Sunday, May 3, 2015

{Tour Stop} NOBODY'S GODDESS by Amy McNulty—Author Interview + Giveaway

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Nobody's Goddess
by 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.

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Month9Books
Purchase: Amazon • B&NKoboBooks-A-Million

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with Amy McNulty


LM: I have to say, the premise of Nobody's Goddess intrigues me more than most books coming out this year. Can you tell us how/where you got the inspiration for such a story?

Amy: Thank you! I’d been working on a shelved, way-too-long manuscript for nine years that had a veiled lord in it. I never came up with the right hook for it. Then I read The Hunger Games and it turned out to be one of those stay-up-all-night life-changing series for me. I don’t think the series influences Nobody’s Goddess too much, but I was in a “book hangover” buzz when I kept thinking about how I wished I could finish a manuscript already. I wanted to salvage my veiled lord from what I had, as he was my favorite part, and the idea of making all of the men, not just him, have to cover up their faces popped into my head. (Although it’s a fantasy book, that aspect is more dystopian, so if anything, that’s where the HG influence shines through.) I’d heard of a number of YA books where women are forced to marry men/bear children in dystopian societies, but not many (any?) where it’s the men forced to marry women, so I thought that would be an intriguing twist.

LM: Tell us a little about Noll; who is she?

Amy: Noll is adventurous, imaginative, stubborn and strong-willed. She’s the only one in the village who seems to have a problem with how each man “finds the goddess” in his own woman and is entirely devoted to her. (The men, being under a spell, would never dream of finding issue with the way things are. The women have been born into this society for generations and most find a way to be happy in it, so it just never occurs to them that there’s any way else a society can be.) That may be both because no one has yet found the goddess in her (and she’s older than most ladies are when this happens to them) and she’s in love with her best friend, Jurij, who’s devoted to his goddess, Elfriede, Noll’s sister. (That makes the situation even more painful for Noll.)

My editor pointed out that in some ways, Noll’s the antagonist of the story even though she’s the protagonist, too. I think this is a fair assessment. I love it when female characters refuse to buckle at the knees when matched up with Byronic heroes. (Think Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice or Sarah Williams from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.) I find the tension between two strong-willed, obstinate people enthralling!

LM: What was your favorite part of writing Nobody's Goddess?

Amy: Writing the scenes between Noll and the lord. Neither one is willing to admit fault or back down, and even though they often clearly dislike each other, there’s a real chemistry underneath all of their arguing.

LM: If you had to describe Nobody's Goddess in just three words, what would they be?

Amy: Fight for love.

LM: Do you listen to music while you write? Any particular song/artist that inspired you while writing Nobody's Goddess?

Amy: I listen to movie, video game and TV show soundtracks when I write. (They’re very cinematic and only a few tracks have words, so I don’t find them distracting. I usually want to sing along with typical music.) I’m obsessed with Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, so that played frequently, and so did The Dark Knight soundtrack and Final Fantasy music.

LM: Give us a little behind the scenes story about this book!

Amy: Originally called The Veiled Man’s Goddess, my publisher thought that gave off the wrong image, that it maybe seemed more appropriate for an adult romance novel. (I was thinking of The French Lieutenant’s Woman when I came up with it.) It took months and a committee of helpful people to go through tons of ideas, but my editor at the time found the perfect title in the manuscript. Noll is both the veiled man’s and nobody’s goddess in a way, so it worked! I was really sad to see “veil” go, though, and I tried so hard to work that word into the title. My publisher suggested naming the entire series “The Never Veil,” and I loved the sound of it! I wasn’t sure if it made sense, so I wrote something called “the never veil” into the third book in the series, so now it totally makes sense! But I wouldn’t have included that if the series hadn’t been named that.

LM: Will you share with us one of your favorite quotes or scenes from the book?

Amy: There’s a scene in which Noll and the lord play a chess game, and the game is a metaphor for their struggle to “win” over the other one when it comes to their relationship. I wrote a version of that scene in the original shelved manuscript and it’s one of the few that made it through from that to the published work! I even played the chess game with myself as I wrote to make sure it made sense. (But I cheated at the end for metaphorical purposes, so it’s not quite a playable game as is!)

Quote: “If you knew how long I waited. If you knew how hard this is for me, to accept your love.”

LM: Tell us what you enjoy doing when you aren't writing!

Amy: I’m a huge anime and manga fan, and I review some anime on Anime News Network. I also freelance write business content as my main job, so I actually don’t often spend time not writing. I’m a pretty big geek in general. I read novels (mostly YA, but I’m a sucker for classic British literature, too), watch TV, go to the movies, read comic books and play video games.

LM: Thank you so much for answering my questions today! Is there anything you'd like to add; anything you'd like to say to your readers?

Amy: Thanks for hosting me! I just want to thank you and anyone else who gives a new author a chance and spreads enthusiasm for my book. I hope you enjoy Nobody’s Goddess!

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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.


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Big thanks to the lovely Amy McNulty for answering my questions so thoughtfully! :)

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Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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1 comment:

Tracy Fritts said...

Thank you for a chance to win and I loom forward to reading your book.

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