The Serious Questions
I’ve always loved reading and losing myself in fictional worlds. I’m a writer by trade, and it was my dream to have a published fiction book ever since I was a child. Now my dream is to have more published!
Tell us about your current work in progress.
Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy lately, I’m not consistently working on anything new. I do plan to rewrite a manuscript I wrote 50,000 words of a few years ago before I realized it wasn’t working out. I like the hook—a YA suspense starring a teen with prosopagnosia (face blindness)—but I didn’t plot it well enough the first time around.
What do you do to cure writer’s block?
Push myself through it. If I’ve finally managed to allocate some time to fiction write, I have to try. (Sometimes it helps to walk away from the computer and stretch, too, but not for too long, or I’ll get distracted.) Even if it’s only 100 words, it’s better than no words at all.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I used to be a pantster and wrote the first draft of Nobody’s Goddess without an outline. (I also wound up adding 30,000 words and rewriting a bunch of it before it was published, though.) After writing that YA suspense manuscript that ground to a halt toward the end without an outline, I’ve decided to become a plotter instead. I still manage to make changes to outlines as I write, but I feel better about a project having that outline to fall back on.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I like it to be pretty quiet, although I’ll listen to a movie, TV show or video game instrumental soundtrack. Once I get into a peaceful frame of mind, I can start to write.
What is your favorite book? What about favorite book to movie adaptation?
My favorite books (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters) are pretty popular, so I’m hardly original. Those aside, though, I do really love Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. (And most DWJ books!) It’s not a movie, but I think the 2004 North & South miniseries is really good. It added just enough to flesh out the book but kept the core of it.
If you could rewrite the ending to any book, what would it be and why?
I don’t think I’ve come across a book that didn’t have an ending I liked! Sometimes the characters go through painful things (like in Mockingjay), but it still feels right for the books to me. The ending of The French Lieutenant’s Woman has always been really strange to me, but I don’t think I’d like the book as much as I do if it weren’t.
Tell us about your journey to publication. What was it like?
I got an agent pretty quickly—within three months of finishing the first draft. (And only a couple of days after he requested my full.) Our first round of submission had a lot of momentum and a few close calls, and we walked away with an R&R. That took about half a year, and after the revision was rejected, I worked with the agent to revise yet again based on the editor’s advice. A year after my first round of submission, it went out on a second round and then shortly thereafter a third… And I got an offer from Month9Books in that round! I lost my agent shortly after that, though. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I’m so glad it’s out there!
What is the best piece of writing advice you NEVER followed?
Don’t think your first completed manuscript will be published… Mine was! (To be fair, I had a 120,000-word unfinished monstrosity under my belt that I shelved.)
Tell us about NOBODY’S GODDESS!
Byronic heroes and villains with a sliver of good are my favorite fictional type, so I wanted to write a story with a character like that. I love when the heroine puts up a fight when a guy like that acts like a jerk—just like in Pride and Prejudice and Labyrinth—so I made my main character coerced into a relationship with the Byronic man in question. I originally just had him cover his face but had the idea of extending that to all of the men in the village, and I had to come up with a reason why, as well as a reason why these two characters are “forced” to try to love each other despite their mutual stubbornness. Everything sort of fell into place once I focused on that.
The Random Questions
Dinos or dragons?
Dinos (although I love dragons, too!)
What psychic power would you want?
Favorite Disney character?
Tomatoes: Fruit or veggie?
Fruit, but a gross one, in my opinion.
Morning Person or Night owl?
Favorite Book Ever:
I have to choose one?! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Favorite Movie Ever:
Jim Henson’s Labyrinth
Music Earworm of the Moment:
Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor who, while in high school, had her first piece published in The Concord Review. Her days are spent alternatively writing on business and marketing topics, while primarily crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings. She lives in southern Wisconsin. Visit her at amymcnulty.com.
Buy Nobody’s Goddess: