I'm delighted to be able to bring you another interview with one of the incredibly talented members of the Class of 2k11, Kiki Hamilton. Her debut novel, THE FAERIE RING, is exactly the kind of book I would curl up to read as a girl. Part fantasy, part historical, and (and this is the best part) part of a series! So, go ahead and fall in love!
Congratulations on the publication of your novel, THE FAERIE RING. Can you tell us a bit about the story and what inspired it?
Thank you so much! I’m so excited for THE FAERIE RING to release on September 8th, 2011!
I’ve always loved the idea of things not being what they seem. That other dimensions or worlds exist side by side with our own, just beyond our ken; that the scope of our world is more than just the three dimensions that we are able to easily comprehend. At the same time, I’m intrigued by the past, by our history, by what may have occurred that might not have been formally documented for future generations. The untold story, if you will. And I am particularly fascinated with those untold stories that have a thread of documented fact woven through them, which makes the reader question whether they are reading fiction or nonfiction. A story that makes the reader say..”what if?”
The idea for THE FAERIE RING started with Tiki, an orphan, who survives on the streets of Victorian London as a pickpocket. I knew I wanted to write a story about a girl pickpocket because so often, girls / women have been cast as the weaker sex in books and movies and yet in my experience, women are often the brains and backbone behind the scenes. Victorian London is a mysterious and magical time in history. It is an era of great change, great technological advances, yet at the same time, beliefs in the occult remained strong. Additionally, the era offers a startling dichotomy between the classes and the way people lived, providing a great gap of motivations.
So, I had a pickpocket who was clever yet sensitive and a mysterious time in history. After Tiki stole the Queen’s ring, the next question I asked myself was: What if someone else wanted the ring? What if there was something unseen happening in London at the same time? So Tiki told me what happened next.
How long have you been writing for children/teens? Have you written other books or is this your first effort?
I have been writing seriously for about five years. THE FAERIE RING was the second book I wrote. Since, I have written several others – see my answer below.
Can you describe your path to the publication of THE FAERIE RING?
My road to getting published was pretty typical. After writing, revising (and revising) my first book, I queried several agents. While I waited, I wrote another book – THE FAERIE RING. My agent asked for revisions on the first book so when I sent that back I mentioned TFR and she said to send that as well. She signed me for both books but went out with THE FAERIE RING first, which sold to Susan Chang of Tor Teen.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
My advice is to never give up. It takes HARD work to write a book. One of the sayings pasted to my computer is this:
“A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.”
The same is true of writing. Take classes, read books on craft, read books that you love and think about why you love them. And write and write. Get critiques and don’t be afraid to revise. The work is often in the revision. You can do it. Never give up.
Can you tell us something about your personal life – inspirations, plans for the future, goals, etc.?
I’d love to do more traveling. I got to go to London for the first time in my life AFTER I’d written THE FAERIE RING. I fell in love with that city! And it was totally surreal to walk in Tiki’s (the main character of TFR) footsteps from Charing Cross to St. James Park to Buckingham Palace. I want to go back there and to Ireland. I have another book that has parts set in Paris, so I’d like to go back there, as well. Also, I have lots of ideas for more books so I’d love to be able to have the time to write them all!
Do you have any new writing ventures underway?
As a matter of fact – I have several. I have already written the second book (THE TORN WING) in THE FAERIE RING series and I’m over halfway through the third book (THE TARA STONE). Also, I’ve written a YA contemporary novel with a hint of paranormal entitled PULSE. After I finish THE TARA STONE I’m going finish a YA Steampunk Fantasy called ENIGMA which is set in London in 1895. No rest for the wicked, you know. ;-)
Do you have a website where readers can learn more about THE FAERIE RING?
Yes! Please visit my blog at www.kikihamilton.blogspot.com which also has links to my website along with a map of London 1871. I’d love to hear from you and your readers!
Janet, thanks so much for having me!