Today is my spot on the book tour for Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl by Erin Grammar. This tour is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I have to say the cover of this book caught my attention right away. I was really lucky to get the chance to interview the author, so if you want to read that and find out more about this book, keep on reading!
Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl by Erin Grammar
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: March 10, 2021
Fight like a magical girl in this paperback original contemporary fantasy in which a Harajuku fashionista battles mutants—and social anxiety—by teaming up with an elite group of outcasts. Perfect for those obsessed with the technicolor worlds of Sailor Moon, The Umbrella Academy, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Book One of the Magic Mutants Trilogy.
Holly Roads uses Harajuku fashion to distract herself from tragedy. Her magical girl aesthetic makes her feel beautiful—and it keeps the world at arm’s length. She’s an island of one, until advice from an amateur psychic expands her universe. A midnight detour ends with her vs. exploding mutants in the heart of San Francisco.
Brush with destiny? Check. Waking up with blue blood, emotions gone haywire, and terrifying strength that starts ripping her wardrobe to shreds? Totally not cute. Hunting monsters with a hot new partner and his unlikely family of mad scientists?
Way more than she bargained for.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Grief, depression, parental death, anxiety (especially thought spirals and overthinking), bullying/harassment, mild gore and medical body horror, mention of violence-related PTSD, brief underage drinking, mention of drug use.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always been very interested in all kinds of stories. In grade school, when I got bored of doodling in my notebooks, I started writing down little plot bunnies instead. Some of those grew, some fizzled, but it’s a practice I’ve kept into adulthood. I suppose I’m a nosy person. I like to listen to other people talk about their lives and hear stories told by people who aren’t just like me. Writing is an extension of that where I can explore different viewpoints. It lets me stretch my empathy and curiosity muscles.
What is your all time favorite book? Why?
Vamped by David Sosnowski comes to mind first. It’s an older title, about a horrific world where most of the population has become vampires and the humans left are raised for food. The main character is a depressed vampire who finds and adopts a human child. The plot is almost quiet, following the struggles of parenting and keeping her alive—and happy—any way he can. It’s macabre and desperately bleak but also so full of the whimsy of unexpected discovery. I’m a sucker for nuanced, sometimes troubling, deeply human books packed with love.
Besides writing, what other hobbies do you have?
I love being outdoors. That’s easy to accomplish on the West Coast. My partner and I go to the beach quite a bit, and hiking. Our favorite spot is a nearby mountain that used to be a pink tourmaline mine. You can still find precious gems in the dirt. I also love to bake and I have a small Harajuku fashion collection, probably about 1/100 of Holly’s.
Describe your book in five words or less.
Glitter, gore, and messy gays. That covers the aesthetics and the fact that the representation isn’t squeaky clean, but I do hope it makes the characters feel authentically flawed.
When you wrote Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl did you have it all planned out? Or did Holly take you for a ride?
When I start a new book I always know the beginning and the end, but the middle comes one chapter at a time as I go. MMNG was no different, and I definitely enjoyed the initial drafting phase. I’d wake up every day with a new, exciting, terrible idea to play with on the page! Books 2 and 3 of the trilogy are following a similar pattern. I made sure to leave plenty of room to explore different options in my basic outlines.
If you were to put yourself into the story, what type of character would you be?
This is so difficult! I’ve never really been the type to self-insert while reading or writing. But I know for sure that I very much wouldn’t want to experience any of the panic or the heartache (or the violence, yikes!) I put my main characters through. I really like my life non-superpowered and drama-free, thanks. I guess I’d be a guest at the Halloween tea party towards the end of the book—but I’d definitely be leaving early.
What is your favorite quote from Magic Mutant Nightmare Girls?
This is probably a bit morbid, but I think my favorite might be from the beginning of Chapter Fifteen when Holly’s thinking about death and what happens next: “Perhaps the afterlife was nothing more than the loving embrace of the cosmos—an eternal reward for a job done well enough.” That never changed from first to final draft.
What was your favorite part of writing this book?
Holly’s anxiety manifests like mine (MMNG is an #OwnVoices book), but her decision making process and the lens through which she views the world both make her very different from me. Crafting her voice was a compelling adventure. She’s got such conviction that her reality is the truest one that it’s easy to lose sight of the background details. If you look carefully at what she’s not actively judging, a very different picture of the story unfolds. Weaving two realities together through her limited perspective was a rewarding challenge. Hopefully it comes across well!
Thank you so much for having me for such a wonderful interview!
During this tour I was able to interview the other, but other amazing bookstagrammers and bloggers have created all kinds of posts. If you want to see these, click here for the full tour schedule.
Giveaway (Open Internationally)
One winner will receive a finished copy of Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl and a tote bag with the book’s cover on it. This giveaway will end on March 15th. Click here to enter the giveaway.
About the Author
Erin Grammar writes YA fantasy for quirky teens. She graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Fine Arts and is passionate about inspiring young readers. When she isn’t writing, she searches the SoCal hills for gemstones, thrifts Hello Kitty collectibles, and chases one incredible daughter and two very demanding cats. MAGIC MUTANT NIGHTMARE GIRL is her first novel.
I love interviewing authors and finding out more about the people behind the books we see and read. If you could interview any author, who would you want to interview?