Today I have the honour of hosting the tenth author showcase focusing on the awesome talent originating from Australia and New Zealand.
The idea came to me whilst seeing so many of the book community gathering at recent conventions in the US and UK. And once my FOMO had subsided, I got to thinking about who might be gathered together if we had similar conventions closer to home. Pending the master planning required to arrange a massive convention, I thought the next best thing might be to run an Australian & New Zealand author showcase. So, I sent out the call, with the only prerequisite for participating being the author had to have been born in either country or currently live there.
I’m thrilled to say that a huge number of authors have reached out to me, and I will be posting their individual showcases at regular intervals over the coming weeks. So hopefully you will enjoy these interactions with some very talented people. Please be sure to check out their work, sign up to their newsletters and follow them on their social media of choice. I make no apologies for any damage inflicted to your TBR’s!
I’m pleased to be chatting with New Zealand author Katharine J. Adams whose book Tonight, I Burn is out now in Australia and NZ (available from 7th Nov in the US)
- Do you feel that being an Aussie / Kiwi (or residing there) influences your writing?
Absolutely! As writers, we can’t help but be influenced by the world around us and the paths our lives have taken. I’m originally from the UK, and New Zealand can feel miles away from there culturally as well as geographically. I think being a small country with a small population in the Southern Hemisphere creates a strong community alongside a feeling of isolation from the rest of the world which has been interesting to explore in my writing. And living right in the middle of Lord of the Rings country doesn’t hurt! I regularly ride my bike through “Pelennor Fields”! NZ is a fantasy writer’s dream location.
- What are some of the challenges being located so far away from the rest of the world, do have any tips for overcoming these?
The time and date difference has been tricky all the way through my writing journey. When I was querying, it meant staying up all night to take part in pitch events on twitter! I think those are fading and shifting platform so I’m not sure how much advice I’d have that would be useful on those. My agent is in the U.S. which means any news tends to come in overnight. I found that really really hard to manage especially when we were on submission! My emails were right there on my phone next to my bed if I woke up in the middle of the night, and it was incredibly tempting to check. I ended up removing most apps and my writing email address from my phone so I could get some sleep, and refused to load up my computer until I’d made my first coffee in the morning. It’s a lot easier to manage now!
- How do you go about establishing connections in the book community? (any tips / suggestions)
Join lots of groups with writers online. I met some of my best writing friends on Facebook when we were at the beginning of our writing journeys and they’re located all over the world. Offering to beta read a chapter or two is a great way to break the ice and find out if your writing/critique/communication styles work well together.
- Do you have a favourite character to write? And conversely are there any of your characters that are the more of a struggle ?
I adore scenes with Alice. She’s so whimsical and mystical with a darker side to her and so much fun to write. Mila was my problem child in Tonight, I Burn. We had a few battles together, her and I, but I think we eventually came to an understanding.
- So aliens finally reveal themselves to us and your work is presented to them as example of what humanity has to offer, what do you hope they will take away from this intergalactic exchange?
Humanity is doomed! They’ll think we do horrible things to one another!
- Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
I’m a green belt in Shotokan karate.
- What would you say is the best thing about being an author and the worst?
The worst: Living with imaginary people inside my head clamouring to have their stories told. The best: Having a valid excuse to listen to them!
- Any other Aussie / Kiwi creatives you’d like to give a shout out for? (lets spread the love)
My wonderful friend Ashley Taylor who writes lush fantasy with N.D. characters. Her voice is gorgeous and I cannot wait for an agent to snap her up. The amazing Aman J. Bedi, my agent sib and fellow kiwi. His fantasy debut KAVITHRI is coming from Gollancz in May, 2024, and it’s incredible! My fellow Orbit Antipodean writers, H. G. Parry, author of THE MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER, Davinia Evans, author of the NOTORIOUS SORCERER, and Richard Swan, THE JUSTICE OF KINGS. And definitely check out all of Moa Press’s debut year authors! There’s so much talent here I could write a whole list.
- What’s your favourite quote or passage from one of your books?
This is possibly the very first time I’ve shared an actual quote from my book! I need to get better at sharing snippets on social media.
“Maybe our fates have always been tied, our silk spun as one before the Dark Mother wove our souls and threaded life into our veins. Maybe our choices make no difference and the future is impossible to change. It’s an oddly comforting thought, that this—us—was always meant to be.”
- What can you say about your current project or what you are planning next?
I’m currently working on TONIGHT, I BLEED, the second book in the Thorn Witch Trilogy, which will be released in 2024. TONIGHT, I BLAZE is coming in 2025. And I have a few other things up my sleeve!
Bonus Lastly Vegemite* yes or no?
NO! The only right answer to this question is British Marmite or My Mate as it’s labelled here.
* An iconic dark salty spread that (most) Australians slap on toast for breakfast (NB explanation for the rest of the world)
Katharine worked in medical imaging until moving to the glorious Kapiti Coast in Aotearoa where she spends her days writing, playing taxi to her children, and making space for just one more book on overflowing shelves. She’s passionate about positive LGBTQ+ representation in literature and genuinely thought everyone secretly liked all genders for an embarrassingly long time. If she’s 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.
Links to current book/ series:
TONIGHT, I BURN releases 31st October 2023 with Moa Press in Aotearoa, 1st November 2023 with Lothian Children’s in Australia, and 7th November 2023 with Orbit U.K. and Orbit U.S.
Website / Social media links: