Sunday Surprise

And it’s a guest! And since she’s in all three of the Nightly Bites anthologies, you get three covers! But this particular interview refers to the newest anthology, Volume 3! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Joleene Naylor!

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them? 

The variety. The stories can be gothic, contemporary, historic, futuristic. It can be scary, funny, romantic. Anything you feel like doing. As to why the vampires themselves are appealing, it’s the immortality, isn’t it? If I could live forever, I’m pretty sure I’d jump at the chance. So much time to get to do all the things you want to do.

2. What is your story in the anthology about? 

Jamie: Blood of Betrayal is the origin story for Jamie. A rebel in Scotland, Jamie is wounded and nearly dies in battle. He manages to return home, sick with fever, only to wake fully healed. He isn’t the only thing changed. In his absence, his wife died, and his father was murdered by the British, who then turned the lands and title over to his brother-in-law.

3. What inspired your story? 

My mother, actually. Jamie is one of her favorite characters so I told her if she wanted to make his past up for me, I’d use it. She did quite a bit of research, so it seemed a shame to waste it. Plus, you meet both Jamie and his master in one of the novels (Masque of the Vampire) so it seemed like a good idea to introduce readers to exactly what their story was.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about? 

I can write about other things, though I haven’t been just because of the branding. I’m a lot slower than some prolific writers I know *cough*Barb*cough* . But most of my writing has a darkness to it. I find it very hard to write cheerful, happy things. I once started a poem about a bunny. I won’t go into details, but by the end I made myself cry.

5. What should readers know about you? 
I’m not trying to teach you anything in my books or stories. I’m not trying to expand your worldview, or make you question your beliefs, or the way our society works. I’m just trying to entertain you.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’d like to say thanks to Barb for having me! Other than the anthology, I’m not really promoting any releases – I’d need to get the book finished first (Did I mention I’m slow?).

Last minute addition: we now have also a Nightly Bites bundle, that includes another of Joleene’s stories! Check it out!


Writer Wednesday

My name is Brenda de Zorig and I’m a journalist for the Konigtown Gazette. I’ve been on the road for years as an actress in an itinerant company, but eventually decided to go back to my hometown to start living of the thing I like the most – writing. So while I write my Masterpiece, I took this job at the Gazette and they send me on various assignments… I thought I might as well starting interviewing random people. Since I intend to write fiction, but truth is always stranger than fiction, I’m eager to hear about people out there – on my world or beyond.

So, here we are again with women in breeches! Hello there. Tell me a little about yourself.

1-katelinaMy name is Katelina Mauldin and I’m almost twenty-six. I guess the most interesting thing about me isn’t really me, but the company I keep. I’m dating a vampire. There. I said it. Jorick is a vampire, but he’s not a run of the mill, sparkles in the sunlight, only eats animals and cries to himself kind of vampire. I’m pretty sure he feeds on people when I’m not looking, and he’d much rather crush an enemy’s skull than cry about anything.

Interesting. I don’t think we have such creaturs on my world. Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

I think I’m pretty plain. Jorick disagrees.

Men! *snorts* Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

I’ve had a lot. Right now it’s Malick, a really old vampire who’s bored with the world and decided to shake things up by killing everyone. He’s the vampire who turned Jorick, so I think Jorick feels responsible, almost like it’s his father running amuck. That’s why we’re trying to stop him instead of letting the vampire governments do it.

Oh, wow. That’s a challenge! Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

I actually have killed vampires before, and there have been a couple of times I thought I might die, so yes, I would. And Jorick would do the same for me.

You found one of those? *chukles* Lucky woman! Where do you live?

I lived my whole life in a small town in Ohio until I met Jorick. I was living with him in Maine until we had to go to the vampire Guild…Right now we’re in Europe, chasing after Malick and his henchmen, but hopefully we’re going to go home soon!

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

That would be Jorick. What do I like about him? You mean besides the fact that he’s gorgeous and immortal? Seriously though, he seems kind of grumpy sometimes, but really he’s sweet, sensitive, and caring. He always makes sure I have food, or heat, or all the things that I need that he hasn’t had to think about for over five hundred years. Remembering that stuff can’t be easy, but he tries. Men who put that kind of effort out are hard to find.

Indeed. I already said you’re a lucky woman – I wish I could find one of those! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Dealing with all the horrible stuff my author throws at us. Blood thirsty vampires, allies who betray us, the whole overbearing vampire government and their elite police… it’s crazy!

