It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.
I am honored to continue this series with author Joleene Naylor
You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.
If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, please enjoy this interview with Joleene Naylor:
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to do both. Even though the Amaranthine series has ended after nine books, I’m continuing to write in that universe – because most of my readers want more of those characters. BUT to keep it original, the protagonists in the series won’t get to be main characters again. Instead, I have plans for two standalone novels, featuring secondary characters in lead roles, and a trilogy that jumps forward into the future. In it, the previous protagonists will now be secondary characters. In the meantime, I’m in the middle of a year of free short stories, where I’m releasing short stories staring Executioners, who are the equivalent of vampire elite police. Some are scary, some are sad, some are sweet, and all of them are free!
If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?
Back up, back up, back up! I’ve lost a lot of writing over the years by hardware failure or accidental deletion. Always make two copies of everything.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I have a list, but I can whittle it down to two. Tricia Drammeh’s Spellbound (it’s the first in the amazing Spellbringer fantasy YA series) and C.G. Coppola’s Escape from Harrizel (it’s the first in a fantasy series as well). Both have great storytelling and amazing characters. I can’t say I love them enough.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
When I run into them, I read them, but I don’t hunt them down. Good reviews make me smile, of course, and bad reviews I usually just shrug off now. I did reply to one, once, though – a reviewer claimed he’d read an excerpt of my book on a website that asked for book reviews, based only on the excerpt. Since I’d never done that, I replied to him, to find out the address of the site, and asked if he was sure it was from my book. He replied with a link to a site that has been – thankfully – shut down now, and commented that, after checking the “look inside” feature, he didn’t think the excerpt was actually from my book. (He then deleted that comment, and left his negative review standing, but whatever makes him happy, I guess.)
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Of course! There are some obscure references, such as the supplies closet in Ashes of Deceit, which is a nod Weird Al’s UHF (Yes, a nod to Weird Al in a dark vampire book. Why not?) and a mention of Old Man Wickleberry in another…I’d tell you the rest, but then I’d have to, um, never mind.
Do you Google yourself?
I do. You can find me and my books by googling my full name – Joleene Naylor – and you can even find me on page 1 of results with just “Joleene” as a search term. I tease hubby and tell him I’m like Prince or Madonna, no last name required. He’s not amused. 😉
What is your favorite childhood book?
The Swan Princess by Hans Christian Anderson was my favorite story. I loved all the details, like the princess looking through the hole in the leaf at the sun, that made it seem “real” to me as a kid. It’s still my favorite fairytale.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I can’t think of anything in childhood or teen years, but I did take a big writing hiatus in my early, early twenties that lasted five years or more, so that when I came back to writing I was so out of practice that I was essentially starting over. I wish I hadn’t done that, because it set me back quite a bit.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I can do a book from blank page to fully edited and published in a year. I know that’s slower than they say to write now (conventional wisdom now says five books a year or more to stay relevant), but rushing 100,000 word books would negatively impact the quality, and I’d rather give my readers something good than something cruddy. Plus, I’ve never been one for conventional wisdom.
Joleene Naylor is the author of the glitter-less Amaranthine vampire 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.
Connect with Joleene: