All YA Love: Interview Author Kersten Hamilton + Giveaway

Filed in All YA Love , Giveaways , Interview , Kersten Hamilton , The Latin Lover Posted on November 17, 2010 @ 7:00 am 27 comments
We are very happy to have author Kersten Hamilton her today. Her new Young Adult novel Tyger Tyger released yesterday and she is here today to celebrate her new release. We’re doing something new today here. We ask some blogger friends to help us with finding the right questions so please also give a warm welcome to our guest interviewers. Please stay tuned till the end of the post for your chance to win a wonderful prize. Please give all our guest a warm welcome. 

BLI: Kersten can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Kersten: I was born in a trailer in the mountains of southern New Mexico. I escaped electrocution when a typhoon blew power lines down over yet another trailer in a swamp in Washington state, and drowning when a station wagon spun out of control and onto thin lake ice in Alaska. Most of the bullets missed, and none of the incidents with bears, snakes, wolves, and angry moose were fatal.
I went to school as little as possible, read as much as I liked, and raised goats.
I worked as a woodcutter, a horse wrangler, and a wilderness guide, as well as other, more boring things. Right now my life is relatively tame, but I do enjoy hunting dinosaurs in the Ojito wilderness now and then.
BLI: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Kersten: I am a pantser! I never know what is going to happen in the story until it happens. Well, that’s not *exactly* true. I usually know the last scene before I write the first. But everything in between is an adventure—I write to find out what happens next.
A typical day might look like: a cup of black coffee, and straight to the writing! OR a cup of black coffee, procrastinate as long as possible…and then write. But the cup of black coffee is a constant.
If I am procrastinating too much, someone usually threatens me with housework. Even thinking about housework will send me straight to the writing desk, nose to the grindstone.
BLI: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Kersten: Oh, excellent question! I think that when real Book Lovers read, they co-create with the author. The book springs up three-deminsional between them, and it is a slightly different book for each Book Lover because of what they bring to the story.
Without true Book Lovers, stories don’t really exist!
Audra: Your website is wonderful — I especially love the study! Do you have a study like that to write in? Where do you do most of your writing?
Kersten: I love that study too, but it is all in my mind. 🙂 I like to wander while I write. I write at bookstores, in libraries, at coffee shops, in hidden places along hiking paths on top of the Sandia Mountains, amidst the big cats at the zoo, under the willows by the Rio Grande River…
I think I would love writing on a train. Every time I looked up, the scenery would be different!
Audra: You’re clearly well traveled — is there any place you haven’t been that you’d like to?
Kersten: Anywhere I haven’t already been. I just love going. Last night I was dreaming of traveling to New Zealand.
Aurda: You’ve been asked to create a national holiday–what is it?
Kersten: Funny you should ask that, because I have already created one! My family has celebrated Frebrupresihoggletines for years. We party for the entire month of February, making fudge groundhogs with pretzel hair with redhots for eyes, watching Kevin Kline in The Pirates of Penzance (singing along with all of the songs, especially Paradox) and giving one another gifts. Februpresihoggletines is my big gift-giving occasion.
BLI: Why goblins? What attracted you to these supernatural species?
Kersten: When I was a child, a goblin crept out of the dark and slipped her paw into my hand. The creature’s name was Lina, and I met her in a book by George MacDonald.
Lina was a dog–like creature with green eyes lit by amber fire, and a huge mouth with icicle–like teeth. Curdie, the hero of the story, could feel the real hand of any creature inside its flesh glove, and when Lina put her paw in his 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. Lina was a small part of George MacDonald’s book. After I met her, I knew that when I grew up I wanted to write a book full of that kind of goblin creature.
Melissa: Did you always like mythology? What is your favourite myth or legend?
Kersten: I have always loved mythology. I don’t have a single favorite. I have many, many favorites! I can feel the Celtic myths in my bones, but I am incredibly drawn to Nordic myth—because the gods and heroes are all fighting the monsters together. They know that the monsters will win in the end, but they spend their blood and their lives to keep that dark day away.
The heroism and courage of that world view really attracts me.
Christine: Why did you include Wiliam Blake’s poem “Tyger Tyger” in your book and even named the whole book after it? Does it have a special  meaning for you?
Kersten: It does! The Tyger was one of the very first poems I memorized as a child. I have always loved poetry. Kipling, Tennyson, Whitman, Carroll, Blake…I devoured just about any book of poetry I could get my hands on. Blake’s poem The Tyger fit the theme and mood of the whole story arc of the Goblin Wars.
BLI: What can we expect of Tyger Tyger?
Kersten: Romance, danger and adventure! Oh — and expect to need to keep the lights on when you sleep. Just in case the goblins *are* coming.
BLI: Could you summarize your novel twitter style for us? (140 characters tops)
Kersten: Book blogger and writer Pat Esden did this for me: Tyger Tyger is fast paced adventure with a backbone of myth and heart of romance.
JuJu: Who inspired Mamieo?
Kersten: Mamieo is who I want to be when I grow up. She is a mixture of writers, thinkers and strong women I have known.
Emily: What can we look forward to in the next book? Any teasers for us?
Kersten: Just that it is darker, scarier, and um…a little sexier. 🙂
Kelli How many books are planned for your series?
Kersten: It is planned as a trilogy, but I keep meeting the new characters I want to explore. Hmmm. It might change.
Audra: You’ve written a wide range of fiction; do you have any other WIP other than the Goblin War sequels? Is it hard to switch genres?
Kersten: I am working on some picture books and a MG steampunk series. It is hard for me to focus on any one thing for more than a year at a time, so switching genres is what I do best.
Now the mean questions. We apologize in advance:
BLI: Can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Kersten: I can’t. That is strange for an author to say, but it is true. I love my books. I put everything I’ve got into them. But I never even think about how to sell them to people. I think about whether the story is elegant, whether it is right, and whether it is true.
I guess I’d just say: If you are a true Book Lover, come and see if you like ’em!
Eleni: If you were Teagan for a day, what other plan would you use to save her family from the evil goblins?
Kersten: Eleni, you must be psychic! Seriously! How did you know what book two was about? I can’t tell you what the plan is without serious spoilers — but it’s a doozie, I promise!
JuJu: If Tyger Tyger becomes a movie, who would be your first choice to play Finn?
Kersten: I don’t want Tyger Tyger to become a movie. I love movies a lot, but Tyger Tyger is written for Book Lovers.
So–for all you true Book Lovers out there: imagine the cutest, sexiest, most courageous guy in the world. Give him an Irish accent. Yep. That’s Finn!