Ah, a familiar term: “police”! We also have that! My friend Thea works for the town police! Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

My father died when I was little, so it’s just been me and my mother. Lately though, I think she’s taken up with Brad, who is half her age. He used to date one of my friends. The whole thing is crazy, and I’ve tried to tell her, but she isn’t listening. I know it’s going to be a disaster in the end.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I used to own over forty colors of nail polish. Then crazy vampires trashed my apartment, and now I have about twenty-five left. Oddly enough they’re in Maine at Jorick’s house, so I still can’t use them.

What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

If your boyfriend is a vampire, are you planning to be turned?

Yes. Eventually. When the time is right, and things are prepared and all that…okay, I’m kind of hesitant about it. Not because I don’t want to be with Jorick just… well, it’s a huge commitment, you know? Once you’re immortal, you’re immortal. No Takies Backsies, as they say.

Before you met Jorick, did you believe in vampires?

Ha! No! Who would believe in vampires? They seem like silly Hollywood stuff that Halloween movies are made of. And then – boom – I discovered the truth and my belief that the world was a safe, sensible place was destroyed.

Do you ever regret having that perception destroyed?

Sometimes. But having it intact would mean that I had never met Jorick, and I’d rather face the nightmares then be without him.

Thank you, Katelina! Oh, we seem to have an old wizard on this side… Hello. Tell me a little about yourself.

19 - malickYou can call me Malick. As to my age… Let’s say I walked the earth before the so-called Christ was born.

Don’t know who that is, but you look like an old wizard to me… Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

I would hope to say fatherly, but perhaps it’s sinister.

What is your role in the story?

Ah! What is anyone’s role in the story of life? Can an existence be summed up with a single label? Some might call me a villain, others a monster, and still others a god. I will take whatever title they wish to lay at my feet and do my best not to disappoint their expectations.

What is your relationship with the protagonist(s)?

Katelina? She was an insignificant mortal, no different from any of the countless millions that swarm this planet, until my son Jorick chose her as a mate. Her presence at his side is what led to her meeting Samael in the cave and… well… we don’t want to give too much away, do we? Let’s suffice to say that I find her a useful tool when necessary.

Where do you live(world/town/whatever)?

You may call it my oasis, where my faithful gather in the desert.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

Are not all interactions with other sentient being relationships? If so I am in many, I even have a relationship with you, my interviewer, no matter how brief and distant. But then, does that not sum up all relationships? No matter how important one thinks they are, in the end they truly only brief, distant things, where the other participant is only allowed as close as we wish them to be. Unless, of course, one of the participants is like me. I can open your mind like an egg and read everything that you want to keep hidden, if I choose to.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

That would be my son, Jorick. He has become misguided, and I have faith that I may yet lure him back to my side. There are those who believe I should let him go, but I admit I find that difficult. He has always been my favorite.

Do you have a moral code?

What are morals but convictions of convenience? Do not morals change as the centuries pass and societies evolve? Should not our own morals change as we, too, evolve?

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

The master who turned me long ago resembled a child, and at one time we passed ourselves off as father and son, an amusing twist of the truth. However, I do not know what ever became of him.

What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Are you really trying to kill everyone?

Ah! Yes, the human child told you that, didn’t she? From her feeble point of view I suppose it would seem that way to her. What she fails to realize is that in order to wish everyone’s destruction I would have to care about everyone, and I simply do not. Whether they live or die means nothing to me.

Then what is your ultimate goal?

Ha ha! Do I have one? Or do I have many little goals that will all coalesce into something interesting?

halloween sale

Book(s) in which the character appears and links

The Amaranthine series including Shades of Gray, Legacy of Ghosts, Ties of Blood, Ashes of Deceit, Heart of the Raven, Children of Shadows

(these links are to the website pages since it has all the buy links on them)

Sog –

Log –

Tob –

Aod –

Hor –

Cos –

joleene naylor 2Author bio & social media/website, etc.

Joleene Naylor is the author of the glitter-less Amaranthine series, a world where vampires aren’t for children. As a compliment to the novel series, she has also written several short stories, including the Vampire Morsels collection, and has plans for an Amaranthine Encyclopedia.

