The Faerie Ring - Tor/Forge Blog



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Walking in My Character’s Footsteps

Image Place holder  of - 54By Kiki Hamilton

In my novel The Faerie Ring, the world of Victorian London intersects with the world of Faerie. Whether you believe in faeries or not, I think we can all agree that both worlds are inaccessible from the 21st century. How, then, do you write a story that takes readers back in time and immerses them in a believable world?  In one word:  Research!

The Faerie Ring is the story of a ring stolen from Queen Victoria—a ring that holds a truce between England’s royals and the Otherworld—and the ensuing battle for control. When I wrote the book, I had never actually visited London and really didn’t know much about that city.  It was quite fortuitous that I had my main character living in Charing Cross railway station, which was and continues to be the true heart of London. It is the point from which all distances in the City are measured to this day.

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Buckingham Palace

The story is set in 1871 because that’s the year one of the characters, Prince Leopold—the youngest son of Queen Victoria—turned eighteen. My wonderful editor, Susan Chang, was insistent (correctly so!) that all historical facts be accurate. To garner information about setting, clothing, and the vernacular of the Victorian era, I read a number of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Of particular help were 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 many online resources, including Google Earth.

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Charing Cross

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 fantastic! London is an ancient city with so much history oozing out of the buildings, parks and sidewalks, it can’t help but to inspire a writer! Once there, it was a wonderful and surreal experience to walk in my character’s footsteps.

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Birdkeeper’s Cottage

While in London, we visited Charing Cross, the railway station where my main character lives in an abandoned clockmaker’s shop. Many of the buildings in London retain the flavor of their historical roots, giving one the impression of stepping back in time. From there, we went on to St. James Park, which is a particularly beautiful setting with the unique Birdkeeper’s Cottage situated on one end of the lake and stately Buckingham Palace visible in the distance through the trees.

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Trafalgar Square

London is a very walkable city and in Victorian times, people often traveled on foot from one destination to another. From Charing Cross and Buckingham Palace, one can walk to other places featured in The Faerie Ring, such as The Ring in Hyde Park, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Grosvenor Square. So rich is the palette of London that the City itself almost becomes a character.

Kiki Hamilton in St. James Park

The world of Faerie featured in The Faerie Ring is based on folklore as well as my imagination, as the heart of Faerie beats in time with the heart of London. To add an air of authenticity I researched the wide and varied faerie lore history within the British Isles through a combination of online research and books.

Threading the realistic setting and historical figures of Victorian London with the fantasy of the faerie world was a delightful adventure in itself. I’ll leave it to you, the Reader, to decide if you feel like you’ve visited another time and place.


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The Faerie Ring Sweepstakes


Placeholder of  -90The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton releases next week, and we’re offering a chance for 15 lucky winners get a copy.

The Faerie Ring is a historical fantasy set in Victorian London.

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Follow along with The Faerie Ring blog tours lead by The Teen Book Scene and Mundie Moms as we gear up for this exciting release.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins September 20, 2011 at 10 a.m. ET. and ends September 23, 2011, 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

August #TorChat lineup revealed!

In honor of the back-to-school season, this month’s chat is YA-themed, featuring authors Lisa Desrochers, Kendare Blake, and Kiki Hamilton, this Wednesday, August 17th, from 4 – 5 PM EST!

Tor Books (@torbooks) is thrilled to announce the theme and participants for August’s #Torchat, part of a monthly series of genre-themed, hour-long chats created by Tor Books and hosted on Twitter.

August is back-to-school season in most of the US, in preparation for Fall classes. That means that soon it will be time for students to put down their summer reading and pick up textbooks. In honor of their upcoming sacrifice to state curriculums, this month’s #TorChat is Young Adult themed, and features three guest authors. Lisa Desrochers (@LisaDez), a working mother with two daughters and a paranormal romance series about the fight between Heaven and Hell—and their delicious representatives—for teenage Frannie Cavanaugh’s soul; Kendare Blake (@KendareBlake), who writes about a boy whose job is to kill the dead, and the ghost girl who spares his life; and Kiki Hamilton (@kikihamilton), an avid reader and a debut author of historical fantasy, will talk about Young Adult fiction: why they write it, why you should read it (even if you’re not a teen), and what makes it so popular.

The chat will be loosely moderated by a rising star in the YA world, Tor editor Melissa Frain (@frain), and fans are invited to follow or join in on the chat using the Twitter hashtag #torchat.

About the Authors

Lisa Desrochers (@LisaDez) lives in central California with her husband and two very busy daughters. She has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and has a full time day job with her PT practice. She also has a weekend job as a lecturer on a variety of healthcare topics. With the publication of her first book, PERSONAL DEMONS, Lisa added a third job to her resume: author. Her second book, ORIGINAL SIN, published in July and tells the further adventures of Frannie Cavanaugh, her former-demon boyfriend Luc, and Gabe, the angel who’d like to save her soul (and steal her heart, if he can).

Kendare Blake (@KendareBlake) holds an M.A. in creative writing from Middlesex University in northern London. She lives and writes in Washington, brakes for animals—the largest of which was a deer, which sadly didn’t make it, and the smallest of which was a mouse, which did, but it took forever—and appreciates Greek mythology, rare red meat, and veganism. Her novel ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD is just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. It will be published on August 30th.

Kiki Hamilton (@kikihamilton) lives in Olympia, Washington. She is a member of the Class of 2k11, a group of debut middle grade and young adult authors who have banded together to promote their books and a general love of reading. Kiki’s debut novel is THE FAERIE RING, a historical fantasy set in Victorian London and the menacing otherworld of the Fey.

About #Torchat

#Torchat is a genre-themed, hour-long chat series created by Tor Books and hosted on Twitter. Guest authors join fans in lively, informative and entertaining discussions of all that’s hot in genre fiction, 140 characters at a time, from 4 – 5 PM EST on the third Wednesday of every month. Each #Torchat revolves around a different genre topic of interest, often of a timely nature, and strives to provide a new media opportunity for readers to connect with their favorite authors.

About Tor Books

Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover and softcover books. Founded in 1980, Tor annually publishes what is arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy ever produced by a single English-language publisher.  In 2002, Tor launched Starscape, an imprint dedicated to publishing quality science fiction and fantasy for young readers, including books by critically acclaimed and award winning authors such as Cory Doctorow, Orson Scott Card, and David Lubar. Between an extensive hardcover and trade-softcover line, an Orb backlist program, and a stronghold in mass-market paperbacks, books from Tor have won every major award in the SF and fantasy fields, and has been named Best Publisher 24 years in a row in the Locus Poll, the largest consumer poll in SF.

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