Monthly Archive: October 2016

It’s YA Scavenger Hunt time!!!

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Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt!

This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for only 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are eight contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM–but there is also a blue team, an orange team, a gold team, a green team, a teal team, a blue team, a purple team, and a pink team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!
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Today I’m hosting Madeline Dyer, author of several books including the book I’m hosting for her today, Fragmented.

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Synopsis:

After the terrible battle against the Enhanced Ones, Seven and Corin find themselves on the run. With the Enhanced closing in, Seven knows they need to find other people on their side. So, when the opportunity arises to join the Zharat, one of the last surviving Untamed tribes, it seems like the perfect solution. But the Zharat lifestyle is a far cry from what Seven’s used to. With their customs dictating that she must marry into their tribe, and her relationship with Corin breaking down, Seven knows she has to do something before it’s too late. But that’s easier said than done in a tribe where going against the rules automatically results in death.

And, with the Enhanced still out there, nowhere is truly safe for the Untamed–least of all for the most powerful Seer in the world… and Seven soon discovers how far people will go in order to ensure that she’s on their side in the War of Humanity.

Battling against the emerging web of lies, manipulation, and danger, Seven must remember who she was meant to be. Her life has never been more at stake. Nor has humanity itself.

Exclusive Content:

 

Inspiration Boards for Fragmented

 

When it comes to writing, I’m a very visual person. I have to know what my characters look like and really be able to visualise the setting before I even begin writing my first draft. So, it’s no surprise really that I collect hundreds and hundreds of images, that I’m a big fan of Pinterest, or that I create inspiration boards for each manuscript I write.

 

I tend to use three boards when collecting inspiring images: one for setting, one for characters, one for conflict. And I’m delighted to share with you my three inspiration boards for Fragmented, book two in my dystopian fantasy Untamed Series.

 

Board #1: Setting

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With Fragmented being the second installment in my Untamed Series, this board is a little different to the ones I create for standalones or first books, as I’ve primarily concentrated on the new settings that appear in the novel. So, this board is all about the Noir Lands—the home of the Zharat people, one of the last surviving Untamed tribes.

 

The climate of the Noir Lands is very loosely based on the mountainous regions of the East African Rift in the Democratic Republic of the Congo—I spent weeks researching this—but, my creation of these lands also drew heavily on fantastical elements, as the Noir Lands are home to many malevolent spirits. With the Untamed being hunted down by the Enhanced Ones, the only place the Zharat tribe can prosper is in one of the most dangerous lands of the world—a place that the Enhanced Ones won’t go to because of the spirits who also live there.  As such, the Untamed Zharat tribe is threatened by two forces: there’s the archetypal dystopian threat of human advancement and oppression (represented by the Enhanced Ones and the lifestyle they try to enforce on everyone), as well as the more fantastical threat of the unpredictable and dangerous spirits that inhabit the Noir Lands.

 

I really wanted the dangerous atmosphere of the Noir Lands to be apparent in my writing, and therefore with my inspiration board I’ve primarily picked images that emphasize the unpredictability, gloominess and darkness within nature, as well as how things can hide amid the natural world and remain undetected—rather than images that are completely accurate in the depiction of the terrain (as I have pages and pages of notes on this anyway). My boards have to be visual and make me feel something, especially as I use them as motivation to delve back into this world if I’ve taken a break from writing. So, when I look at this setting board, I see the Noir Lands are full of darkness and concealment, danger and unpredictability, as well as the huge power of nature and the potential for natural disaster.  Yet, ironically, these are also the safest lands for my Untamed people to live in and escape the Enhanced, who control the cities (and the more traditionally dystopian settings).

 

Board #2: Characters

 

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I think board #2 is always my favourite one to put together as it’s all about the characters—and, after all, characters drive the plot. For this one, I mainly concentrated on finding images that not only say a lot about the Untamed characters, but pictures that I used when creating aspects of the Zharat culture, such as their dress code and how one’s hierarchy is written on a person for all to see. Female status within the Zharat tribe is symbolized through colourful clothing—red indicates the highest power, with the colour-hierarchy based on the bands of the rainbow. However, male status is shown through the number of tattoos a man has, and how he chooses to reveal them (whether or not he wears little clothing all the time, or only shows off his tattoos during the ceremonies).

 

One of the things that I always find interesting is looking back at my inspiration boards after the book has been published to see how accurately the images match the final story. And, I’m really pleased with this one. Although Fragmented went through many, many editorial rounds—and I developed and rewrote multiple aspects of the Zharat culture several times—these images still perfectly represent the characters and their personalities. There’s the sense of someone always watching another person within the Zharat community, and how there are no secrets. These images also speak to me of the literal freedom these people have, yet it’s darkened by the danger within the Noir Lands, and the danger within the tribe itself—after all, living among malevolent spirits isn’t healthy. And Fragmented definitely shows what this land does to people, and how my main characters are irrevocably changed by their stay in the Noir Lands.  

 

Board #3: Conflict

 

conflict

 

Sometimes finding images that perfectly sum up the conflicts in a book can be hard, especially when conflicts are often a result of character interactions, different belief systems, and, of course, societal structures (Fragmented is a dystopian novel, after all, and although the majority of the action takes place in the Noir Lands, leaning heavily toward the fantasy side of things, the Enhanced Ones do still play a considerable role in the oppression of the Untamed).

 

I’m pretty happy with how this board turned out—and how accurately it matches the published version, especially when the conflicts (and the extent of the conflicts) changed quite a bit during revisions and edits.

 

Conflicts represented on this board include:

  • violence
  • oppression & entrapment
  • snakes
  • deception
  • manipulation
  • arranged marriage
  • spirits
  • Seers
  • death
  • demonic intervention
  • fire
  • natural disasters

 

 

 

If you’d like to purchase Fragmented or any one of Madeline’s other great books, visit her Amazon page.

 

14593418_1392062640807449_154186165_nAuthor Bio:

Madeline Dyer lives in the southwest of England, and holds a BA honours degree in English from the University of Exeter. She has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal, and can frequently be found exploring wild places. 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. Her second novel, Fragmented, released in September 2016.
 For more information, visit Madeline here.

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Don’t forget to write down my secret number:untitled

For your next stop on the scavenger hunt, visit Amalie Howard’s site!