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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kersten Hamilton Interview and Giveaway!

In anticipation of Kersten's new book, In The Forest Of The Night, The Goblin Wars book 2, Kersten graciously has agreed to an interview and pre-order giveaway!

Those that know me, know I love this series and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it. Now on to the good stuff!

As a child, what made you decide to write books?

I had a very strange childhood. We never actually reached the poverty level—and my dad was too proud to accept welfare of any kind. Which meant that we often had no electricity. So we had no television, but I needed stories like I needed food or water. I have known since I was six that I had to be a writer.

One advantage that I had was that while I was small, my dad told stories- great novel length adventures, invented on the spot. He’d spin them out of nothingness for days or weeks on end. I will always remember listening to freshly minted space sagas under the desert stars.

But before I was a teenager, my dad developed a brain tumor. I had to spin my own stories after that.

What was the inspirations behind this series?

I was remembering a goblin that crept out of the dark and slipped her paw into my hand. It happened when I was just ten. The creature’s name was Lina, and she crept out of a book by George MacDonald. This is how it happened:

Curdie, the hero of the story, could feel the real hand of any creature inside its flesh glove. Lina was a dog–like creature with green eyes lit by amber fire, and a huge mouth with icicle–like teeth. But when she put her paw in Curdie’s 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.


With all the folklore in the books, what kind of research did you have to do to prepare?

The story needed two detailed physical locations. I traveled to the National Zoo in Washington DC and several arboretums to get good ideas for the plants, trees and strange creatures of Mag Mell. The neighborhood Teagan lives in came from one of my trips to Chicago.

It also needed an emotional landscape: ancient Celtic roots and sensibilities.

The Celts built no walls between the natural world and the supernatural, the secular and the sacred. The Green Man peeks out of carvings in Celtic churches right alongside the saints and Apostles.

Their concept of family, clan and even heroism was very different from that presented in most Western stories – whether they be movies or books—today.

That is the worldview I immerse myself in while I am writing. It makes the books different from many that are published today. For instance, the Celts believed that we are meant to journey in companionship and in community. Everyone needs at least one ‘anam cara’—soul friend—to stand beside them. Your ‘anam cara’ can be family, or not family--and more than one is better.

In The Goblin Wars books, Teagan’s family and friends her—‘anam cara’-- function as an eccentric and very dedicated tribe.

Thank you for having me on your blog, Zia!

Okay the giveaway specifics:

+1 Leave a comment with your name and email

+1 Tell me what about the interview you found interesting

Contest will run until October 18, 2011 at 11:59 pm. I will announce and email the winner within a couple of days. Once the book is released, Kersten will order and have it sent directly to your house.

16 comments:

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Okay, I'm entering! :D I love this series as well & Can't recommend it enough. I love where you found your goblin friend (and glad she was a friend not a foe). ;D Thank you for the great interview!

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Best of luck to you!

Gwendolyn B. said...

+1 I just love the way Kersten immersed herself in another world while writing these books - and I love the sound of the world she immersed herself in! Looking forward to doing the same as I read the books. TYGER TYGER has been on my wish list for while. No that a follow-up is about to be released, I'm moving it to the top of my list! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

+1 geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Megwi said...

(not an entry ;) Great interview! I wanted to say I linked to your contest on my Tyger Tyger fb fanpage. :) I love this series, too!

sablelexi said...

Thank you for the giveaway.
I found it fascinating that she went to the zoo to research plant life for the book. and that she researched both the physical & emotional landscape.

+2 total points

jlynettes @ hotmail . com

cbsmith2011 said...

Cool! I found it interesting that her inspiration came from the adventure found in her favorite book as a child. I guess that is what inspires a lot of authors.

cbsmith2011 @ yahoo . com

Suz said...

Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win! I love that her dad made up stories on the spot and that it inspired her to become a writer and create her own stories!

+2 points

susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

Diana said...

I really like the concept of the anam cara -soul companions- and that in the book it is the family/tribe. This is a significant point, especially in a YA book.
ladyofnarnia(at)yahoo(dot)com

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trapperhoney said...

i am entering the giveaway! what i enjoyed from the interview was the fact that she's known from a young child she was to be a writer. i can identify with that.

buddyt said...

I am glad the author did so much research. I also find I enjoy books where the mythology is at least based on one that actually existed.

Thanks for the giveaway and please enter me if it is open worldwide,

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Angie said...

I'm in love with this cover! I love the girl's eyes. The most intereting thing about this giveaway is she got the idea from a childhood book.
Name: Angie
Email: osnapitzAngiex3(AT)aol(DOT)com

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Jeanne said...

Thank you for the chance to win♥
I think that interesting is why Kersten decided to write, the childhood story...
Rathouska(dot)jana(at)gmail(dot)com

Melanie_McCullough said...

I always find it interesting to learn what inspires authors to write and where their story inspiration came from.

Melanie.M.McCullough(at)gmail(dot)com

Vivien said...

Thanks for the opportunity! I personally loved the research question. So often I wonder if research was done. I'm glad it was!
+2

Vivien
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Deranged Pegasus said...

Thank you for this giveaway. I liked hearing that Kersten was immersed within the world as she wrote her book. I feel the same way when I write mine.
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derangedpegasus@gmail.com

rosiepopsox said...

thanx for the giveaway! so excited to read it :)

+1
r.m.haigh@hotmail.co.uk
rosie haigh

+1
what i found really interesting about the interview was how she was so inspired as a child and that even though she had no television she made the best out of her childhood and found out she wanted to be a writer at such a young age :)

Darlene said...

Please enter me in the draw, and thanks for the giveaway!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

+1 I liked learning about the research that Kersten had to do for the book!