Today, I’m very excited to have Joleene Naylor as a visitor to my blog. Joleene is an author, blogger, and all-around amazingly talented person who I am fortunate to call a friend. So, are you ready? Let’s have some fun!
About Joleene (the official bio):
Joleene Naylor is the author of the glitter-less Amaranthine vampire universe, a world where vampires aren’t for children. Comprised of a main series, a standalone prequel, and several short story collections, she has plans to continue expanding with a trilogy and several standalone novels.
In her spare time, Joleene is a freelance book cover designer and for-fun photographer. She maintains several blogs, full of odd ramblings, and occasionally updates her website at JoleeneNaylor.com. In what little time is left , she watches anime, plays PokemonGo, and works on her crooked Victorian house in Villisca, Iowa. Between her husband, family, and pets, she is never lonely, in fact, quite the opposite. Should she disappear, one might look for her on a beach in Tahiti, sipping a tropical drink and wearing a disguise.
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/joleenenaylorbooks
- Author page – https://www.facebook.com/joleenenaylorbooks/
- Blog – https://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/
- Website – http://joleenenaylor.com
- Street team – https://www.facebook.com/groups/amaranthinestreetteam/
- Reader group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ShadowLeagueUF
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/joleene_naylor
A Q&A with Joleene Naylor
Welcome, Joleene, and thank you for hanging out with us today! Tell us a little about yourself.
I have an official bio where I mention books I’ve written, the house I am slowly renovating in Villisca, Iowa, my addiction to Pokemon Go and Love Nikki Dress Up Queen, and my affection for anime, but it doesn’t really tell you anything interesting, so instead I’m going to tell you that I’m a text book Capricorn, I can drink my coffee cold, and I like to wear onesie pajamas that have hoods. You should see the Winnie the Pooh set.
When did you begin writing?
My mother is a poet and writer, so I have always written stories because I thought it was just a normal part of life. That’s why I have a hard time with all the “you need to do this, read this, be like this” advice because I don’t “need to” be like anything. If I am writing, I am a writer.
What is your chosen genre?
Paranormal – or more specifically, vampires. I could add other things into the universe, like werewolves, or shifters, or zombies, but as Jorick says, “Isn’t one monster enough for you?”
Can you please tell us about your most recent release?
Tales of the Executioners is a collection of short stories about the Executioners, the vampires’ elite police. From origin stories, to assignments, and everything in between, it’s a great supplement to the Amaranthine world and gives readers a deeper look into The Guild and the vampires that rule it. Volume one includes fourteen stories; three are collection exclusive stories, and three have been expanded from their original versions. Volume two will be released at the end of November.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
Since it’s made of short stories that were written out of order over several years, the hardest part was to string them together to make a complete narrative that filled in all the blanks. To make sure I did that, I had to expand a few stories, as well as add the bonus short Clara: Pretty Pet. It’s a bonus because Clara isn’t an executioner, but rather a vampiress Malick keeps as a pet.
Of all your published books, which is your favorite and why?
Patrick’s Story: Brothers of Darkness is my favorite. It’s also the darkest book I have out; the blurb even carries a warning that it’s not a love story, but a dark spiral into blackness. It’s also the one I have the most emotional involvement in. It makes me cry every time.
Are there certain themes or lessons you tend to explore in your books?
I’ve always loved the theme about good vs evil – that it’s all a perception. For instance, in Shades of Gray, Katelina and Jorick are “the good guys” because we see the vampire war from their point of view, but what if I’d written it from Claudius’ point of view? The Jorick and his human would be the evil ones.
What is your primary goal as an author?
I want to entertain readers with characters that they’ll still be thinking about later; I want them to see a pile of books on the floor six months after finishing my series and think, “Wow, that looks like Jorick’s house.”
Which authors and/or books have inspired you as a writer?
VC Andrews writing style – her ability to make what should be happy sinister. For instance flowers in the Attic- she takes these brightly colored paper flowers that should be bright, cheerful, beautiful, even symbolic of childhood, and makes them something heavy and depressing, because their very brightness against the backdrop of the life the children are in creates that contrast that twists those flowers symbolism. It’s brilliant. I’ve tried to do that myself in several places, but I don’t think I’m as successful.
What projects are you currently working on?
Volume Two of the Executioners collection, and then I am going to start working on Micah and Loren’s road trip novel. Two vampires, one goal: California or bust. Along the way they will find some unexpected faces, get into some trouble, and maybe rob a gas station. It’s going to be fun.
What advice would you like to share with new or aspiring authors?
Write for you. Write stories you want to read. And don’t expect to make a fortune.
Where can my readers go to buy your newest release?
Tales of the Executioners Volume one can be found at the following links:
- Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K1ZJ3SQ/
- Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/904027
- B&N – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tales-of-the-executioners-volume-one-joleene-naylor/1129805852?ean=2940155863700
- Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tales-of-the-executioners-volume-one
- Apple – https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/tales-of-the-executioners-volume-one/id1440963643?mt=11
- Paperback – https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Executioners-One-Joleene-Naylor/dp/1729589707
If you would like to learn more about Joleene, you can sign up for the Amaranthine newsletter!