or hike along the crest of the Sandia Mountains. Sometimes I work in bookstores or coffee shops and eavesdrop on the conversations all around me…and sometimes I write in my bed with the covers pulled over my head.

OceanAndrea: I know from visiting your site you also write children books what's it like writing for Young Adults compared to writing for children?
Kersten: Believe it or not, writing YA it is much easier than writing picture books! 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. I must admit right now it is glorious to be able to stretch out and write a series of novels!

Andrea: Are you working on any new projects other than the Goblin Wars series? If so can you give us a little hint, please.
After book two of Goblin Wars, I will be finishing an early MG steampunk series. Then, an older MG dealing with suicide, Catholicism, immigration issues and undead school administrators. I will probably write a picture book or two; then, it is back to the YA world for the third book in the Goblin Wars trilogy...

Andrea: Do have anything you want to add?
Kersten: Yes! When you read, real magic happens. The story becomes a co-creation—you add your real-life experience, imagination, and emotions to what the writer has done—and the story becomes uniquely yours. Because of this magic, no two people ever really read the same book. That’s why I love it when people review my books. I get little glimpses of the magic that has happened.

Thank you for reading and reviewing Tyger Tyger, Andrea!

Might I add, it was an honor reviewing Tyger Tyger! I loved this book and anyone who likes fantasy should really read it! Tyger Tyger is going to be released on November 15, 2010.

And that Meg Wilson has also created a Tyger Tyger Facebook fan page where you can find even more interviews and reviews, find it here.

1 Loud Comments:

Kersten Hamilton said...

ohhh! I look good in purple. :) Have a good vacation, Andrea! I'll drop back by—if anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. Or, we could just talk about Andrea while she is away....


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