Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Author interview: Kiki Hamilton

Today I have the absolute pleasure of featuring Kiki Hamilton, author of debut novel, The Faerie Ring on my blog today.

Being a lover of all things fae, I immediately fell in love with The Faerie Ring when I first stumbled across it.

In today's post, Kiki answers a few of my questions and tells us what we as readers can expect from The Faerie Ring.

On to the Q & A:

Thanks for joining me on my blog today Kiki.

1. Describe The Faerie Ring in 5 words.


London, Faeries, Mystery, Romance, History

2. There are currently a host of YA reads dealing with vampires, werewolves, mermaids and ghosts. Why choose faeries?

I kind of felt like vampires had been done a million different ways, werewolves don’t interest me personally, mermaids are so limited and ghosts are a whole different sort of entity.

But I like the idea of another world existing side by side with the real world, and the world of Faerie exists in the same airspace, just in a different dimension – one that often intersects with our own world – which was perfect for the story I wanted to tell.

Plus, I grew up with the idea of faeries being these small little glittery things like Tinkerbell, and I loved turning that idea on its head and considering that they could motivated by greed and lust and revenge.

2.  Can you tell us a little about your road to publication?

I think it was pretty typical. I completely re-wrote my first book, like, THREE times, then revised it several more times after that. I’ve only ever had a handful of editors look at it, then I pulled it from submission because I felt like it still needed work.

So, that one is still waiting to be ‘fixed’. THE FAERIE RING was my second book and there were a couple of close calls before my agent sold it to Susan Chang of Tor Teen. That took about 9 months. However, from the time it sold to the time it releases will be two years.

3.  Your book is set in Victorian London. What made you decide to choose this setting and what kind of research did this entail?

I love Victorian London. It is a magical and mystical time in history with tremendous technological change but where people still believed in magic and mysticism. 

I also love stories about orphans and pickpockets. So – I wrote the story I wanted to read.
I had never been to London when I wrote the book.
 
To be honest, I knew NOTHING about the City when I first started writing. I did a lot of reading and research to get the historical details correct in the story. Liza Picard has a very informative book on that time period and there’s another book by Daniel Pool that was helpful.

After I had sold the book, I did get to go to London and walked in my character’s footsteps from Charing Cross to Buckingham Palace to St. James Park. Let me tell you – that was surreal!!

4.  What was the writing process like for you? Did you have a specific writing structure or plan that you adhered to?

I write in a linear fashion, which means I start at the beginning of the book and write straight through to the end.

I don’t write scenes out of order, but I do go back and forth adding details as necessary.  For THE FAERIE RING the story just sort of flowed out – I wrote the book in a very short amount of time.  Unfortunately, I don’t outline so I had to keep writing to find out what was going to happen next.

5. What can readers expect in terms of the world within The Faerie Ring?


The world in The Faerie Ring is very much embedded in London 1871. Most of the characters and the places are based on reality. I hope readers feel like they’ve gone back in time.

6.  The characters in the Faerie Ring sound absolutely fascinating- especially Tiki, who happens to be a pick pocket and an orphan living in an abandoned clockmaker's shop.  Where did the inspiration for your characters come from?

Well, I wish I had a great answer for that one. I started the story knowing I wanted to write about a girl pickpocket and Tiki just appeared.

I had her living in the abandoned clockmaker’s shop and as I was doing my research I found out that there actually had been a clockmaker’s shop in Charing Cross back in the 1860’s.

After Tiki had stolen the Queen’s ring I started wondering what would happen if somebody else wanted the ring.

Then Tiki told me what happened next. However, I have to say, Larkin is another of my favorite characters. That girl is complicated. :)

7.   Which of your characters are based most on people that you know?

None of my characters are based on anyone I know. There might be phrases or items pulled from real life, but the characters are wholly fictional, with the exception of the royals, who are based on Queen Victoria and her two youngest sons.

8.  The Faerie Ring is the first in series of four books. Did you know right from the start that there would be more than one book?

No, when I wrote The Faerie Ring it was just a story I was writing. I had no intention of making it a series.

But when I got to the end, I realized the story wasn’t over – it was just beginning. I’m not totally sure if the series will be three books, four books, or more – stay tuned!

9.  What do you think makes your book different to any other YA historical fantasy novel out there?

I hope the historical aspect will make my faerie book a bit different than some of the others out there. How the world of Faerie is tied in with real history.

10. And finally, what books would you recommend to lovers of faerie books?

I know I should be this fountain of information on YA books, but sadly I’m not. I only started reading and writing YA a few years ago with the publication of Harry Potter, so I’m always trying to catch up with all the great books out there.

However, I did read IMPOSSIBLE by Nancy Werlin and enjoyed that. THE HUNTER’S MOON by OR Melling is beautifully written and I’m sure everybody knows about THE WICKED LOVELY series by Melissa Marr. Julie Kagawa has a series on faeries too.

I just read the ARC of THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern, and while it’s not about faeries, it is about magic set at the turn of the century and it is beautifully written and totally takes you into another world.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions for me and for joining me on my blog today. I had a lot of fun coming up with the questions.

About the book:
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…

For more information about Kiki, you can:
- Follow her on her blog
- Find her on twitter
- Visit her website
- Find her on Goodreads,

Finally, Kiki is also giving readers a chance to win an ARC of The Faerie Ring on Goodreads as well as on her blog, the details of which you can find here.

10 comments:

Angie Smibert said...

Great interview! I'm really looking forward to reading Faerie Ring!

Paula said...

AWESOME!!! Can't wait to read TFR, Kiki!! Good luck with the series.

Tess said...

I am super excited to read this book...the setting sounds wonderful!

Trinity Faegen said...

I didn't get to make Kiki's ARC signing at BEA, for which I'm ANGRY! Grr! I planned to go, but sometimes life gets in the way, so here I sit, without an ARC.
I will find one, soon, and be first in line to buy my own copy on September 27! Yay!

Amy Fellner Dominy said...

Love reading about this book since I just finished the ARC. The setting is wonderful and the story has so many elements...a page turner. I say at least four sequels. :-)

juliakarr said...

Great interview! I love that time period in London, too! And, faeries!

Alissa said...

I am really looking forward to reading The Faerie Ring!

Carole Estby Dagg said...

Kiki, it sounds like you've combined several elements that always attract me to a book - can hardly wait to get a copy!

Jan von Harz said...

Terrific interview. I am quite excited to read this book. Everything about the plot sounds wonderful and now that I know that there is historical aspects to it as well I am even more excited. Thanks

Aisle B said...

you did it again! Another AMAZING interview and loved meeting the author Kiki Hamilton. Going to add this one to the ever mountainous Books I NEED LIST.