Wednesday, October 7, 2015

THE GAL'S 31 DAYS OF HORROR: AMONG THE STACKS: Jaime Johnesee


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hey, Jaime.  Welcome to The Gal and thank you for being a part of my 31 Days of Horror.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jaime Johnesee:
Most folks call me JJ and I'm a mom of two small boys, an author and a zoologist.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?


Jaime Johnesee:
1. I love to bake.

2. I am a huge fan of Thanksgiving; I even like it more than Halloween.

3. I lost a friend to paranoid schizophrenia.  He killed himself when the hallucinations began to get real to him.

4. I suffer from depression, which comes along with an as-yet-unnamed-disease that is similar to lupus.

5. I have a major love for American Muscle and, more specifically, Pony cars.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Jaime Johnesee:
Ferdinand the Bull, but the whole book was in Spanish named El Cuento de Ferdinando.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Jaime Johnesee:
Right now I am reading an article on medical marijuana and the effect it has on dementia and Alzheimer's.  Not exactly riveting stuff, but researching neuropsychiatry is a hobby of mine.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Jaime Johnesee:
When I was eight, my teacher gave us these cloth covered books - mine had Surfs on it - and told us to write a story.  I have been doing it ever since.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Jaime Johnesee:
I have my office, but I can pretty much write anywhere there isn't people.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Jaime Johnesee:
I have to have Werther's Originals near me when I write.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Jaime Johnesee:
I think these days it's just finding the time every day to write.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Jaime Johnesee:
I'm inspired by far too many books to name.  As for my style, it's not really inspired by anyone directly.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Jaime Johnesee:
Believable and realistic characters.  Good solid characters can carry a story when it might otherwise suck.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Jaime Johnesee:
For me to love a character I have to feel like they are real.  When I write, the characters come first.  I know their names and personalities before I even put the first words on the page.  I try my best to make them grow and evolve as realistically as possible too.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Jaime Johnesee:
I'd love to say Apollyon from Revelations, but it's got to be Bob the Zombie.  I'm a major klutz, just like him, and I go through the same sort of bad luck spells he does.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Jaime Johnesee:
I am.  I won't lie and say I don't look at cover art before buying a book, because I absolutely do.  I try to be minimally involved with my covers.  I work with some of the best in the industry, like Jeffrey Kosh, and I can usually give him a synopsis of the story and he will create this perfect cover that tells the whole story.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

Jaime Johnesee:
This is not an easy or lucrative business.  I'm in this for the long haul just because I enjoy entertaining people.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Jaime Johnesee:
I have had a few.  If the scenes are not pulling emotion from me and making it difficult for me to write then I am not doing my job.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Jaime Johnesee:
Well, with Bob the Zombie, he's a sentient and kindly fellow who doesn't run around munching on people, but lives a life of madcap antics.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Jaime Johnesee:
Titles are very important.  Especially these days.  You don't want to end up at the bottom of a list of books with the same name.  I tend to go for simple (for the most part) but interesting titles.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Jaime Johnesee:
Great question!  They both have a different feel to them.  When I write a short story, I sit down and write the entire first draft in one siting - it's fantastic, fun and fast.  When I work on a novel, it's a long labor of love.  Both are fulfilling in their own ways, but there is an added bonus for me in completing a novel as I prefer to write shorter works.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Jaime Johnesee:
I tend to inject humor into my work, not to make it ridiculous, but to make it more real.  As for a target audience, I honestly run the gamut as to what I write, so I tend to swing for macabre in everything I do, even the horror comedies.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Jaime Johnesee:
I save deleted scenes for blog posts.  I clean them up, make them shine, and use them as flash fiction projects.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your 'trunk'?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?)

Jaime Johnesee:
I have several trunk novels that I wrote when I was just beginning.  Only two will ever see the light of day, and that's because I don't think the others are good enough to salvage.  We learn as we grow and I've learned enough to know those former projects are nowhere near good enough for my readers.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Jaime Johnesee:
Well, I'm currently working on edits for Revelations: Cast in Fire, my novel version of my novella Shifters, and a novella called Bob Meets Sam.  I'm writing the next novel in the Shifters series, Revelations: Cast in Shadow, two other Bob novellas, and a novel featuring Holly Andrews, a character from my Bob the Zombie universe.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (You know, STaLKeR links.)

Jaime Johnesee:
You can find me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and my website.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks for stopping by, Jaime.  It's been a pleasure having you here today.
            Before you go, do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

Jaime Johnesee:
I just want to thank you again for taking the time to have me on your blog.  I really appreciate it and hope you and your readers have a wonderful day.  I'd also like to remind folks to leave an honest review if you have read a book.  It really helps the authors out and it can help readers, too.


About the author:
Jaime Johnesee lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons.  She spent fourteen years as a zookeeper before shifting her focus to writing full time.  Widely known for her bestselling horror comedy series, Bob the Zombie, she is currently coauthoring the paranormal horror series, Revelations, for Devil Dog Press as well as working on her Shifters series.  You can find out more about Jaime Johnesee at her website.

About the books:

The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Publisher: Jaime Johnesee, LLC
Publication date: 11.7.2014
Pages: 236

Bob is an ordinary guy.  He likes classic rock, a good party, and tacos.  It's too bad that he is dead.  Well, technically speaking, Bob is undead.  After an accident claimed his life, his mother couldn't bear to bury him.  A quick call to a necromancer fixed that problem and voila... he was reborn!
            Armed with a quick wit, a sharp intellect, some good friends, and his trusty stapler, Bob embarks on some crazy adventures that will make you laugh, make you cringe, and - most importantly - make you cheer for Bob to have a happy ending.
            Get the three previously released Bob novellas, a new never-before-seen novella, and a BONUS short story!  Featuring: Bob the ZombieBob the SpyBob the Valentine, Bob the Zombie, and Bob the Hero.   

Revelations: Cast in Blood
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Supernatural, YA
Publisher: DevilDog Press
Publication date: 8.11.2015
Pages: 215

An unknown force threatens Heaven and Hell, along with every soul on Earth.  Three unlikely heroes join together to restore universal balance.  Will their shared adversary initiate an Apocalypse before they're able to uncover the truth, or will they rise to a calling that has, from the beginning of time, been Cast in Blood?


Revelations: Cast in Fire
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Supernatural, YA
Publisher: DevilDog Press
Publication date: 11.1.2015

Chaos has taken over, wreaking havoc not only across the globe, but also throughout Heaven and Hell.  The next apocalyptic seals have been breached, and the leaders of the ethereal realms are paying the price.  With tensions high and defenses at an all-time low, Polly, Lenny, and Drew continue to hunt down the evil behind it all.  Millennia-old secrets rise to the surface, testing friendships and pushing loyalties to their breaking points.  With the clock ticking and uncertainty in the air, will enough time remain to unravel a curse that the darkest of forces have Cast in Fire?

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