Interview on Sallie’s Book Reviews!

Sallie was kind enough to host me on her blog today! 

Sallie: What do you think makes a good story?
Jo: Good characters. It’s like the Harry Potter series, some of the storytelling was a bit lackluster, the final battle was a letdown, but everyone loves the series anyway because they love the characters. If you make great characters that leave people lots of room to play with (whether this means fan fiction or just ‘fantasizing about’) then readers will forgive a less than stellar story because they just want to see more of the character and learn more of those all important details.

Stop by to see the answers to other questions, such as what is the most common comment I get from readers and the all important one: Buffy or Xena?

http://yesterdaydaugher.blogspot.com/2013/02/joleene-naylor-author-of-ties-of-blood.html

 

In an Alternate Universe (Part 3)

I’ve been trying to keep my various projects separate, but I with the new Terrible Turtle Conspiracy  website up and running at  http://TerribleTurtles.com I thought, “What the heck!”

If you don;t know, The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy is a strange webcomic written by Jonathan Harvey – aka Jissilly – and illustrated by me.

To celebrate the new webpage, I’m posting a three part blog set  that crashes my characters into the Terrible Turtle Universe.  This, thelast of the three,  was written by myself in response to Legacy of Stalking (posted here as Alternate Universe 2).

(read Alternate Universe 1~~~~ read Alternate Universe 2 )

Enough is E-NUFF

Katelina watched through the window, waiting for Jorick to return. The back of her neck had been prickling ever since he’d left, and she hoped he hurried up. He and Loren were just running down to boy’s house and back, or so they’d said. But, they’d already been gone several minutes, and she was certain there was someone out there, the sound of their footsteps lost in the wind. Maybe she was just getting paranoid.

She moved to the couch and dropped onto it restlessly, but she was barely seated before the door opened and Loren strode into the room, conspicuously alone.

“Where’s Jorick?” she demanded. It wasn’t that Loren wasn’t all right, as vampires went, but he wasn’t the kind of guy she thought could do much about whoever was lurking out there. In fact, she was pretty sure a marshmallow could defeat the teen vampire.

“Taking care of something,” Loren answered with a smirk.

She wanted to press him for details, but Jorick chose that moment to appear, dragging behind him a scraggly vampire who looked oddly familiar… Oh no! It was that horrible Willie who’d kidnapped her last year and used her in an insidious plot to try to defeat Axe, the scourge of the undead! She well remembered being forced into a slinky black dress, covered in corn syrup blood and tied to a chair. But wait! Jorick tied him up and lit the barn on fire himself! Willie should have been roasted like a hot dog on a stick.

Mmm. Hot dog. That would sure taste better than that lousy microwave cherry crumble she’d had for dinner!

She jerked herself back to the present situation and demanded loudly, “What’s he doing here?”

Jorick dumped the bloody nosed vampire in the middle of the floor. “That’s what I’d like to know.” He studied Willie for a moment, as if reading him, and then his eyes narrowed dangerously. “I don’t even think so!”

Katelina waited, but no explanation came. In fact, to make things weirder, Jorick stormed into the dining room and returned with the yellow tablet and an ink pen. She hoped for a moment that he might stab Willie with it, but instead he sat in one of the wing backed chairs and began angrily scribbling something on the paper.

Everyone stared at him incredulously, but it was Willie who broke the silence, his voice thick through his broken nose, “Bat are you ‘oing?”

“I’m writing a letter,” Jorick answered savagely, his dark eyes fire as they skipped from the note to his captive. “To NUFF.”

Loren leaned on the back of the chair, casually trying to read what Jorick had written. “You mean the National Union of Fictional Folks?  What are you writing to them for?”

“Because I’ve had it,” Joricke snapped.  “I didn’t say a word when I had to appear in a fan fiction story with Axe the scourge of the Undead, or Biffy the vampire slayer, even though we were forced to talk in rhyme! It was my good deed for the century because that Jonathan Harvey is a nice guy. But was that enough? No! Now that author of ours is writing us into ‘Lost Chapters!’! I mean, what is that even supposed to be?”

“It’s like the deleted scenes on a DVD,” Katelina explained with an eye roll. “Maybe if you’d catch up with the twenty-first century?”

Jorick waved her away and continued, “If that wasn’t bad enough did you see what she did last week? Did you? She made me sparkle! SPARKLE!” (yes, yes I did)

Loren squinted at the paper, still struggling to decipher it. “I dunno.  I thought it was kinda fun.”

