Kiki Hamilton

Award-winning Author of Young Adult Novels

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Inspiration: Pont de l'Archevêché - the Lock Bridge

*Pont de l'Archevêché and Notre Dame, Paris France, April 2014. Photo by Kiki Hamilton

Inspiration comes in many forms, from many places and often when least expected.  As a writer, lots of things can spark that creative impulse to craft a story - a picture, a thought, a question, a piece of history.

I think I may have heard of 'The Lock Bridge' first in ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins - one of mine and my daughter's favorite YA contemp stories. It is a bridge in Paris, where lovers go, and as a symbol of their unbreakable love, they put a lock on the bridge and throw away the key in the Seine River. How romantic is that??

Anyway, I knew when we went to Paris, we would need to go see the bridge for ourselves.

Let me tell you - pictures do not do it justice!  The locks (which the City of Paris is now cutting off because they are so heavy they were concerned they would cause the bridge to fail) are ten and twelve deep the entire length of the bridge and on both sides! It’s incredible!! There are locks on top of locks on top of locks - which speaks to our universal desire  - wouldn't we all wish to have never-ending love?


But it also speaks of our unfailing ability to hope. Pont de l'Archevêché is inspiring in many ways and then to have the grace and beautiful of Notre-Dame Cathedral as a backdrop – Wow!  

As I sit down on this Sunday to write, I feel inspired and hopeful.  What is some of your inspiration? Tell me in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Inspiration: The Luck of Edenhall

     *The Luck of Edenhall on display at the V&A Museum, London, England, April 2014. Photo by Kiki Hamilton



Inspiration is an interesting thing. Oftentimes, it comes when you're least expecting it, or from a source you might never imagine.  For me, inspiration usually starts in the form of a question.... 'What if...' 

The other part of the equation, more often than not, involves a secret... for instance, What if the British Court had a secret alliance with the world of the Fey?  Which is the premise of my FAERIE RING series.

Take the Luck of Edenhall, seen above.  This chalice plays an important role in THE SEVEN YEAR KING, Book Three of THE FAERIE RING series. Dating back to at least the 14th Century, today the Victoria and Albert Museum in London proudly displays this cup and says it is "one of the most famous objects displayed in the V&A." In its description, the museum claims, "Traditionally this cup is said to have belonged to the fairies. When disturbed, they fled and left it behind, crying, 'If this cup should break and fall, farewell the luck of Edenhall!'"

So what should one believe? If the world-famous V&A Museum is suggesting a connection between this real-world item and the world of the Fey - I think the only logical question to ask is... WHAT IF? And to start writing..... :-)




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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Perspective: Ant or Eagle?

    *Freedom Tower / One World Observatory, New York City. October 2015. Photo by Kiki Hamilton.

Perspective is an interesting thing. Standing on the ground looking up at this amazing building, your senses tell you one thing. Standing on the 104th floor looking out over New York City, your senses tell you something different:


Whether you believe you are an ant or an eagle is often only a matter of perspective. Your choice, right?
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Sunday, March 13, 2016

#amwriting - Websites and Time Travel

It is a windy, stormy day here in Washington State - the very best kind of day to write fantasy stories!

The last few days (well, actually nights because I work during the day...) I have been working on re-designing my website, which has actually been quite fun. It has forced me to revisit some of my books and think about what information I want to share.  

If you'd like to hear about my process for writing THE MIDNIGHT SPY go here or if you'd like to hear about my inspiration for THE FAERIE RING go here.  Take a minute and go check it out for me - let me know what you think!

In addition to my website update, I have been working on final revisions for a time travel story with the working title of THE NIGHT GATE that will be going out on submission soon. Check back and I'll keep you posted on my progress!

What are you writing or reading today?



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Friday, March 11, 2016

Gratitude: Notes from Readers & Librarians

   *My daughter in Jamestown, Virginia, February 2016. Photo by Emily Taylor

The writing world is a funny place. When you first decide to write a book, the hardest part is the actual writing of the book. But once the book is written, there is an entire sea of other challenges/opportunities to navigate: getting published, getting your book distributed to bookstores, libraries and readers, and then getting people to read the book.  It's a lot. And whether you are traditionally published or self-published the process is harder than one would expect.

