Saturday, November 2, 2013

Haunted Hearts and the Making of Books by Author Kersten Hamilton

Go to View in iTunes when you get to the preview or go directly to iTunes via your eReader and search for Tyger Tyger.

Haunted Hearts and the Making of Books

Where do you find ideas for your stories?
At dawn today I saw sheep, their woolly coats thick with first frost, sleeping in the field. They woke as the sun rose, and, still frosted and not bothering to get up, began to make a breakfast of their green bed. I tucked the image away like a greedy dragon snatching up gold. 
I know I will use it in a book. 
I wish my books could be made of such beautiful bits and bobs of reality. But I know that nobody would read them if they were. Robert Frost said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” And it is true.
The real world is not only beautiful, it is also painful and complicated. Writers must walk through things we don’t understand, face things that haunt us, transform them and offer them to our readers as gifts. 
Here is one of the haunted corners of my heart:
When I was about ten, I befriended an abused dog. He was in bad shape, but I nursed him back to health and named him Joe. He was my best buddy. But because I couldn’t afford a license the dogcatcher showed up one day and literally dragged Joe away from me. I would have stopped him if I could, but I was too little.
Joe was a scrap of a dog that had no chance of being adopted by anyone else. The dogcatcher told me I had two weeks to get enough money to buy Joe a license or he would be put down. I worked as hard as I could, earning money any way I could think of. My family didn’t have enough money to keep food on the table. There was no one else to help me. 
I didn’t earn enough. On the day they killed Joe, I was sitting on a rooftop wishing I was strong enough to fight the world and save him. Smart enough to have thought of some way to earn the money. But I wasn’t.
That dogcatcher who exercised power with no mercy became my personal model of human evil. As a child I thought that the fight against that evil was hopeless. But I have lived longer now, and have seen a lot of things. 
I have seen that hearts which are watered with tears grow mercy.
I write stories about difficult things because I think maybe, just maybe, if someone had told that man the right stories before he became a dogcatcher, he would have grown up to have tears in his heart.
My best writing tip is: dig deep. 
Deep, deep into the things that hurt, because those are the things that matter. Those are the things that need to be made right.

Kersten Hamilton is the author of the acclaimed Tyger Tyger series. To find out more about her books visit Kersten's Website.

No comments:

Post a Comment