Magic, Myth, & Mischief, hosted by me and Bonnie, is a month-long event that celebrates fairy tales and mythological retellings, as well as retellings of favorite classic novels and books featuring mythical beasts such as mermaids, dragons, and fae! Find the schedule of events and other information here.
Today I’m welcoming Monica Sanz, author of Seventh Born, the the first book in the The Witchling Academy series, to the blog to participate in our fun interview series!
Interview with Monica Sanz
1. What makes your book(s) magical, mythical, or mischievous?
What makes my books magical, mythical, and mischievous is that they feature, well, magic, myth, and mischief! Seventh Born is about an outcast witch learning to control her powers while solving murders with her professor. Not only is her working relationship (and any relationship at all!) with the brooding and handsome professor considered taboo, but Sera has a quick temper and sets things in fire when enraged. If that’s not mischief, then I don’t know what is!
Finvarra’s Circus is based on the Irish folktales of King Finvarra Ethna the Bride, and the Leanan Sidhe. It’s about a girl who sneaks into a magical circus and finds out it’s cursed and she’s the only one who can save them. This leads to a whole lot of trouble for everyone.
2. Which mythical character do you see yourself in the most, or do you relate to most and why?
I have to say faeries, though I don’t think I’m wicked enough to be one. I love nature and magic and feel this oneness with the universe, so I think a faerie is quite fitting.
3. Dragons or unicorns?
Unicorns! Dragons are cool with the fire breathing and all, but unicorns have this untamed beauty and silent strength I’m drawn to. Plus, they have countless magical abilities.
4. Would you rather be a hero or a villain?
I would rather be a hero. I’m a generally happy person and it takes so much energy to remain angry and bitter and filled with the need for revenge all the time. I’d rather go about my life and help people when I can than focus on how I can bring death and devastation. It’s too much work.
5. Would you rather be locked up in a tower or a dungeon?
A tower, for sure! At least in a tower I can see the sun and feel the breeze or enjoy the sound of rain and birds and nature. When I think of a dungeon, I imagine rats and dark and damp cells. It’s all so dreary. Plus, whenever towers are used in stories, it’s one person in a tower versus a dungeon with other prisoners bemoaning their imprisonment. Yes, I think I’d be much happier in a tower.
6. What elements of the tale did you use when incorporating the tale into your own novel?
With Finvarra’s Circus, I incorporated the original tale of King Finvarra and Ethna the Bride quite extensively. I don’t want to say how, but it’s the foundation of the circus and Finvarra’s character. The same goes for the Leanan Sidhe. She’s a beautiful fairy who takes on a human lover and becomes their muse. Lovers of the Leanan Sidhe, however, are said to live brief but highly inspired lives. These two folktales are woven together to create the backstory to Finvarra’s Circus, and the story takes off from there.
7. Which magical/mythical creatures exist in your books?
My newest release, Seventh Born features witches and wizards and a Barghest, which is a mythical dog with enormous teeth and claws. It’s such a fitting creature to include, especially with someone like Sera as a main character. I’m working on book two now, and that will feature a mythological creature, I just can’t say what yet or it’ll spoil the surprise. Finvarra’s Circus is a troupe of mythological creatures so there are faeries, sprites, merrows, centaurs, a unicorn, a fire dragon, and so much more. I loved using their magical identities in their performances, it made everything so much more magical.
8. What made you want to incorporate a myth or folk tale into something brand-new?
It’s fun to take known myths and breathe new life into them, as well as see how our characters interact with whatever tale we choose. With Seventh Born I ended up making up my own lore, but book two is heavily based on a few myths and it’s made for a very atmospheric and creepy story which I’m super excited about. With Finvarra’s Circus, it just happened that the book was based on these folktales so I had no say in the matter. If the mythology wasn’t included, the book wouldn’t exist.
9. Have you seen any recent fairy tale/myth movie/television adaptations? If yes, which ones and what do you like most about it/them?
One of my favorites is not recent but I have to gush about it because it’s so romantic. Ever After: A Cinderella Story is such a gorgeous and heart-warming movie. I remember watching it when I was younger and falling in love with the fairy tale all over again. Drew Barrymore is fantastic as Cinderella and I felt her frustration at how she was treated but at the same time she had this desire to belong and be loved and to have a family with these people that hated her. Dougray Scott was such a handsome and believable prince and loved how his character grew humble throughout the movie. I would totally recommend watching it. I think I may watch it again soon.
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.
About Monica Sanz
Monica Sanz has been writing from the moment she could string together a sentence. Her stories have come a long way from mysterious portals opening in the school cafeteria, transporting classmates to distant worlds. A classic by the name Wuthering Heights is responsible for that. She’s been lost to dark romances and brooding fictional men ever since. Now she writes about grumpy professors, cursed ringmaster, tortured soul collectors, and the girls they fall in love with.
Monica’s books have received many accolades on the social writing website Wattpad. She’s accumulated over six million reads, eighty thousand votes, and fifteen thousand comments since posting her books on the website. She is also a member of the Wattpad4, a group of writers who host weekly Twitter chats on the subjects of writing and publishing.
When not lost in one of her made-up worlds, she can be found on the sunny beaches of South Florida where she resides with her husband and their three children or scouring YouTube for new bands to feed her music addiction.