Jorick growled low in his throat. “I told her one more move like that and I was out of here. And this – This – is the final straw!  You know, she used to be a really good writer. She used to do doom and depression and dark, angry gore and now… Now look at this! I have a vampire named Willie in my living room! And he was planning to kidnap Katelina, no less, and haul her off for excitement and adventure! Bah! I would do anything for some good, old fashioned gloom!”

Willie did his best to manage a charming smile, and Katelina cringed away. “Kidnap me?”

Loren shrugged. “It’s not really our author’s fault. She didn’t write what’s-his-name in. She’s been hanging out with that Jissilly guy. I think he’s secretly hypnotizing her in emails to write silliness.” He broke off and then exclaimed, “Man, your handwriting is awful! Is that even English?”

“Yes, it is. And furthermore, it is a letter of resignation. I am informing NUFF that we’re leaving and they can just find someone else to replace us. I refuse to put up with anymore of-“

A knock at the door interrupted him. They all froze and stared at the door as if it was some kind of portal to another dimension. After all, they didn’t get visitors very often, and now they had two in the same night.

“If that’s Axe or Biffy I swear I am going to demand severance pay!”

But it wasn’t Axe or Biffy. Instead it was a short, mustached representative from NUFF. They let him in and he peered at the assembled group from behind his wire rimmed glasses. He cleared his throat, then announced, “We at NUFF are aware of your reactions. However, rest assured that all of this was cleared with headquarters days ago, and that, unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do without breaking your contracts. And, I assure you, you don’t want to do that.”  His mustache wiggled thoughtfully and he added, “Have a nice night.”

He was almost to the door when three vampires made eye contact.

It took Katelina a week to get the spot out of the rug.

*************
Hope you enjoyed our foray into silliness!

In an Alternate Universe (Part 2)

I’ve been trying to keep my various projects separate, but I have news cool enough to make it worth crossing over: the new Terrible Turtle Conspiracy  website is up at http://TerribleTurtles.com

The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy is a strange webcomic written by Jonathan Harvey – aka Jissilly – and illustrated by me.

To celebrate the new webpage, I’m posting a three part blog set  that crashes my characters into the Terrible Turtle Universe.  This, the second of the three,  was written a couple weeks ago by Jonathan Harvey- aka Jissilly.  I vaguely asked him if I could post it here. He’s cool like that.

(read Alternate Universe 1)

Legacy of Stalking

She’s coming out today!  I can feel it.  I’m so excited.  I am beside myself, which is weird.  I usually can’t even stand to be around me and here I was beside myself and here I was enjoying my own company like nobody’s business.  I have figured out their pattern.  Right now he’s saying, “Katelina! Me and my stupid little sidekick are going out to do vampire stuff, blah, blah, blah.  You need to stay here and read these out of date books and eat the boring frozen dinner I got you.”

Then she’s saying something like, “Oh, Jorick.  I can’t stomach another awful frozen dinner.  The cherry cobbler looks and tastes like monkey brains. Normal people just don’t eat this kind of crap.  I know you are doing terrible dangerous stuff and drinking blood and the whole thing makes me wanna puke, but please can I go with you.  You can’t leave me locked up here. Wa! Wa! Wa!”

Then he replies with a “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” I know that’s a lot of “blah” but Jorick is a “blah” kind of vampire.  He’s got the personality of a piece of wood.  After all the “Blah” he’ll tell Katelina that she needs to stay inside because it’s “too dangerous”.  Little will Mr. “Tall and Dark Moron” realize how right he is.

He and his little sidekick will leave to do whatever it is they do and then Katelina will not listen to him. She’ll feel the uncontrollable urge to go outside that crummy little beach house they live in.  That’s when I will make her life better.  I’m going to kidnap her from this life and have her stay with me!

I wonder if she remembers me.  I wonder if she remembers the time, when I Willie Osborn, kidnapped her on my brilliant attempt to use her and Jorick to throw the Scourge off my back. Now those were good times.  I would do anything for the opportunity to relive those days. Jorick, The Scourge, and Biffy the Vampire Killer had all fallen prey to my grand master plan.  You know?  For the life of me I can’t remember what went wrong.  All I remember is that I kidnapped Katelina, tied her up, and dressed her like a vampire.  Little did she know that all her crying and whining would melt my cold unbeating heart.  I just have to have her for my own.  I need to have Katelina for myself.

There goes Jorick and his little boy vampire now. Everything is going exactly as planned.  It’s only a matter of time before Katelina decides to go wandering.  That’s when I pounce!  I so love the word pounce.  Pouncing is what predators do.  That’s what I am.  I am a predator.  I am a vampire that likes to make a ruckus and I don’t care who sees.  No one can stop me and the destruction I leave in my wake.  The Scourge can’t stop me.  Biffy can’t stop me.  Jorick sure can’t stop me.  And don’t even get me started on the Vampire Guild.

Too late!  I have gotten started. Who gave that sanctimonious bunch of losers the right to think they can govern vampirism?  I am still baffled by that name.  Do they really expect to strike fear in the hearts of monsters with a name like that?  “Oh my!  It’s the Vampire Guild!  I’m so scared!”  Please!  Their name makes them sound like they belong in the Wizard of Um.  “We represent the Vampire Guild.  The Vampire Guild!  The Vampire Guild!  And, In the name of the Vampire Guiiiiiild!  We’d love to torture you and bite your neck.”  Man, the Wizard of Um would have been so much better if I wrote it.

Oh man!  She didn’t leave the house yet did she? That would be just my luck to go on rambling about the Vampire Guild only to discover that my opportunity to pounce on Katelina was lost in the wind. Wait.  I see her shadow moving about on the curtains.  Heh, heh, she’s probably going to make sure that Jorick is good and gone before she sneaks out to get into mischief.  Too bad Katelina, it looks like this time mischief is going to get on you.

Yawn.  It sure is taking a long time for her to make her move.  Once I’m done kidnapping her, I am going to give her a serious scolding about wasting my time. It’s not like Jorick picks interesting places to hide out.  The guy is the king of boring.  He’s cheap too.  I know the guy’s got a big enough stash to afford a nice penthouse or something.  Why can’t he hide out someplace cool?

You know?  Maybe I should just go knock on the door.  I bet I could sweep Katelina off her feet.  What does she see in the king of boring anyway?  I’ve been watching them for some time.  He’s not even all that nice to her.  I think she should trade up for the Alpha Vamp.  I’ll show her the adventure she secretly longs for.  Heck, she thinks her life is in constant peril now.  Just wait until she spends an evening with me. I think more people want to destroy me than those sparkly emo vamps in those books for teenagers.  Trust me.  Everyone wants to destroy those guys.

Once I kidnap Katelina, Jorick is going to be so ticked.  He’s going to be all.  “Where is my Katelina?  I was spending so much time with silly teenage vampire friend that I left her vulnerable. Now who will whine to me about my vampire ways.  Oh boo hoo hoo.  I am such a loser.  I am such a moron.  I think I’ll go and condition my long dark hair.  I’m such an idiot that I…”

*Snap*

Was that a twig?  Oh crap.  He’s right behind me, isn’t he?

“Hey Jorick.  It’s me!  You know, I’m your good buddy, Willie, from way back. Yeah, I was just keeping a watch on the beach house for you.  No need to thank me…  Oh.  I see your going to start with the violence and the hurting again.  You are so predictable my frein…. Owwww!  I fink you boke my nose!”

Read his original post here

In an Alternate Universe (Part 1)

I’ve been trying to keep my various projects separate, but I have news cool enough to make it worth crossing over: the new Terrible Turtle Conspiracy  website is up at http://TerribleTurtles.com

The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy is a strange webcomic written by Jonathan Harvey – aka Jissilly – and illustrated by me.

To celebrate the new webpage, I will be posting a three part blog set  that crashes my characters into the Terrible Turtle Universe.  This, the first of the three,  was written last year by Jonathan Harvey- aka Jissilly –  for the Shades of Gray contest.  I vaguely asked him if I could post it here. He’s cool like that.

(Notation from Jonathan)  [this story] stars a vampire named Willy.  Way back in my Navy days I played a role playing game called “Vampire: The Masquerade”.    Willy was my character for that game.  He was a successful character because I used a lot of humor and imagination when I played him, but he became so dark that I started freaking people out.  I gave up the game, but there will always be a Willy inside, just waiting for a story opportunity.