In her spare time, Joleene is a freelance book cover designer and for-fun photographer. She maintains several blogs full of odd ramblings, and occasionally updates her website at She and her husband live in Villisca, Iowa near the famous – and reportedly haunted – “axe murder” house. Though she enjoys the paranormal, she refuses to invite the ghosts for a visit. Between the cats, dogs, and turtles, her house is full enough.

author blog:

FB author page:



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Random Friday


Sorry, that was for my one and only beloved nephew who turns 8 today (can’t believe it, where did time go?!), hoping one of his parents shows him the message. I’m trying to teach him English, but now he’s too smart to tell him I forgot how to speak Italian and he must talk in English to me, LOL! So I’ll just let him play with PBS Kids whenever he visits me…

And because he’s going to get his own copy of the DVD from his grand mother (a.k.a. my mum), I got myself Ice Age 4, so I’ll have something to discuss with him when I see him – maybe tomorrow at the official b-day party, maybe who knows. I should start buying those movies abroad, so I have only the English voices and if he wants to watch them, he’ll have to watch them in English, LOL! 😉 Anyway, 4th instalment is as funny as the previous ones – I like the boot of Italy kicking away Sicily and screaming “Goal!” at the very beginning. And we all know it’s all Scrat’s fault if the continents drifted, right? Looks like there might be a #5… In the extras there was a summary of the first 3 – boy the first was from 2002! Ten years later we got 4… and that’s the only series with talking animals I can bear to watch  because, hey, they’re extinct anyway, LOL!

In random order. The book I finished last week – Devil’s Lair by David Wiseheart. I liked it because it’s original historical fantasy. I didn’t really like it because I’m Italian and it gave me high school nightmares with all that Latin, Dante and poetry, LOL! 🙂 Thank God I’ve forgotten everything about that time period, so if there were inconsistencies, I’m not aware of them. Besides, it’s historical fantasy, so anything goes. I admit I skipped the Latin and poetry bits – but that’s just me. Also, the first half is much slower than the second half, the trip through Hell feels rushed compared to the set up.

The first Hindi lesson *waves at Giovanni and Vijay in case they’re visiting the blog* – interesting! 😉 Here’s the first page of my brand new notebook (I filled 3 while in the classroom – then I’ll have to do more before Tuesday):

HindiNow, you native speakers, please don’t comment, unless you plan to learn a brand new alphabet when you’re close to 50, okay? 😉 Now I have more excercises to do, and maybe by the end of the year I’ll be able to write a short note of some kind, LOL. Maybe. I have a good ear for languages, but when it comes to writing… that’s another matter! But if I can do this, I can start Japanese afterward! 😀

This week read: Ashes of deceit by Joleene Naylor (a.k.a. book 4 of her Amaranthine series). Fellow Sadist Author did a great job on her poor characters, I’m not surprised sometimes they take over her blog and try to rebel – but they have no power over us, mwhahahahaha! 😀 Ahem, sorry. I can’t have spoilers here, but the author knows about my favorite scene. I also liked seeing Verchiel a little… different than his usual impossible self! 😉 Anyway, here’s the GR/Amazon/Smashwords review:

Another instalment in my favorite vampire series – and I’m not a vampire fan, in case you’re wondering. My first and last vampires books were the first 3 Ann Rice’s books in the late 1990s and I was so NOT impressed that I quit after Queen of the Damned and thought I’d never read another vampire book after those 3. Then comes the new millennium, blogging and Joleene Naylor. Now I’ll have to wait for book 5, gah!
Anyway, I still love her humor, her perfect balance of adult themes and gore, and her crazy characters who often take over her blog, so you better follow that as well. Sometimes I feel sorry for Katelina and Jorick – will they ever be free? 😉 And what is really going on in Verchiel’s head? Only the author will tell…

Okay, on Smashwords I might have posted it twice or not at all. I’ll check again today. If I posted it twice, sorry, but it didn’t show – anyway, I don’t think anyone will complain for a double 5-star review, right? 😉 Have a great weekend, everyone!

Guest post…

OK, this is the first of couple of scheduled posts (actually, they’re all scheduled, but I won’t be here to check your response , so be patient with me, LOL) and I am allowing this guest to take over the blog for a day. I have already interviewed Joleene Naylor last year, and was quite happy to host her again. Except maybe it’s not her. Anyway, I leave you to today’s guest! Have a great Sunday!

The history of vampires?

