Please welcome author Kersten Hamilton to Escape Through the Pages!
– In the Forests of the Night (2011)
– Tyger, Tyger (2010)
+ many picture books and MG books
Hi Kersten, welcome to Escape Through the Pages! In the Forests of the Night, the sequel to last year’s Tyger, Tyger is hitting stores soon, and continues Teagan’s, Finn’s and Aiden’s story full of goblins and sidhe. What I love about this series is the rich mythology – what drew you to celtic myth?
I have Celtic roots myself, but was more than that. I am very drawn to the Celtic worldview. The ancient Celts built no walls between the natural world and the supernatural, the secular and the sacred. The Green Man peeks out of carvings in Celtic churches right alongside the Saints and Apostles. Their concept of family, clan and even heroism was very different from that presented in most Western stories—whether they be movies or books—today. The ancient Celts believed that we are meant to journey in companionship and in community. Everyone needs at least one ‘anam cara’—soul friend—to stand beside them. Your anam cara can be family, or not family, and more than one is better. All of these things resonate deeply with me, and are reflected in my books.
How does writing a sequel compare to writing the first book in a series? (in relation to characters, continuation, etc.)
Second books in trilogies are always harder. They are essentially the middle of a story arc—and no one reads a story to get to the middle. So, I had to make In the Forests of the Night bigger. Wilder. More fun. I needed to be faithful to the characters people loved so much in Tyger Tyger. I had to make the stakes for Teagan and Finn much, much higher. And I had a tight deadline.
I’m always in awe of the worlds and myths created or expanded upon in fantasy/mythology based books. In your opinion, what’s the most difficult part of writing a series based around mythology and/or fantasy?
Pulling myself out of research mode and shifting into writing. I love research—and researching this series was especially fun. I read Celtic myth for characters with enough power to reach through time, then worked my way forward through legend, then history, and finally into our present day where science and technology come into play, each time seeking out the most logical story path, the clearest connections. I found so many stories that I want to tell in the future…but I could only focus on those that fit the Goblin Wars.
Mash-ups of songs are pretty popular right now (taking two songs and re-working them to fit together but stay unique). If you could mash-up another mythology with the celtic myth used in Tyger, Tyger and In the Forests of the Night, which would you choose?
Norse mythology! In fact, I do mash it up just a little bit in The Goblin Wars series.
If you were stuck in Mag Mell and realized you had only one book in your bag, which book would you hope to see?
The Complete Works of George MacDonald—because his philosophy of life would be the best possible guide to making it through the ever twisting, changing world of Mag Mell!
Thank you very much Kersten!
Thank you for having me on your blog today, Cait!
Kersten has been gracious enough to provide a pre-order copy of In the Forests of the Night to one lucky winner! Contest is international and all you need to do is fill out the form.
– Entrants must be 13 years of age or older
– Duplicate entries will be disqualified
– Ends 11:59pm EST November 10, 2011