The Price of Fame


By Jonathan Harvey, 2009

This was going to be hard because I knew in the end, that there was simply no way he would wind up my friend.  Jorick was a monster, but not quite like me.  I’m glad that I’m evil.  It’s for all to see.  My name is Willy, and I’m out there man!  I don’t even take time to make up a real plan.  I just fly by my pants and I do what I please.  I could really care less if somebody sees.  Most vampires, like Jorick, will hide who they are, lest some vampire hunter will come from afar.  Well, that’s what was happening and I was to blame.  I put on a show and I went for the fame.  I flaunt who I am.  I just really don’t care.  Sure, I might be insane, but I’m insane with flair.  My need for attention keeps me on the run.  It’s monsters like me that the vampires shun.

So, I had to tell Jorick, just to give him a chance.  If he needed to run, well, he’d know in advance.  The Axe man was coming.  He would soon be in town, and at vampire hunting, this guy took the crown.  He was fast.  He was mean.  He was strong as ox.  He was hunting me down.  You know?  That kind of rocks!  It means I hit the big time.  I’m in the “Who’s Who”.  I should soon have a book and a movie deal too.  The story of Willy!  Wow!  That rings a bell.  I could be the next Drac!  Things might go that well.

But now, Jorick’s attention, getting that was my goal.  So I captured his girl and tied her to a pole.  It was a nice little barn in an out of the way farm.  Not too many around but a farmer to harm. The girl tied up nicely.  She would make good bait.  I just needed the setting, and then I would wait.  I was not going to hurt her, just taste her a little and cover her neck with my vampire spittle.  I took me some time and I fixed her up right. I dressed her in black with a dress that’s too tight.   I styled up her hair, and so that she would look nice, I made her fake vampire fangs out of rice.  I got some corn syrup and a little red dye, and then I made some fake blood.  It’s so good I could cry.  Then I covered her in it.  I covered the floor.  I made funny splatters all over the door.  It looked really great.  You could tell it was fake, just a little vamp fun I was trying to make.

But then, Jorick arrived, and he was mad as a hen.  I said, “Just calm right down, now breath deep, count to ten.  She has not been harmed.  It is quite plane to see.  I only did this so you’d listen to me.”

But then he started punching.  Then, he punched me some more.  He got me right in the face, and I fell to the floor.  I tried to stay down, but it just wouldn’t work.  I was beginning to think that Jorick was a jerk.

I said, “Don’t hit my teeth.  Won’t you watch how you punch?  If you knock out my fangs, how am I to eat lunch?  Will you please stop and hear me?  What am I to do?  If you tied up my girl, I wouldn’t do this to you!”

Jorick wouldn’t listen.  Don’t believe all the hype.  When it comes to vampires, he’s the mean angry type.  He has no sense of humor.  I was joking around.  He kept picking me up and throwing me to the ground.  Things were getting dangerous.  This fight had to stop. So, I sprayed him with mace that I stole from a cop.  Then I picked up a shovel and hit him one time.  Then, I gave him a wedgie.  Now, is that such a crime?

Jorick was rubbing his eyes and cursing my name.  It made me feel good.  He had heard of my fame.  While he caught his breath and got ready to fight, I said, “I did this for you and it does not seem right, that you should be violent because of these pranks.  I’ve got important new.  You know, you should say, ‘thanks’.”

It was quite plain to see, Jorick didn’t agree.  He would not calm down.  He was charging at me.  He was wanting round two.  This was really no fun.  There was nothing to do.  I decided to run.  I ran like the wind, like a stallion on speed.  I ran like a cat that is ready to feed.  I didn’t get far.  He tackled me to the ground.  Once more it’s my face he decided to pound.

“Hey, could you just stop.  I have not harmed the girl.  This fighting is old.  Let’s give talking a whirl.”  Perhaps he got tired, but he stopped with the hitting.  He got off my chest, and soon we were both sitting.

Jorick gave me a snarl and asked, “Why are you here?”  I mean, what’s with the snarl. Should it fill me with fear?  These vampires today, they just bully and yell.  They throw big hissy fits each time things don’t go well.

“I hate to tell you, but I’m here on the run.  I’m just passing through, and I’m under the gun.  The Scourge is pursuing.  He’s real mad at me.  I guess he caught wind of my last killing spree.  I’ve tried hard to shake him, but that guy just won’t shake.  I don’t think he’ll stop until my heart meets his stake”

Jorick then shook his head, “Why’d you bring him here.  You need to leave now.  Have I made myself clear?”

