Posted in News

Blog Hopping for Nobody’s Goddess

Thanks to the awesomeness of other authors, bloggers and book websites, I’m going to be stopping by a number of sites to promote NOBODY’S GODDESS over the next few months. Most of these will take place near my book’s release, but it started back in March. I was asked a lot of fun and challenging questions for interviews, so if you’re interested in NOBODY’S GODDESS and writing in general, check them out.

Author Crush Friday (Glitter Magazine)

Anime Meets YA (The Dragon Sisters)

Fresh Take (Fresh Fiction)

WOW Wednesday (Adventures in YA Publishing)

Wednesday Debut Interview (Operation Awesome)

Diversity in YA

Dear Teen Me

Write All Year Pep Talk (Patchwork Press)

Author Suzanne van Rooyen Interviews Me (Month9Books Blog)

Submission Hell, It’s True (Mindy McGinnis’ Blog)



Posted in News

The Veiled Man’s Goddess New Title Reveal

I’d be the first to admit that titles aren’t my strong suit. Or at least I never stumble upon the title for a project and think wholeheartedly “This is the perfect title!” like some writers do. (See The Sight Seer and the whole Silver Moon Saga for one such example.) I didn’t come up with a title for my Month9Books debut until after I wrote and edited the first draft. I think I was going for something akin to The French Lieutenant’s Woman (in that the woman/”goddess” is supposed to be focus, but you’re still also drawing attention to the man to whom she “belongs” in a way). And I liked the idea of a veiled man (he features prominently in the book) since when you think of veiled people, you usually think of veiled women, right?

Still, I knew something was off about it. It worked in a way, but it didn’t fit with YA titles I’ve seen before. Who’s this man (not even a “boy”) and what’s he doing in my YA book? And then there’s the slightly erotic overtones of a man + his goddess that I didn’t mean to convey. There’s plenty of romantic tension (and just plain tension) between the two, but they never stray into erotic territory in the draft.

When my agent took on the book, he warned the title would probably need to be changed if it sold, and he was right. So after quite a while of back and forth, with Jason and Month9Books publisher/editor Georgia McBride and I all tossing out many (many!) solid, lovely ideas that still didn’t quite fit, and even after Georgia asked her colleagues for feedback on a few of our top ideas, we decided to step back and re-think. Then Georgia came back with a suggestion from my new editor Lindsay Leggett from a line in my novel and it clicked. Georgia’s suggestion for the series title after that just fell into place. (And yes, I still have to come up with titles for books 2 and 3–I have titles, but they probably won’t stick, either–but that’s for another day!)

So what sold as The Veiled Man’s Goddess will now be known as:

Nobody’s Goddess

Book 1 in The Never Veil Series

What do you think? It makes a lot of sense (well, once you’ve read the book! She’s both “the veiled man’s” and “nobody’s” goddess in a way), and I think it’s better suited to YA. I got stuck because I was determined to fit “veil” in there somewhere (it’s such a lovely word), but we got it in the series name, so I’m happy!

And I just got my first round of edits! I’m excited about the suggestions and looking forward to shaping Nobody’s Goddess into the book I hope you all eventually read.

Posted in News, Writing

My Big News Post!

I’ve been sitting on happy news for a few months while the details got ironed out, kind of wondering if I was dreaming, but I can finally share with everyone and make it more real: my debut novel, a YA romantic fantasy, is going to be published by Month9Books in 2015! Not only that, but Month9 is on board for the second and third books in the trilogy, too, with number two scheduled for 2016 and number three for 2017!

The announcement sent to Publishers Marketplace:

THE VEILED MAN’S GODDESS trilogy by Amy McNulty is a twisted young adult fantasy romance where one girl fights to save the boy she loves from a spell that forces all men to wear masks and only ever love one woman, each their “goddess,” only to discover that she herself is bound to the mysterious lord of the village, whose very life might be the source of the curse. Georgia McBride acquired World English rights to publish via Month9Books beginning in 2015 from Jason Yarn at Paradigm.

(The title of the book is almost certainly going to change, so keep an eye out for updates!)

Month9Books is a speculative fiction YA and MG imprint (related to YA, NA and adult romance imprint SwoonRomance). Founded by Georgia McBride, also the founder, in 2011, Month9 launched with their first title in late 2012, and they’ve been making some pretty impressive waves in the YA genre ever since.  When my agent and I discussed what independent publishers I wanted to send my manuscript to, Month9 jumped to the top of my wish list.

I’ve been floored by the enthusiasm Ms. McBride has shown for the manuscript, and I’m looking forward to working with her and her team on getting this series out there into the hands of readers. Ever since this story took hold of me, I’ve been hoping I could share its characters with you. And have an excuse to write the rest of their story! It would have broken my heart to shelve them and never finish the full tale.

This is the manuscript that landed me my agent, Jason Yarn, in May of 2012. The one I wrote the first (rough) draft of in only nine days in February of that year. (Well, I pinched some scenes and names from an old mess of a manuscript that’s permanently retired, and I’d been working on that on and off for nine years in one form or another.) We weren’t on submission the whole time—we tackled multiple rewrites—but it still has been somewhat of an uphill climb, sometimes getting to what felt like “almost but not quite” at various places, many of which offered kind and encouraging thoughts. Thanks to Jason’s never-waning enthusiasm for the project and his brilliant editorial insights, we finally got the manuscript where it needed to be to find a home.

