Author Interview: Joleene Naylor

  • Welcome back: we’ve missed talking with you. So tell us, how has life been treating you?

Well, I’m still alive, so that’s something, ha ha! Seriously, though, things are pretty good. We got the roof replaced (finally), are hoping to get the outside trim finished, and we have some super fun plans for Halloween decorations. Oh, and we’ve adopted a kitten.

  • How would you say the pandemic has affected you?

Emotionally, or in actual day-to-day activities? I’m such a hermit that, except for a few mild things like the one person-one cart rule (which means I don’t help with the grocery shopping now), it hasn’t changed my life much. Emotionally, however, I had quite a time for the first few months. We’ve been raised that the apocalypse is coming; whether it’s disease, or martial law, or communists, or nazis, or nuclear war, somehow it IS coming and life as we know it will cease to exist. There will be no food, no power, no water, on and on. And we haven’t been raised just to know it’s coming, but to LOOK for it. So, yeah, thanks to doomscrolling, I was looking for it every day. Cataloguing what state was threatening what, what country was doing what. Then, in June, I realized that other states and countries might be locked up, might have their jobs closed, but we don’t, so why in the world was I sitting there, day after day, petrified? If I sit on my porch, and don’t open Facebook, there is literally no difference between 2020 and 2019. Kids are still playing, people are still going for walks, dogs are still getting loose from their owners and galloping past. I have food, my hubby hasn’t been out of work (he did have reduced hours for a while, but he had that in 2019 at his other job), my stores aren’t closed, no one is telling me what I’m allowed to buy, there’s no soldiers in the streets, no riots in downtown Villisca (and I use the word downtown lightly) so what in the world was I hysterical about? Since then, I’ve cut my social media time to almost nothing, and feel much better for it.

  • Are you working on any novels we should know about?

I’m writing a stand-alone novel that stars some side characters from the Amaranthine series. You can actually read it as I write it if you join me on Patreon – typos and all, ha ha – (https://www.patreon.com/JoleeneNaylor)! I think it’s up to 21 parts at the moment. I haven’t written an official synopsis yet, but here’s a stab at it:

The vampire wars are over, but victory came at a steep price. Faced with returning to his home and his old life, Micah realizes that all of his close friends are dead. Rather than return to an empty town, he grabs Loren, and the two embark on a dream trip down Route 66. However, it’s nothing like the old brochures Pops used to show him. Attractions are long gone, and being a vampire further complicates tourism. Add to that a run in with someone from Micah’s past, and maybe he’d have been better off going home. It would have bene quieter, at least, and maybe the Executioners wouldn’t be hunting him down.

Maybe.

  • How are things with the Terrible Turtles?

The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy web comic is going pretty good! We’re on a long-ish chapter that actually has a non-cannon crossover with my Amaranthine characters. Right now, Vampire Willy (of the TTC universe) has kidnapped Katelina, and Jorick is heading to rescue her. I’m not sure what’s going to happen next because I don’t write any of it, I just draw what I’m told, ha ha! You can check it out at http://Terrible Turtles.com

  • What’s it like working with Jonathan?

Working with Jonathan is always fun. Not only is he a funny guy, but he has the same work ethic I do: Wait until the last minute, then get things done in a state of panic induced genius.

  • What new hobbies have you picked up with all this free time?

Ha ha! I haven’t had free time to start new hobbies! Since my “job” is on the computer and from home, to start with, it was business as usual. Actually, no, not true. There was an uptick in business, so if anything, I’ve had less free time. I’m really jealous of everyone who got time off to bake bread, play games, and do crafts – especially the ones who got paid to do it!

  • How’s the classic cooking going?

Cooking is always fun! We’ve been “celebrating” some of the “daily holidays”, like Chocolate Day, or Cherry Bombe Day, etc. so it’s led to making some new things. (The Cherry Bombe was actually really easy and looked neat).

  • What new inspirations have you found, to keep yourself in the write mood?

*looks guilty* I haven’t actually done much writing. Between the doomfest and the uptick in graphic art work, time has been pretty hard to find, plus with my dad home more, there’s not much quiet time. I used to be able to write with racket going, and truthfully I could now if I’d quit making excuses – which I need to do because I have three people nagging me, ha ha!

  • What can readers look for in 2021 from the famous Joleene Naylor?

Hopefully the Micah book will be done, and then I have some short stories planned to fill in the gap between it and the trilogy. I’m kind of waiting to start the trilogy because Micah takes place in maybe 2009 or sooner, so fast forward sixteen years and it’s 2025. I know you can get away writing things in the future that are totally wrong, but I’d like to see how school and such pans out before I get into it because it will star Oren’s adopted “twins” who are (at the time of the trilogy) just graduating high school. I hate to write business as usual if it ends up schools close for years and its all digital learning. I might also redo my website, but I’m not sure.

  • What advice would you give to your fellow writers in this time of quarantine?

The best advice I can give anyone is to stay away from social media! All social media! It’s nothing but people fighting, spewing hate, or panicking over stupidity. Like the murder hornets. They aren’t murder hornets, they’re just Japanese wasps. They’re native to Japan, and you notice that the Japanese aren’t all dead of wasp stings. The country is alive and thriving. On top of that, they weren’t really “here”. If I recall they found like one dead one on the west coast, and a couple in Canada. I think people just *want* to panic, and have excuses to bawl, scream, and be nasty, but I’m long over it.

For more on Joleen Naylor check out her site!

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