The first volume Kersten Hamilton’s Goblin Wars series, Tyger Tyger, hits stores November 15th. It’s an awesome book that will leave you wanting more! Kersten dropped in to discuss her writing, and to share a little about herself.
Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
Bookish. A little wild. My best friend frequently tells me, "You are not like other people, Kersten." I *think* he means it as a compliment.
Can you tell us a little about your novel, Tyger Tyger?
Tyger Tyger is the story of Teagan Wylltson, a girl who has something which is wanted by the goblin god, and Finn MacCumhaill, the cursed goblin hunter who loves her. The story is deeply rooted in Celtic myth and mystery. And, it’s an exploration of the themes in Blake’s poem, ‘The Tyger.’
How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
I had done years of reading and research into Celtic history and mythology. I loved the dark, old tales and heroic themes and knew I wanted to work them into novel. But I am one of those writers who cannot really plan a book — I start writing about a character and see where it takes me. Teagan and Finn surprised me many times!
What have you learned about yourself through your characters?
I’ve learned what hurts me. I’ve learned a bit more about what I am afraid of, and what I love!
What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book? Was there a scene that you just couldn’t get right?
I have a tendency to focus so hard on my world building that the real world disappears. It is hard to keep my life in balance when I am writing! Yes–there were two scenes that I was fiddling with right up until the moment the book went to galleys: Finn’s first fight scene, and the last scene in the book.
Can you tell us about your experience finding a publisher? What was the process like?
I sent Tyger Tyger to Clarion because I really admire their list. I chose to send it to Lynne Polvino because I really admire her editing. It took Lynne just two weeks to make an offer on the book. This isn’t normal. I was stunned when I received the email. And very, very happy!
What’s the most gratifying aspect of having your book published?
Sharing a story that I love so much—and having other people love the characters I worked so hard to bring to life!
Who was your biggest supporter while you were working on the book?
My husband, Mark. He is my own ‘Finn MacCumhaill’, and a pretty good first reader, as well!
If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, what would it be?
‘Scaramouche: a Romance of the French Revolution.’ It was the first book I ever stepped into and lived every word.
What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I hunt dinosaurs. I love the solitude of the wilderness where I go fossil finding.
I heard a rumor that you like manga! What are your favorite series and what do you find appealing about comics?
The rumor is right! I read *lots* of manga! I like the old classics such as Twentieth Century Boys, Boys over Flowers, Fruits Basket (I *loved* that one) and Maison Ikkoku. I like Bakuman, because it is about writing, but my current favorite is One Piece. I really enjoy Oiichiro Oda’s characters and his concept of friendship and honor.
Manga, when done well, is distilled essence of story—everything that is brilliant about novels, in many fewer words.
Thank you for interviewing me, Julie! I hope your readers like Tyger Tyger!
You can learn more about Kersten by visiting her website. You can pre-order Tyger Tyger from your favorite bookstore, or click the Amazon link below.