I’ll be blogging with news as I get it over the next year+. I hope you’ll check it out in 2015!

Posted in News

Happy News!

What’s this?

Two posts in one day? Impossible for me, you might say. But no sooner had I finished the last post than I noticed this piece of news on my Twitter feed:


Melissa is one of my best friends and beta readers, and we’ve known each other for almost 14 years. We even got agents the same year! We’ve both counted ourselves among a circle of friends who shared a dream of being published authors, and Melissa is the first of us to make her dream come true! She’s worked hard for many years to get to this point. I’m honored to be one of her beta readers, and I know you’re going to love The Sight Seer as much as I did. Stay tuned and please support her book when it comes out!

Posted in Writing


So November is National Novel Writing Month and I imagine that a lot of you who read this blog are lost in worlds of your own creation, aiming to have at least 50,000 words on the page (or the screen) by the end of month. I’d love to hear about any stories you’re working on! Share a link to your NaNoWriMo profile if you like.

I’m also curious to hear about NaNoWriMo success stories. Who’s reached the word count goal in the past? Did you go on to finish the novel? Did you query, publish or self-publish or move on to a new work? (Or both?)

I’m asking a lot of questions and would like to share my own NaNoWriMo experience, but I don’t have a proper tale to tell! I’ve never officially participated in NaNoWriMo. This year I’m too busy with work writing and I’m juggling three WIPs (one YA, one MG and one “classified” short project) and don’t want to start yet another new work.

In the past, though, I sort of participated twice–I’m thinking 2007 and 2009 (but don’t quote me on that). I didn’t think I could officially participate because you’re supposed to write something brand new, if I understand correctly, and I was in the midst of my never-ending first draft for a YA book (120,000 words in the end and still not half way finished, ha) that took me nine years to finally abandon once and for all, after I mined the very best 5000 words or so and melded it into my first completed novel. So both of my unofficial NaNoWriMo experiences I worked on that manuscript, only I didn’t follow the rules in another way: I wasn’t aiming for 50,000 words. I was just determined to write half an hour a day at minimum in honor of the occasion, and that’s what I did. I even kept that up for some time into December.

I did also have similar experiences earlier this year. For one, I wrote 58,000 words in nine days early in the year when I had the inspiration for what would become my first completed draft of a book. In August of this year, I eked out almost another 50,000 words on a WIP because I had less work than usual. This time, it took me the whole month, and not every day of writing went smoothly.

And of course, I write tens or even hundreds of thousands of words each month for work, but that’s not quite the same!

Posted in Geek Out

My Trip to NY

Once a year for the past five years, I’ve visited New York (stayed on Long Island, took the train in to NYC as often as possible) to visit some of my boyfriend’s family. Coincidentally, his family lives a short car or train ride away from one of my best friends of thirteen years, fellow agented writer and one of my beta readers, Melissa. So it’s been a lot of fun making time to hang out with her when I visit–although this is the first year we met as two agented authors!

And speaking of agents, I met mine for the first time, the very kind Jason Yarn, who picked out a chic restaurant with great food, Gramercy Tavern, for our meeting. (I apologize for being a few minutes late! That was the only day I’ve ever had to deal with train delays to that extent!) I had a fun time talking my writing, books in general and the geek culture at large. Now that I’m back home, I need to snap back into focus and get back to editing and working on new drafts!

Some highlights of the trip include:


I’m not usually big on shopping, or clothes shopping in particular, but that’s not the case in NY. We hit all of our favorite stores, including Uniqlo, which I admittedly just started liking because it was a Japanese brand of fashion (similar to Old Navy in pricing–I don’t like spending tons on clothes!), but I really do love their HEATTECH line during frigid winters.

We also stopped at the Scholastic store, so I could squeal over Harry Potter and Hunger Games displays.

I hit the HBO Store, Disney Store, Nintendo World, FAO Schwartz, Kinokuniya (Japanese bookstore), Book Off (used Japanese and American bookstore), and Mitsuwa (Japanese marketplace in New Jersey), to name a few.


Aside from the aforementioned Gramercy Tavern, we ate at another chic restaurant with yummy food for a lunch, NoHo Star. We got some peanut butter sandwiches at Peanut Butter & Co, ate delicious Japanese food at Go Go Curry (multiple times), dined at the Mitsuwa food court, and stopped by Cafe Zaiya and Sunrise Mart for Japanese cakes and sweets more than once. (Sensing a pattern here? Yes, I tend to focus on Japanese places in NY!)

Wax Museum

Melissa convinced my boyfriend and I to accompany her to Madame Tussauds, and it was a lot of fun! The wax figures were so real, at one point, we fell for a trick; there was a wax figure of a tourist taking a photo of other wax figures and we seriously hesitated to let her take her picture… Which she never did. There was a Marvel 4D experience, and it left a bit to be desired, plot-wise, but it was amusing. And there were wax figures of the Avengers outside!

