Today I’m meeting with one of my favorite authors. Joleene Naylor is the author of the Amaranthine series. She’s also a contributor to the Strange Portals anthology, as well as the organizer who put it all together. I’m very grateful to her for all her hard work on the book cover, formatting, and organizing the whole collection. If you’d like to read Strange Portals, you can find it FREE on Smashwords, Nook, and Kindle.
Welcome, Joleene! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Right now I am sitting in my living room, wearing fluffy fox house shoes and eating Pringles salt and vinegar chips, a cat above my head and a dog near my feet. Oh, you meant something deeper? In that case, it was a snowy night long, long ago, at the end of the seventies when…Too far back? Let’s just say I like to write, I like to draw, and I like to take photos. And that dog I mentioned just climbed on the couch. He’s not supposed to be on it, but he’s cute, so I’ll let him stay. (I’m also a sucker).
When did you begin writing?
When I was a kid, my brother and I used to write and illustrate “books” for fun. I graduated to “novel length” in sixth grade. Funnily enough, I didn’t write short stories for my own entertainment until late high school. The real question is, was any of this writing good? And the answer is “probably not”. Ah well, we have to dig through a lot of crud to get to the gold.
Can you tell us about your stories in the anthology, Strange Portals? What inspired you to write it?
I have two, Verchiel and Predator. Verchiel is a character from my paranormal series Amaranthine, and one of the most popular (and one of my favorites, but don’t tell him I said that). I’m working on a collection of short stories, each one about one of the Executioners (vampire police) from Amaranthine, and that is his. I had a hard time choosing a story for him because there are so many things that would have been interesting, but in the end, an origin story is always good.
Predator is a story a friend of mine challenged me to write during my MySpace days. (Anyone remember MySpace?) It’s a takeoff of one called Imagination that was a rework from those high school days I mentioned. Imagination has a similar theme but a very different ending.
Please tell us about your other published work.
This is where I copy and paste, right? Ha ha! Seriously, though, the Amaranthine series are vampire books for those of us who don’t like our heroes to glitter. Heck, even if you do like glittery heroes you might like it. Katelina is an average human woman who gets pulled into the vampires world thanks to a “friend”. One minute she is mourning his death and the next she’s running from vampires who are trying to capture her. Luckily the dark, heroic, and smexy Jorick is there to save her. Then she discovers he’s a vampire too and things really pick up.
People often ask me what genre they fit in. Are they paranormal romance? Sure, there’s romance. (Did you see where I called Jorick smexy?) but if I had to pick a category I’d choose paranormal fantasy because the pacing, plots, etc are far more fantasy novel than romance novel.
I love your Amaranthine series! What projects are you currently working on?
Clash of Legends, book 7 in the Amaranthine series, will be released March 31. I’m also working on the Tales from the Executioners short story collection, and I’d like to do an Amaranthine Encyclopedia. Someday I might also rework the Patrick prequel. If I do I’m more likely to give it away on my website, though, as only about 30% of the readers will like it.
Do you have a book recommendation to share with us?
How many do I get? I’ll limit myself to three series, but that’s hard to do.
DM Yates’ fantasy novels, starting with Always, are awesome. They have a reincarnation premise, so each book has the same “characters” but they get to be different people – it’s brilliant! The first is more contemporary but the second and third are dragons and warriors.
CG Coppola’s Arizel Wars series is also awesome. It’s a fantasy/sci-fi series about a girl who is taken to an alien planet and gets mixed up with a hottie and an interplanetary war.
Spellbringers by our very own Tricia Drammeh is amazing – it’s YA fantasy and centers on a pair of girls – one magical and one human – and the Spellbringers, a magical race that lives side by side with our own.
Thank you for the shout out to the Spellbringers. I totally agree with you about DM Yates’ books. Always is amazing! What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Don’t expect to make big bucks. There was a time you could sell books just by showing up. Not now. There are millions of ebooks and only so many digital readers. Sure, new people are buying eReaders every day, but the growth rate is a LOT slower than it was. Add to that traditional publishers have started giving away freebies and selling for low prices, and our competition just doubled. If you’re planning to write novels because you want money: don’t. If you’re writing because you want to write, then go for it.
That’s excellent advice, and so true. Thank you for being here today, Joleene. And congratulations on the upcoming release of Clash of Legends.
Joleene Naylor is the author of the glitter-less Amaranthine series, a world where vampires aren’t for children. As a compliment to the novel series, she has also written several short stories, including the Vampire Morsels collection, and has plans for an Amaranthine Encyclopedia.
In what little time is left she watches anime and updates her blogs, all from a crooked Victorian house in Villisca, Iowa. Between her husband and her pets, she is never lonely, and should she ever disappear one might look for her on a beach in Tahiti, sipping a tropical drink and wearing a disguise.
Connect with Joleene Naylor at the following links:
You can find Joleene’s books on these sites:
You can also get them on iTunes, and in paperback on Amazon