Interview with Stephan Morse


Today we have Stephan Morse, author of The Fiasco in News, with us. His book will release August first. To celebrate, he has a Rafflecopter contest going on that you can enter for a chance at a paperback copy!

TheFiascoInNews800CoverRevealPromotionalJo: Welcome Stephan! Please tell us a little something about your newest release.

Stephan:  My newest book is The Fiasco In News, which follows Adam Millard­—a sarcastic and cursed person in a world of high superpowers like Marvel of D.C. universes. Adam’s power attracts superpowered events of all sorts and keeps him alive. Since he has no other powers of note, we end up getting a chronic kidnap victim’s point of view on all these hero and villain events. I took a chance to showcase less desirable abilities, how they impact people, those trying to find their place in a crazy world, and the repercussions of being constantly yanked around by people with too much power.

J: That sounds really interesting! I love superheroes and I always find it interesting when they’re looked at from a different perspective. What inspired you to write this story?

S: Over the years I’ve read a lot of comics, seen the movies and series coming out, and a ton of books. I love the genre backdrop that super powers can bring to a story and sought a lesser used point of view on the old situations. The idea sat on the back burner a few years while I finished another series. Since that other series wrapped up July of last year, I found myself drawn to The Fiasco as a chance to be deliberately humorous while still writing a serious plotline. It was a great chance to branch out into new genres.

J: What is your favorite part of The Fiasco in News?

S: There are a ton of parts to The Fiasco’s first book which amuse me greatly. So much, that I’m fairly sure someone else sneaked in while I slept (or one of the many editors who’ve perused the piece) wrote all the humor. I assume I did all the dry and boring bits. In this case the best part was a specific line that I got to hear over and over as part of the audiobook auditions. There’s a snippet in there where Adam, narrating to the reader, tries to provide a lesson. It makes me laugh every time. I dug up the full line for anyone interested.

“So I’ll pause the recount here with a hard-learned life lesson. If a woman whose hobbies include gutting children’s storybook villains is even remotely attracted to you, don’t ever mention another girl in her hearing. Don’t even mention that you know other girls. Don’t mention that your mother or grandmother are technically female. Hopefully you just popped into being and grew up in a vacuum. Of course that’s insane, but so is The Alice. And please, if you meet The Alice, don’t tell her I ever mentioned any of this. Just smile and tell that wonderful woman that I’m counting the seconds until our next reunion.”

J: Hahahahahahahaha! Yeah, that is a good one – and some good advice! What was your least favorite part in writing The Fiasco?

S: Knowing that I wrote one book that feels amazingly creative, humorous, and slightly maddening. I rarely, ever, feel proud of my own work (despite my wife’s support), but this one struck me as a great combination of those elements. The least favorite part comes in knowing I may not be able to pull it off twice more to finish out the series. I aim to try.

J: I bet you can! Or else you can bribe the writer elves who did it this time. I sometimes think writer elves nip in and do the good parts of my own books while I’m asleep! Especially with some of my characters…Speaking of characters, do you have a favorite from The Fiasco?

S: There were a lot of side characters in this novel, probably too many to pick a favorite one. Of the main characters, of course I identify a bit with Adam. He’s sarcastic to the point of painful dryness. Giving voice to that was a wonderful activity. Alice sneaked up on me as a character in terms of enjoyment. However, if I were to pick a favorite one, it would be Flux—for reasons that would contain spoilers. He’s the small flying camera orb on the cover with a red eye, and was fun to write.

J: Okay, since you can’t tell us too much about your characters, tell us something interesting about you!

S: I’m utterly useless on my own and this is all my wife’s fault. So if this interesting fact makes it to the final page, you’ll know she agrees.

J: Ha ha! Well, she must agree! What do you (and your wife) have planned next?

S: A lot. Most immediately, I’ll be finishing the fourth book on an Urban Fantasy series I’m writing. After that I’ve got a Fantasy Apocalypse series to debut, and of course the second book in The Fiasco’s series.

J: Sounds like you’re both going to be busy! Before you escape to get to work, erm, I mean, head out, tell us where we can find more of you and your work.

S: Me, myself, and all my ineloquent musings can be found at—which is my website. My wife (who’s super awesome) also posts from time to time on stuff she finds, books, games, television shows, and so on. We try to share what inspires us.You can also follow me on twitter @FrustratedEgo, or drop a line through My work can be found on Amazon

J: And we’re out of time. A huge thank you to Stephan and his (awesome) wife! Don’t forget to check out that rafflecopter!


Interview with Sin

Hello! My name is Katelina, and welcome to Weekend Character Interviews. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo author magic, Jo has temporarily bent the laws of fictional space and time to allow various literary universes to converge long enough for me to ask different characters a few questions. Since I spend a lot of time in the Amaranthine series quizzing vampires on what they’re doing, where they’re going and why, Jo thought I would be the perfect interviewer.

