Today I'm thrilled to welcome author Kersten Hamilton to the blog to answer a few questions about Teagan and company and what we can expect from In The Forests of the Night, the sequel to Tyger Tyger. Tyger Tyger just released in paperback, and book two releases November 22nd, so be sure and mark your calendars! I'm ready for a little more goblin action, how about you?
What is the most interesting or surprising thing you discovered while researching Tyger Tyger and In the Forests of the Night?
I think the most surprising thing for me was how much the Celtic spirituality resonated with my own worldview. Celtic music pounds in my blood, I feel Celtic stories in my bones. It is so powerful it almost makes me a believer in racial memory.
What would you say is the most terrifying thing about the goblins in the world you’ve created?
I wouldn’t say I created the other-worldly aspects of this story. It was more like they were there, waiting. Reality seeps into fairy tales. And that’s terrifying.
Do you have a personal favorite goblin-centric book or movie? Mine would have to be Labyrinth with David Bowie and his epic hair. Win.
I LOVED Labyrinth. Loved it! Complex fairytales are wonderful, and when you add Jim Henson to the mix…how could it not be a win? But George MacDonald’s book The Princess and the Goblin is my favorite goblin-centric story of all time. MacDonald’s creatures once lived in the light, but followed their masters away from the sun, down into the darkness. They are complex and redeemable. I love poems about goblins, too. Harold Monro’s Overheard on a Salt Marsh, is very nice:
If Teagan were to summarize the changes that have taken place in her life lately in one sentence, what would she say?
She’d use a quote from The Princess Bride: “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something.”
Did you find In the Forests of the Night any easier to write than Tyger Tyger given your world was already established, or was this second leg of Teagan’s journey equally challenging?
The books are getting harder and harder, because the emotional stakes for the characters are higher. I am hugely invested in all of them, and it is hard to walk with them through this story. Also, life was trying to shake my dreams out of me, filling the world around me with death and disease. Everything came together in a perfect storm of loss and pain—and because of this, I would have to say that Forests was the hardest book I have ever written. And I couldn’t have done it alone. In Celtic tradition, no one should walk through life alone. Celts believed that we were meant to journey in companionship and in community. Everyone needs at least one ‘anam cara’—soul friend—to stand beside them. My husband and my daughter, two of my anam cara, stood by me and encouraged me every page of the way. Readers who wrote to tell me how much they loved Tyger Tyger helped as well.
I maybe a teeny bit more proud of In the Forests of the Night than I am of any of my other books. This is the one that proved that I really am a writer. No matter what.
Name one 2012 release you’re most looking forward to and why.
Uh-oh. You’re trying to get me in trouble. The problem is I know lots of writers with books coming out in 2012, and I am really, truly looking forward to each and every one. How could I choose? That would be like picking only one friend to go to a party with you, when you wanted them all.
Who was the first person besides you to read your initial draft Tyger Tyger and how nervous were you to share it with them?
My daughter. GOOD moms serve their children cookies warm from the oven; all my children ever got were chapters hot off the printer. My daughter is always pestering me for another chapter to read. It’s a good thing, too. It helped me get the book done. I’m not nervous at all when she reads my manuscripts. She is one of my anam cara after all! We laugh a lot, and she often has excellent ideas that I work into the book. She knows my characters almost as well as I do! I dedicated Forests to her.
Let’s say you can promote In the Forests of the Night with nothing but a single quote/line from the book to get people’s attention; which one would you choose?
I’d choose a quote from the ancient Celtic prayer that is laced through all three books:
“I do not ask for a path with no trouble or regret, I ask instead for a friend who’ll walk with me down any path. I do not ask never to feel pain. I ask instead for courage, even when hope can scarce shine through."
I’d choose that one because Teagan Wylltson needs all the courage she can muster, and she will never make it without her friends.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Kersten! For more information on her and the Goblin Wars novels, you can find her here:
MAKE A TRAILER, HELP A LIBRARY
Kersten is running a very cool trailer contest for In The Forests of the Night in an effort to help libraries, so if you are a librarian or know a librarian, I hope you'll help spread the word! For full deatils, click here.