BLI: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions. And a special thanks to the following bloggers for their wonderful questions:

Melissa @ Books and Things


Tyger Treasure!

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 @ Books and Things and the chains by someone else. 🙂 each necklace is beautiful and unique. 
You can enter here to win ONE necklace (you can see it here <== click on the picture to see a bigger version), and have fun hunting for the rest!

All you have to do is ask Kersten a question
or leave a meaningful comment about the interview.

Please leave us a way to contact you
(email in blogger profile or twitter name-
no way to contact you – no entry).

This giveaway is International.

Giveaway ends on Saturday, December 4th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck!

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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Join the Discussion
  • Misha1989 November 17, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Thanks for the great interview!
    Kersten, who are your favorite authors?


  • kjovus - my life with books November 17, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I agree! book lovers co create with authors. no book into movie has ever come close to the amazing worlds I create in my head. The characters are real and I miss them when the story is over. (I still miss my old friend Harry)

    Kersten – Have any great campfire stories?
    PS the necklace is cool

  • RK Charron November 17, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Hi 🙂
    What a fascinating interview!
    I loved learning about Kersten & her writing. Excellent questions & indepth responses.
    Thank you very much,
    PS – Will Kersten use her Twitter account in the future?

  • debbie November 17, 2010 at 9:38 am

    That was a really good interview. I love mythology. It gives such insight into the lives of people in the past.

  • Audra November 17, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Fabulous interview!! Thanks to Ms Hamilton for indulging all my silly questions and BLI for including them!

    I had to snortle at
    So–for all you true Book Lovers out there: imagine the cutest, sexiest, most courageous guy in the world. Give him an Irish accent. Yep. That's Finn!
    because that's about what my mental image is!

  • Kersten Hamilton November 17, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Misha, it changes at the speed of thought! I am really enjoying Neil Gaiman right now — Ananasi Boys is amazing.

    But my all time favorite and roll model would be George MacDonald, who wrote At the Back of the North Wind, and a couple of books about goblins….

  • Kersten Hamilton November 17, 2010 at 10:55 am

    kjovus — why yes, I do. I wrote on for All Things Urban Fantasy for Halloween. You can find it here:


  • Kersten Hamilton November 17, 2010 at 10:56 am

    RK — it all depends. I try to save it for special occasions. My first tweet, for instance, was: I am fleeing from a tornado…

    I think I misspelled several words. I was in a hurry.


  • Juju at Tales of November 17, 2010 at 11:41 am

    That was SO cool! Thanks for letting me be a part of this 😀

  • Elizabeth November 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    What a great giveaway and very unique 🙂
    What made you start writing?

