Notes & Narratives goes “On the Record” with YA author Monica Sanz

by: Tania Lasenburg

The Young Adult genre gets a bad wrap at times. Its a popular genre that although geared towards young adults, anyone and everyone should read. Author Monica Sanz (@MonicaBSanz) embraces the love YA by spinning a classic folklore into something new.

N&N: You used Wattpad as a sort of launching for your writing career. How has that social writing website helped you as a writer?

MS: Wattpad has helped me as a writer in so many ways. Because it’s such a safe place to experiment, I was able to test out different ideas until I found my voice and discovered my love of writing fantasy. Not to mention I learned how important it is to make sure each word counts. I’m a wordy writer, but posting on Wattpad made me start evaluating each sentence to make sure it mattered. Given that readers on there have millions of other stories to read for free, each chapter has to capture their interest and keep them turning the page.

N&N: What drew you to the seventh son of the seventh son folklore and what made you decide to change it by using a daughter? Monica Sanz

MS: With all of my stories, the characters come to me pretty fleshed out and it’s my job to tell their story, which is where I discover the plot. It was no different when Sera arrived with Barrington in tow. I was always fascinated by a seventh son being magical and gifted in healing, so when I realized she was a seventh daughter, I had to know more.

One thing I loved about Sera’s character being a seventh born is that not only is she a girl, but she’s also a pretty lousy healer and while magical, she has trouble controlling those powers. Also, where seventh born boys are considered blessings, to be born a seventh born girl in Sera’s world is a curse. She’s really the opposite of a seventh born son in every way.

N&N: In general, what drew you to folklore? Why did you decide to use a past story as a foundation for your series?

MS: Folklore is inherently magical so as a fantasy writer, I’m drawn to them and breathing new life into them. I did the same with my book, Finvarra’s Circus by basing the book on a few Irish folktales. I just love to explore these tales and see how I can make them different.

N&N: How much research and history went into your novel?

MS: Some research was required, especially when it came to the magical bits like brewing potions and spell construction. I studied plants and stones and their magical properties for inspiration. I also had to look into the Black Plague and the Salem Witch trials, since both heavily influence events in the book and the treatment of seventhborn witches.

N&N: Why did you choose to write Young Adult novels? What drew you to this genre compared to other genres?

MS: Good question. To be honest, I don’t know. When I start writing a book, I don’t set out to write a certain genre, I just follow the characters and the story. My recent works have been YA so that’s where I am at the moment, but who knows where the next book will take me.

N&N: How is Seventh Born different from other fantasy novels? What makes it stand out?

MS: Sera and Barrington are what make the book different from other fantasy novels and make it stand out. I love that while she’s a powerful witch, magic doesn’t come easily to Sera. It’s her grit and determination that get her places and bring her success.

She also dreams of becoming an inspector detective and finding her family and she stays focused on those goals throughout the book. Barrington is also motivated by revenge and everything he does is with that in mind. I think that’s why the romance is a slow burn because she really has no time or interest in romance, and neither does Barrington.

They each have a lot of issues to deal with independently, but end up being just what the other needs.

N&N: Finally, what do you want your reads to know either about you or your writing style?

MS: I love emotion and heartache and happily ever after, so you’re sure to find all three in my books! I hope you’ll give them a try!