Welcome to Literary Rambles! While you’re rambling around and exploring the site enter for a chance to win:

NO PLACE TO FALL through December 13th

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CREED through January 3rd

KIKI HAMILTON INTERVIEW AND BOOK GIVEAWAY

First I'm going to announce the winners of SOLSTICE. The winners are:

ANGELA BROWN

and

KATHRYN PACKER ROBERTS

Congrats! I already e-mailed your contact information to P.J. Hoover so you can get your books.

Today I’m excited to interview Kiki Hamilton about her debut novel, THE FAERIE RING that’s being released tomorrow. I’m especially excited to help Kiki celebrate her debut because I’ve become friends with her through following her blog. And I loved THE FAIRIE RING because it involves fantasy and fairies, two of my favorite things to read about.

Here’s a description of THE FAERIE RING from Goodreads:

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…

Hi Kiki. Thanks so much for joining us.

Hi Natalie! Thanks so much for inviting me over to your awesome blog (!) and for your kind words about my book.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your book.

After reading the beginning books of the Harry Potter series and falling in love with reading again, I decided to write a story for my daughter. That’s when the madness set in. I LOVE writing. I had so much fun with the characters, the plot, the world – loved the process. Soon, the book wasn’t for my daughter any more (it was too old for her at the time) but was for my characters, who wanted to tell me their story. That novel is still incubating on my hard drive. Ahem. THE FAERIE RING was the second book I wrote. I loved writing that story even more!

2. I can’t believe how similar our start to writing was. I read the first Harry Potter book and it rekindled my love of fantasy. I decided to try writing a fantasy I’d been thinking of, which I wrote for my daughter too. THE FAERIE RING is set in 1871 London. I read that you’d never been to London before writing the story, which I find amazing since you describe the era and London in such detail. What research did you do into London and the Victorian era in writing your book?

My story is considered historical fantasy, so I’ve worked hard to keep all historical facts accurate. The Faerie Ring is set in 1871 because that’s the year one of my characters, Prince Leopold, Queen Victoria’s youngest son, was 18. My research was conducted through a variety of sources – several books were a wonderful resource: What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool (Simon & Schuster 1993) and Victorian London, The Tale of a City 1840-1870 by Liza Picard (St. Martin’s Griffin 2005). Additionally, I used online resources including Google Earth.

After I’d sold the book, but before I’d worked on any editorial revisions, I had the opportunity to visit London for the first time. It was such a wonderful experience! As everyone knows, London is an ancient city with so much history oozing out of the buildings and sidewalks, it can’t help but to inspire a writer! I got to walk in Tiki’s footsteps (my main character) from Charing Cross to St. James Park to Buckingham Palace and more. The trip was surreal and fantastic (!!!) and very beneficial in filling in some of the more oblique, but still very important, details.

3. You did such a good job nailing the historical facts. And I’d love to visit London. Tiki is such an interesting character. Even though she’s a pickpocket, she’s doing it for a cause—surviving and because she’s driven to take care her new family that she found while living on London’s streets. And she’s independent in a time when women were dependant on men. How did you develop her as a character and what were the challenges in balancing her independence with the time she lived in?

There is a fine line in creating the heroic character you (usually) want and adhering to the class and moral structure of the era. But I don’t believe that women are ever really dependent on men. Though they may make it *seem* that way, even in the 19th century, I truly believe, when there is a will – there’s a way. So, though it might have been more difficult to control the outcomes of some events in the Victorian era, there are always ways around an imposed structure, whether it’s pretending to be a boy, employing a man’s name as a front or simply being clever enough to convince a man to think his choices are his own and not influenced by a woman. Blasphemous, aren’t I? ;-)

4. Ha! I totally agree with you. I loved Tiki’s relationship with Rieker, especially because their chemistry was not love at first sight. Can you give us some tips on how to build the tension in the relationship like you did here?