First I would like to thank Barb for hosting me and my giveaway (see details at the end of this post) on the third stop of the blog tour celebrating the release of my newest book in the Amaranthine series, Ashes of Deceit. Barb is a sweet person and the author of the fantastic Silvery Earth universe.

Since Barb writes a lot of historically inspired fantasy, I have prepared a post about the history of the vampire which I hope will be entertaining and enlightening. We will begin in Russia. The first mention of the vampire was used to call a priest a “Wicked vampire” or “extortionist vampire” in-

mmmfmfmMMffFFFFffHHhh? HmmmMMmmmphhhh? HHmyyy! Mmmmfffffrrrmmppphhh! Hhhemp!

(translation: what the hell? Why is there duct tape over my mouth? Wait! Where did these ropes come from! Help!)

There. Shut her up just in time. Oh, I guess you’re probably wondering who I am. Hold on, let me plug the author’s ears – there we go. As I was saying, my name is Verchiel and I’m a vampire from her Amaranthine series, though I don’t show up until the third book. I guess she didn’t want to dazzle people with my brilliance too soon.

I don’t usually do this sort of thing – tie my author to a chair – but can you imagine reading a dry old post about some supposed history (which we all know is wrong, anyway)? She’s supposed to be attracting readers, not chasing them away!

If you want to know about the history of the vampire, I can tell it to you. Long, long ago someone, somehow made a vampire, who made a vampire, who made a vampire, and the whole thing continued on and on until – voila! – I came into being!

Despite being the pinnacle of vampire evolution, I am not the main character of the Amaranthine books. That… honor, if you can call being tortured by our author an honor, belongs to Jorick. He’s a crusty old vampire who likes to brew, stew and yell, but all the ladies think he’s hot, including Katelina. She’s his human girlfriend. Since I’m so fond of her, I can say in the nicest possible way that sometimes she has the brain power of a turnip. But, hey, brilliance is over rated! Would you rather spend eternity with an intellectual who will write long, boring posts about the history of things *cough* or with someone who can’t figure out how to open a pop bottle? Having been around, I can tell you that the second option is more fun.

(Unless it’s the case of our author, who writes those posts AND can’t figure out how to open a pop bottle. Just saying.)

But our author has one good point – she occasionally writes. Whether she writes well or not is a subject of debate. (I usually take her side. I want my own spin off series, after all) and as she might have half mentioned, she’s managed to crank out four full length novels and several short stories. Since the proof is in the pudding, as they say, I think now might be the time to share an excerpt of the latest book, Ashes of Deceit:

(During a battle with Senya, one of the Guild’s Executioners, Crabby old Jorick has asked Micah and Loren – fellow vampires – to take dear little Katelina and a couple of incapacitated vampires, and hit the road before things get too out of hand. Micah does, but he steals Senya’s car in the process.)


It was after midnight when Micah announced, “We need gas, and Lunch’s growling stomach is driving me fucking nuts.”

Katelina glared at a passing tree and imagined slugging him.

A truck stop glowed in the distance. Micah pointed to it and asked, “Who’s got cash?”

“Not me,” Loren chirped from the back seat.

Micah snorted. “What’s new? I think I’ve got a five, but that’s it. Looks like you’re buying, Lunch.”

“Stop calling me that,” Katelina snapped. “And I don’t have any money.”

“Ah, fuck. All right then, check the glove box. Maybe the bitch left her purse in here.”

Though Katelina couldn’t imagine Senya with a purse, she did as instructed. The first thing she found was a gun.

“Holy shit!”

Micah rolled his eyes and steered into the truck stop. As he parked, Katelina gingerly moved the weapon aside and rifled through the contents of the glove box. There was a collection of IDs, all with Senya’s photo and different names; a cell phone, which Katelina pocketed; a package of wet wipes that Micah grabbed; and several road maps dotted with familiar symbols.

Loren snatched one of the maps. “What’s that?”

“It’s a map of the dens,” Katelina answered absently. “The different marks mean different things, like who’s on their side and who isn’t.”

Micah snorted. “I suppose Jorick told you that.”

“No, Verchiel.” She glanced up to see the scorn in his eyes doubled. “There’s no money.”

“Eh, I’m hungry, anyway.” Micah glanced back at Loren, “I bet you are, too?”

The teen nodded.

“And we should probably revive those two.” Micah jerked his thumb towards Torina and Alex. “Do you think we can catch two people with Lunch dragging us down?”

