Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

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  • Erica McGrath Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/12/2024

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  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.


Hi Everyone! Hope you're having a great Monday.

Before I get to my awesome interview, I have two winners to announce.


And the winner  of DEAD HEAT is SHARON MAYHEW!
Congrats! E-mail me your addresses so I can send you your books.

Today I’m excited to welcome back Kiki Hamilton to help celebrate the release of THE TORN WING, the second book in THE FAERIE RING series. It was released on October 2, 2012.

I loved THE TORN WING. I felt transported right back to 1871 London and Tiki’s and Rieker’s life. Kiki weaves in just enough backstory to help us remember important facts or bring us up to speed if we haven’t read THE FAERIE RING. And it starts with a bang—with a murder that takes us into the thick of the political intrigue surrounding the truce between the faeries and Queen Victoria’s England. I loved learning more about the Seelie and Unseelie Courts as Tiki and Rieker discover more about their connection to the faerie world and try to save the family Tiki’s formed and the fragile faerie truce with England. I can’t wait for book 3.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

London 1872 -

A bloody escape, a deadly threat, a shocking revelation...

As an orphan who stole the Queen's ring - only to find the ring was a reservoir that held a truce between the world of Faerie and the British Court - Tiki’s greatest fear suddenly becomes all too real: the fey have returned to London seeking revenge. As war escalates in the Otherworld, Queen Victoria’s youngest son, Prince Leopold, is attacked. In order to protect her family and those she loves, Tiki needs to know the meaning of an fáinne sí, the birthmark that winds around her wrist. But will she be brave enough to face the truth?

Hi Kiki! Welcome back. 

Hi Natalie!  Thanks so much for inviting back to Literary Rambles. 

1.  For those who haven’t read your first book, tell us about the story so far. (And everyone, if you want to read Kiki's very popular interview here last year when she debutted as an author, you'll find a link on the sidebar.)

The year is 1871, and 16 year-old 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 the Queen’s ring, only to find the ring is really a reservoir which holds a truce binding the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched 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.

2.  Wow! You're making me want to read it again. What’s been some of the challenges you faced in plotting this out as a trilogy and what have you learned for future series? What advice do you have for the rest of us thinking of writing a trilogy?

This series is actually planned to be four books:  book three: THE SEVEN YEAR KING and book four: THE ENDGAME.  I find with writing any kind of story, that the plot is an ever-moving target. I’ll start out with one set of expectations of where the story is going and more often than not, that changes. Writing a series has its own unique set of challenges, because the threads that you weave into one book, aren’t often realized until a later book. With a future series, I would plot out as much of each book as I could, which allows you to plant seeds and twists throughout all the books.   
Knowing the arc of the overall story is most helpful. The path to get there might change, but it does guide your writing.

3.  So cool there's going to be two more books. That's great advice to plot out what you can so you can plant the important seeds and twists. I loved how you continued to make this a historical fantasy.

Thank you! That was one of the best parts of writing this book for me.  

And you take us to totally new places like The Wychwood Forest and Wydryn Tor and incorporate faerie lore. Share a bit about the new historical aspects of your story.  

One of the things that intrigued me about writing THE FAERIE RING and now THE TORN WING was the idea that our history books might not have included the whole story.  For me, TFR and TTW are ‘what if…’ kind of stories, grounded in reality but with a fantastical twist. It has amazed me how neatly history fits in with this story line. As you’ve mentioned, Wydryn Tor and The Wychwood Forest are both real places in England and associated with faerie lore to this day.  Plot threads that include the Hill of Tara, a significant historical site in Ireland, and the London Stone are woven into the story, as well. I talk a bit about these in my Reader’s Note at the beginning of THE TORN WING.

4.  Tell us about Tiki’s emotional arc in this book and any challenges you faced in keeping her growing as a character.   

What I didn’t’ want to do with book two, was a re-write of book one.  I’ve read other series where I loved book one, but book two was just more of the same. I wanted to move forward with Tiki and Rieker’s lives and find out what happened NEXT. So, in keeping with that, her focus expands a bit from her orphan family to her personal growth as well as her concern about others in need. Additionally, she is forced to reconsider her opinions on some matters – just like we all do in real life. First impressions are not always correct.

