Author Interview: Kersten Hamilton

I am so lucky to have author Kersten Hamilton here today, in honor of the release of her book: In The Forests of The Night, the second book in The Goblin Wars series--one of my favorite series!

Kersten Hamilton is the author of many children's books, including the CALEB PASCAL AND THE PECULIAR PEOPLE series. Her most recent books are those of the young adult THE GOBLIN WARS series, including TYGER TYGER, and IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT.
Find Kersten Here:  Website  /  Twitter  /  Goodreads

To start off, can you tell us a little about how you got started writing, or when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
I knew that I wanted to be a writer by my sixth birthday. That’s what I say that in my bio, because it sounds real and believable—and while it is technically true, I knew before that. I’ve always known. Sure, I wanted to be an astronaut, an animal trainer, and sail on the Calypso with Jacques Cousteau, but it was always in addition to being a writer.

The research you did for the series involved a lot of reading of Celtic history and legends. You said in another interview that you “worked [your] way forward through legend, then history, and finally into our present day…each time seeking out the most logical story path….” Were there any stumbling blocks in this process? Did they have an effect on the story?
I didn’t really encounter any stumbling blocks, because I didn’t come to the project with pre–conceived ideas that then had to be changed. The story grew out of—and during—my research. As a consequence, the things I discovered had a HUGE effect, sending the story spinning off in a whole new direction. Things like the fact that Edgar Allen Poe was Irish, or that Jack the Ripper’s last victim was an Irish girl named Mary, whose father was a blacksmith back in Ireland…it was all wonderful grist for the writerly mill. And it is astonishing how many connections you can make with Irish history and lore.

Poetry plays a big part in the books (I love that, by the way). For those who haven’t read them, what significance does William Blake’s poem, Tyger Tyger, have in the story? Why did you choose lines from this specific poem for the book titles?
Blake’s poem asks a question about good, evil, and the very nature of the Creator of creation—that question resonates with the theme of the Goblin Wars books.

Teagan has a big family, and one of my favorite things about In The Forests of The Night is their realistic interaction. What was the inspiration behind Teagan’s family? Does it come from your own experiences?
It draws heavily on my own experience. My husband and I have had various people living with us for most of our married life. Some stay for a few months, some for a few years. Seventeen people is the record for the greatest number of people living under our roof at the same time—we are down to five right now. It can be chaotic. But it does make life more interesting.

In your bio, we see that you are well-traveled and have learned many different trades, from lumberjack to archaeological surveyor. Which has been your favorite, or most memorable?
I have enjoyed every job listed in my bio on my web page. This is because I did not list the boring ones. But I’d have to say I liked being an archeological surveyor the best. In that job I walked for miles and miles across mesas looking for and recording the location of artifacts. I’ve always been a finder, possibly because I have always loved wandering alone. And where do you find hidden things? In lonely places of course. If they were in the middle of a crowd, everyone would find them. But wait! Maybe it is a toss up between wilderness guide and archeological surveyor. I really loved working in the mountains, too. And working with horses.

Have any of these jobs made their way into your books?
The jobs themselves have not worked their way into my books, but things I learned while doing them certainly have.

How do you plan to celebrate the release of In The Forests of The Night
I like to keep a nice stock of fireworks on hand for special occasions. I’ll probably blow something up in a festive way on the release date, possibly go out to dinner—and then get back to writing.
(It's already released now, so we hope you blew something up in a big way!)

What’s next for Tea and family?
Trouble. Things are about to get much, much worse. It is an Irish story, after all!

Thank you for having me on your blog, Penelope!

Thanks so much for interviewing with me, Kersten. Congratulations on the release of In The Forests of The Night!

Click the book cover below to see my review of In The Forests of The Night. 
Purchase In the Forests of the Night:

Psst! Tyger Tyger (book #1) is now available in paperback! If you haven't started this series, I suggest you start it now. You won't regret it.
Click the cover below to be taken to my review.
Purchase Tyger Tyger
Amazon  /  Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository  /  Goodreads


  1. She definitely is! Thanks for stopping by, Juju!

  2. Celtic history and mythology are fascinating subject matters. It kind of reminds me of Faerie Tale by Raymond E Feist. Nice interview!

  3. Hm, I haven't heard of that one but I'll have to check it out. Thanks for stopping by!


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