I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Kiki Hamilton, author of her debut novel The Faerie Ring, set for release in late September this year. She was so lovely and I was so grateful to her for taking time out of what I'm sure is a very busy time right now with her debut only months away to answer my questions and even give us a little sneak peak of The Faerie Ring!
Here's my interview with her.....
Hi Kiki! I’m so excited to have you on the blog and I’m thrilled to interview you.
Your debut novel The Faerie Ring is set for release towards the end of September, congrats! What you do think readers can expect from the story?
It’s a story set back in time - 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. Tiki, is a pickpocket who steals the Queen’s ring, so you have a great gap in classes and the way people live. I hope that the reader feels like they’ve entered a different world, a dark and mysterious world, but one that could have possibly existed.
Is it daunting knowing that you’ve put your heart and soul into your work and it’s going to be out there for people to read and judge?
It’s funny you should ask that – I returned home from BEA just yesterday, where I did a signing and we gave away 100 ARCs of THE FAERIE RING. This is the first time that my book has really been out there in any quantity for people to love or ...ahem...not, and it is a bit of a weird feeling to know that so many people might be reading Tiki’s story. Keep your fingers crossed the majority like it!
The Faerie Ring is set in London 1871. What made you pick this certain time period and how much research went into making sure you captured that 1800’s “feel” perfectly?
I love the mystery of Victorian London and the idea of pickpockets living this alternate lifestyle – sort of unseen within the City. I picked the exact year of 1871 because that is the year that Prince Leopold, Queen Victoria’s youngest son, was 18.
I did spend a lot of time researching Victorian London so I could accurately represent that era and hopefully make the reader feel like they’d travel back in time. I was lucky enough to go to London (after I’d written and sold the story but before editing) and was able to walk in my character’s footsteps from Charing Cross to St. James Park to Buckingham Palace etc. It was totally surreal!!
Besides writing, what do you like to do to fill up your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
I love to garden. I live in Washington State but grow banana palm trees in my yard and all sorts of beautiful perennials. I’ve also been learning to play the guitar the last few years and just started playing tennis this last year. There’s so many fun things to do it’s hard to find time to cook and clean and do laundry – the stuff I have to do.
I read in your bio that you’re an avid reader yourself. Which stories do you love to lose yourself within the pages the most?
I like a mix of genres. I do love well-done fantasy: Harry Potter, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, I loved the first book of Twilight, Hunger Games and Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors, which was more contemporary with a twist of paranormal. But I also love contemporary stories like Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy. I’m reading an ARC of The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern right now, which is fascinating.
Faeries seem to be so popular nowadays. What is it about them that you think draws readers and captivates them?
Well, I don’t know about everybody else, but I know I like the idea of the unseen existing alongside our everyday lives. The idea that magic exists, just beyond our ability to perceive it and that every once in a while, the door opens and we see into that other world....
What’s the best advice you’d give to someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps and become a writer?
Never give up would be my first bit, because this business is really a rollercoaster. But write for the love of writing, for the love of the stories that you want to tell. Take classes, read, practice, practice, practice, keep learning your craft and never give up!
According to your website, you just starting writing one day after writing a story for your daughter, but growing up were there any hints or urges that made you want to do this? Any little tingles, little suggestions that pushed you towards writing?
I’d always enjoyed writing and toyed with the idea of writing a book in the past. I wrote a lot of poetry in high school and did well in English. Initially, I considered going into journalism as a major in college but choose business instead, but I always kind of thought that I’d write a book some day. I guess it’s just a matter of when you decide to dive in and start!
Are there any teasers or lines you might want to share with us from The Faerie Ring that will whet our appetites?
“Tiki eyed the item that Leo had tossed under the desk. It was a burnished band of rich gold, capped by an intensely red stone the color of blood—that almost seemed to beckon to her. Mesmerized by its beauty, Tiki reached for the ring.
She stared into the ruby red depths, turning the stone this way and that to catch the light. Something flickered, and her heart caught in her throat as she peered closer. Deep within the stone, flames burned.”
(Oooh. That teaser has got me wanting this book even more now! Can't wait for it's release!)
6 quick questions:
1. Paperback or hardback? Hardback
2. Favourite holiday destination? London
3. Singing or Dancing? Dancing
4. Favourite ice-cream flavour? Vanilla
5. Lucky number? Five
Discover The Faerie Ring!
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.
Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.
Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…
Described as a spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger, this is one of the books I'm looking forward to most in 2011! And I'm sure I'm not the only one!
Kiki has been kind enough to offer my followers and readers of this interview free SIGNED The Faerie Ring bookmarks. Simply email Kiki at: kikihamilton(at)Comcast(dot)net and mention the interview for your free goodies!
A big thank-you again to Kiki Hamilton for joining me on the blog and I wish her all the best with The Faerie Ring and all her other books in the future!
For more information on The Faerie Ring, head to Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6715235
Check out Kiki's website: http://www.kikihamilton.com/
The Faerie Ring will be released on the 27th of September 2011!