Check out Joleene's theme song (Beemp3.com)
Today we have the wonderfully talented author, artist, photographer Joleene Naylor. Got a story about this one :) When I first got my kindle, years ago, I went looking for cheap ebooks. The first one I downloaded was Shades of Gray by Joleene. I fell in love with her writing and Jorick, the vampire hottie. It is dark, fast paced and violent, like vampire books should be! The fourth book in her Amaranthine series, Ashes of Deceit, just came out and this is her first ever blog tour! So show her a big sheep welcome...or you might end up in the Facebook dungeon.
Sharon: Welcome to the…er
*psst…Katie? Are we calling it our "Lair of Lust"or “Den of Smexy Men” now?*
Katie: Since I just ordered us the Den of Smexy Men sign I'll say we go with that!
Joleene: Ooh! I want a sign! And thanks for having me! The Den of Smexy Men is a great place to hang out *wink*wink*
Sharon: See, I told you she was cool
Sharon: Grab a moonpie and some Kool Aid. You should probably grab a weapon too, just saying…
Joleene: Hmmm. “Kool Aid” and “weapon” in the same sentence makes me nervous, but the moon pie soothes away the worry. Marshmallows and chocolate can never be evil. But just in case, can I have a sword? I’ve always liked swords.
Katie: Yes, you can have the nerf sword!
Sharon: I got a hammer!
Joleene: Yay! Nerf Sword! *swishes wildly* For some reason people usually to take these away from me….
Sharon: not here, we encourage it.
Sharon: For those of the flock that don’t know who you are, even though I fangirl about you and your books all the time, could tell us about your vampire series?
Joleene: I have a promotional blurb written up that’s full of dark descriptive words and sounds like every other vampire series out there, but I think I can simplify. There’s Katelina, the human. There’s Jorick, the hot vampire. They meet in book 1, kill some stuff, wash off the blood, fall in love, and then get dragged into an even bigger mess for the next book. Add a dash of lunatic side characters, the evil vampire “police squad” known as the Executioners and Malick, the ancient – and somewhat sadistic - head of the vampire Guild, and there’s a recipe for disaster. Oh, and all without glitter or teenagers.
Katie: Who is the sexiest vampire male in your series? As you see I get right to the most meaningful questions.
Joleene: Weeeeeell… Verchiel is hot in a naughty kind of way, but when it comes to sexy it’s Jorick. He has that brooding alpha thing down pat.
Sharon: Mmmmm *thinking about brooding Jorick*
Katie: And how tall is this man?
Sharon: about 6 foot drop dead gorgeous
Sharon: How many books do you see for this series and do readers have to start with book one to understand what is going on?
Joleene: As many books as I can squeeze out of it! Whoops, did I say that out loud? Hee-hee! Seriously, it will take at LEAST two more to wrap up the mess I created in the fourth book, but I’d be happy to go forever. As for whether someone would need to read them all, I’ve tried to weave in enough explanations that each book could be read alone, or so that someone could pick it up mid series and join in, but as with any series one misses a lot of subtlety that way. I have a friend who started with book three and has never back tracked to read one or two, and he understood the fourth book. But I think those two are really linked, so a new reader would probably need to at least start with the third book.
Katie: If you could have one night with any vampire who would it be and why?
Joleene: Ooh! That’s a hard one. Most of the vampires I like to read about I wouldn’t want to hang out with because, while it’s great to read about them killing one another, I don’t want it to happen to me *wink* I think the vampire who would be the safest (and most fun) to hang out with would be Vampire Willy from Jonathan Harvey’s short stories.
Sharon: a vampire named Willy…seriously? Well, Willy Wonka maybe <G>
Joleene: Which Willy Wonka? The Gene Wilder one or the Johnny Depp one, coz, you know… Johnny Depp and all… *wink*
Sharon: Why did you choose the self-publishing route and are you glad you did?
Joleene: Yes, I’m glad I did. I don’t make millions (neither do most traditionally published authors for that matter) but I own all the rights to my work. No one can tell me “You can’t give that away” or “You can’t post that!” or even “You can’t write that!” I don’t have to scramble to find a publisher for my next book because my contract was dropped, or because my current publisher doesn’t like the direction my new book is taking, and I don’t have to worry about “earning out”. The main thing I lost by going the self-publishing route is the “validation” of a publishing house, but unless it’s a big name author, the average reader has no idea what publisher their ebook came from, anyway. I know until I started researching self-publishing I had no idea.
Katie: It sounds like a lot more creative freedom?
Joleene: Yeah it is. I’ve talked to some traditionally published authors whose agents/publishers basically told them what to write because there is a model for what will sell, and of course since it’s a business the publisher’s goal is to sell… I just wouldn’t like that very much.
Katie: Do you know any good vampire jokes?
Joleene: if by good you mean terrible, then yes!
Why did the vampire buy cold medicine?
For his coffin.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, I’ll stop.
Katie: *fake laughs*
Joleene: *looks suspicious at the not-quite-authentic laughter* I have more…
Sharon: *stuffs moon pie in Joleene's mouth* enjoy! moving on...
Sharon: Has the series changed from your original vision of it?
Joleene: Oh yeah. Oren was supposed to be the competing hottie, but he wouldn’t cooperate. Verchiel was supposed to die three seconds after he showed up. I tend to be a panster, so things almost never work out the way I initially think they will. But I like being surprised.