Today we are interviewing Sin from Shaun Allan’s novel Sin.

Katelina: Hello Sin! Welcome! So the book is named after you?

Sin: Yep. The book I’m in is called Sin.  Yes, the same as my name.  That wasn’t my doing – I’m not being all self-obsessed or anything like that.  Blame the writer, some guy called Shaun Allan or something.

K: Must be nice. My series is named after a flower or a rock or something. I dunno, my lousy author found it on Enough of that, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

S: I’m just an ordinary guy.

Well, I wish I was just an ordinary guy.  Unfortunately I’m not.  People have a habit of dying around me.  As such, though I’m originally from Grimsby, an old fishing port in the UK, I’m now residing in a mental asylum.

I’m 5’9”, a few pounds more than I would like but not many and my hair is grey at my temples.  It’s been that way for years.  I can’t think why.  Oh, and I’ve got a nice bum.

Well, I may not have, but I thought I’d throw that in there.

K: Wow, well at least you have a sense of humor still. You say people die around you? Um… I’m not going to ask how. Heh-heh.  Though I’ve seen a lot of people die, and as someone with a …  maybe similar experience(No, no, I don’t want to know HOW they die… I don’t judge) I have to ask, are you haunted by those that have died? 

S: Yes.  I hear their screams every night and most days.  When it gets too much, I kick-off so they come and top up my drug levels.  Not that it works particularly well.

K: They give you drugs? What the heck! I don’t get drugs! Moving on, would you say you evolve through the story?

S: I do, yes.  In various ways.  At the start, people tend not to be keen on me, which is a shame as I’m actually lovely (honest).  As the story goes on, they realise that, although bad things happen, I do try my best to stop them.  Also, I do end up getting a handle on these issues (without giving anything away) and do my best to make good.

Asylum for Insane, Queen West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1910)

photo by Toronto Public Library Special Collections under CC license

K: Well, you seem okay to me. But then my boyfriend rips vampires’ hearts out, so you know. Speaking of that, do you have any enemies in this book?

S:  I do, though I don’t realise it to begin with.  There’s Dr. Connors.  To the outside world, he’s a talented psychiatrist whose only intent is to help and care for people.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  He knows what I can do and wants to use it for himself.

K: So is defeating him your biggest challenge in the book?

S: No. It’s accepting myself, I suppose.  Coming to terms with everything that I’d done.  And facing my sister, who died – although she might just be in my head.

K: In your head, huh? (Still not judging). So, how about the romance angle in the story? Are you involved with someone?

S:  I was, once.  But she used to take a certain bus to work…

K: Um… okay. I’m going to guess… nope, no guessing. So what would you say is the one thing you want most?

S: To be normal.  To be able to watch TV, walk down the street or eat a bacon butty and not worry if people will die.

K: I’ve heard of bacon butties, but what are they? How do you make them?

S: Don’t use smoked bacon, and make sure it’s just edging on crispy.  Then you only need bread and butter.  Why mess about with the taste by adding ketchup or brown sauce?

Commence Battle Bacon!

photo by Mafu under CC license

K: So it’s a bacon and butter sandwich? Interesting. That actually sounds kind of good.

S: Oh!  Why did you make me think of a bacon butty?  We only get slop in here, so the last thing I need to be thinking of is a crispy bacon butty… Thanks…

K: Sorry about that, though you did mention them first… You’re not a serial killer are you? No, never mind, don’t tell me. Let’s just go with this question: What event do you feel shaped your personality?

S: Probably being called ‘Sin’ by my parents.  It caused a lot of beatings in the playground and a lot of jokes from my father.  It meant I treat most things, good or bad, with a dry sense of humour laced with sarcasm.

K: Oh. I thought that was like a nickname. It looks like we’re running out of time, but I have two questions left. If you could say one thing to your readers, what would it be?

S: Don’t flip a coin you happen to find on the street.  See a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck.  That’s what they told you.  They lied.

K: That’s a bit cryptic. And if you could say one thing to your author?

S: Couldn’t you have written for Disney instead?

K: That’s a good one! I’d ask mine that but she’s such a psycho Disney wouldn’t take her!


And with that we’re out of time! You can find Sin in his own self-titled novel Sin by Shaun Allan, available at Amazon:

And a special thank you to Shaun Allan for playing along!

If you’re an author and would like your character(s) to be interviewed by me, then check out this very cool page that has all the details:

Interview with Dakota

Hello! My name is Katelina, and welcome to Weekend Character Interviews. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo author magic, Jo has temporarily bent the laws of fictional space and time to allow various literary universes to converge long enough for me to ask different characters a few questions. Since I spend a lot of time in the Amaranthine series quizzing vampires on what they’re doing, where they’re going and why, Jo thought I would be the perfect interviewer. 