  • rachel445 November 17, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Cool interview!
    What's your favorite part about being an author, Kersten?


  • van_pham November 17, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    That necklace looks really pretty! Looking forward to reading Tyger Tyger sounds like a fun-interesting read 🙂


  • Avery November 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I think that it is great that you wander as you write, you probably find so much inspiration in doing so… And that might just be the best holiday I have ever heard of before 😉

    Thanks for the great contest!

  • Kersten Hamilton November 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Thank you, Juju! 🙂

  • Kersten Hamilton November 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Elizabeth–Elizabeth— I started writing because I wanted to be an author with all my heart. I kept at it because I found out rather quickly that I am just not good at anything else!

  • Kersten Hamilton November 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Rachel– my favorite part is getting to know the story before anyone else does. 🙂

  • Tore November 18, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Great interview. How did you know you wanted to be a writer? Please enter me in contest.

  • Virginia C November 18, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Hi, Kersten! "Tyger, Tyger" sounds delightful! The beginning of a great new series! The cover is very pretty, and it makes a lovely necklace : ) I enjoyed visiting your website, and I discovered that you and I were both born in 1958. I played dolls & dress-up when I was young, but I also loved Sci-Fi, Secret Agents, Monster Movies, and of course Star-Trek and other great TV shows of the 60's! What are some of your faves from "our" childhood era?

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  • Kersten Hamilton November 18, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Tore- I think it was just in my blood. I can't remember a time when I didn't know I was going to be a writer!

  • Kersten Hamilton November 18, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Virginia — my family was very, very poor. For much of my childhood we didn't have electricity, much less a television set. But I did have a library card! So let's play books instead. 🙂

    I read every book on the animal shelves– Savage Sam and Where the Red Fern Grow. I was horrified by The Yearling.

    I read any and all science fiction or fantasy from Vernes to Cooper to Asimov.

    And, of course, epic historical novels by Dumas, Sabatini, and Dickens.

  • Virginia C November 18, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Kersten, your luminous spirit and intelligence have far outshone your early personal circumstances! I also love Jules Verne and Alexandre Dumas–ah, the Musketeers! I am watching the classic 1935 film, "The Scarlet Pimpernel", as I am typing this comment : )

    I am currently enjoying a "Reading Renaissance"! Reading is my "real life". With all my reading choices, I look for well-developed, involving characters and detailed, interesting story lines. Many authors today write in multiple genres. If I like an author's work, I will follow them from genre to genre. This past year or so, I have been stepping outside my fiction box on a regular basis, and it's been a blast. I usually follow my basic instincts, but I do take into account word-of-mouth, book blogs, review sites and author and publisher sites. I started out in life as a very young reader, then life got in the way and other things took precedence over reading. Now, I have come full circle, and I am once again the chubby blonde girl curled up with a book : )

    I have been through a lot of career ups and downs. I lost my job a year ago, and I am still unemployed. I live in a very small town with few job opportunities. I would love to be employed in a position which allowed me to promote literacy and put books in the hands of everyone who wants to read. We live in a PC and internet fueled world, but there are still many people in the United States struggling with literacy. That's why print books, newspapers, magazines and etc. are so vitally important. Not everyone is PC literate or has access to a computer or internet. Not everyone uses a cell phone, much less owns a multi-tasking "omni" cell phone! I started off in life as a bookworm, and the more complicated life became, the less time I had to read. The last few years, I have turned to books for comfort and to return to my roots. I think it is especially important for girls and women to have healthy self-esteem. Improving their reading skills opens up the world, and brings them all kinds of new opportunities.

  • Kersten Hamilton November 18, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Virginia– I LOVE The Scarlet Pimpernel! 🙂

    And I agree about literacy. MRI studies show that learning to read actually rewires your brain — causing physiological changes which allow you to solve more complex problems. Learning to read actually makes people smarter.

    The most life-changeing thing you can do for any child is teach them to read!

    That is one of the reasons why I write very young picture books as well as MG and YA — I want to be a part of people learning to read.

  • Virginia C November 18, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Kersten : )

    Sink me! I am always glad to find another "Pimpernel" aficionado! I just sent you an email through the contact link on your website. I hope you enjoy the information as much as I do!

  • Jennifer Mathis November 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    any rituals you have to do before u write ?

  • jen7waters November 29, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Hello Kersten! If you had to write a book based on a fairy tale, which one would you pick, and why?


  • PinkStuff28 November 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Kersten!

    what's your favourite childhood superhero ?

    raluk.93 at gmail (dot) com

  • missreneer December 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I love how she discussed the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover. I agree completely. Thanks for the great giveaway 🙂

    mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

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