Author Monica Sanz talks about her sharp magical mystery SEVENTH BORN!
Eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail is a witch who’s detested among witches. As the seventh born daughter of a witch, her birth caused her mother to lose her powers and her life. She’s considered the worst of omens and estranged from her family.
Years later, Sera is a brooding, snarky student at Aetherium’s Witchling Academy, desperate to prove her wit and worth despite lots of trouble in class. Sera’s under-the-surface talent catches the attention of the young Professor Nikolai Barrington, who will give her the referral she needs to stay in school if she works with him in on an exceedingly dangerous investigation. Someone is killing seventh borns, and Sera will have to keep her wits about her unless she wants to be next.
Author Monica Sanz answered our burning questions about this witchy romantic thriller with an attitude, including how it all started, Sera’s fierceness, and her chemistry with Barrington. Take a look!
What were some of your first inspirations for Seventh Born and how did you develop them?
My first inspiration for Seventh Born came from a portrait I saw. Though she radiated strength and a rebellious air, something struck me about why she looked down as if having just been scolded. Sera’s character immediately popped into my head. From there I stared stewing over who she was and why someone had reprimanded her, and the entire book unfolded from there.
What are some of your favorite things about your main character, Seraphina?
Seraphina is so focused and driven. For her, if one door closes she’ll pick the lock or climb through the window. Considering her place in society (seventhborns are highly undesirable and discriminated against) for her to be so strong and hold her head high in the face of endless injustice and discrimination is inspiring and I want nothing more than to see her succeed.
What makes Seraphina the perfect partner for Professor Barrington?
Barrington is such a strong yet reserved character so he needs someone who will challenge him and bring him out of his brooding. He’s been alone for so long that he can be a bit rough sometimes, but Sera’s presence in his life is helping smooth out those edges. Not to mention Barrington is incredibly unorganized and has horrendous handwriting. Having Sera around will definitely be better for business and his heart.
The possibilities of magic are so vast and exciting. Can you tell readers about the system of magic we’ll see?
Everyone in the Seventh Born world has magical abilities, and those powers are based on one of the seven elements: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Wood, Metal, and Aether. A beginner magician channels their magic using a wand, but as they grow more powerful, they upgrade their wands, until they’re able to shed their wand entirely and manipulate magic with their hands and cast spells with their mind. Once a magician has reached this superior level of magic use, they receive the coveted Invocation Ring which is the sign of a true magician. Their magic is limited and if their magic reserves run out, then they are powerless until it replenishes with rest. Reserves are very much, like a muscle, it only grows by using it. But a magician must be careful; reserves are a private matter, since anyone knowing of a magician’s reserve levels could purposely tire them out and then defeat them.
Were there any magical elements that you toyed around with for the novel but ultimately couldn’t use?
All of the magical elements found within the book were there since the beginning.
If you were a witch, what would be the first spell you cast and why?
Wow! This is a hard question. I would probably work out a spell where my books would write themselves. I get so many ideas on a daily basis and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to explore them all, so it would be pretty cool if the words just appeared on the screen based on what I want the story to be about.
What’s your writing process like?
When a story idea comes to me, I mull over it a bit and when I feel I have a grasp on the characters, I start drafting. The first draft is super messy, but that’s okay. It’s about getting the bones of the story down. If I get stuck on something, I make a note to myself to revisit the issue then skip over it and keep writing. Once done with the first draft, I read through it and make notes, and then make an outline to see what can be cut or moved or needs to be fleshed out a little more. With the outline finished, I’ll start revisions and revise until I feel the book is done, after which I send it to my betas.
Seventh Born by Monica Sanz hits shelves next Tuesday, September 4, 2018. You can preorder is now for just $5.99 via…
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Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she’s the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life.
Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for.
The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he’ll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she’ll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn’t the only thing that makes a witch burn.