Joleene Naylor grew up in southwest Iowa surrounded by soybeans, corn and very little entertainment – so she made her own. She has been writing and drawing since she was a small child, with a particular leaning towards fantasy, horror and paranormal. It is this love of all that goes bump in the night that led her to write the Amaranthine series.
In her spare time she is a freelance artist, book cover designer and photographer. Her current projects include the sixth novel in the Amaranthine series, and The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy, a web manga collaboration with writer Jonathan Harvey. Joleene maintains blogs full of odd ramblings and hopes to win the lottery. Until she does, she and her husband live near Bolivar Missouri with their miniature zoo. However, unless she starts buying tickets she may never win anything.
VAH – Joleene in addition to being a prolific novel author with five books in her Amaranthine series, is also a creative cover artist. I’ll just note that she was the cover artist for two of my ebooks and the print version of No Red Pen. Today we’re talking about Joleene the author though, so let’s start with why do you write?
JN – I write because I enjoy it.
VAH – And when did you start writing and what was your first story?
JN – That was about a girl who got a phone call and went roller skating. I was three or four and it had lovely illustrations with it.
VAH – Who would you say was your favorite literary character?
JN – Probably Jo from Little Women. This was also the first literary romance I was unhappy with. I always felt she should have gotten Laurie.
VAH – I think we’re in agreement there on both counts. What book or series of books would you want if stranded on a deserted island and why?
JN – Middle Earth. It is such a rich place; so many characters and histories, that you could play with it endlessly in your head and never run out of possibilities. Had Tolkien lived forever he could never have written all the stories that are hanging on the cusp, waiting.
VAH – What would you say was the biggest influence on your development as a writer?
JN – Hmmm. I don’t know. I love Tolkien’s ability to create such an expansive universe, and Anne Rice’s recreation of the vampire mythos (though she went a bit far when it got to Memnoch, but that’s another story), and V.C. Andrews ability to make the common place, or even the adorable and innocent, seem creepy. Like the construction paper garden in the attic, for example. Or the shelves of dolls in My Sweet Audrina. The contrast was wonderful.
Return to Three by Five later in the month on days with a three and read more about Joleene Naylor.
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