It’s my stop on the blog tour for Madeline Dyer’s Destroyed today and I’m delighted to welcome her to #ETLBW to talk about her character …
Hello, Madeline! Thanks so much for joining me today, please can you introduce the character in terms of job, relationships, family etc. for my readers who may not know her yet.
Seven Sarr is the narrator and protagonist of my Untamed series. At the start of book one, she lives at Nbutai, a small village in the desert, sharing a hut with her parents and her two surviving siblings. Everyone in this village is ‘Untamed’ (essentially, Untamed humans are those like you and I), and they are hiding from the Enhanced Ones, those who are addicted to augmenters, the humanity-destroying chemical emotions, and choose to only to feel positive feelings. The Enhanced Ones believe it is their duty to ‘save’ all the Untamed and release them from the dark feelings and wild ways.
Seven is the fastest runner at Nbutai, and she’s often taken on the raids, when the Untamed steal food, water, and supplies from a nearby Enhanced town. She’s initially quiet and is used to not being listened to by the leader of Nbutai, for he and his family do not like the Sarrs, as Katya Sarr (Seven’s mother) is a Seer and she failed to foresee the attack on their village many years ago that caused the deaths of numerous Untamed.
But when Seven finds herself kidnapped by the enemy and discovers that she too is a Seer (and the most powerful Seer ever, at that), she’s forced to become more confident and assertive as she fights to resist the Enhanced Ones’ conversion and remain Untamed.
When did you create her?
Around June/July 2013.
Did you write the book to accommodate Seven or Seven to accommodate the book?
I’d say neither. Both the book’s plot and Seven’s character evolved together, organically, as I created the world, the conflict, and the people involved. Each of these aspects is intrinsically bound up in the others—the Untamed’s strict way of life (and thus the experiences that have shaped my characters’ personalities) is due to the world I’ve created, but the characters’ personalities also shaped the worldbuilding to some extent, as I wanted to create conditions that challenge my characters’ insecurities and expose their flaws. Thus, the plot of the book, the worldbuilding, and the characters themselves all evolved together, and so neither part was written to accommodate another part that was already fully formed, so to speak. Everything was flexible and malleable during the drafting stage where all these different aspects came together.
What do you like most about her?
I really admire Seven’s quiet confidence, and how she grows across the series. Book one introduces us to a girl who’s easily intimidated, but still has a strong sense of what is right and wrong. When her mother goes missing at the start of this book and the leader of their group refuses to look for her, Seven’s not brave enough to challenge him on this point over and over again, but instead makes plans to gather people from her village herself and look.
But, by book four, Seven’s become the leader of her group. She’s embraced her Seer powers and has stepped up to the job of protector, realising that she’s the most equipped for it. Yet she still consults with others, tries to make things as equal as possible, and fears about what her powerful position may be doing to her, for she’s very aware of the corrupt type of leader she does not want to become.
What do you like least about her?
Probably how easily she can identify different plants—her father taught her the names of much of the flora around her village—as this has meant a lot of research for me, as I too had to learn the different plants and be able to describe and recognise them when Seven’s in the desert terrain that she knows so well!
Did your early readers/editorial team like her to start with or did you have to change them in any way?
Yes, the feedback on Seven’s character has been positive, right from the start. My beta-readers particularly liked how she’s not this over-confident character at the start who automatically knows what to do, and they said she was more relatable for those of us who are quiet and haven’t always been in the limelight or are comfortable being the centre of attention. Seven shows how heroes don’t need to be loud, and that there’s not just one type of person who can save the world.
Does she have any similarities with anyone real?
Seven’s shyness is definitely similar to my own shyness, and a lot of her habits are ones I also have or have had (such as focussing on running when you’re nervous).
What are your plans for Seven?
Destroyed is the final book in Seven’s story, and one of my goals in writing this book was to really show how much she’s grown across the series. I wanted to test her with new situations, constantly give her new challenges to see how she reacts to unexpected developments, but still show that she’s the same person underneath it all.
Because this series is now finished and her story’s complete, I haven’t as such got any current plans for Seven, but I may revisit the Untamed world in the future and write from a new character’s perspective. Due to the ending of Destroyed, the future world will still be very much influenced by Seven’s decisions, and I think it would be interesting seeing how a character who’s not close to her at all would view those pivotal actions of hers—as well as how they view Seven herself.
Would you be friends in real life?
I think so!
She does sound great! And, if you, dear reader, think so too, here’s the blurb …
LOVE. DEATH. SACRIFICE.THE LAST NIGHT HAS BEGUN.Seven Sarr, the most powerful human in the world, is alive—and she’s on the run from her enemy. With the Dream Land gone, the Gods and Goddesses dead, and the Untamed’s number of Seers at a record low, Seven knows she must attempt to control the Lost Souls—including the most volatile and dangerous spirits—if her people are to have a chance at beating the Enhanced Ones once and for all.But when the Enhanced impose a new threat and Corin’s life is at stake, Seven must make her hardest choice: save the man she loves and let her people perish, or allow Corin’s death so the Untamed can survive.Locked into a tight countdown to her own demise and solitary entrapment within a torturous realm, Seven must make her decision quickly. Her Seer powers are the strongest, and her death will end the War of Humanity once and for all. When the new morning dawns, the world as she knew it will be gone. What—and who—will be left behind is up to Seven.Will her love shape the future of the world?
Huge thanks for having me on your blog tour, Madeline!
Make sure you keep up with the rest for more brilliant guest posts, reviews, and a super giveaway!
About the author …
Madeline Dyer lives on a farm in the southwest of England, where she hangs out with her Shetland ponies and writes young adult books—sometimes, at the same time. She holds a BA Honors degree in English from the University of Exeter, and several presses have published her fiction. Madeline has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal, and she can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes.
Untamed Standalone Novels