Today we have Dakota from the Emily Dahill, CID Part by Lindsay Downs! You might remember that we had Gerri and her cat recently? Well, I did say we should have a dog to make things even and guess what?

We do!

Even cooler, the laws of literary universes have been further bent so we can have a conversation with Dakota! Let’s give a big welcome to our furry visitor!

Emily Dahill, CID Part 1

Katelina: Welcome Dakota! Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Dakota: It is just so cool being here and away, even for a little while, from work and mom. There’s really not all that much to tell. You know, everyone thinks us collies all look alike. In other words those silly humans think of me as that one from TV and the movies…oh what’s her name. (deep in thought he scratches his muzzle with a hind paw) Oh yeah, Lassie. Well, let me tell you we’re as different as you people. I’m what’s called a tri-color, meaning I have black, tan, or as I like to call it sable. Sounds classier, don’t you think and white. All three are distinctive, as you can see. (Dakota chuckles as he pirouettes to show off his coloration). Mom, that’s Emily, says I have the most expressive deep brown eyes she’s ever seen.

K: You do have very pretty eyes. –

Jorick (appears) Now who has pretty eyes? If it’s another one of those fantasy heroes-

K: *sarcastically* It’s a dog, Jorick. A dog. See?

Jorick: Oh, right. Is it house trained?

*Dakota and Katelina give him a disdainful look*

K: Moving on. I’m guessing you live with Emily?

D: She and I share a really nice log house sort of buried in the woods. We even have a family of wolves that live nearby. Sometimes I’ll sneak some table scraps to take them so their mother, when she has trouble getting out to hunt, can feed the kits.

K: That sounds nice! I wouldn’t mind a trip out to the woods for a few weeks – provided there’s a TV. Though I guess TV probably isn’t a priority for you, huh?

D: Don’t forget, I’m a collie and to me the important things in life are food, sleep, play, food, play, oh did I mention sleep and food and helping to catch bad guys.

K: You mention bad guys. Do you have any enemies?

D: Not so much me but mom have a nemesis. From what I’ve been able to understand mom doesn’t know the guy’s name. Only that he has brown hair, so that’s how we refer to him as ‘the brown-haired man’. The best way to find out about this person and there’s no guarantee the name used is even his real one is to read the first story Final Mission. This happened before Emily and I hooked up. But I did have a chance meeting with the bum in the story A Body in the Snow. That’s where I first caught his scent. And let me tell you, he had a stink that could raise the dead. I knew he to be a danger mostly to mom so I quickly developed a special deep throat growl when I get a whiff of him. It’s happened since that story was first told. You can learn more about him and me in A Body in the Attic where he reappears.

As far as the how’s and why’s he became the enemy, I don’t think even mom knows.

K: Is he going to be back for future stories?

D: I don’t know. I’ve heard that Emily is talking to someone about other stories but don’t really know anything about that.

a collie in profile.jpg

photo by Joleene Naylor

D: Right! I’m sweet, adorable, loveable, and a good partner, always looking after her back. Oh, did I mention sexy as hell. All the girls just love me. Must be my killer smile. (He smiled at me to show off that smile). Seen better.

K: Ha ha! So if all the girls love you, does that mean you have a little Collie sweetheart somewhere?

D: Not. I got snipped as a puppy.

K: Ouch! You’re author sounds like a killer – well, a snipper. *heh-heh* If you could say one thing to her, what would it be?

D: Lindsay, “Stop giving mom all the good scenes.”

K: Sounds like a fair enough request. And if you could say something to your readers?

D: Woof, woof. If you want to laugh and cry tears of joy then Emily Dahill, CID Part 1 is the book for you. And you’ll love what I did to that poor soldier’s rifle.

K: Now I’m curious! Though I think my worthless author knows… not that she’ll make an appearance.

Jorick: She never bothers.


not quite a t-bone....

D: You mean beside getting a one inch thick t-bones steak medium-rare every night for supper. I guess keeping mom safe really would be at the top of the list. Okay, equal to the steak.

Before I go, I have a question for your friend *eyes Jorick*. Well, you see mom wants me to be a werecollie for Halloween. Now, how anemic is that. What I’d love to know is where did you get those fantastic fangs? Boy, with a set of chompers like those hanging out of my mouth I’d make a super vampire collie. See, I could walk around on my hind legs (he hops up and walks around the room). Now that would really scare the people. So, my question, is where did you buy them and do you think they’d have a pair in my size?

K: You know, this brings up an interesting question-

J: Try Fangs R Us. I hear they have quite a collection.

K: Fangs R Us? You just made that up!

J: And with that we’re out of time!

