Interview with Kersten Hamilton, author of In the Forests of the Night

Today I’m lucky enough to feature Kersten Hamilton, author of the recently released novel, In the Forests of the Night. This is the second book in the Goblin Wars series. The first is Tyger Tyger.


How did you come up with the title, In the Forests of the Night?

Actually, William Blake came up with it—and Tyger Tyger as well. I have always loved this poem:
The Tyger (Songs of Experience)
by William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
Where’s your favorite place to write?
I can write anywhere. I am so completely consumed by the story that I don’t even know what is happening around me.

What did you find most challenging about writing In the Forests of the Night?
Every novel is a new challenge, but with Forests, the challenge was writing while my world fell to pieces around me. The short version is: I wrote in the ICU watching over my new grandson. I wrote in hospice while my father died. I wrote through pain and worry as my niece, who is as dear to me as a daughter, was diagnosed with cancer, and my nephew who lives with me developed a tic (he has Tourette’s Syndrome) that caused a spinal lesion and almost paralyzed him. I cried and fought for my family and my career, and…I wrote. I wrote through it all, wrote to prove to myself and the universe that I am a writer.
If it hadn’t been for readers who’d loved Tyger Tyger (and didn’t even know what was going on in my life) writing to encourage me, I don’t think I would have finished the novel. If it hadn’t been for my daughter and husband reading over my shoulder and cheering me on, I know I would not have been able to do it.

If you could meet any literary character, who would you pick?
Mr. Polwarth, the gnome–like gatekeeper from George MacDonald’s Paul Faber, Surgeon. I could sit and talk with him forever.

Have you been inspired by any particular writer’s style?
Oddly enough (because he wrote in a totally different time and genre) I’d have to say Isaac Asimov. Asimov believed that writing should be like a pane of glass—the reader should not even be aware of the writer, just of the story they are entering. I believe that, too. The less my readers are aware of me, and the more they are aware of my characters, the better!

What is your all-time favorite book?
I like to think that I haven’t found it yet. How could I choose a favorite among all the books I love? And what about all the books yet to be written? I plan to keep searching for my all–time favorite until the day I die!

Fun fact about yourself?
When I was in elementary school, I was the leader of a gang. Sparrows used to nest in the roof of the school, and certain kids would find the fallen baby birds and stone them or stomp them to death. If my gang caught those kids in the act, we’d beat them up.
The principal called me in to his office and told me he would not tolerate gangs in his school. This had very little effect on my behavior since he apparently had no problem with the kids who killed small animals.

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Kayla!

– –

Thanks so much for answering my questions!

I’ve quickly fallen in love with this series, and can’t wait to continue with it! I really recommend that anyone who hasn’t tried it out pick up Tyger Tyger as soon as possible. It’s hard not to love a book that has everything from goblins to Irish legends to handsome love interests. Go! Read it!

I read, love, and respond to each and every one of your comments! Thank you for reading!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s