5.  You did a good job taking the story and Tiki's development as a character forward. I agree that sometimes sequels aren't good because they don't take us to new places. 

I know you work full-time and have a family. How do you balance your work, family, writing, and social networking so that you keep writing and finishing your manuscripts? What advice do you have for us aspiring authors struggling to find the right balance? 

I should ask you - because you juggle all the same responsibilities!! It is hard to find time to do all things! As you know – it’s a matter of prioritizing what needs to get done today. I do work full-time so my writing is a side job, crammed into evenings and weekends, which leaves less time for social networking. But you pick and choose and it all works out.

6.  You're right, I struggle with this too. You're right that you do have to prioritize. And give up most of your little free time and some time with family.  It's a hard juggle especially with the pressures of connecting through social media. I haven't gotten the balance between the social media and writing right, but I'm working on it.

I know you decided to self-publish THE TORN WING. What went into deciding this and what have you learned about self-publishing that would be helpful to other authors considering it?   

The decision to self-pub was made over a long period of time and not made lightly.  I am so grateful to my editor and Tor Teen for giving me a chance as a debut and publishing THE FAERIE RING. It was a dream come true and they were wonderful to me.  But my editor was not interested in a second book, and we had very different ideas about where the story would go. In the end, Tor did make an offer for book two, but I didn’t think my editor’s heart was in it and it would have been 2014 before it came out, so I decided to publish it on my own. As for advice – I don’t yet know if this is a successful experiment!  First, I have to see if I sell *any* copies of THE TORN WING. Ha! Check back in a few months!

7.  I bet that was a hard decision. And we should all keep in mind that even if we traditionally publish a book that it doesn't mean other options would work better in the future. Marketing is even more important since you’re doing that job on your own. 

Just so you know, in the real world, 99% of the time, the bulk of marketing falls to the author, whether you are published by a traditional publisher or not.    

Sigh. Not sure I'm looking forward to that real world. What are your marketing plans to get the word out about your book? Are there any things you did as a debut author that you thought were particularly successful that you’re doing again? 

My plans are the same for both books. I’ve been very fortunate to have a number of wonderful bloggers offer to do blog tours for THE TORN WING and others are reading and will post reviews.  Word of mouth through the bloggers is HUGE and they have always been very kind and wonderful to me.  (Thank you, Bloggers!!) Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly are both reviewing. Also, I’m scheduled to do a number of group author signings (always the most fun!) at libraries and bookstores, a Barnes & Noble Educator event, as well as some book conventions. Additionally, I often do giveaways on my blog.  Hopefully, that and word-of mouth will be enough! Thanks for helping me out!!

8.  Sounds like you've got some awesome plans. And I'm always glad to help out because I love your books. What are you working on now?  

I am halfway through a YA fantasy time-travel thriller.

Thanks Kiki for sharing all your advice. Good luck with your book. I can’t wait for the next book.  

Thanks again featuring me on your blog, Natalie! 

You can find Kiki at:
Kiki Hamilton

Kiki has donated an ARC for a giveaway. To enter, 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 20th. I’ll announce the winner on October 22nd. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment. International entries are welcome.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. 

Here's what's coming up:

Tomorrow I'll be participating in Mike Mullin's blog tour to celebrate the release of ASHEN WINTER, Book 2 in THE ASHFALL Trilogy, with an interview and ARC giveaway. It's a fantastic dystopian novel told from a male POV.

Next Monday I'm interviewing debut author Gennifer Albin and giving away an ARC of CREWEL. It's a really unique dystopian and you'll love hearing about Genn's road to publication.

Next Wednesday I'll be sharing about THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater and giving away my ARC. I'm a HUGE fan of Maggie's and this urban fantasy is one of my favorites by her.

