I recently had the privilege of interviewing Kersten Hamilton about her upcoming novel, Tyger Tyger. I instantly fell in love with the story and characters, and am glad to hear that there is another couple of novels to come. I really enjoyed the premise of the book, and loved the incorporated mythology. My review can be found here. To find out more about Kersten, you can visit her website, which is located here.
LFW: How did you come up with the idea behind Tyger Tyger?
KH: I had been thinking about the goblin world for a very long time. I knew it was Celtic and scary but I wasn’t sure exactly what form the books would take. The exact instant of inspiration for writing Tyger Tyger came while I was reading Beastly by Alex Flinn. Beastly is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and I thought it was so much fun that I decided to make my goblin world story a YA story as well. But the ideas, the mythology and characters were so big they really had to be at least a trilogy to work.
LFW: Was there any specific music that helped you while you were writing? (If so, do you have a 'playlist'?)
KH: I wish there was. I wish I could do that. I have something called dysgraphia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysgraphia#Dyslexic_dysgraphia which means among other things, that my brain is not wired like other peoples brains. When I am reading or writing, I can’t really hear anything. This may mean that I am using the neural paths most people use for hearing for vision instead.
When I am not reading or writing, however, I do listen to music to catch a mood then carry it with me into my writing. I will often have ‘theme songs’ for my characters. For Thomas, a character you meet very briefly in Tyger Tyger, it is Viva la Vida by Coldplay.
LFW: How many books are you hoping to have in the series?
KH: I am thinking that Finn and Tea with have a three books story arc—a trilogy. But there may be more books ahead if people love them enough.
LFW: Who was (and is) your favorite character to write?
KH: I love almost all of my characters. I have to ‘crawl into the skin’ of each character in order to write a believable scene— so I make sure that they are people I would want to spend a lot of time with. I say almost because I do not love the bad guys. Not at all.
LFW: What does your family think of your writing?
KH: My husband, my children, my brother and my best friend are all very involved in my writing. They drive me crazy looking over my shoulder and asking if there are any new chapters they can read. In fact, Tyger Tyger might never have been finished if not for Certain People demanding to know what happened next!
LFW: What is your favourite sentence from the book?
KH: I like so many sentences in the book, I thought I'd just open up the ARC and pick the first one my eyes landed on. It was the first sentence of chapter ten: "Take your shirt off." Then I was laughing too hard to try again.
I think I'd better go with this one, which has changed slightly from the ARC copy: "Teagan," Aiden shouted, "come quick! Thomas is growing feathers!" Only that one's not so funny unless you've read the book...
LFW: What kind of tree would you describe yourself as, and why?
KH: An apple tree, and all my stories would be apples. I hope people enjoy their crunchy goodness, then keep the seeds from every story’s core until they find a perfect time and place to grow some stories of their own!
LFW: What would the front page headline of a newspaper say about you?
KH: I’ll give the full story:
Author Terrorizes Neighborhood Mall!
Mall denizens fled screaming into the night when local author Kersten Hamilton lurched in.
“Her hair was standing straight up,” mall security guard and part-time ghoul-buster Yoshua Reece said. “And the blue ink smudges gave her a distinctly cadaverous look under the florescent lights. I was scared, I’ll admit it. Scared sh— spitless. Spitless. That’s it.”
Hamilton, who was wearing a pink Nike tennis shoe on her left foot and a white Adidas on her right, insisted that she was not part of the current zombie invasion.
“I’m not undead,” she explained. “Just behind on a deadline.”
LFW: If you could write a letter now to your '16 year old self', knowing what's in store, what would you say to yourself?
KH: Never give up. Being a writer is going to take longer and be harder than you can ever imagine, but don’t ever give up. You will learn something useful every single day.
LFW: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
KH: Yes! Thank you for interviewing me, Corrine! And, I’d like your readers to know that they can enter to win a signed copy of Tyger Tyger at goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7740225-tyger-tyger
Also, Meg Wilson has created a Tyger Tyger facebook fan page where you can find more interviews and reviews:
Thank you for stopping by Kersten! It's been a pleasure having you. It's been fun getting to know the author behind the book, especially learning that you have dysgraphia. It's a condition I've never heard of before, until now. You are definitely an inspiration as you don't let that stop you from writing! I hope that everyone loves Teagan, Finn, and Aiden as much as I did. This book was excellent, and I can't wait to read the next in the series! Look for Tyger Tyger to hit shelves mid-November 2010.