ML Hamilton has been teaching high school English and journalism in Central California for the last 20 years. Teaching students to appreciate literature has made her career rewarding; however, she always dreamed of publishing her own novel.
That dream came true. Her first novel, Emerald, was published by Wild Wolf Publishing in 2010. The sequel to Emerald, The Heirs of Eldon, followed in 2011. The third novel, The Star of Eldon, was released in 2012. The Spirit of Eldon, published in 2013, continued Talar and Shara’s adventures, which culminate in the fifth installment of the World of Samar series, The Sanctuary of Eldon.
In addition to teaching and writing, she has three sons, two dogs, and two cats. And sometimes a stray rabbit living under her deck.
What inspires you to write?
I have always written. I write for escape. I write to explore different worlds. The characters become real to me and I need to set them down in words.
Tell us about your writing process.
I think up a story, then I act out the story in my head over and over again before I ever begin writing. Once the story lives with me, I begin writing it. I do outline the entire plot and I never begin writing until I have an end in mind.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Definitely. And the characters often surprise me. They become more interesting than I intended or they take actions that I never expected. If I don’t feel like the characters are a part of me, like a friend, then they don’t seem to come to live on the page.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write and then write some more. Just like any skill you develop, the more you practice it, the better you get. And watch people. If you want to create characters that live, you have to observe life. You have to see how people act and behave and talk.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My fantasies were published by a UK publisher, Wild Wolf. I loved having the legitimacy of a traditional publisher. It helped my confidence and self-esteem, but when I published my murder mysteries, I wanted the control. Both ways are rewarding. It just depends on what the author wants at that point in her career. I think new authors should explore both options and decide which one works with his or her time, commitment, and patience.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s exciting. I see so much more legitimacy for indie publishing and it’s opened up the industry to so much talent that wouldn’t have had a chance otherwise. I think it rejuvenated publishing.
What genres do you write?
murder mystery, fantasy, contemporary fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print