“You can’t hunt people!” Katelina cried, too horrified to notice the insult.

“Sorry to say, Princess, but yes we can.”

Loren cut in. “What if we just revived Alex? One person would be easier to kill than two.”

“You don’t need to kill anyone!” Katelina cried. “Verchiel fed off that Santa Claus guy and left him alive!”

“Santa Claus?” Micah snorted and waved it away. “I don’t wanna know. If it was just me or Loren, then yeah, we could drink offa someone without killing ‘em, but we need more than that for the three of us.”

“You can hunt animals!” Katelina gestured to the darkness beyond the glowing oasis of artificial lights.

Micah snickered. “You ever seen that commercial where they stack up all the breakfast cereal to show how much you’d ‘need’ to eat? Imagine those bowls are little raccoons.” He and Loren laughed and Katelina glared. “Besides, unless you wanna get stuck along the side of the road, we need money. Last I looked, Bambie and friends don’t carry cash.”

Katelina waved her fist furiously. “I won’t be part of this!”

Micah slipped the car into gear and drove to the back of the station. “We don’t want you to, Princess. You look like shit. Anyone who saw you would run.”


Wasn’t that fun? I know, I’m not there, but at least they were talking about me. Oh-oh. It looks like Joleene is getting loose, so we better skip right to the giveaway!

One lucky commenter will receive a coupon code for a free ebook from Smashwords. Since this is a series, the winner may choose which of the books they would like to receive:

Book 1: Shades of Gray – Katelina’s “friend-with-benefits” is murdered for stealing something from a coven of vampires. Hunted as an accomplice, she must rely on Jorick to survive. But what happens when her knight in shining armor turns out to be one of the monsters?

Book 2: Legacy of Ghosts – For Katelina and Jorick, peace is hard to come by. Kateesha plans to fight the same battle as Jorick’s fledgling, but a common enemy isn’t enough to overcome previous betrayals. Drawn into a deathly conflict, Jorick and Katelina must overcome old regrets, or lose their future to the ghosts of their past.

Book 3: Ties of Blood – A trip to Katelina’s home starts a chain reaction; she and Jorick meet Verchiel, a too friendly vampire, then the police arrest Jorick for kidnapping. Worse, The Guild wants to question them. Will Malick, the head of the vampires, punish them? Or will the mysterious vampire following them do the job first?

Book 4: Ashes of Deceit – Katelina and Jorick must rescue a captured vampire and discover who kidnapped him and why. The truth isn’t easy to find. As Oren’s attack on the Guild draws closer, Jorick and Katelina are led back to the Citadel. When the flames of war ignite, can they rise from the ashes, or will they be consumed?

Follow the tour for more chances to win!

You can find more of Joleene Naylor and her vampires at her website: or check out her blog at or her facebook page at

Barb’s note: as it might take me a couple of days to moderate comments from new visitors, as I’ll be mostly offline this week, please be patient – the winner will be announced next Sunday or contacted directly by the author! Thanks for participating – and go read the Amaranthine series (I should comment too, but I don’t have time to read the fourth book now, so I’ll just buy it when my TBR pile goes down, LOL)! 🙂

Tuesday filler

OK, I was supposed to have a guest today, but apparently some email got lost and his blog tour postponed (stay tuned, though, as he’ll be here in October), so I thought I’d post here my latest review with a little P.S.

The review: Ties of Blood by Joleene Naylor

It’s good to be back in this world. It’s bad it’s not the last book and the happily ever after seems so far away. I KNOW the next thing on Jorick and Katelina’s schedule won’t go as smoothly as they plan! And I’ll have to wait until next year? Yikes! That’s torturing your readers!
Anyway, another dose of fun AND gore with the right amount of sex and action was very welcome… Did I mention that Jorick has become my favorite vampire? And I have mixed feelings about the newcomer, red-headed Verchiel… much like Katelina!

