I am thrilled to have Kathryn on my blog today.
Check out my interview with Kathryn below!
- What inspired you to write Burning Glass?
In May of 2013 my grandfather passed away, and I traveled to Arizona to attend his funeral. I met with extended family members I hadn’t seen for many years. I got to visit with a favorite uncle, and we chatted about my recovery from donating a kidney (see my next answer!). My uncle said, “You should write a book about an empath.” Now people tell me what I should write all the time, and I roll my eyes, but something about the way my uncle said this to me—very seriously, thoughtfully, and without being pushy at all—really resonated. I was writing another story at the time, so I shoved that empath idea to the back of my mind. After percolating in my subconscious, that seed of a story came back to me the next spring. In a burst of just a couple minutes, the main characters of BURNING GLASS, its plot, and setting just laid themselves out before me. I abandoned another story idea I had outlined and was prepared to write, and I wrote this story instead. It flowed out of me as no other story had before, and it was the story that finally sold.
- Sonya’s rare gift sounds incredible. How did you come up with that idea?
In 2009, I donated a kidney to my older brother. It was a wonderful experience, and I have no regrets, but the recovery process was brutal, especially my mental health recovery. For a few months afterward, I felt extra sensitive to other people’s emotions. For example, if I sensed anyone was suffering for any reason, it was unbearable. I wanted to help everyone—fix everyone—because I felt so much of what they felt. It really changed my perception of how painful it is to truly have empathy for another person. BURNING GLASS is my expression of how dark and light that gift can be. Sonya’s ability is far more exaggerated than what I experienced. Not only can she feel other people’s emotions, she can also sense everything they’re feeling—their coldness, hunger, fatigue, etc. Those impulses inside her often cause her to be reckless.
- What has your experience been like being a debut author?
Wow, I don’t even know yet. I feel like I’m still being initiated into the ranks of published authors. I struggle with that imposter syndrome that is so common for many writers. Everything has happened so fast—it’s just been a little over a year between the time I signed the book deal for my trilogy and then having book one published. I’ve barely had a moment to shower between all the edits and writing book two, let alone processing what is actually happening with my career. Above all, I just feel incredibly grateful—not only for being published, but for all the wonderful friendships I’ve made with other writers and publishing professionals during my journey. Ask me this question again in a year—maybe I’ll feel legit then. 😉
- Which character was the most fun to write?
I wrote a secondary character named Pia whom I LOVE. She’s a maid in the palace and Sonya’s best friend. She’s very light and fun and always a breath of fresh air next to all the angst Sonya is going through. Sonya latches on to Pia’s sunny emotions, which helps her escape her own dark feelings.
- What message do you hope readers walk away with?
I would love readers to feel empowered after reading Sonya’s story. What we perceive as weaknesses can be our greatest strengths. Sometimes we, like Sonya, mess up—profoundly—but if we don’t let our mistakes define us, we can embrace our potential for good and choose who we want to be.
Thanks! Kathryn for stopping by!
Make sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.
Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.
But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.
As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.
BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
Kathryn’s love of storytelling began as a young girl when her dad told her about someone named Boo Radley while they listened to the film score of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. In high school and college, Kathryn focused on acting, poetry, guitar, and extensive journal writing. Years later, when she was in recovery from donating a kidney to her brother, inspiration for her first novel struck. She’s been writing darkly fantastical stories ever since. Her debut novel, BURNING GLASS, releases winter 2016 from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books.
10 winners will receive a finished copy of BURNING GLASS, US Only.