K: Hey! That’s my line! A big thank you to Dakota for giving us all a dog’s eye view of his world. (heh-heh) You can find more of him in the Emily Dahill, CID Part by Lindsay Downs.


Astraea Press:

Barnes & Noble-


And to request an autograph on your Kindle:


And a special thanks to Lindsay Downs for playing along!

If you’re an author and would like your character(s) to be interviewed by me, then check out this very cool page that has all the details:

Interview, Guest Blog & a Video!

Yeah, this post has it all goin’ on! Mainly because I’ve been behind and now have to cram it all into one post. Erm, no, no, I mean, uh, I planned it that way. Yeah. That’s right.


Linda S. Prather, author of the Jacody Ives Mysteries, was kind enough to Interview me for her new blog.  And I’m not the only one. She’s on an interviewing roll, including Larry Enright and Al Boudreau.

Reena Jacobs, author of Shadow Cat, was also nice enough to allow me to do a guest post for her blog about turning your eBook cover into  a paperback cover. She is featuring guest posts from authors every week in her Authors Helping Authors series. There’s a lot of good information, there.

And now for the video. It’s not actually a video. I mean it is animated, and you have to hit a play button, but it doesn’t require any sound because it’s actually a collect of vampire jokes that are so, so bad they’re funny.

Aren’t you glad you stuck around for that?

Lost Chapters 3: Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Why should DVDs get all the fun? now presenting the deleted scenes* from Legacy of Ghosts! In other words, The Lost Chapters. – click the link for more info.

More info

Of course, since these are little snips, you don’t need to have read Legacy of Ghosts to enjoy them.

(Insert this in the middle of Chapter Five, on the way to the roses.)

Katelina glared into the unfamiliar darkness of the motel room. She was annoyed with the situation, annoyed with Jorick, and even annoyed with Loren. How could he be so enthusiastic about it all? But there were a lot of unanswered questions about him.

Jorick stirred next to her and murmured quietly, “You should get some sleep, Katelina.”

She agreed, but instead of taking the advice asked suddenly, “So how does Loren get away with it?”

Jorick half turned in bed to stare at her curiously. “Get away with what?”

“With being a vampire. I mean, he looks like a teenager, right? Don’t the locals notice he doesn’t ever grow up? How does he get out of going to school? And you know, that chick he was dating? I mean she was a teenager, but he’s really, what? My age or older, I imagine. Think about that age difference!”

Jorick cleared his throat noisily to stop the flow of random thoughts. “I don’t know. He just doesn’t go, and I’d have to figure up how old he was, which I don’t care enough to do.”

Not to be deterred, she demanded, “But he is from around there, right? And no one notices?”

Jorick gave a resigned sigh and rolled over to fully face her. “Yes, he’s from ‘around there’. He and his brother both were.”

“And where are his parents?” She paused, and then gave vent to her own private theory, “He didn’t, you know, suck them dry?”

Jorick’s eyebrows shot up with outraged offence. “Suck them dry?” he demanded. “Suck them dry? That’s a lovely phrase!”

She brushed off his overreaction. “Well, did he?”

“Not that I know of.” Jorick glared at her . “The next time you’re eating I should say you’ve mashed your food to death, right?”

“It’s already dead,” she pointed out, then switched back to her original topic. “So, what happened to them, then?”

He sniffed disdainfully. “They died. They were mashed to death.”

She couldn’t stop from rolling her eyes. “Very funny. What really happened to them?”

“A car wreck, I believe. I don’t know. It isn’t as though Loren and I sit around the fire trading stories of our lives! If you want to know, then ask him. I’m sure he’ll be more than happy to tell you.”

She turned the idea over uncomfortably. “No,” she answered slowly. “It would be rude to just point blank ask.”

Jorick seemed surprised. “Why?”

She fidgeted with the hem on the bedspread. “Because…. It is. If he wanted me to know, he’d tell me, himself.”

Jorick pondered the idea a moment. “Assuming he knew you were interested. I doubt it’s occurred to him that you care.”

“Oh, I don’t care,” she said quickly.  “I’m just, you know, kind of curious.”

“Well, be kind of curious tomorrow and ask him.” Jorick yawned pointedly and then rolled onto his back. “For now, I’m rather tired, and we have a potentially long day ahead of us tomorrow.”

“Yeah, I suppose,” Katelina murmured with no conviction. Somewhere the mood of the whole conversation had changed, as had the real topic. The letters popped into her mind and she wondered if Jorick would have the same “just ask” policy about those?

Somehow, she doubted it.

*However, unlike deleted scenes, these were actually written later, for fun, so I could pull off the whole “Lost Chapters” gag. None of the Lost Chapters were ever in the original manuscript, nor were they ever deleted. Thank you for reading the small print.
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