Tension is built by conflict or an impediment to that which you desire. In a novel, there are many ways to thwart or confuse a relationship – just like in real life. People are complicated and multi-layered – where a person might pretend to be transparent and lay their soul bare – they rarely do. And then of course, there are the types who have so many layers of secrets even they may not know their own truth any more. Those types of characters fascinate me and I’m drawn to including them in my plots, with the final result (hopefully) being that the tension is not manufactured simply as a plot device but because the characters are multi-dimensional and layered. The key is how quickly or slowly you peel back the layers.

5. That’s awesome advice. I read that you wrote books 2 and 3 of this series and then worked on combining them so you could write a new book 3. How much of the complete story did you know when you wrote THE FAERIE RING and what advice do you have on writing a series?

When I first started writing I wasn’t intending to write a series. I just had a story I wanted to tell. But when I got to the end, I realized that the story was far from over. I had only peeled back a few of the layers of my characters – there was a lot yet to discover!

If you can outline, it would be much easier to outline the entire series before you start, that way you can see where your turning points are and the shape of your story arc. In a perfect world – that’s the way I would do it if I could! 

6. I’m glad you decided to make it a series. I want to learn more about Tiki and Rieker. I love that your magical system involves faeries. I love them! What research did you do in developing this aspect of your story?

I love the idea of worlds existing unseen but intersecting with our own. We’ve all had moments of seeing shadows move out of the corners of our eyes and we turn and nothing is there; the sense that we’re being watched;
For research, I read alot about faerie lore and faeries of the British Isles, through books and the internet, and then used my imagination.

7. I think that’s the draw of fantasy—the unseen world we long to be real. At least it’s one of the reasons I love to read fantasies. From following your blog, I know you’ve already been taking steps to market your book, such as being interviewed by bloggers who review books and getting really good reviews from some like Kristi at The Story Siren. (This is a really popular book blogger site that I really recommend BTW.) I was so excited when I read Kristi’s review. Tell us how you’ve reached out to the book blogging community and other marketing steps you’ve taken that you think are spreading the word about your book.

The blogging world has been phenomenal to me! I am SO grateful!! Honestly, a year ago – I didn’t even know it existed. I started reaching out to a few people and I’ll tell you – what a WONDERFUL group of people. I feel so lucky to count many of them as my friends, now.

8. What are you working on now?

I just finished a YA contemporary called THE LAST DANCE and I’m having my crit partners read it. At this moment, I have two things I’m working on – one is a fantasy with an alternate history set in London 1895 with a male main character, Blackjack Bailey. The other is a fantasy that I’m very excited about. I’m going to leave it at that. LOL – don’t you love and hate secrets at the same time? ;-)

Yes, those secrets are torture! Can’t wait till you can tell us about them. Thanks so much for your advice Kiki. Good luck with your book.

Thank you so much for having me, Natalie, and for your good wishes. Good luck with your book too! When do we get to hear about that?

Thanks so much for asking. I’m hoping to get my revisions done by early next year so I can start querying. Gulp!

You can find Kiki at her blog, website, Twitter and Facebook.
Kiki Hamilton

Kiki’s publisher generously offered an ARC for a giveaway. All you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment by midnight on October 8th. I’ll announce the winner on October 10th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment. International entries are welcome.

I’m going to do something different with my giveaway. If you mention this contest on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook, please let me know in the comments and I’ll give you an extra entry.

I’ve got a lot of awesome interviews coming up in October. On October 3rd, I’m interviewing Hilary Wagner and giving away a copy of THE WHITE ASSASSIN. On October 5th, I’ll be blogging again so I can interview Jean Nadol and give away a copy of THE VISION. Then on October 10th, I’ll be interviewing Janice Hardy and giving away a copy of DARKFALL. I’ll tell you about the rest of my awesome October later.

Hope to see you next Monday!

56 comments:

  1. cool! The Faerie Ring sounds like a great read! Count me in- loved the interview and learning more about Kiki and her book. Thanks!

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  2. Thanks so much Kiki for letting me share in your debut. I'm so excited for you. And THE FAERIE RING is such an awesome book.

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  3. Woohoo, an outliner! haha. Thanks so much for this giveaway. Would love to read this book.

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  4. Love the cover! I would love to read this book.

