“Glory is from a family of witches and lives beyond the law. She is desperate to develop her powers and become a witch herself. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition – the witches’ mortal enemy – and his privileged life is very different to the forbidden world that he lives alongside. And then on the same day, it hits them both. Glory and Lucas develop the Fae – the mark of the witch. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together, whether they like it or not …”
Where did you come up with the idea for Burn Mark?
It struck me that a witches’ coven is rather like the Mafia: they’re both secret criminal organizations hunted by the law, hated and feared by many, yet seen as quite cool and glamorous by some. So once I had the idea of modern witch-gangsters, that led me to creating a 21st century Inquisition who still hunts and burns witches at the stake.
How much research goes into what you write?
I did a lot of research for Burn Mark, mostly into the witch-hunts and trials that took place in Europe and
North America from the end of the 15th century to the middle of the 18th. There’s a book called “Hammer of the Witches” that was published in
in the 15th century by two Inquisitors, and is basically “Witch-hunting for Dummies”. For the magical bits of the novel, I read about old British folk-lore and the African-American magical practices of Hoodoo.
Are there any of the characters your write about similar to you?
I’m quite stubborn, like Glory, but there the similarity ends – she’s a bit trailer-trash, and her dearest ambition is to become a top gangster.
What is the easiest/hardest part to write?
I loved doing the contrast between Glory’s criminal, scuzzy family and Lucas’s life of luxury as the son of one of
‘s top Inquisitors. I didn’t enjoy writing the witch-ducking scene near the end of the book – I based it on accounts of water-boarding, and found it quite upsetting to research.
What books do you look forward to reading this summer?
Lots of crime thrillers, plus the winner of the Carnegie Prize – “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness.
Thanks for the interview Ms. Laura!