Central Park Zoo

We headed to the Central Park Zoo for the second time; we went a few years ago, too. But it’s conveniently placed in a beautiful location, pretty affordable for a NY attraction, and full of cute animals. The red pandas are my favorites here, but I got slightly better pictures this time of other adorable guys, like the polar bear, the snow leopard and the sea lions! Too bad my camera battery died right toward the end!

All in all, it was a great trip. Bye, NY! (And have fun at the NYCC next week, everyone there! I’m sorry I’m missing it… Even though it’s impossible to move inside the convention center anyway.)

Posted in Writing, Writing: Help

Ending at the Beginning

It’s no secret that the beginning of a manuscript has to entice people to keep reading or the rest of your manuscript may never see the light of day, no matter how wonderful and exciting it becomes later on. Actually crafting that compelling opening is easier said than done, though–at least for me.

When I sat down to write the manuscript that got me an agent, I wrote the scenes that my brain told me came first. Meanwhile, I was also incorporating a little bit of an old manuscript I’d been working on for years. (See this entry.) The result was an odd mishmash of chronology for the first four chapters or so. One of my beta readers thought the jumps odd and wanted more clarification, particularly when it came to worldbuilding. (The manuscript is fantasy.) I thought about it and added a few more passages I thought clarified things and I was ready to go.

Of course, most (but not all) agents ask for a sample of the manuscript along with the query. I only had 5 or 10 (sometimes a bit more) pages to grab their attention. Partial and full requests came in… And the vast majority were only from agents who had requested queries only (no sample pages) for the first e-mail. I started wondering if that meant my concept was enticing enough but not my first few pages…

And then I got an R&R on a full request. The problem? The beginning, of course! The agent agreed with my beta reader (maybe they’re really in tune–that agent was my beta reader’s agent by then!): I needed to fix up the beginning and work on clearly worldbuilding. So that was two people who thought my beginning needed work–and maybe more, and the others who rejected it didn’t have time to tell me.

I took a time out from sending queries and spent a slow three weeks reshaping the beginning. I cut long scenes, rearranged ones I wanted to keep and cut, cut, cut passages. Then I drafted a new first chapter–twice. I didn’t much like my first attempt at a new beginning. Then I was struck with a different idea, and I wound up writing two completely new chapters. This version started with action, and I used that action to worldbuild. At first I was wary about re-doing the beginning, but I loved the final result!

I sent out the revision and continued to query other agents with my brand new beginning. Material requests rolled in, and this time they were from agents who saw sample pages at the start! I got a few passes, but of those who took the time to detail their reasons, all were complimentary–particularly about my worldbuilding! And, of course, it was this beginning (10 pages with the query) that netted the full request and then my first offer of representation.

I’m learning. Both of the beginnings of my two WIPs start with action. I like them–but at the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to go back and tweak the beginning at the very end!

How do you write beginnings? Do you fix the beginning later or think of a compelling image to start the book before you start?

Posted in News, Writing

Busy Week: Got an Agent, Outlined a Trilogy… Got a Cat to Shed Lbs

I’m excited to announce that I’m now an agented YA author! Last week, Jason Yarn of Paradigm Talent Agency offered me representation after a record-setting read. (Well, record-setting certainly according to my record of material requests and finished reads!) I was impressed by his enthusiasm (and probably more than a little in shock), but I had four other agents who had yet to reply regarding manuscript requests, so I took a week off to make the decision. (And to nudge the other agents.)

I didn’t sit idly by during that week off, though! Client work slowed to a crawl, so I devoted much of the work day to getting ready for a possibly viable future as a creative writer. (I’m not “quitting my day job,” but my “day job” is simply writing from home anyway, so…). I:

  • Made this website (Hello! Thanks for reading so soon after I created this thing!)
  • Wrote three chapters of the sequel to my book in case it goes somewhere and because I’d been dying to do so for months but didn’t really have an excuse to (my strategy was to concentrate on other WIPs in case this manuscript never got picked up)
  • Somehow inexplicably (well, I can kind of explain it–I’ll do an entry on brainstorming soon) came up with the entire outline of the rest of book two and all of book three in this intended series (and even started thinking of ideas for a fourth book, but I didn’t write them down–I’m getting way ahead of myself!)

And now, aside from editing, I promised myself I’d put this series aside. I’m trying to be an optimist, but I’m also a realist, so I don’t want to put all of my eggs in one basket. Back to the other WIPs…

I accepted Jason’s offer late Tuesday night, and we’re working on edits to the manuscript, getting the retainer signed and all of that good stuff. It’s probably going on submission soon, and I’ll be sure to update with official announcements when I can.

And amongst all of this writing development, I took my cat to the vet. With a little portion adjustment and exercise, she lost almost two and a half pounds over the past year, as per the vet’s instructions! I guess the diet paid off. Too bad the poor thing has developed a habit of spending most of the waking day begging for more food. Anytime I walk past her food bowl, she gets into position nearby and gives me her best attempt at puppy dog eyes. I feel like a cold-hearted bastard every time. Which is probably precisely what she’s hoping… But she’s not getting too many treats from me!