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  5. Def. want to read this book! I'll be tweeting.

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  6. Great interview! The book has been on my wish list for a while, I'd love to read it. Thanks so much for this giveaway! xxx

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  7. *crosses fingers* Dear Random Generator: Please pick me, please pick me, please pick me...

    Great interview! I am DYING to read this one. :-)

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  8. I've heard so many good things about The Faerie Ring even before this and wow, this interview just sealed the deal. I am now--officially--dying to read The Faerie Ring.

    Hikari
    hikablack(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. Thanks for the great giveaway! Loved the interview and I've heard great things about this one!

    nicoleloveskyle2(at)aim(dot)com

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  10. The description of this book is SO intriguing !! would love to read this book ! Thank you for this give-away !
    tweeted : https://twitter.com/#!/Twinklesmile023/status/118379409517445120

    Best,
    Ifrah

    starlight023(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  11. Great interview, ladies! Sounds like a great book and I look forward to reading it.

    I'm already a follower. I'll tweet and FB this next!

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  12. Great interview! This sounds like such an awesome book.

    GFC: Aeicha @ Word Spelunking
    Tweeted here: http://twitter.com/#!/WordSpelunker/status/118403446360637441

    Aeicha
    wordspelunker at gmail dot com

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  13. I've been following Kiki for a while now. The anticipation for this release is killing me here. I've been so excited for months. Thanks so much!
    old GFC follower

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  14. Thank you for inviting me over to your blog, Natalie! And thanks to everyone who has commented!!! One more day! Eep!

    :-) Kiki

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  15. Great interview and giveaway! I've been anxiously awaiting this book forever it seems!

    GFC follower - SweetMarie83
    Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=254381734603315&id=510725204
    Tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/kikihamilton/status/118444656697679873
    Email - irishstar_83(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  16. What a great interview! (And I'm looking forwarrd to all the upcoming ones to--some of my favorites!)

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  17. I think this book sounds fantastic and this interview helped confirm that. I love that it's not "love at first site" because I'm a little tired of that!

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  18. Not entering to win - just in awe of the research she must've done for the book!

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  19. Sounds like a great book! (I've tweeted this) Thanks for the interview, Kiki!

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  20. You decided to write a story for your daughter. Aww.. Isn't that sweet? I completely enjoy reading this interview. Would love to read your book :>
    follower
    thebookish96(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. Great interview! I have been waiting ages to read this book, sounds brilliant.
    I tweeted about this (http://twitter.com/#!/AmieSalmon) Would love to get my hands on this book sooner =]

    amie_salmon134@hotmail.co.uk

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  22. Thank you for the giveaway!
    THE FAERIE RING has very beautiful story and it is a series! I'm glad for that. I love faeries, I think they are the most interesting paranormal creatures.
    GFC follower as Diana
    Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/artdem83/status/118673669454180352

    artgiote at gmail dot com

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  23. Sounds like such an intriguing read! And isn't it so fun to help launch a book's release? Thank you, Natalie and Kiki!

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  24. Thanks for the great interview and giveaway! Cant wait to read this.
    GFC follower
    Tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/natcleary/status/118711704354947074
    Shared to facebook http://www.facebook.com/natcleary/posts/153670288060726

    natcleary(at)gmail(dot)com

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  25. Oooo, this book has been on my to read list for ages! Thank Kiki's publisher, please. :D Oh and thank you for hosting it!

    Anyway, my email is sharpestsatire@gmail.com

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  26. I just can't wait to read The Faerie Ring!It sounds amazing!

    anniech85(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. I can't wait to read this book! It sounds really really good!

    flexigirl678(at)gmail(dot)com

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  28. i really really want to win this so thanks for making this giveaway international

    gfc follower: isabelle frisch ( or miki i don't know)

    mail: isabelle(dot)frisch(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. I love Victorian London and the cover is beautiful
    gfc micia
    blogmicia@yahoo.it
    tweet
    http://twitter.com/#!/micia18/status/119019388241313792

    thanks

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  30. Thanks for posting this awesome interview! I'm a follower.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  31. I tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/#!/aikchien/status/119040878156328960

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  32. Great interview. I can't wait to check out this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  33. I've wanted this book for months! It combines some of my favorite things: London, the Victorians, and faeries!

