Penny Albright is a daughter of the thorn coven, forced to patrol the veil between the realms of Life and Death. Each night, one thorn witch—and only one—must cross the veil by burning at the stake. Each morning, that witch draws on their magic to return. Failure to follow the rules risks the veil and risks them all. Thorns, Tides, Embers, Storms, and Ores. All five covens are bound in servitude to the tyrant High Warden of Halstett.
But one morning, Penny’s favourite sister Ella doesn’t return. And that night, determined to find her, Penny breaks the rules. She burns in secret. And she discovers that all isn’t as it seems in Life or Death. Her journey leads her to Malin, a devastating lord with too many secrets; to Alice, a mysterious captive prophet; and to a rebellion brewing in the shadows beneath the city. And as Penny’s world splits, she’ll face a devastating choice. Because it’s not just her sister’s life that hangs in the balance. It’s the fate of all magic.
In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Katharine J Adams about Tonight, I Burn and the three words that led to her imagining a vast new magical universe. Katharine also talks about the hierarchy of characters, their rituals that drive the kingdom of Halstett, and why libraries are good places to hang out.
Katharine J Adams worked in medical imaging until moving to the glorious Kapiti Coast in Aotearoa. She now spends her days writing, playing taxi to her children, and making space for just one more book on overflowing shelves. Katharine is passionate about positive LGBTQ+ representation in literature. She genuinely thought everyone secretly liked all genders for an embarrassingly long time. If Katharine is not out mountain biking or hiking with her family, she’s often found hiding in the garden where she accidentally kills more plants than she does characters in her stories.