Halfax

Another update, so soon!? Yep! Let me tell you a little story about a somewhat longer story, shall I? (For the quick version, you can buy a Halfax Novella now.)

I’m currently running a Patreon as a way to make shorter stories financially viable. I tend to price my books low, which means stuff less than 50,000 words or so has to be 0.99 cents. A book that cheap has to sell a LOT of copies to make back the cost of a professional cover and a professional edit. But in a patreon, so long as the whole subscribership can get me up over the cost of the cover and the edit, then I can release a story a month without putting myself in the poorhouse or having to so aggressively push their sale that you all get sick of me.

The art (until recently) has been provided by Fable. They’ve really done a great job, but they’ve got some tight deadlines so they’ve had to hand off the illustration task to a whole phallanx of other talented artists. A few months ago, they got to work on the cover for Halfax. When the release date came around, I had (roughly) this.

Looks good to me! But I believe the specific phrase Fable used was “I am becoming invested in this dragon.” So I released with a placeholder and the illustration continued, now with the $100 price tag bumped to $200. Over the course of the next few months, that kept happening. Month after month, the cover became more gorgeous, more powerful. Finally, this glorious thing arrived in my inbox.

Magnificent, right! But then I was in a dilemma. This beautiful piece of art was intended to be applied to a story that was already released, hidden away where only 18 or so people could enjoy it. AND THAT MUST NOT STAND!

So what we have is a situation where art was so good, it got the associated story a full release. Thanks Fable!

Now, what sort of story is it? One of the first stories I ever released was Jade, a distant spin-off sequel to the main Book of Deacon series. Halfax is a sequel to that. So if you’ve read Jade, you’re ready for this one. Enjoy!

At Long Last, AN UPDATE!

Hi folks!

Boy oh boy, it’s been a while, hasn’t it. I’d love to say I’ve got a good excuse for not updating my web page, which ostensibly is my primary source for new information, but mostly it was a confluence of very avoidable maintenance issues combined with a little bit of burnout. But all of that is beside the point. I’m here, you’re here. What’s been going on!

A BRAND NEW SERIES

The main update, and one I really should have focused on a long time ago, is the recent release of a brand new series! I call it “Shards of Shadow.” Unlike most of my other series, which either take place in another world or in the distant future, Shards of Shadow is my first real foray into urban fantasy. It takes place in modern day Philadelphia, and follows the exploits of a photographer named Alan, who has found himself embroiled in a supernatural invasion thanks to the arrival of a shadowy fiend called Blot.

The covers of the first three books in the Shards of Shadow series: A Traitor in the Shadows, The Prison of Shadows, and The Balance of Shadows.
Covers by Deranged Doctor Design

It’s been so long since I updated this page, I’ve released the first three of the books in Shards of Shadow. They are, in order:

Currently, they are Amazon exclusives, and are included in KU, but the paperbacks are available everywhere, and if you’re curious when the series will be available in your store of choice, feel free to drop me an email (the address is on the contact page.

A Brand New Podcast!

Though I never spoke much of it here, I’ve actually been the co-host of a podcast for quite some time. It was the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast. We closed up shop on that podcast a few months back, but recently we started up a new one very similar to the old one. The Six Figure Authors podcast features Lindsay Buroker, Andrea Pearson, and myself interviewing authors and marketing experts on how to sell more books. There’s very little talk about craft or my own stories there, so it’s probably not much of an interest for readers, but if you’re an aspiring author yourself, give it a try!

A Brand New Plan!

So, you may ask, what are the plans for the future? Well, I’m glad you ask.

I took a lot of time to prepare and create the Shards of Shadow series. While it was a lot of fun, and readers really had a great time with it, it hasn’t blown me away with its performance. I’ll most likely continue it one of these days (it is a planned five book series), but for now it’s time for a return to form.

I have three main series, The Book of Deacon, Free-Wrench, and Big Sigma. While there are additional stories and spin-offs for each, the main arc of each series is five books deep.

Next year, I hope to make it six.

