Madeline Dyer writes about dystopias, ghosts and abductions, and has a strong love for anything paranormal. She can frequently be found reading SF novels and inventing her own fantasy lands. Madeline's debut novel, UNTAMED (Prizm Books), released in May 2015, and has been called "the sort of book that is incredibly difficult to put down, the kind of book you can fall into" by award-winning writer Jen Knox. Madeline lives in the southwest of England, and is currently working on FRAGMENTED, book two in the Untamed Series.
When did you start writing?
I’ve always been a writer. From a very young age, I loved to create worlds and invent characters. I started off, when I was around seven years old, writing about fairies in the woods. Then the fairies changed to witches as I got a little older. Then they changed to sirens. It soon became obvious that I loved writing in the fantasy genre—and I was serious about it too.
My first short story, “The Silent Siren”, appeared in Iron Bound issue 3 when I was sixteen. It was my first published work! From then on, my writing just grew and grew. I started writing full-length manuscripts. And my third completed manuscript, UNTAMED, became my debut novel after I signed a book deal with Prizm Books when I was 19
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Hmm. This is always a tricky question.
When I start writing, I have a brief outline/idea that I tend to follow. I know roughly where I want the plot to end, how I want characters to develop, but I don’t necessarily know how it will all happen. So I leave a lot of it to my imagination as I write it; it gives me a sense of freedom, and this is important. If I know everything that will happen, step by step, then it feels as if I’ve already written the book and I have no motivation to actually produce the manuscript. But I can’t write completely freely—I have to be able to see some sort of shape to the manuscript, else I can’t develop a suitable plot. I need to have a basic sort of structure, a skeleton. Then as I write, I invent the muscles and flesh, so to speak.
So I’m kind of a plotter and a pantser.
What is your least favourite part of the writing/publishing process?
Well, okay, I do like them in the sense that they motivate me, and I get the work done. But I also find them so stressful. Especially proofreading a manuscript in the small timeframe before it goes to print.
How many books have you written, and which is your favourite?
All together, I’ve completed eight full-length manuscripts. One of these is already published (UNTAMED, Prizm Books, May 2015), and two of these are, at the moment, permanently shelved. I’m actively querying a further two manuscripts. The others are ones that I’ll go back to at some point and rework. I’ve also got three works in progress, which I’m really excited about.
As for my favourite manuscript, this is tricky. I’m torn between the very first manuscript I ever completed, and UNTAMED, as that was my first book to be published—though it was the third one I wrote.
Do you have a favourite author?
Yes, Richelle Mead. I’ll read anything she writes.
Which authors have most influenced your writing, if any?
Rick Yancey and Richelle Mead are both big influences. As are Rachel Caine, L.A. Weatherly, and Teri Terry. Oh, and Jean M. Auel.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years time, I’d love to have ten books published! I’m aiming to release a book a year, although of course this depends on the publishers’ schedules as well as how quickly I can write the books!
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Okay, I know I shouldn’t, but I do read some of my reviews. Mainly the ones on retail sites, as these are the ones that are going to influence potential readers. But I never respond to any reviews. I’m a firm believer that if you respond, especially to negative reviews, it looks very unprofessional.
What literary character do you most admire?
I love Tess from Tess of the D’Urbervilles and all the characters in Wuthering Heights.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
To stick to a routine where you’re writing every day—which is hugely important. You need to read a lot too, and read a variety of genres that you’re not even writing in. But, most importantly, write what you want to write, not what you think you should be writing. Write for yourself. Write the things that make your heart soar. You need to love what you’re writing, else writing will seem like a chore. And if it seems like a chore, readers will be able to tell—trust me.
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Buy Madeline's debut novel at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, and Waterstones.
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