My addition for the Blog only: The Kindle version downloaded from Smashwords has black squares at the beginning of the chapters instead of the neat little image that comes out in the PDF. Mysteries of the Meat Grinder, I guess…

Now, I still have three or four spots to fill in October. If you’re a writer (published or unpublished) and would like to be interviewed, drop me a comment. If you’re a blogger and would like to do a guest post on why you blog and how frequently and all that blogging life we all so much love, do the same. I might ask a few friends if they’re available to fill the spots, but I’d rather give you, my reader old or new, the opportunity to fill in! 🙂

Oh, and please go to Misty’s blog and vote for the best “animal” post – yes, I’m there too with my only animal character, Maya the elephant, but the other entries are so great I had trouble choosing one! You have until Sunday to cast your vote…

Book review – Legacy of Ghosts by Joleene Naylor

Official review:

it’s good to be back in this world, even if Katelina is sometimes annoyingly stupid… but then, no conflict/wrong choices/stupid reactions, no story, right? Looking forward to the third book…

Ahem… should I elaborate on that? OK, it means a lot of repeating of the review of the first book. And I probably won’t read the third as soon as it comes out ’cause my TBR list is ever growing. But I’m interested in seeing where this is going.

If I were dumb Katelina, I’d have already asked Jorick how old he is, although I guess he wouldn’t have answered, but at least I’d have asked, haha! 😉 But I’m not Katelina, I’m a history buff, so I’m curious to know in which century he was born (although long hair is out of fashion lately, so I’m guessing he’s pretty old). Hints have been given in this installment, but it’s still quite vague. And no, I’m not asking for a spolier, I’m just sayin’! 😀

My admiration for authors capable of writing series in third person limited with one character POV  is growing exponentially. I wish I could do it! 😉 But I’m the multi-protagonist-buff and off the window goes the mystery of slowly uncovering the other characters from the main’s POV… Maybe one day I’ll try to find one character I can stick to for a whole novel, haha! 😀

Next I’ll move to other authors, hoping to get back to this one soon… I still have to read most of the short stories – although I’ll probably wait for the collection at this point – and read some six sentence excerpts of what’s to come, and it’s intriguing! 🙂 If she posts more, they will probably make more sense now that I’ve actually read the first two books – but she has to remember to sign up first, right, Jo? 😉

OK, tomorrow extra post for JC Martin’s blogoversary, then the usual… have a great weekend and see you next week! 🙂

Book review and author interview – Joleene Naylor

The book is Shades of Gray – and if you want to know what it’s about, go to the book page, haha! I’m not rewriting the blurb in my review. Ahem, well, where was I. Oh, yeah, the review. OK, first of all, I’m not a fan of vampires and I’m stuck to Ann Rice’s first 3 books (and I prefer the movie of Interview anyway, but I read also the Vampire Lestat and Queen of Darkness, then I had enough of the gore and quit). BUT Katelina’s “voice” is so strong and funny (and in third person, yay!) that I really rushed through this. The right amount of gore, sex and humor, so to speak. And I look forward to start the second book of the series and all the short stories I skipped so far. Maybe I’ll wait until the author makes a short stories collection, mmmh? I know I recognized the 5-year-old-vampire when I found him in the book, because I read the short story… anyway, I’m rambling, so I’d rather let the author speak and head for a couple of sites to leave my review…

Joleene was also kind enough to answer my usual nosy questions, so here she goes! (sorry the formatting isn’t prefect, but copying and pasting sometimes gets screwed…)

B: Where do you live and write from? Tell us a little about yourself.

J: We live in the middle of nowhere Missouri, and have for ten years now (ten years!?!?!) before that it was middle of nowhere Iowa – do you see a trend? I’m also married and support three cats, three turtles and a dog, none of which do any of the dishes or house keeping to earn their keep, though I keep trying to teach them.

B: Tee-hee! I’, single, but I hire somebody because I’m too lazy to clean the house myself (but I do the dish and the ironing)! 😉 When did you first become interested in becoming a writer? What was the deciding moment for you?

J: I’m not sure when I decided I *was* a writer, it was just always there as a normal part of life. My painted and wrote poetry, so it didn’t occur to me for a long time that being a writer was something different. Since we grew up  kind of isolated, there wasn’t much to do.  My brother and I did a lot of drawing and writing “games”. One of them was to make “books”. We’d drag out big piles of paper and crayons and write and illustrate a children’s book in a day or two. I still have some of those, somewhere.

B: Where do you find your inspiration?  Do you put yourself in your stories?