I’m proclaiming 2020 “The Year of Six.” All three of my main series will have a sixth installment. Book of Deacon 6 is already mostly done, in fact. It needs some bulking up, but I blasted through it for NaNoWriMo this year. After that, the long overdue Free-Wrench 6. And then Big Sigma 6 to close the trio out. I really hope you folks will like them, and I’ll do better to keep you apprised of my activities in that regard.

And finally, Patreon

Yep, I still have a Patreon. It’s been puttering along pretty nicely this past year. I’ve released a dozen short stories or novellas there, and soon I’ll be collecting up the formerly exclusive stuff for a collection that’ll be for sale. Keep your eyes peeled for it!

The Story of Sorrel

Hi, everybody!

Today, I’m happy to announce the release of The Story of Sorrel!

If you have followed my writing for any amount of time,  you’ll know who Sorrel is. (If you haven’t followed my writing until recently, this is an excellent way to get into the story, as it stands alone fairly well.) Sorrel was without a doubt one of the most popular characters from The Rise of the Red Shadow,  which was itself a story about one of the most popular characters from The Book of Deacon. If you do the math, the favorite character from the prequel about the favorite character of the main series is basically popularity squared.

This has been simmering for a long time. I would write little chunks of it whenever I was in the car or on the train. Any long trip when it would have been irritating for me to use my full-size computer. I would pull out my phone or chromebook and write a little bit of what would become The Story of Sorrel. There was even a big hand-written hunk in one of my big fat moleskine notebooks.

Slowly, over the course of many years, it grew into what it is today. First it was a short story. Then a Novella. Now, at about 60,000 words, it’s a full novel.

So what’s it about? Well, if you read The Rise of the Red Shadow, you’ll know the circumstances under which Sorrel left our hero. This story picks up a few weeks to a few months after that,  in the place that she had been headed to when we last saw her. In the story, we’ll see how Sorrel raises her kids, and see how serious she can get. If you look at that excellent cover art by Nick Deligaris, you’ll see she’s not afraid to go toe to toe with a particularly terrifying dragon (who may seem familiar to long-time readers).

This story is one of my shorter ones. It’s about a third the length of any individual piece of The Book of Deacon. But I think you’ll like it. Early readers seem to be enjoying it. So if you’re interested, pick up The Story of Sorrel from all the usual places.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

The Best Possible Restaurant Experience

I was recently on a trip. My friends and I attended our tenth PAX East video game convention. It was a lot of fun, as it always is, but the organizers couldn’t compete with the dining experience we had on the way home.

Let me set the scene. The trip involved four of my friends. After four straight days of waking up bright and early, walking the show floor for 8 hours, sitting in a crowded tabletop area playing board games for six more hours, then getting back to bed at 1-2 am to wake up for another full day, we were all fairly worn out. One of us split off to drive separately, leaving me and three friends less than an hour into a four-hour drive from Boston to New Jersey. If our estimated travel time was any indication, we would not arrive at the first of our three destinations before all but the fastest of fast food restaurants were closed. It seemed like it was the best idea to pick someplace local. Someplace we didn’t have at home. Someplace with character.

We chose wisely.

(more…)

The Story of Sorrel Pre-Order

Hi folks! Check this out!

tl;dr: The Story of Sorrel is available for Pre-Order! It’ll be out April 9th.

Cover by Nick Deligaris (as if you didn’t know)

Fun fact, I tend to have at least one story in a file labeled “Travel Notes.” When I’m riding on the train or (more rarely) flying on a plane, I’ll add to that file. I never really expect that stuff to come to fruition. But I’ll be darned if The Story of Sorrel didn’t finish up.

What’s The Story of Sorrel, you ask? Well, if you’ve read The Rise of the Red Shadow, you know who Sorrel is. The Story of Sorrel is a tale that picks up shortly after her departure from The Rise of the Red Shadow. It’s a bit of a fairy tale. I was almost tempted to label it young adult, but there’s all sorts of weird, semi-official rules about what counts as young adult, so it’s good ol’ general audience.

The Story of Sorrel stands alone fairly well, but if you’ve read the rest of my stuff, you’ll find a strong connection to The Crescents. This effectively serves as a prequel to that book. So if that sounds good to you, pick it up! And if it sounds so very good that you just can’t bear to wait, head over to my Patreon. A Novella-tier pledge will get you a copy of it RIGHT NOW! (Along with a bunch of shorts.)