    I tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/Butterfly_Ghost/status/119055709676638208

    email: carmen_brack(at)bluewin(dot)ch

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  34. yey! thanks for this. and thank u too Kiki too!

    GFC follower: jennachristy03
    email: jenna_jcm@yahoo.com

    thank you!

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  35. hi! I'm gfc follower kel and I tweeted here https://twitter.com/itzKelseyD/status/119145877666414592


    Thanks for the giveaway! I've heard wonderful things about this book!

    Poisnivyred AT gmail.com

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  36. Thank you!!!

    Grace Radford-Tingley

    peachandblue2(at)aol(dot)com

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  37. Great interview, and I'd love to have this book!

    dfaylor22(at)gmail(dot)com

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  38. Great interview !!!
    I'd love to read the book.

    dl(dot)love(dot)freedom(at)gmail(dot)com

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  39. It is set in the victorian era! I cannot wait to get into that :)

    Gabbie-ethela AT hotmail DOT com

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  40. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

    New blog follower: Cassandra Ruiz

    E-mail: hernandezcassandra50 at yahoo dot com

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  41. Great Interview! I had the pleasure of having Kiki on my blog a while back and she's so great to talk to.

    I like that you're a fan of The Story Siren too--great site.

    I'm a new follower and I tweeted for ya!
    http://twitter.com/#!/RachyBee/status/119364626671607808

    Rachel @ The Rest Is Still Unwritten

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  42. pretty awesome interview! thank you so much for the opportunity - you're kinda awesome. (not to mention the fact that kiki's book seems pretty much class)

    (:

    blahblah_boo(at)hotmail(dot)com.

    -fena

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  43. I'd love to read this book! Awesome interview!!

    I'm a new follower!!

    Thank you for the giveaway :-)

    -Brittany Roshelle

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  44. I also tweeted the giveaway @BrittRoshelle

    Thanks again!

    Brittany Roshelle

    askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

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  45. I also added this giveaway to my blog's Facebook page, The Write Stuff:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Write-Stuff/142450315796532

    askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

    Thanks again!

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  46. This book sounds really good, but then again, I think I'd love any book that was at least partially inspired by Harry Potter...

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  47. I love London and can't wait to visit while reading The Faerie Ring.

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/Emma015/status/120227366906761216

    findjessyhere at gmail dot com

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  48. Wow this sounds great! thanks for the interview and giveaway :)

    amber.hrkns at gmail dot com

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  49. oh, I would so much love to win this book! I've been looking forward to it for a long time! Great interview ladies! thanks. I love that "only peeled back a few layers of my characters". Awesome.

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  50. The book sounds great and I absolutely LOVE the cover.

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  51. The book sounds wonderful and the cover looks amazing. I came across your blog while searching for Literary agents. A new follower here.

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  52. The book sounds truly inspired, I would love to win a copy :) Am a follower and I tweeted about it here:
    https://twitter.com/#!/Broken_Fallacy/status/121621620291936258

    :)

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  53. Sounds like a great book! (I've tweeted this) Thanks for the interview, Natalie and Kiki!

    email: wendy(dot)chen1996(at)gmail(dot)com

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  54. Nice Interview! "The Faerie Ring" sounds SO tempting. I am a stickler for stories centered around the Regency era as well as fey lore. Thanks for the chance at this giveaway.
    -GFC: Joanna Ward
    joanna9273[at]gmail[dot]com

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  55. Liked what Kiki said about tension developing through complex characters rather than being manufactured via plot.

    This one's already on my to-read list!

    I have to admire her research. I've yet to delve into any alternate history writing because I'm afraid of getting facts wrong and fact-checkers nailing me for it. lol.

    (I'm a follower and I posted a link on facebook.)

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  56. Ah! This book looks really great!
    I follow this blog.
    ladyofnarnia(at)yahoo(dot)com
    and I shared this giveaway on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=161644393925675&id=161317363924658

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