Hello! Today we have an interview with the author of In the Forests of the Night, Kersten Hamilton! Welcome Kersten!
Kersten Hamilton is the author of several picture books and many middle grade novels. When she’s not writing, she hunts dinosaurs in the deserts and badlands outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she lives. For more about Kersten, please visit www.kerstenhamilton.com.
Do you like writing series or standalones?
I love writing series books. It gives me the time to explore the characters I love and see how they grow.
Where did you get the idea for the Goblin Wars series?
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 she came to life in a book by George MacDonald. Lina was a dog–like beastie 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. I felt the child’s hand inside a rough paw glove, and I knew I wanted to pull a child out of a goblin one day.
Was it harder to write the first book or the second?
The second book is usually harder for me. Someone very brilliant (I don’t remember who) once said, “Nobody reads a book to get to the middle.” The second book of a trilogy fills that dreaded ‘middle’ of the story arc. The story has to be bigger without losing touch with the things people loved in the first book. I had to ramp up the stakes while moving the story forward.
But In the Forests of the Night was the hardest book I’ve ever written. 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. I couldn’t have done it alone. In Celtic tradition, no one walks 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 couldn’t have done it without them.
What is your absolutely favorite part from In the Forest of the Night?
Well, I don’t want to give anything away for those who haven’t read it yet, but….I really love a certain scene between Gil, the phooka boy, and The MacCumhaill.
Was there any parts you took out from In the Forest of the Night that you really wanted to keep?
No, not one. I managed to keep everything I loved and threw away the boring practice parts.
If you can co-write a book with another author, who would it be and what type of book would you two write?
It wouldn’t be a book. I would co-author a screenplay with Charles Dickens. We would both have to travel in time—he’d come forward 88 years, I’d go back 88 years. We’d meet in Paris 1924 and combine our knowledge of the past and future to create a brilliant steam punk dystopian drama, chock-full of fantastic characters. When we were done, we’d put it in a time capsule addressed to Joss Wheden in 2012,with our best wishes for a blockbuster!
The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on?
Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.
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