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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Interview with Mr. M

downloadWelcome, Mr. M. Please tell us a little something about your newest release.

Brian is that boy in middle school that is trying to fit in. That is definitely how I felt in middle school.  I wanted to fit in. He soon learns that he is not your ordinary, average, boy. His grandma is a ghost that practices black magic. Brian learns that in order to save his mother he will have to become a ghost and take down his grandma.

 What inspired you to write it?

Writing is something that I like to do for fun. The first three chapters are part of an unpublished short story. I really enjoy writing about relationships.

What was your favorite part?

I love the moment where Brian reveals to his best friend Johnny, that his grandma is an evil witch. They are both staring at this porthole with Murdock (a ghost tracker). Johnny sort of thinks he is losing his mind.  Brian knows he has to rescue his mom and his uncle.

            “I’ve got to get my mom and my uncle back,” I said.

            “Who is he?”

            “That’s Murdock. He’s with us.”

            “Nice to meet you,” Johnny said with a nod. He looked over at me. His blue eyes were the widest they had ever been. “Okay,” he said. “I believe you.”

 I like it because it is important to have friends you can count on. Johnny is the kind of guy Brian counts on.  The rest of the passage continues to show just how important good friends are.

 Do you have a favorite character? Why are they your favorite?

I obviously love Brian. He is the main character. I like him because he is real. He isn’t a goody two shoes. If anything, he sometimes comes across slightly sarcastic. However, Brian is always a guy you can route for. I really enjoyed writing about the close relationships Brian has with his friends.

What do you have planned next?

I want to write stories that appeal to you adults.  Some writers want to be the next Tom Clancy or John Grisham. I enjoy writing for young adults. Some of my favorite books of all time are young adult stories. I love Catcher And The Rye, The Outsiders, Rumblefish, and Wonder.

Where can people find more of you and/or your work?

This is my first book.  I am working on another.  Stay tuned for more!

Tell us one interesting thing about yourself or your book.

I am a huge sports fan.  I love the Dodgers and the Lakers.  Watching “Showtime Basketball” was an amazing time for Laker fans.  I am really excited that Byron Scott is returning to the Lakers as a coach.  He was one of my favorite players.

 

About the Author

Mr. M. lives in Los Angeles, California. A long-time fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Roswell, and Lost, Mr. M. always wanted to write his own stories. The Magical Adventures of Brian Leonard is his first published book.

You can get your copy of  The Magical Adventures of Brian Leonar by Mr. M at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Magical-Adventures-Brian-Leonard/dp/1497511305

Smashwords Interviews

Image representing Smashwords as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Smashwords introduced author interviews several days ago, but being the pokey puppy I am (does anyone else remember that children’s book?) I’ve only just gotten mine done.  You can check out my Smashwords interview here.  And, for the sake of some meat in this potato-style blog, here’s one of my answers.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up in the south west corner of Iowa in a tiny pocket of unreality; a place that time literally had not caught up to (and still has not). Everything was a little slower, a little smaller, and a little quieter. Farmers with withered sun tanned skin woke up at five in the morning and had coffee in the small cafe at seven. Carhart and coveralls were the fashion, the county fair was one of the big events of summer and the volunteer fire department still had dances in the street. I dreamed of escaping to a metropolitan area that was “like TV”, but moving doesn’t matter. Those kind of places aren’t only around you, but in you, and you can’t run from what’s inside. It oozes out in my writing; in my settings and my descriptions. There is nothing creepier to me than a dark field of corn or an abandoned barn. The backdrops of my books are small towns, slowly dying, with grass choked parking lots and rain striped motels. My monsters lurk in the woods and live in the abandoned farm house. They drive down old highways and shop in the local chain stores. And why not? There’s a subtle beauty in the Midwest; in old gray barns and rusted windmills. I only hope I can capture it.

I promise the rest of the answers aren’t as long winded.

And while you’re there check out DM Yate’s interview. I loved her answer to “What do your fans mean to you?”

“Readers of my work are precious to me because they’ve taken the time to read what I’ve written. I enjoy introducing readers to my new world and waiting for their reactions.”

and Roger Lawrence’s interview. His answer to “What is your writing process?” is similar to what mine would be:

I just get it all down as it comes out and edit much later, since the majority of my books are written with no planning. I just begin with a sentence, or perhaps a line of dialogue and see how it goes. This often results in dead ends and frustration, but for me is the only way to write. That includes my newest book about the potentially eternal man. I knew how it would begin and even knew what would happen in the middle, but I let the end take care of itself. In fact I have two endings written and shall let my wonderful beta readers advise as to which they think is the better.
There are hundreds of other interviews, so take some time and browse around. You might find a new favorite author.
if you’re an author and you’ve done a Smashword’s interview, leave us the link below.
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Amanda and I are Talking about Verchiel…

verchiel

verchiel (Photo credit: Jo Naylor)

todayI am hanging out with Amanda Masters on her  Wicca Witch 4 Book Blog. She had some great questions for me, including:

Verchiel is a pretty big pain but I think he helped out a lot in Heart of the Raven Do you think he should be forgiven for what he did?

Go see what I said and let me know what you think! Should Katelina and Jorick forgive him?

http://wiccawitch4.blogspot.com/2013/04/my-interview-with-joleene-naylor.html#.UWj8HbVQEeE

Zigzag-ety Zigginess!

Zig-Zag

Zig-Zag (Photo credit: zigazou76)

Yeah, okay, weird title. Today Mary Fan at Zigzag Timeline was kind enough to post an interview with yours truly.  Where in I discuss such interesting things as the inspiration behind my series, the importance of cover art, and what I’d like to do with one fictional character. So check it out, and while you’re there be sure to read some of her other interviews and also check out Mary’s sci-fi novel Artificial Absolutes.

http://zigzagtl.blogspot.com/2013/04/author-interview-joleene-naylor.html

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    An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

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