Katie: If I, let's say, wanted to lure a vampire to my local park what would I need to do?
Joleene: First you’d have to find a vampire and then if you just casually said, “Hey, wanna go to the park, all alone, in the dark? And by the way, I have no friends or family to miss me!” they’d be eating out of your – er – hand in no time.
Katie: Ha! My "hand". *winks* I'm with ya.
Sharon: you are also a talented photographer and artist. You even have an ebook-cover business. Is there one area you enjoy more than the other?
Joleene: It fluctuates. Right now I really want a break from all the graphic design work and I want to focus on writing, but next year I may be tired of writing and want to concentrate on photography and then later I’ll want to get back to drawing. Yeah, I drive everyone nuts, husband included.
Sharon: Your vampire series is dark, violent and action packed. Why did you choose this route instead of the sparkly way?
Katie: Hey! Leave the technical vamp questions to me Sharon!
Sharon: bad, Sharon! Into the corner with the brooding vampire Jorick!
Joleene: Just don’t let Katelina see that! *winks* Not to say I didn’t like Twilight on some levels (it’s a fun fluff read – dodges Katie’s projectiles) but when someone first mentioned sparkly vampires to me, my reaction was “What?!” I actually wrote Shades of Gray in 2005, before I’d ever heard of Twilight (was it even out then?) I was reading the Anita Blake books at the time (the first books in the series, before it turned into Erotica) and have always been a big fan of Anne Rice’s vampires, so I suppose I just sort of combined them. Anne Rice has some good brooding, but it needed more romance and more violence, and Anita Blake needed a little less tough-ness. Basically I wrote the kind of vampire book I wanted to read. Oh, and that would look good as an anime. I really want to see an Amaranthine anime.
Sharon: oh, that’s right. You love anime. Is that why you have drawn sketches for all your characters? They are fabulous by the way.
Joleene: Thanks! Hee-hee, yeah, those future anime artists have to know what to base them on. Actually, I considered a graphic novel version of the first book, but never had the time to get to it.
Sharon: If a theme song/music played whenever you entered a room, what would yours be?
Joleene: Ha ha! People actually used to sing at me when I entered rooms. It was “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. Sadly, I do not have flaming locks of auburn hair, ivory skin and eyes of emerald green, and I doubt very much I could steal anyone’s man… but hey.
Sharon: What fictional characters would you like to have your back during the zombie apocalypse?
Joleene: The Elric brothers. All that Alchemy has to be handy. And Hei from Darker than Black. Also Robert Neville from I am Legend because he did pretty good on his own with a zombie apocalypse and then Thor just because he’s hot…. *cough*
Sharon: oh, snap! Back away from the hammer… he is mine! Tell her Katie…
Katie: Really, I would rethink that answer Joleene. She's a TAD obsessive about her Thor-soon-to-be-baby-daddy.
Sharon: *nods head* AND Optimus Prime-soon-to-be-robot-baby-daddy.
Joleene: Oh… um… Couldn’t I just borrow him? *eyes hammer* You know what? I think Ed and Hei will do nicely… Never mind.
Rapid Fire or time to be silly
Sharon: 4 Turtle doves or 2 French hens?
Joleene: 2 French hens.
Katie: Sand Castles or Legos?
Joleene: Legos! They come with cool mini figures!
Sharon: do they have Thor or Optimus?
Joleene: I bet they have Thor. If not someone needs to petition Lego!
Sharon: steampunk or splatterpunk?
Katie: City Gal or Country Gal?
Joleene: How about a city gal who likes to live in the country but stays away from things like bugs and farm animals? (unless there is a camera involved)
Katie: It's supposed to be either or! lol
Sharon: monkey business or horse play?
Joleene: Monkey business.
Katie: These arms of mine or Try a little tenderness?
Joleene: These Arms of Mine
Sharon: watermelon or blue berries?
Joleene: Watermelon. It’s almost the Fourth of July, after all!
Katie: Back or Front?
Joleene: Front! No, back! No, front! No-
Sharon: *whacks Joleene on the head with Thor hammer Katie gave me for my birthday*
Katie: Good thing it's foam.
Joleene *rubs head* *whispers to Katie* You’re right! She IS dangerous with that thing!
Sharon: Seinen manga or josei manga?
Joleene: Seinen – though I like a lot of Shonen too!
Katie: Coke or Pepsi?
Sharon: see? She is so cool!
Katie: BOOOOOO to Pepsi!!!!
Joleene: Pepsi rules!
Sharon: Millennium Falcon or Serentity?
Joleene: Millennium Falcon. It would take a lot to be cooler than Han Solo! ;)
Sharon: Is there anything else you would like to add before you are dropped into the labyrinth infested with Minasheeptors to find your way out?
Joleene: Thanks so much for having me, you ladies have been a blast. And hey! Do I get to hug Baaart before I go?
Sharon: *shoves Baaart into Joleene's arms*
You can find more of Joleene Naylor and her vampires at her website or check out her blog or her facebook page
Follow the tour for more chances to win! Tour links
Sheep swag and a set of Joleene's bookmarks!
1. Leave a way to contact you
2. tell us would you rather be a vamp or date a vamp?
*double entry for followers!
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?
all her ebooks are $2.99 or less for kindle. They can also be found at Smashwords
print copies can be bought too.