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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ten Tantalizing Questions & Giveaway with Kersten Hamilton, Author of Tyger Tyger!

Today I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Kersten Hamilton who dropped in to discuss her latest novel, Tyger Tyger. A fast-paced fantasy steeped in Celtic mythology and a whole lot of danger, Tyger Tyger is sure to appeal to fans of Julie Kagawa and Lesley Livingston.  Kersten brought along a handmade necklace to raffle off and we've also got one copy of the book up for grabs. Details below.

Kersten Hamilton

Kersten Hamilton is a prolific children's writer known for her fast-paced, dramatic storylines. She is the author of twenty-four books for children and works with the house church movement in her home town of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Official Website


1.Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars, Book 1) is a story about Teagan, a teenage girl whose life is turned upside down when she realizes some truly horrifying creatures are hunting her. Can you tell us a little more about the book?

I like the way Pat Esden put it in her review: “Tyger Tyger is fast paced adventure with a backbone of myth and heart of romance.”

2.What three words do you think best describe your book?

‘Really good book’ of course!

3. Do you remember the first words you ever wrote for Tyger Tyger, and are they still in it today?

They are no longer in the book—which is not surprising, since Tyger Tyger started out as a picture book! The first words were “Long ago, when dragons slept beneath the hills and fairy folk ruled in forest and glen, there lived two children in the shadow of a dark forest…”
Goodness. Yes. It has changed.

4. If you had to attach a musical score to the book, what songs do you imagine playing during prominent scenes?

Finn’s is Teardrop, sung by Newton Faulkner, because for Finn “love is a doing word.”

Teagan and Finn together have a song; Run by Snow Patrol: “Light up, light up as if you have a choice…even if you cannot hear my voice.”

Oh, and Abby’s song is What’s Up by 4nonblondes:

5. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced to publish Tyger Tyger? Is there anything about the process that you would do differently, knowing what you do now?

Selling Tyger Tyger was fairly painless. I am a writer who works without an agent, so I am very choosy about which editors I send my books to. I look for editors whose work I admire, and who have published books I love.

There were two editors I wanted to work with in bringing Tyger Tyger out. I liked them both equally well, but had spoken to one about the book and she seemed interested so I sent it to her first.
She loved it—in fact, all of the editors at her house loved it. We were both so sure it was a sale we started plotting and planning. However, at this house the publisher has to sign off on every manuscript acquired, and the publisher did not like the Celtic themes. It was sad for both of us.

The day I got word that the first editor couldn’t take it, I sent it to the second editor and had an offer three weeks later.

6. Tyger, Tyger incorporates fascinating folklore from Irish mythology. Can you share with us any interesting tidbits you uncovered while researching for the book?

I am delighted in the aspects of the ancient Celtic worldview, which are very like my own. For instance, the Celts built no walls between the natural world and the supernatural, the secular and the sacred.

The ancient Celts took their storytellers very seriously. It took sixteen years of higher education to become a bard. That’s the equivalent of two PhDs!

If you consider the time it takes to be well read, to gain an understanding of the human heart, to deeply experience the joy and pain of life…I think that’s about right even today!

7. If you could inhabit the life of one literary character and dive into their world for just one day, who would you choose and why?

Just one day? Then it would have to be Max from Where the Wild Things Are. Max sails away, tames the Wild Things, and became a king. And when he gets home, somebody else has cooked dinner!

8. If Tyger Tyger was to be made into a movie, do you have certain actors you envision in the lead roles or do you think unknowns would be best suited to play them?

Definitely unknowns. And—I would want real looking people, the kind you might see on a BBC special. I’m very real looking myself.

9. What is the greatest piece of writing advice you’ve ever received as an author?

Jane Yolen’s mantra: Butt in Chair. Followed closely by my own admonition: If you don’t sit down and write you are going to have to do housework. As soon as I hear that, the muse alights, the stars align, and I start to type like crazy!

10. Can you give us any inside scoop on the second installment of this series? Any upcoming projects or new series in the works?

