Joleene Naylor grew up in southwest Iowa surrounded by corn and very little entertainment – so she made her own. She’s been writing and drawing since she was a child, with a leaning towards fantasy, horror and paranormal. It’s this love of all that goes bump in the night that lead her to write the Amaranthine vampire series. In her spare time she’s a freelance artist and photographer. Joleene does freelance book cover art, maintains blogs full of odd ramblings, illustrates a webcomic and hopes to win the lottery. When she does, she’s adding a tower to her house and going on vacation.
Why you write: I write because it’s illegal to experiment on human beings. Writing is the equivalent of massive psychological experiments because the characters aren’t something I control; they’re separate entities that do and say their own things and I just record them. I write so I can see what they’re going to do, and so I can enjoy those “aha!” moments when some secret or piece of themselves is revealed. It’s like my voyeur side.
What is your routine: My routine really varies from one day to the next and depends on what projects I’m working on. Ideally, though, I get up at 2pm, take the dog out, tidy the messy house, have lunch with my Mom and have our hour of TV time – we got hooked on Supernatural on Netflix, but now we have to buy the new episodes from Amazon. Then I get to work on whatever I’m doing; whether it’s writing, drawing, book covers, photos, or the Terrible Turtle Conspiracy comic. My husband comes home between 11pm and 12am, and we have dinner and watch a TV show if we have one ready (we buy NCIS, Dr. Who and FaceOff from Amazon, too), and then usually go to bed by 5am.
Where do you get the ideas for your books: I don’t think there’s any one place. It’s more a combination of influences because, really, I don;t have much of an imagination, just poor eyesight and a brain that jumbles everything up. My brother has the theory that all the ideas for books, songs, art, etc are floating around in the cosmos and it’s just a matter of getting lucky and tapping into it. I’ve always liked that idea.
What is your writing process: I create the characters, and then the plot is only there so I can see what they’ll do, or so I can force them to change, or grow. I generally have an idea for the book’s ending or ultimate goal by the third or fourth chapter, so that I can work the characters in that direction.
Why did you choose self-publishing: I could come up with lots of reasons. Some of them are good ones, and some of them are bad ones. I went through the agent process and maybe I submitted at a bad time, but the consensus was “no more vampires!”. I liked the vampire book, so I started to research small presses. By the time it was said and done, the only thing I could see to gain from them was an imprint name, the possibility of a terrible cover, and the vague hope that they had some returning customers who might buy my book just because they had it out. I figured if I had to do it all myself anyway, then I was going to do my own book cover and not have the fear of sell, sell, selling hanging over my head. If I get lazy or busy and don’t promote the self published book there’s no contract to lose. But, if I do that with the traditionally published book I’m in trouble.
Do you have any advice to give other writers: Write for yourself. If you like it, then chances are someone else will too. When you decide to publish, figure out what your goals are and then choose the method that can realistically meet those goals. If you want to be on TV and have legions of fans that hang on your every word, then self publishing is probably not for you. If you don’t view writing as a business instead of an art, then traditional publishing might not be for you. Or it might. Only you know what’s right for you, so don’t let anyone change your mind just because one or the other worked for them. It breaks down to one word: RESEARCH! Do it!
- Shades of Gray
- Legacy of Ghosts
- Ties of Blood
- Ashes of Deceit
- Heart of the Raven
- Children of Shadows
- Clash of Legends
- Masque of the Vampire
- Heart of the Raven: Mini Prologue Collection
- Tales from the Island Short Stories
- Vampire Morsels Short Story Collection
- Amaranthine Files Official Handbook
You can find out more about me at http://www.JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com. I always love to hear from readers, writers, and fellow vampire lovers! You can also find me on:
Amaranthine Night (author’s blog) http://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com
Ramblings from the darkness (art, writing & photography) http://ramblingsfromthedarkness.wordpress.com/
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/joleenenaylorbooks
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Joleene-Naylor/e/B002RPJGPG/
My other projects:
Cover art: http://coverart.joleenenaylor.com
The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy: http://terribleturtles.com/
Photography and Portfolio: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pandora_6666/