Happy Friday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for BURDEN FALLS! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Kat Ellis to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it!
Burden Falls by Kat Ellis
Published on August 5, 2021 by Dial Books
Genres: Contemporary, Horror, Thriller, YA
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The town of Burden Falls drips with superstition, from rumors of its cursed waterfall to Dead-Eyed Sadie, the disturbing specter who haunts it. Ava Thorn grew up right beside the falls, and since a horrific accident killed her parents a year ago, she's been plagued by nightmares in which Sadie comes calling—nightmares so chilling, Ava feels as if she’ll never wake up. But when someone close to Ava is brutally murdered and she’s the primary suspect, she begins to wonder if the stories might be more than legends—and if the ghost haunting her dreams might be terrifyingly real. Whatever secrets Burden Falls is hiding, there's a killer on the loose . . . with a vendetta against the Thorns.
What would you do if you spent the day with Ava? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Because Ava’s into drawing creepy comics, I’d take her to visit some of the spooky ancient ruins and cemeteries around where I live in North Wales, and give her some inspiration for her sketches! And as we’re in North Wales anyway, we’d go to eat in a place called ‘Ty Hyll’ which means ‘Ugly House’ in Welsh — it’s a tiny stone cottage-turned-tea-room and it looks like something from a fairytale. (Here’s a pic of it online, in case you’d like a visual: https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-p/0e/8b/a6/da/photo0jpg.jpg ) At night, I’d take her ghost-hunting at Gwrych Castle where the spectral figure of the Countess of Dundonald is said to appear at night, and show Ava she’s not the only one whose town is haunted.
If Ava were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
I think Ava would hang out with Rachel from The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky and Nora from Tess Sharpe’s The Girls I’ve Been. All three are pretty tough and wily, and I think they could spend quite a few evenings talking about all the wild things they’ve seen — and survived — in their lives.
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
It would have to be somewhere from a classic horror, like Dracula’s castle. I get the most writing inspiration from visiting creepy old places, so I think this would really fill up my writing tank for a while.
If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’ll step outside the horror/thriller genre for this one: I recently got to read an early copy of Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao (out September), which is a futuristic fantasy inspired by the Tang dynasty where teenage boys are sent out to battle alien invaders, and girls are sacrificed for their qi (energy) to help make sure the boys live to fight another day. The main character, Zetian, is the most high-octane, amazing heroine you could ever want to meet. She’s kicking the patriarchy’s butt and doing it with a maniacal laugh. So yeah, I think I’d like to take Zetian out for coffee. I guess we’d talk about politics and fighting aliens with giant mecha.
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
I’d include a copy of Burden Falls as a kind of ‘Kat woz ere’ statement for future capsule discoverers. The second thing would be an Evil Eye charm, because they pop up everywhere in Burden Falls and I like to think that whoever dug it up would be creeped out by it. Lastly, I’d include a handwritten note sharing a dire secret or giving directions to some hidden treasure, and I’d tear off the last line of the page where all is revealed. Or is that too evil? Oh well, it’s buried now.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
In an early draft of Burden Falls, Ava was a far more superstitious character, and the book opened with a scene where she spots flowers blooming along the riverbank in the middle of winter, and she takes it as a sign that something terrible is on the way. I wanted the flowers to hint at some great injustice, and in researching the different meanings attached to flowers, I found that Black-Eyed Susans are believed to represent justice, so I felt they’d work perfectly. I ended up cutting most of the superstitious aspect of Ava’s character, though, so the first scene had to change, but the name ‘Black-Eyed Susan’ stuck with me and ended up being the inspiration behind Dead-Eyed Sadie’s name.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Burden Falls?
My favorite quote would either be ‘Sadie made me do it’, which Ava finds scrawled across one of her sketches after the first murders, or ‘We all have to crawl’, which is a line that comes up a few times in the story and has a particularly sinister significance for Ava and the Thorns.
Kat: Thanks so much for interviewing me 😊
Kait: You’re welcome! 🙂
What do you think about Burden Falls? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!