Yes! The second book of The Goblin Wars, In the Forests of the Night, is darker, scarier and a little sexier. The best romances unfold deliciously slowly, after all.

I just finished a poetic prose young picture book, and I’ll have to think about where to send it.


I’m almost finished with the first book of a MG steampunk series. I’m putting the finishing touches on a “Holes”-esque, older MG which deals with suicide, Catholicism, immigration issues and undead school administrators. After I wrap those up with buttons and bows, it’s back to the YA world for the third book of the Goblin Wars...

With any luck, I won’t get a single lick of housework done in 2011!

One winner will receive at copy of Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Handmade Necklace!

Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right.

The goblins are coming.


Kersten Hamilton is giving away twenty hand-made necklaces in November and December to celebrate her new book Tyger Tyger!

The pendants were created by book blogger Melissa at Books and Things and the chains by someone else. :) each necklace is beautiful and unique.  Enter here to win this necklace, and have fun hunting for the rest!

Official Rules:
1.You must be 13 year or older to enter.
2. Open to entrants with a valid U.S. mailing address only. 
3. Entries must be received by Midnight EST on November 29, 2010. 
4. Once contacted, winners have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address.
5. To enter to win, simply fill out the form below. Good luck!  


Vivien said...

This book looks amazing. I love celtic mythology. I would also be VERY interested in a steampunk series. I absolutely love steampunk :)

.Ambur. said...

Awesome interview :D
I loved Tyger Tyger, so it's awesome to have a face to match to the book, and you had some fantastic questions. Thanks for sharing :D

Megwi said...

Awesome giveaway and review! I love the pieces of writing advice. :) I linked to your giveaway on my fb fan page for Tyger Tyger. :)

Linda Henderson said...

This sounds like an amazing book, I can't wait to read it.

seriousreader at live dot com

Wrighty said...

Great interview! (Those cupcakes are making me hungry - Yum!)

Kersten, I've heard such good things about this book. I really look forward to reading it and am so glad to hear it's a series. It's so interesting that your first idea was for a picture book. Lucky for us you changed your mind! :) Best wishes!

Inspired Kathy said...

What a unique necklace. I've heard great things about this book. Thanks for the interview, looking forward to reading your take on Celtic mythology.

Audra said...

Fabulous interview -- Tyger, Tyger is one of my top 10 of 2010 -- I so didn't expect to love it as much as I did. I found Teagan to be a marvelous heroine -- real, plucky, smart -- and facing a burgeoning romance w/o losing her sense of self -- so delish!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Cool cool!
I'm giving away a necklace too.
Man, I love this book!

"Darker, scarier and a little sexier"?
Whoot whooooooot!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kersten,

Thanks so much for sharing some info on your book. It sounds like a good YA read and a great starter in the series.

Pam S

Kersten Hamilton said...

Thank you again for interviewing me, Kim! I'm glad Tyger Tyger is FINALLY out in the real world where people can buy it!

Vivien: I loved researching it. Ask Kim how long ago we started emailing about it....

Ambur: I'm glad you liked it!

Megwi -- a *fan page*! eeek!

Linda: it out now, so there's nothing stopping you! Other than the dark of night, I mean. :)

Wrightly: I am a little surprised myself at how many people are loving Tyger Tyger. I mean, *I* love the characters. I just never expected people to react so strongly to them. It was a very good picture book you see.

Inspired Kathy: I love that necklace. It is very classic looking. And the green beads are dyed pearls.

Audra: I didn't expect to love writing it as much as I did, either. :)

JuJu: Yep. A little sexier.Hehe

Pam: I hope so!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

hi, guys! Just me, dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you. Kersten, if we can be of service, drop us a line!

Katy F. said...

Oh gosh! I love that Kersten picked Max from Where the Wild Things Are! His life would be such an adventure!

And seriously, that cupcake pic made my stomach growl...

lizzyhovey said...

this is wonderful

Danelle said...

The first thing that caught my eye was the cover. So mysterious and interesting, which is what I am sure is how the book will read. I plan on putting this on my read list as soon as possible.

danellejohns at gmail dot com