Why did I come with the Scourge on my heels?  I needed a distraction and perhaps a few meals.  I secretly hoped that Scourge would come see my newest friend Jorick and forget about me.  I couldn’t say that.  I knew it would not go well.  My mind started searching for a good lie to tell. “This thing with the Scourge, it is going all wrong.  My days, they are numbered.  It should not be long.  I was hoping you’d help me and that we could be friends.  Sure, I behaved badly.  Please let me make amends.”

“Well, I can’t be running, and neither should you.  Perhaps, we’ll join forces and see this thing through.”  Jorick’s mind was now racing.  He’s not a bad guy.  To know I’d betray him almost made me cry.

“A joining of forces, yes that would be best.  We can take on the Scourge, put our might to the test.”  Put our might to the test?  Just what was I saying?  That Scourge was too good at his vampire slaying.  Yes, Jorick was tough.  He could sure beat me up.  When it came to the Scourge, he was just a scared pup.  We needed much more than just taking a stand.  It was time to be sneaky. We needed a plan.  We could both fake our deaths, or else he could fake mine.  He might not come to town and then things would be fine.

I stood there thinking, searching for an out.  Jorick turned to the girl, that’s what he’s all about.  Suddenly from behind, I heard a loud crash.  Was the Scourge here already?  He is like a bad rash.  It wasn’t the scourge but some red headed chick.  By the way that she moved, I was going to be sick.

“I am Biffy!” she said.  “It is my lucky day.  I was hoping to kill me a vampire today.”

I am not proud off this.  I’m a fiend and a liar.  I screamed, “Jorick!  You monster!  You nasty vampire!  Biffy is here to save us at last!  Go get him Biffy.  You had better move fast.”

Biffy saw the rope and she saw the fake blood.  She saw I was beaten and covered in mud.  She saw the young girl still tied up in the chair.  This was mostly my fault, but then, what did I care?  She jumped to attack him.  I snuck out the door.  I was feeling quite guilty, right down to the core.  Not so guilty of course, that I was getting involved.  With this Biffy battle, my problems were solved.  The Scourge needs a vampire and Biffy kills one.  When the Scourge does show up, he will think that he’s done.

I was ready to bolt, but then he caught my eye.  The Scourge had arrived.  I’m not ready to die.  Why is nothing easy?  Things don’t go my way.  Or, maybe they do, it’s a sly game I play.  The Scourge was approaching.  I let out a cry, “That vampires tied up my girlfriend! Why?  Why?”

The Scourge rushed in the barn and he joined in the fray.  Perhaps this was going to be my lucky day.  I ran to my car and grabbed my gas can.  I would burn up the barn.  What a marvelous plan.  No Scourge, no Biffy, and no Jorick to fight!  With them all burned up, I’d be famous alright.  I poured gas round the barn.  This was going to be fun.  I would light up a match, start a fire, and then run.  There was a good chance that all three could get free.  With chances come fun, and well, fun is just me.

I searched through my pockets, no matched found I.  I don’t own a lighter.  I was ready to cry.  I was about to give up and leave them to their fight.  When I heard, from behind, someone say, “Need a light?”

Oh Crap!

I turned around slowly and there all three stood.  They had untied the girlfriend.  This did not look good.  They were not at all gentle.  They tied me up tight.  I was stuck on the pole when Jorick lit the light.  With the flames and the smoke I would soon meet my end.  I said, “Why Jorick, why?  I thought I was your friend?  Those guys kill our kind.  They are not on your side.”

“I have secret.  To you, I’ll confide.  If I helped end your terror, they’ll leave me alone.  You made a good patsy, but we all must go.  For a maniac genius, you really are slow.”

Everyone left.  I supposedly died.  No one but Jorick knows we both lied.  Jorick gave me a knot that he knew I’d undo.  The Surge left him alone and left me alone too.  I’d better lay low for a few days or so, but you know I’ll be back.  I have no place to go.  I’m writing a book, because I have the urge to tell everyone about how we tricked the Scourge.  Jorick will get the fame he’s always feared.  He’ll be in a book, now won’t that be weird.

You can see his original posting here

And, though there’s no vampires, you should still check out the TTTC site: http://TerribleTurtles.com

  • Tales of the Executioners

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    Joleene Naylor

    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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