Thursday, August 5, 2010

Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Today's Author Spotlight is on Kersten Hamilton. She's the author of a cool new book series that will start with the release of Tyger Tyger: A Goblin Wars Book in November.  This book is currently on tour at a bunch of blogs, so check out this list for more information and giveaways! Here's what Kersten has to say about the inspiration behind this book.
On the first stop of my blog tour, I talked about how we rarely had access to a television while I was growing up, and how my dad told stories. But I was not only blessed with a story-telling dad; I was gifted with had an eccentric uncle. Uncle Ray was an artist and an engineer who wore suspenders and goggles while he zoomed around town on a motorbike, his long red beard streaming behind him.

It was Ray who paid me to memorize poems.

One dollar for short poems like The Germ by Ogden Nash:
One dollar for long poems like The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And one glorious green dollar for everything in between:
The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash
I raked in the dough for every single poem. But secretly, I would have memorized them anyway. Because I loved poetry.
Two poems came back to me when it was time to write Tyger Tyger.
The first was Overheard on a Saltmarsh by Harold Monro:  a poem about a goblin, a dryad and some beads. Ginny Greenteeth, a goblin in my novel, has more than a smidgen of Monro’s goblin in her.
But more important to the Goblin Wars was the first poem I ever memorized: The Tyger by William Blake:
Blake asks his question about the nature of creation in a poem; I ask mine in a trilogy.
:)  Kersten
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To win some bookmark swag from Kersten, please leave a comment on this post with the title of a poem that inspires you. Maybe there's a book in one of these poems? And, Kersten will be back in a week or so for another author spotlight segement, so this comment will count for extra credit toward that book giveaway. Lots of excitement! 
Make sure to leave your email as well. This contest closes on 
Thursday, August 12th at midnight. Good luck!


  1. One of my favorite poems that I share with my eighth graders every year is a poem by Marge Pierce called Barbie Doll. It tells a story of an intelligent healthy girl with too big a nose and thick legs and how she commits suicide because instead of appreciating the things she had people criticized her flaws. Then in death everyone thought her pretty.

    This poem helps my classes discuss self esteem, and perception and how easy it is to take critical comments to heart.

    I am sure that a book could be influenced by the messages in this poem.

    Also very excited about reading Kersten's book. I have heard nothing but good things about it.

  2. I loved Jabberwocky when I was young and it's still a favorite. The Tyger kind of scared me when I was a kid. But the imagery of the words really stuck with me. I think that's one of the reasons that the title of Tyger Tyger stood out for me. It hit that nerve and memory of the poem.

  3. In high school, (yes a very long time ago) I discovered a poem called INVICTUS by William Ernest Henley.

    I memorized it and can still recite it to this day.

    This poem was always at the back of my mind when I struggled in college and life. (Even now I recite on those kick me while I am down days)


    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

  4. Thank you for having me over for a blog tour, Hattie!

    Jan—I am going to go look for that poem. Is it included in any collections?

    LLM—The Tyger actually *still* scares me. But Tyger Tyger is (in places) a very scary book. :)

    Kjovus— I LOVE Invictus! I don't remember the first time I read it. It feels like one of those poems I have always, always loved.

  5. One of my favorite poems is Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. For a school assignment, we had to choose poems to read, memorize and recite in front of the class. Most of my classmates thought ahead when choosing their poems (we were given a list with the title of the poem and the authors name). I was so surprised and pleased to see that an author shared my name that I immediately, and thoughtlessly, chose Christina Rossetti's poem. It is one of the impulsive decisions in my life that I am happiest to have made. It was extremely difficult to memorize, but even though I can't say the entire poem anymore, I still find myself reciting little bits of it when I wash the dishes or when I'm falling asleep. I like that I have the magic of the Goblin Market to brighten up my mundane daily tasks.

  6. Tina -- I'm amazed! The Goblin Market would be very hard to memorize. But it is awesome:

  7. Kersten here is a link to the poem on line.

    It is in an anthology I have, but off the top of my head I can't remember the title and the book is waiting to unpacked at school.

  8. Jan— that is a very powerful poem. I think Hattie is right, there is a book in it. Possibly lots of books.

    I remember that during the 'magic' of puberty kids started teasing me about my teeth— which were and are very crooked.

    I stopped smiling. Really, truly, stopped. For years.

    but now, I smile like crazy especially at kids that other people think are 'different' or not good enough—and imagine love like lightning bolts coming out o my eyes and going right into their hearts.

    I wish there as a way to tell them that this will be over, that big noses or crooked teeth are no match for walking toward you dreams.

    That it will take longer and be harder than you think, but the dreams will win, and the tormentors be forgotten.

  9. i still love phenomenal woman by maya angelou to this's very inspiring...

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  10. I'm surprised no one said it yet but The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost! I know it's popular and referenced to a lot but it's just great! (I'm not a big fan of poetry either so it's nice that it's short enough where I don't mind reading it over a few times! :P)


  11. I love this author spotlight! And I love Tyger Tyger! Have you seen the trailer? I found it here:



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