ABOUT NOBODY’S GODDESS:
Title: Nobody's Goddess (The Never Veil #1)
Publication date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Amy McNulty
In a village of masked men, magic compels each man to love only one woman and to follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.
Seventeen-year-old Noll isn't in the mood to celebrate. Her childhood friends have paired off and her closest companion, Jurij, found his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever chosen her.
Thus begins a dangerous game between the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither is willing to lose.
ABOUT AMY MCNULTY:
Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently spends her days alternatively writing on business and marketing topics and primarily crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.
Thanks for having me on your blog and for all the great questions! I wanted to answer almost all of them, but if that’s too many, feel free to cut some out!
What inspired you to write your first book?
An avid reader and consumer of geeky pop culture, I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was very young. I got slightly serious about writing fiction in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I finally had a finished manuscript and I started working on fiction writing and editing more regularly.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I used to write without an outline, but I make sure I have an outline now after I abandoned one of my manuscripts toward the end because I felt like I couldn’t tie everything together. (I want to try rewriting it eventually!) Still, I don’t always stick to my outline and I sometimes will skip ahead to a vivid scene I’m excited to write and go back and fill in the gaps later.
How did you come up with the title?
It was originally called The Veiled Man’s Goddess, which I modeled after The French Lieutenant’s Woman. My publisher thought it set the wrong tone for the novel (it seems more like an adult romance), and we brainstormed with a bunch of people to come up with something new, but we had a hard time. One of my editors pointed to the words “nobody’s goddess” in my manuscript and said it would make a great title, and we agreed! Noll is both nobody’s goddess and the veiled man’s goddess in a way, so it works.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I didn’t really write the series with a message in mind, but I think a few came through. If readers walk away with ideas about one’s freedom to love and how to make things equal between genders, I’ll be happy.
How much of the book is realistic?
It’s a fantasy setting and there’s a magic spell (curse?) over the village, so not a lot. But I feel like the emotions Noll experiences are pretty realistic when considering the situation in which she’s been placed.
Are experiences writing the book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Nope, no one or nothing I know in real life. I do have a penchant for the Byronic hero in fiction, though, so that influenced my writing.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Jane Eyre, and Jane Austen’s books.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Melissa Giorgio, my best friend and beta reader. She published her first novel a few years before me and has been seriously writing fiction for longer than I have, so she gives me tips and motivates me to try to work as hard.
What book are you reading now?
I’m taking an unintended break from novels to marathon-read Fables from Vertigo. I played The Wolf Among Us, a game by Telltale, and it was a lot of fun, so I wanted to read the comic series on which it’s based.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Pretty much all of my fellow Month9Books authors! I’ve gotten to know them online over the past year+, and I’m excited for their books to do well, too.
What are your current projects?
I just finished the first draft of the third and final book in The Never Veil Series and I’m still working on revising that. (I’ll also soon have revisions from my publisher for book 2.) I’m looking for a home for a finished YA fantasy manuscript about four teens whose parents are all villainous in what I consider a YA Game of Thrones meets Marvel Comics’ Runaways. This summer, I want to rewrite a YA suspense manuscript I shelved about a teen with prosopagnosia who still loves his ex-girlfriend, even though something awful happened between them and he can’t remember her face.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Melissa Giorgio, my beta reader and author of The Silver Moon Saga.
Do you see writing as a career?
Definitely! I’m a freelance business writer most of the time, but I really hope to devote more of my work day to fiction writing. But I’ll have to write (and sell) a lot more books before I get to that point.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, because it went through so many major rewrites already. From the version with which I started querying to get an agent to the version hitting the shelves, I’d say I made five major revisions (added new characters, rearranged scenes, added scenes, deleted scenes) and twice as many minor revisions along the way thanks to input from agents, beta readers and editors. I think we finally got it right.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
“Is your mother French?”
I shifted in my seat and winced as my boxers rode up. The chipped metal stool they sit us on for these pictures could hardly fit a kindergartener, let alone a high schooler.
“You… Your mother…”
Oh. The guy was actually looking right at me. I mean, of course he was. He was supposed to be taking my picture for the yearbook. Never mind that the seniors got to decorate their own yearbook pages and there was unlikely to be a single other senior there. Mom and Dad wanted the pictures. They picked out a dirty brown background. Said it would go well with my eyes. I keep forgetting I have brown eyes. No, black. So brown they were almost black.
“Uh,” I stammered. I gripped the cheap plastic comb in my fist and watched uncomfortably as a girl next in line started whispering to the girl behind her. They both started laughing. Hurry the f*&^ up and take the picture…
The light flashed. I had forgotten to smile.
“You look so like her,” said the picture guy. I detected the faintest trace of an accent. And was… Was he crying?
The guy wiped an eye with his shirt sleeve. Holy s(*&. He was crying. My gaze shifted uncomfortably to the long line of people. More and more of them were watching now, a large crowd of strangers. But what if I knew one of them? One could be in my class. One could be my friend, for all I knew… I strained to recognize something—hair, an outfit I’d seen before, a familiar way of standing. Didn’t Mia usually cross her arms like that? I knew she had long hair, but I couldn’t tell from where I was if this girl had short hair or had pulled her hair back. That’s what I got for taking off my glasses for the picture. But what if Mia had cut her hair anyway? What if my stupid brain had failed to register the hair cut?
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writing first drafts is always hardest for me! It’s overwhelming to think of the tens of thousands of words ahead of me.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Jane Austen. I love how her characters come to life and she interjects humor into her stories as the narrator.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
So far, no, but I’m planning to sign at Book Con in NYC Saturday, May 30th!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Fighting to keep one aspect of the book in it that editors along the way wanted me to take out. (Not Month9 editors—they saw its potential.)
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Writing is hard and sometimes you feel like you’re investing a lot of your life in it for no reason, but if you love it, it’ll prove worthwhile.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing, and don’t put yourself down.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for taking a chance on a new author! All the enthusiasm for the book has made me so happy!
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Finding the right publishing house that understood my story.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
YA romantic fantasy
Do you ever experience writer's block?
Definitely! If I’m on a deadline, I get especially panicked. But the best way to handle it for me is to walk away and come back later if I can or just push through it if I don’t have the time.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Yes! But not Nobody’s Goddess. I’ve shelved the awful mess that was my first attempt at a manuscript.
What is your favourite theme/genre to write about?
YA fantasy in general and complex villains/antagonists specifically.
While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
Sure, a bit. It helps to get into the head of your characters. That’s not to say they’re anything like me, but they probably each have a little bit of me in them.
What are your expectations for the book?
I hope it finds an audience and that most of the people excited for it based on the concept and/or cover art alone aren’t disappointed!
Thank you Amy for answering some questions for us readers! Good luck with your book :)
Winner will be drawn May 22, 2015
· Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Nobody's Goddess (The Never Veil #1) by Amy McNulty (INT)