Author Questions Part I

joleene naylor 2 (1)Those who missed the week long facebook party missed a lot of games and fun. One of the games we played was “Ask ANY Character a Question” – I shared the resultant questions and answers in a pair of blogs earlier. Another game we played was “Ask the Author”. I got a LOT of really good questions, and some of the answers might be interesting so I thought I’d share those too.

Have a question no one asked? feel free to post it in the comments!

What stops you from getting your books out and in the mainstream?

Mainstream is subjective. If you mean bookstores, you can order the books from Barnes and Noble’s counters (at least the first one anyway) but as for being in stock, they only stock books they can return and CS won’t allow returns. If you mean a traditional publisher or small indy press, I don’t want to hand my rights over to them. That’s a matter of choice and some authors prefer it, but indy authors usually get higher royalty rates and, no matter how you’re published, unless you’re a power house name you still have to do your own advertising anymore.

Is there any part, in any of the books in this series that you wish you would have written differently? Or parts that you want to change?

Ooooo. I wish in the first book we’d gotten to see more of the action, but I still can’t think of any way to do, it short of writing a different character, because there’s no way they’d have allowed Katelina to *see* it. There are several other scenes in the series – like that – that I’d like to “see”, so I guess sometimes I wish I’d done as romance and fantasy books do with multiple PoV. It sometimes gets hard to make Katelina always in the right place at the right time.

When you started writing the series did you have a long term goal in mind or has it just evolved book to book and how many books do you foresee for this series?

Nope! I had the first two in mind (originally they were one book that got cut in half) but past that it’s kind of been touch and go. I know there will be Masque of the Vampire (book 8) and book 9 (might be Goddess of Night) but after that I don’t know. I have a poll set up for reader input. (Feel free to go vote! ha ha!)

Have you ever considered a different genre?

My brother and I are working on a fantasy novel – as yet untitled but fun- and there’s a fantasy romance I and a friend would like to write someday (it will be awesome if we can get out schedules aligned!) And I’ve done sci-fi and contemporary horror short stories. I can do straight contemporary, but it’s usually awful. Not so much awfully written as awful things happen to the characters. The Patrick prequel is a pretty good example of that, and it even has vampires.

Who inspired you?

As far as vampires go, I took a good dose of inspiration from the movie Interview with the Vampire and then later from the first few Laurel K. Hamilton books (before it became Erotica). But as for who inspired me to write, that would be my mom – Bonnie Mutchler. She’s a writer and poet (she has poetry books on Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iBooks for free) and so I grew up with the concept that that was just “normal”.

Do you ever see yourself adding some other supernatural creatures to the books

I’ve actually thought about it (Jorick and Katelina discuss it in book 2, even) but at the time EVERYONE was doing that (it was all vampires and werewolves mostly) so I refused because I figured there were enough of them already. At this point I think I’d probably do a new universe for other creatures because it would be too difficult to weave them into what I’ve already set up.

Are your drawings of the characters a reflection of how you see them in your mind?

They’re close. Like I always picture Zuri with white hair instead of black and Claudius I see as a skinny version of Bradly James – bowl haircut and all (probably sort of based on a younger version of the guy who played Gisbon in the old BBC Robin Hood with Michael Praed.) In my head they’re a mix of anime and real people – And of course there’s the artist’s lament that it “never comes out exactly as you imagined it”. I’m currently working on gathering images of real people – okay, my mom is actually gathering them. I just say “yea” or “nay”.

How did you get started to get your books out there?

First I queried agents – everyone was apparently sending in vampire stories at the time, and so what few letters I got back said “no vampires”. I had some friends on MySpace (this dates it!) Who had indy published (this was 2008 when it was still a dirty word) and though I thought about it but was too scared. Then a friend of mine named Dan – who had the manuscript to read – made me a ” fake ” publishing website and formatted the book into paperback (along with writing the awesome review which is still on Amazon) and said “See? This is what it would look like. You can do it.” There was still a lot of research and terror and learning and research, but he gets the credit for the push.

If you could rewrite one scene from any book, what would it be and why?

Ooooooo. The fight in Claudius’ den when Jorick rescues Katelina. Troy just rolls down the stairs already dead, and after writing the prequel he is waaay more important than to die unseen like that. He needs a more satisfying death. I might work in into a short story somehow.

If you wrote a romance novel, what would the plot be?

It would probably end up being fantasy… Actually the one my friend and I want to write is a romance. It’s a pair of angels who end up on earth in human bodies and forget who and what they are so they have to find one another again. Meanwhile Lucifer wants them.

I have two questions – 1 if the books were made onto a movie who would you like to play Jorick and 2 would you ever write any of the book from Jorick’s point of view. I would love to know what he is thinking. I would also love to have a look at what is was like for him watching Katelina and coming to terms with falling in love with her. 

Hmmmm… I honestly don’t know. With makeup they can do wonders, but the actor would need to have a presence. Kind of like Roman Reigns on WWE has. Here’s really not as big as a lot of the guys he wrestles but he “seems” big. Jorick needs to have that kind of presence about him. And YES! I want you see that too! That’s why I did the flashback in Katelina’s dream in book 2, but it wasn’t really enough. I’m actually turning over writing a Jorick book either after Masque or else after Goddess of Night.

How many years have you been writing stories?

Since I was a tiny tiny kid. I have an illustrated story somewhere of a girl who gets a telephone call and goes roller skating that I wrote before I could read (the spelling is phonetic ha ha!) She had curly hair and her dress color changes on every page. It’s hilarious.

Do you foresee this being a long running series?

I’m actually not sure. After book nine I’ve been thinking about taking a break from the main series and doing some stand alone books – I have Patrick’s written and rewritten already. Also considering a book about Jorick’s past (which my brain is ahead running with) and there are a lot of other characters that might be fun. But I’m undecided because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. There is actually a poll on my website about whether the series should continue.

 

What advice would you give someone who is wanting to write ..

The most important advice is: write. Just write the story/book/novella and then get someone who can be honest to read it. This is really hard to do because most people don’t want to hurt your feelings or don’t know how to edit. It took a long time for me to find someone – and you NEED someone. I don’t care how good a writer you are, your story can be eighty percent better if you have someone honest who says ” this isn’t working ” because even the best writer has parts that aren’t working. But this honest person has to be someone you trust because if you don’t trust their suggestions you’re not going to take them. Not that it means you have to take every one of them. My best critic right now doesn’t read vampire books, so there are things he says he’d change that are important to the genre. I ignore some of those suggestions, but on other things he’s completely right. Anyway. Important advice. Write. Find an honest editor who can tell you the truth nicely and can also tell you what DOES work, because that’s just as important to know. And the compliments help break up the ego crashes.

Do you have ideas you can share on how you see this series ending?

Right now I see it ending, whether at the ninth book or not, with Katelina and Jorick retiring to their house in Maine to live happily ever after. In the end I’m a romance junky and I want a happy ending!

Have a question they didn’t ask? Put it in the comments and I will add it to Part II!

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5 Comments

  1. This is a great post!

    Reply
  2. I remember these from the party! It’s fun to see them over here. I agree. Mainstream is subjective. With people going online so much now, it blurs together with trad publishing.

    Reply
    • Yep! I tend to think of Mainstream the way Marilyn Manson once quoted it – he said it was when farm wives in Nebraska knew your name. In that case, there are plenty of traditionally published books that haven’t made it, and very, very few that have.,

      Reply
  1. Author Questions Part II | Amaranthine by Joleene Naylor

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