Next Friday I'll be sharing a guest post by debut author Jordan Jacobs and giving away a copy of his middle grade book, SAMANTHA SUTTON AND THE LABRYNTH OF LIES. It's a story about a legendary ghost, a hidden treasure, and a ancient temple in Pe.
And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.

Hope to see you tomorrow!


miki said...

thank you so much for this giveaway, i can't wait for this sequel and the cover so beautiful


thank you for the international opportunity to win

warisha_jayanti said...

Great interview!
Thank you for this giveaway!

Kristin Lenz said...

Thanks for the interview, Natalie. So brave of Kiki to try self-publishing for the sequel - I can only imagine that tortuous decision-making process. Best of luck!

Marsha Sigman said...

LOVED TFR and TTW is definitely at the top of my to be read list! Great interview and congrats to Kiki!!!!

Barbara Watson said...

What a journey. Taking your sequel, Kiki, in your hands because your vision of the story is different. That's courageous.

Jemi Fraser said...

These are definitely going on my list - can't believe I didn't know about them - thanks!!

Paula said...

Great interview. I really enjoyed The Faerie Ring. Book 2 sounds just as good.

Kiki, I love the idea of this what if you mentioned: "For me, TFR and TTW are ‘what if…’ kind of stories, grounded in reality but with a fantastical twist. It has amazed me how neatly history fits in with this story line."

I may look at history with a new eye for the fantastical : )

Linda Gray said...

Enjoyed the interview, Natalie, thanks! Kiki is inspiring. Many congrats on making a decision to move forward!

Elana Johnson said...

Awesome interview, Kiki and Natalie! Sounds like a great follow up, and I can't wait to read it.

Vivien said...

Really enjoyed the first book in the series! Definitely excited to see where it continues. I wish her all the best in her self-published endeavors.
GFC: Vivien

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Hannah said...

I've heard great things about these books! totally want to read! Thanks for sharing!

Ali Cross said...

Wow, I have totally missed out on this book. I love the twist on a faery tale set in Victorian England. I'm gonna check it (them) out!

Joanne R. Fritz said...

Entertaining interview, as always, Natalie. And I'm impressed that Kiki took control of book two and decided to self-publish. These books sound like fun. The Victorian era is fascinating in itself, but to have the added element of fantasy makes it even better.

Angela said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win! I can't wait to read The Torn Wing! Haven't been able to get my hands on a copy yet XD But this is such an awesome series! I really liked the author interview and the chance to get to know Kiki and her books a bit more :)


Peggy Eddleman said...

These sound like fabulous books! And I love hearing about the decision to self-publish book two. So fascinating!

Angela Brown said...

This was a very refreshing interview. It's cool to see the way writers can make bold decisions and give new paths a try as was done here. Best of luck to KiKi and thanks for the interview, Natalie :-)

Evie said...

I'm curious about her next book now. A YA fantasy time-travel thriller sounds amazing already :)

Unknown said...

Sounds great! I loved The Faerie Ring!


Kristin Rae said...

I adore Kiki! Great interview!

Eli Yanti said...

wow.. hope can win this book :)

share on twitter : https://twitter.com/Eli_Yanti/status/255681452157595649

Jill the OWL said...

This looks great! Love the cover (but I loved the cover of the first one too!) Thanks for sharing.

sweety white said...

Thanks Natalie for this interview with Kiki, and for the giveaway.
My GFC: sweety white

ArtemisG said...

Very beautiful intererview! YA fantasy time-travel thriller sounds great idea.
GFC follower as Diana
Tweeted: https://twitter.com/artdem83/status/257790980823080961

Thank you for the giveaway!

Neysa Kristanti said...

Hi Kathy,
Nice interview, and would really love to win the Arc :D

Thanks for the chance!

Email : mnkbooklife (at) yahoo (dot) com

Ryan Snyder said...

thank you so much for the giveaway. :) snyderyan16@gmail.com

Veronika said...

I've been reading a lot of indie books lately and I love reading them! I can't wait to read this book too!
GFC: Veronika
verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com