Sunday, 26 April 2015

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway - Nobody's Goddess by Amy McNulty

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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.

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Thanks for having me on your blog! :) You had a lot of great topic ideas, so it was hard to choose just one!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published

A funny thing happened to me on the way to being published… I almost took a detour down a never-ending road.

There’s a reason why countless writers, agents and editors recommend writers do their research if they hope to be traditionally published someday:  you might just save yourself a lot of work. In a way, no time spent writing is a waste because it takes practice to polish your craft. However, if traditional publication is your goal—or self-published success, for that matter—you’d do better to polish the right skills so you have a finished product that people will want to read.

Like many writers, I had dreams that the first manuscript I worked on would be my professional debut. But I didn’t stop to think about the technical details. My funny story on the way to publication is more funny-sad than funny-haha, but I get a chuckle out of thinking about it. I spent nine years writing a 120,000-word YA manuscript that I didn’t even consider half finished before I discovered that most YA debuts are 50,000 to 90,000 words. Maybe 100,000 if you’re pushing it.

There are exceptions (Twilight comes to mind), but there was no way a 240,000-word+ manuscript was going to get me an agent or a publisher. While I don’t believe it’s productive to focus too much on your word count in your first draft (you’ll add and subtract many words during revisions), you should at least get into the habit of only writing scenes that further the narrative. And at 120,000 words, I don’t think I could justify all of the scenes in my manuscript. I don’t think I could tell you what the main narrative was.

Luckily, a more concise and intriguing idea came to me and I wrote the complete first draft of Nobody’s Goddess in only nine days—and I was even able to salvage the very best few thousand words of that initial manuscript. This draft was only 58,000 words, which is actually on the shorter side for YA fiction. (Many revisions later, it wound up being 85,000 words at publication.) But it had a clear beginning, middle and end. It was what I needed to pursue publication.

Making the situation even funnier was the fact that when I set out to write this new version of the manuscript, I told myself a 40,000-word section of my never-ending manuscript could make the cut. So there wasn’t much work ahead of me, right? Another 20,000 words or so and I’d be set. Nope. I wound up keeping only about 5000 words, and those had to be rewritten to fit the new narrative.

You have to have faith in your work to be a writer. You put in a lot of time and effort to bring your stories and characters to life, and a lot of people daydream about seeing their book in the hands of other readers someday. But if you get too caught up in your never-ending manuscript without researching the rest of the things you need to know to pursue publication, you’ll find yourself headed down a totally different road.

About the Author

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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