Seventh Born ( The Witchling Academy #1)
By: Monica Sanz
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018
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.
SEVENTH BORN has come a long way from the story I posted on Wattpad ages ago. That’s one of the beautiful things about revisions and edits. Though it’s sad to see some things go sometimes, in the end, the book benefits immensely from it.
One of the biggest changes for Seventh Born was the title. When I first wrote it, the title was A Witchling’s Rites, which was a mouthful. Seventh Born definitely works better and is more significant to the story. I had chosen A Witchling’s Rites due to everything my main character, Sera experienced and had yet to experience to become a proper witch. After it was changed to Seventh Born, I realized how it spoke better to what the story was about, Sera’s struggles as a seventhborn working to solve the murders of seventhborns. It was a small but significant change and I think it worked out for the best. It also sounds more ominous!
Death is a reoccurring event in the book, so it’s no surprise a few of the main characters met their end in the original version. Once I started revising, however, I realized I could actually save one of them, even though I wanted to save them all. Killing off characters is hard because of how the aftermath affects the character, and given what Sera had been through already, I don’t think she could have survived this particular death. The other death is pretty significant so sadly it had to stay.
The final scenes in the book are also completely different from the original ending. It went through a few rewrites actually, until the present one stuck. There was one where Sera was in jail, another where she was on trial. They were really dark scenes and I’m happy now to have changed them. Seventh Born is a rather dark book, so ending it with hope and love was refreshing rather than having Sera endure more suffering.
Something that’s always drawn me to Seventh Born is Sera and Barrington’s relationship. Yes, I’m a sucker for romance, but when characters find love and understanding in an unlikely place, it’s much sweeter. Sera and Barrington are two broken souls who enter this partnership unexpecting to find healing and friendship and love with one another. He’s this brooding, morally gray, tortured sometimes anti-hero and she’s a seventhborn which in their world is the most undesirable thing a girl can be. When they finally find one another, it’s expected that they’ll have rifts and a difficult time reaching a point of trust. I thought I’d managed to touch on this, but the original version of the book was much shorter, and so they didn’t have much page time together to explore these challenges and growing of their relationship. Thankfully, it was one of the things my editor pointed out during revisions. By having them spend more time on the page together, it challenged me to dig deeper into them as individuals and to better understand them so that they each brought something to the table when they were together. In the end, it led to a deeper relationship between them.
An aesthetic change to Seventh Born was the cover. It had a completely different cover when I posted it on Wattpad. Once it was picked up for publishing, the cover changed, but then it changed again! I’m really happy with the outcome as I think it radiates Sera’s intensity and the gothic feel and other elements in the story.
Seventh Born has come far from what it used to be, but the book is all the better for it. It’s what I keep in mind while writing book two and trying not to freak out about how rough it is. Revisions and edits are where a story starts to shine and I can’t wait for book two to shine like a diamond… or obsidian, rather. That’s much more witchy, isn’t it?
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 sense. 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.
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author info, image, giveaway, and more were provided by YA Bound Book Tours.