Q) Do you own a cat? The Black Cat Blog wants proof (a picture).
Yes, I do! Cats are my second favorite animals, after their big cousins, tigers. Luna (named after Sailor Moon’s Luna) is a ten-year old tuxedo:
Q) WORST life advice you ever received.
I should write poetry instead of novels because so many people write novels and the market is overcrowded.
Q) BEST life advice you ever received.
Prepare to try really hard to do something you love, but don’t give up.
Q) Please share a picture of your favorite shoes.
I’m not much of a shoe person. (I buy one pair of sneakers a year). But I do like slippers.
Q) List some of your favorite movies. Do any of them remind you of your book (and in what way--characters, settings, plot line)?
Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, Star Wars (particularly Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back), X-Men (especially X2, First Class and Days of Future Past), Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, The Last Unicorn, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast. (I could go on. I love movies.)
The entire The Never Veil Series was greatly inspired by Labyrinth intentionally, particularly the strange almost romantic relationship between Sarah and Jareth, which I tried to echo with Noll and the lord. There’s that Byronic romantic tension between a sullen mysterious figure and a stubborn, proud woman in Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast and even somewhat in The Last Unicorn as well. That was more the centerpiece of Nobody’s Goddess, the first book in the series. Nobody’s Lady might have more of an X-Men or The Prestige vibe with characters who were once friends at opposing sides of an issue that tears them apart. (I’ve always been obsessed with the Xavier/Magneto dynamic.)
Q) What's your favorite writing rule (or rules) that you live by? What rule (or rules) do you hate?
Write what you love. If you try to write for the market, by the time you’re finished, the market may have moved on. (Plus, you’ll struggle a lot more to finish in the first place.) As far as rules I hate, I don’t think it’s necessary to push yourself to write every single day without a break if you can’t handle it, as missing a day when I’m trying to do that just makes me feel down, which is counterproductive.
Q) What event would you call your breakthrough as an author?
Finding a publisher for Nobody’s Goddess, my debut YA romantic fantasy and my favorite manuscript of all the manuscripts I’ve written. (Well, maybe I like the third and final book in the series, Nobody’s Pawn, a little more. But I worked harder and longer on Nobody’s Goddess.)
Q) What do you know now that you wish you knew much earlier on as an author?
Getting an agent—finding that professional in the industry who believes in you—doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed success. A lot of people along the way have to fall in love with your book just as much as your agent did to get it published. (And you may not get to keep your agent forever!)
Q) What's the best marketing advice you can give other authors?
Interact with bloggers and reviewers as much as possible on a one-on-one basis. The readers I’ve met through Twitter and Instagram with whom I’ve had a few conversations have been the most likely to read my book and spread the word. It’s a lot of fun to geek out with them over other topics, too.
Q) Name 5 books you wish you'd written (and not just for the money and fame).
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Howl’s Moving Castle (by Diana Wynne Jones), A Long, Long Sleep (by Anna Sheehan), and Impossible (by Nancy Werlin)
|I loved Howl's Moving Castle, too--|
both the book and the movie.
Q) List 5 books you loved as a child.
The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, A Wrinkle in Time quintet by Madeline L’Engle, The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin, Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Q) What event/s or idea/s inspired you to write Nobody's Lady?
It’s the bridge between the first and last installment in The Never Veil Series, and as far as the entire series goes, I’d been working on a (now shelved) manuscript for years that involved a young woman forced to court a veiled, secretive lord. Not too long after reading The Hunger Games series, I was struck with the idea to make my fantasy setting a bit dystopian-like and make it so all men in the village had to cover their faces, not just the lord. I’d also read or heard about a lot of dystopian books in which women were forced to be paired with men against their will, but I’d rarely heard of it being the other way around.
For Nobody’s Lady in particular, I wanted to examine the conflict that would naturally arise after things changed drastically in the village after the events of the first book. Before I could go on to explore what’s the source of all this magic in the third book, I wanted to see how characters would react to such change. I found many of them acting very differently than they did in the first book, as if their true selves were finally allowed to take over.
Q) If you were to be executed tomorrow, what would you choose as a meal for your last supper?
Mac and cheese, eggplant pizza and chocolate chip cookies. No need to worry about vegetables if it’s the last one, right?
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 writes professionally about everything from business marketing to anime. In her down time, you can find her crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.