Which is why notes from readers or librarians who have read and loved your book mean so much to an author.  Recently, I've received two notes out of the blue. One from a reader of my YA contemporary story, THE LAST DANCE, which is told from alternating POVs (points of view) of Kellen (Q) and Ivy. The note said in part:


"(Kiki's) book brought emotions. I felt like I was there standing right next to Miss Ivy Ly. The perspective change is amazing and made me want to curl up in a ball and... maybe cuss Q out a bit at times or get up and just start shouting with happiness."


That is *exactly* what an author wants a reader to feel: emotions!


And the other note was from a middle school librarian who had just read THE MIDNIGHT SPY. She said in part: 


"I just finished reading your book and LOVED IT. As a MS librarian I read a LOT of YA and Middle grade books. I COULD NOT PUT YOUR BOOK DOWN. I read it in one day. My laundry is backed up but it was WORTH IT!"


It's hard to describe the feeling you get when messages like that arrive in your inbox, but if I had to sum it up in one word, it would be: GRATITUDE. Thank you to all my readers and to librarians for making our books available! 
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Strength & Beauty + Fortitude

                       *The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, April 2014. Photo by Kiki Hamilton.

It is breath-taking to see The Eiffel Tower in person, not only for its elegant design, but also for that moment when you see something so familiar with your own eyes. Magnifique!


The Eiffel Tower was constructed in 1889 as the entrance for the 1889 World Fair. Initially criticized (quite strongly!) by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, over time, it has become one of the most recognizable structures in the world and a cultural icon for France.


Which leads one to consider the ideas of strength mixed with beauty, as well as fortitude.  All qualities one needs to embrace if one hopes to succeed as a writer.


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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Inspiration: Gare du Nord

   *Gare du Nord Train Station, Paris, France, April 2014.  Photo by Kiki Hamilton

Where does inspiration come from? What sparks an idea in your head that turns into a story? For me, the train stations of Europe are fascinating. The buildings are usually old and the flow of traffic constant and immense - all these people with so many different stories flowing in and out of the station - it's as if some of the pieces stay behind, waiting to be stitched into a new story.....
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Time for something new...

*We were in Paris when I took this picture. I was in a door mood - taking pictures of loads of beautiful, remarkable doors, like L'oreal, Ralph Lauren, Gucci. Wouldn't you love to see what's on the other side?

Welcome to my new website! You know how some days you're suddenly ready for something new? Well, today was one of those days! 


In the past, my website was only dedicated to my books but moving forward I plan to post on a variety of topics: the writing process, travel, photography, painting, gardening, whatever happens to catch my interest that day ...maybe the weather! And of course - all the latest news on my books. :-)


So, come on in, take a look around and leave a comment or ask a question.  I'd love to hear from you!




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Inspiration: Victorian London


Victorian London - the name itself evokes images of fog-shrouded streets and top-hatted gents, palaces, royalty and the clip-clop of horse's hooves against the cobblestones.  The era seems filled with mystery and magic - the possibility of so many wondrous things. 

While this is a modern day photo - the essence of London remains the same, even today: mystery, magic, history and stories yet to be told. As a writer, London is my muse. I can never get enough.
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Inspiration: London

                        *Big Ben, London, England, April 2014. Photo by Kiki Hamilton


Though this iconic tower is recognized around the world as 'Big Ben' - it was actually named St. Stephen's Tower until it was renamed Elizabeth's Tower to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2012. It's the Great Bell of the clock that is named Big Ben.

Completed in 1858, the tower is a celebration of Gothic Revival Architecture and like so much of London, it is a snapshot out of time - 19th century London in present day. Perhaps that's one of the elements that makes it so easy for writers to re-imagine London's history in story - the beautiful and iconic architecture makes time travel easy!
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