Saturday, October 29, 2011

Author Interview: Kersten Hamilton

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:



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.


  1. Awesome interview. Gotta love that quote in the end. ;)

  2. I love the interview. Though I haven't read Kersten's books yet, I love the sound of them. And I'd agree, there are A LOT of good books coming out in 2012!

  3. Riv - Right? I love that one too:)

    Hafsah - Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it:) Hope you get a chance to read Kersten's books!

  4. I love Labyrinth, too! What a great movie! I can't believe I haven't read Tyger Tyger yet. Great interview :)

  5. LOL I know what you mean, Kersten! There are so many AMAZING books coming out in 2012 that it's almost impossible to choose just one we're looking forward to! x)

    I can't believe I haven't picked up Tyger Tyger yet! It sounds so cool! I'm going to have to pick up a copy soon to be ready for The Forests of the Night!

    Awesome interview, Kersten! I'm glad you're here on Jenny's blog! :)

  6. Thanks, everybody! I'm glad to be on Jenny's blog, too. :)

    How are we *ever* going to keep up with all the good books coming out next year? It's like the quality of story in YA took a quantum leap forward in the past couple of years. One of the reasons I love being a writer so much is that I get to buy and read them all, and count it as 'work'!


  7. I'm fascinated with Celtic mythology -- I love how it explains everything odd in their world. And how cool that your kids get to read your chapters as you go. What a great way to get feedback from your target audience!

    Thanks for an awesome interview!

  8. I just got Tyger Tyger a few weeks ago!!! I'm wicked excited to start it!!

  9. Brilliant interview.
    Brilliant authoress.
    Brilliant quote from Princess Bride.

  10. Wonderful interview, I posted about Kersten's trailer contest today. I saw your interview so I included a link so that people can get to know a bit more about her and the books.

    I don't think I ever seen Labyrinth, got to do something about that.

  11. Great interview :)
    I love Celtic music too, it just, oh it is just awesome. I feel it in my bones too

  12. Kersten sounds like a kindred spirit---Celtic music and the Labrynth!! Look forward to reading these books.

  13. Julie - I've watched that movie so many times I've lost count. SO GOOD!

    Mimi - I hope you get a chance to read Tyger Tyger soon!

    Kersten - Glad to have you on anytime:):):)

    Mary - Me too, I never get tired of books that feature it!

    Ashley - YAY! Can't wait to see what you think:)

    Juju - Thank You:)

    Mari - Thank you so much for including the link to the interview! And run to the store and rent Labyrinth, it's awesome.

    Blodeuedd - Thanks! I'm a huge fan of Celtic music as well, every year we have an Irish Festival in Columbus and it's fabulous:)

    Cathy - I think you'd like them:)

  14. I loved both of these books. Great interview. :)

  15. As if I didn't love Kersten before, she had to go steal my heart again with Bowie and Princess Bride references!!! (I actually went as the Man in Black to a Halloween party last week and won the costume contest!) Ditto that celtic music runs in my veins--celtic folk and rock songs take up over half of my ipod.

    Awesome interview. Can't wait to read Forests in the Night!!!!


  16. Great interview! I don't think I've read any books about goblins before. I still have to read book 1 but I was sent an early copy of book 2.

  17. I haven't read any goblin-centric book yet so I need to change that situation. What did you think of Tyger Tyger, Jenny?

  18. Colette - I haven't read Forests yet, but I'm really excited about it:)

    Lori - Seriously! Anyone who loves the Princess Bride is a friend of mine:)

    Jenny - Tyger Tyger was my first goblin book too! There's such creepy creatures:)

    Zahida - You do! Goblins are an interesting bunch! I enjoyed the mythology of Tyger Tyger quite a bit:)

  19. Kersten is one of my favorite all time authors! I absolutely loved Tyger, Tyger and if you haven't read it you should. The world she's built is not what I'd expect of Goblins. It's a great start to the series and I'll be reviewing In the Forests of the Night closer to release date. And it's such a great thing she's doing for the libraries!

    Awesome interview to both of you! I'm so glad you had your anam cara! Still hoping you'll move my way!!


  20. I liked Tyger Tyger but not sure if I would continue to series. I'm am loving the way is sounds.

  21. I've heard so many good things about TYGER TYGER, but I just haven't made it to that book yet. Is it one you recommend I pickup? Hope you had a good Sunday! My sis says your weather is starting to get especially cold. If you ever need a warm bender, you know where to go! *wink wink*