J: I can not tell a lie (okay, I can, but…) my main inspiration comes from anime. I’ve noticed that when I haven’t watched any for awhile I start to run kind of dry. I also get ideas from random conversations. I’m not above using other people’s suggestions 😉 As for putting myself in my stories, not really. I mean there are parts of me in every character because if you can’t understand your character, then you can’t write them. I did put myself in a book I wrote when I was a teenager, so I guess that it got it out of my system. I’m not interesting enough for more than one story and, besides, it exposes too much of yourself when you’re the main character, like giving everyone a magnifying glass and letting them see through your skin. 

B: I’ve watched many anime too… and read manga and comics and French BD. And I do tend to put myself in my stories because it’s like acting a part – how many lives can I have, especially on other worlds, past or future? Anyway… What do you love most (and then least) about what you do?

J: I love  seeing the story unfold and then come together. There’s something magical about that. The best part is when I learn something new about the characters. When I first write it, I am usually just as surprised as the readers will be. What I like the least is advertising, marketing, and all of that stuff. I’d much rather just write , put it up and then go back to work. I lose so much time on what little marketing I do do.

B: Don’t tell me, I HATE marketing, hugh! 😦 When and where do you write? Do you have a specific routine?

J: It used to be every day until I got into doing book covers/formatting etc and now it’s pretty much catch-as-catch-can. I prefer to be by myself, though, so it’s either before the hubby goes to work (and is sleeping) or after he’s gone to bed. I think better at night, though.

B: Do you have any other project on the pipeline?

J: I’m still toying around with the Vampire Morsel’s short stories, and am editing Ties of Blood, the third book in the Amaranthine series. I was hoping to have it out August first, but it may not make it. We’ll have to see.

B: Did you query agents/publishers before publishing? If yes, for how long?

J: I did query agents with Shades of Gray back in 2008/2009. No one seemed really keen on “more vampires”, and those that were wanted straight up paranormal romance, which this only sort of is. (it depends who you ask).Meanwhile I researched Indy publishing on the side and when it came time to submit to smaller presses or just do it myself, I decided to skip the small presses and go it alone, so I haven’t actually ever submitted directly to any of the publishers.

B: What was your overall experience with self-publishing so far?

J: I’ve been very happy with it. I use Smashwords, Amazon’s KDP and Create Space and haven’t had any real problems *knock wood*. As far as sales go, I’m not a “major” success. I don’t sell thousands of copies, but I don’t really care. As long as I have a few people who like it, that’s enough for me.

B: Anything else you’d like to add?

J: Self Publishing is like anything you do, you get out of it what you put in. Most successful indy authors are successful because they’ve worked their butts off to get there. Sure, there’s always the occasional “lucky break”, but those are few and far between. Write a quality story, edit it, edit it, edit it, and then edit it again. Put some effort into your cover and then advertise your finger to the bone and you’ll get there in time. Me? I hate the latter (and I don’t have time anymore, anyway) so I probably will never be huge. That’s the great thing about Indy, though. If I don’t become a super-book-star, it’s my own fault, no one else’s. I control how far it goes, or doesn’t go, and so do the rest of us. 

B: Words of wisdom! I won’t be huge either, because I write ADULT fantasy, and I don’t really care… Did you have some kind of editing done?

J: The first two books were edited by a friend of mine (who does a fantastic job!), and once I get this last round of editing done I am going to send the third book off to her, but I’m not sure she has time this year 😦  having her do it, though, has made a major difference because now when i do my own editing I try to think like her. WWCD? (What Would Carolyn Do) LOL!

B: Haha! Happened to me with an Italian beta-reader (lost to the language switch, sigh)! Did you have to do the blurb and everything yourself ?

J: Well, on the first book, sort of. I had another friend who really encouraged me to do indy, and he did a mock book cover and a mock manuscript layout. I kept the essence of his layout (though I changed the fonts and made a new image for the chapter headings because he’d used one that was for another project I was working on, and also made it fit CS’s standards) and though I completely redid the cover, I did keep the last paragraph of the blurb he wrote for the back. Since then I’ve done it all myself.

B: For how long have you tried to find an agent/publisher before self-publishing?

J: Oh, it was probably six or seven months or more of querying agents. I worked on the query pitch in the Absolute Write forums. they were very helpful, and it was really very educational. For one thing you learn really fast that no two people agree. What one person would say was “punchy and nice!” another would say was “cliche and doesn’t work”. I also learned a LOT about condensing. I’m naturally long winded, and the query letter word limit forced me to keep rewriting and shortening over and over again. That’s something that has really come in handy since.

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