Welcome to Authors of Science Fiction. Today we have Madeline Dyer, author of UNTAMED.
1. Tell me a bit about yourself, what’s your name and where are you from?
Hello! I’m Madeline Dyer, author of Untamed and Fragmented, two dark dystopian novels from Prizm Books, the YA Imprint of Torquere Press. I live on a farm in the southwest of England, UK.
My official bio is:
Madeline Dyer lives in the southwest of England, and has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or futuristic. She can frequently be found exploring wild places, and at least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes. Her debut novel, UNTAMED (Prizm Books, May 2015), examines a world in which anyone who has negative emotions is hunted down, and a culture where addiction is encouraged.
2. What originally drew you to science fiction?
What a great question! I think it was the endless possibilities that this genre holds that really drew me in. You know, how pretty much anything can happen, but also how everything seems plausible. Everything is explained, and there are steadfast rules that make sense. It’s believable.
The role of futuristic technology in literature is also something that’s always fascinated me, and I love how science fiction allows authors to mix technology with imagination. And these books nearly always show (to some extent) how technology improves either the human form or society, and day-to-day living—the messages this sends out about human nature and behavior are also things I find really interesting.
3. What was the first science fiction book you read?
Hmmm, I think the first science fiction book I read was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
4. Do you listen to music when you write? If so what is on your playlist?
I used to listen to music when writing, but now I can’t! I have to have silence now—or neutral background noise. Generally, if there are lyrics or dialogue in the background, I find myself paying more attention to those words than the ones I’m writing! That being said, I also get distracted if I’m just listening to instrumental music…
5. Some authors take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), myself included. Have you ever taken part? Ifso what was your process for cramming 50,000 words into a mere 30 days? Also, was your book a result of taking part in NaNoWriMo?
Yes, I love the NaNo events! The first one I took part in was the November 2012 event, and since then I’ve participated in at least two a year (usually the November one and at least one of the summer camps).
My process for cramming 50,000 words into a mere 30 days?
Well, I’m not sure I have a process other than I just write! I’m a huge fan of fast drafts, so all my manuscripts usually end up being drafted in under a month. I tend to just ‘binge write’ these, and I don’t let myself delete or edit anything until I’ve got a completed first draft. For that reason, these drafts tend to get very messy and are full of notes to myself that I make throughout, as I write, reminding me of things I need to in edits/revisions.
But I do start the NaNo events with a rough outline, and before each of these months begins I’ve done a lot of research—so that fact checking doesn’t pull me out of writing—and character work.
Of course, once I’ve got the draft complete, there’s still a LOT of work left to do. I tend to rewrite and revise for the following six to eight weeks, then do at least three further rounds of edits based on feedback from my critique partners and beta-readers, before a manuscript is ready to send off to my publisher.
And yes, the first draft of my debut novel, Untamed, was written in less than 30 days. That draft was around 70,000 words (by the time Untamed was released, after nearly a year of revising and editing, the word count was around 90,000).
Also, the first draft of my upcoming book, Fragmented, was written in the July 2014 Camp NaNo event—I managed 90,000 words in a month during that one.
6. Can you tell me about your book and what inspired it?
Sure! Untamed is dystopian novel, with strong elements of science fiction, about addiction, survival, and family loyalty.
The official hook is: When an Untamed girl is kidnapped and converted by the Enhanced Ones, she must remember who she was meant to be or else risk the extinction of her people.
And the longer description:
As one of the last Untamed humans left in the world, Seven’s life has always been controlled by tight rules. Stay away from the Enhanced. Don’t question your leader. And, most importantly, never switch sides—because once you’re Enhanced there’s no going back. Even if you have become the perfect human being.
But after a disastrous raid on an Enhanced city, Seven soon finds herself in her enemy’s power. Realizing it’s only a matter of time before she too develops a taste for the chemical augmenters responsible for the erosion of humanity, Seven knows she must act quickly if she’s to escape and save her family from the same fate.
Yet, as one of the most powerful Seers that the Untamed and Enhanced have ever known, Seven quickly discovers that she alone holds the key to the survival of only one race. But things aren’t clear-cut anymore, and with Seven now questioning the very beliefs she was raised on, she knows she has an important choice to make. One that has two very different outcomes.
Seven must choose wisely whose side she joins, for the War of Humanity is underway, and Death never takes kindly to traitors.
Untamed released in May 2015 from Prizm Books, the YA imprint of Torquere Press, and is available in paperback and ebook formats.
7. What are you currently reading?
I’ve just started Beyond The Red by Ava Jae, and Broken Sky by L. A. Weatherly. They’re both great!
8. Where can people go to find more about you and your work?
For more information, please check out my website You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest at @MadelineDyerUK, and like my Facebook Page to receive the latest information about me and my writing.