Monday, June 21, 2010

ML Hamilton Interview & Review

This week I have the pleasure of introducing ML Hamilton the writer of Emerald, which Matt has recently finished reading, which you can read the review of below, as well as an interview with M.L. Hamilton. 

Book Description:
  In one terrible instant, Kai is thrown from his comfortable life and plunged into a conflict that began before he was born. Worse yet, he learns that the one man who can help him is his enemy.               Kiameron is the crown prince of DiNolfol.  He is torn between two destinies -- taking the crown upon his father's death or answering the call of his non-Human-like traits, traits associated with the mysterious Stravad.
The decision is made with the destruction of everything he holds dear. Armed with his strange powers and a mysterious talisman he doesn't know how to use, Kai decides to attack Gava, the despot who destroyed his life.
Crippled by self-doubt and fear, he falters in his quest, until he meets a man who forces him to take action. However, his new ally is hiding secrets, secrets that will rob Kai of everything he held sacred.

This Book can be summed up in one word, epic! The scope, the size of Emerald is empressive, but not overbearing. M. L. Hamilton does an excellent job packing a lot of information and descriptions into a minimal amount of words, without losing anything. 

Emerald is one book that doesn't follow the often over used fantasy stereotype, which is a good thing, and leads to a very good read. If there is one thing I have to criticize it's the beginning. The very thing that makes this a great book also makes it a little hard to understand what's going on in the first chapter or two. 

Conclusion: This is a book highly recommended for anyone into fantasy. I suspect that you, and I, will find many details that were missed in the first reading.

1. How did you come up with the ideas for Emerald?

Honestly, I started writing Emerald in high school. I know I'm showing my age, but I was a Styx fan at the time and the album Kilroy Was Here had just come out. I was intrigued with the whole Mr. Roboto idea and mind control. Thus the plot of Emerald was born, although it went through many incarnations over the years.

2. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Very young. I won a writing contest when I was in elementary school. I grew up just outside of San Francisco in a beautiful coastal town. They were developing all of the hills around us, so I wrote a story about land development. After that I started writing as a means of escape.

3. Which authors have inspired you?

Oh, so many. I've always liked the classics -- Shakespeare, Hemingway and especially Steinbeck, but I also grew up on Tolkien and Anne McCaffrey. As an adult, I discovered Tad Williams and Terry Brooks. I especially like writers who can make a character come alive. Incidentally, the main character, Kai, in Emerald is modeled after Shakespeare's Hamlet, the ultimate reluctant hero.

4. What should we expect from you next?

I am currently working on editing the second book in the World of Samar series, The Norrad. I've posted a preview of it on my website. I'm also writing the seventh book. I usually alternate between editing and writing.

5. What are you currently reading?

Terry Brooks. I'm on the second book in his Genesis of Shannara series: The Elves of Cintra. I'm also in a book club with my mother and two aunts. The book club allows me to read books out of my usual genre -- something I think is important for an author. Two of my favorite recent reads were The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

6. Do you use any motivational tools when your write, I.e. Music, quotes, photos

Music distracts me. I get so caught up in the sounds that I forget what I'm doing. I do like to use quotes. All of my books start with a significant quote. I guess my motivation is the characters themselves. They live in my head, demanding I tell their story. As I said before, writing is as much an escape for me as reading is. I love to go on an adventure and see how the characters respond to it. Sometimes I'm even surprised by what they do.

7. What have you found to be the hardest part of getting published?

It's hard to get a publisher to take a chance on a new writer and of course, the rejection stings, especially at first. I feel very fortunate to have found a publisher like Wild Wolf who is willing to take a risk. However, hands down, the hardest thing for any writer to do is sell herself. I don't think writers are natural sales people. By and large, I think we tend to be introverted, otherwise, we'd probably be actors. Marketing for many authors is an ill-fitting hat, but today's competitive market demands it.

8. Favorites:

Color: Red -- red for cars, red for paint, red for clothes. I love its vibrancy.
Pen or Pencil -- Neither. Laptop. I hate the labor involved in writing by hand.
Ice Cream Flavor -- Chocolate. Need I say more?
Coffee or Tea -- Iced mocha coffee for summer; mint tea for winter.
Book Genre -- Any...well, except real life murder mysteries. I have a weak stomach for reality. My favorite is fantasy.

9. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

I know it's cliche, but it needs to be said -- Don't give up. Keep writing, keep editing, keep getting rejected. Most importantly, read. Read a lot and don't limit yourself to the genre in which you write. Read outside of your genre. Finally, find a writer's group to join. The feedback of other writers is essential. It's hard to take criticism at first, but you get tougher and I guarantee you'll be a better writer for it.

10. Anything else you would like to add?

Just thank you for the opportunity to share.

1 comment:

Misty said...

Just letting you know that you have won an award. Its on my blog

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