 

Indra Station and other Late Updates

Boy, oh boy. It seems like I hardly ever update this web page. Time to correct that.

What’s been going on? First up, the stuff you’d care about.

Indra Station

Speaking of things that are long overdue, Indra Station, fifth installment to the Big Sigma series, is available for Pre-Order now!

Cover by Nick Deligaris

Indra Station picks up shortly after Temporal Contingency leaves off. Lex is doing his best to get back into racing, thanks to the soon to open “ORIC”, a league set up by Nick Patel and run by  his niece, Preethy Misra. Despite ostensibly giving her blessing, Michella’s none-too-pleased at Lex getting mixed up with people she sees only as organized criminals, so she puts her journalistic skills to work finding out what sort of dark underbelly this league has. The results are predictably pyrotechnic.

Indra Station releases on January 30th wherever ebooks are sold, but you can pick it up on pre-order from all the usual places. And one of those places (where you’ll actually get it early) is…

PATREON!

Yeah, yeah. I know. I talked about it in the last post. But if you missed it, here it is again.  Consider supporting, particularly if you like short stories. So far there have been two, and a third one drops in a couple weeks!

What’s next?

I’m actually planning some new stuff for next year. I’d very much like to get six books (or so) out next year. Those would include, at the very least, a brand new series. It’s early enough in the process that it doesn’t even really have a name, but it’s Urban Fantasy, and there are sentient shadows. Stay tuned!

The Rogue Derelict Returns!

The time has come. If you missed out on the Amazon exclusive Rogue Derelict run, and didn’t take advantage of the recent Bundle, then you can finally get your hands on this standalone entry to Lindsay Buroker’s Fallen Empire series. It’s available everywhere now!

Also, the first Patreon release hit patrons a little while ago.

Artwork is by Fablepaint

This is an origin story for the surly little aye-aye who keeps the Wind Breaker in the air. If you’d like a copy of it, support for $1 over at Patreon, or wait six months or so for it to be released as a perk or part of a collection.

Big Announcements!

Hi folks! Once again I continue the disturbing tendency to make my personal website the last place I announce things. (This is an excellent reason to sign up for the newsletter, by the way.) But better late than never! Let’s get into this. First and foremost!

The Inevitable Patreon!

A few days ago, I launched a Patreon page for my writing. If you’re not familiar, Patreon is a site that allows you to pledge money to your favorite creators. The money is paid either monthly or by creation, and in exchange for your support, you get special perks and goodies. And I’ve got one now!

What will the Patreon be?

In my case, the patreon will be a way for me to distribute my short stories. You may remember, earlier this year, I was releasing some of my shorter stuff as official releases. It was certainly one way to do it, but I realized that doing so would quickly flood my library with super short stories that LOOK like full titles. And though I love my short stuff, I’d really rather keep it distinct from the longer entries. Patreon will be my way to release those shorts on a monthly basis. Depending on your support level, I’ll send you download links to each new novel and novella too. You’ll basically be automatically pre-ordering all of my stuff. On top of that, you’ll get access to a discord chat I’ll have open on the side while I’m writing, and probably lots of other fun stuff as people request new perks and as I think of them. Sound good? Sign up! As little as a dollar will get you a new short story every month!

What will the Patreon NOT be?

A pay wall. Nothing that goes out to the Patreon supporters will be locked behind the patreon wall forever. Eventually everything in the Patreon will be released either as part of a collection or as a newsletter perk. This is only about getting the stuff early, getting it automatically, or just tossing some money in a tip jar to help keep me writing through the lean months of the year.

It also won’t be a get rich quick scheme. If you check out the patreon, you’ll see on the left side there’s a list of goals. On the off chance I reach certain funding thresholds, the extra cash will go to giving folks a better product. Custom covers for the short stories, internal illustrations. Self-narrated audio versions. The more time I can afford to spend making them better, the better they’ll get. This is about making good books, not about buying sports cars. (Although I make no promises that I won’t buy more hand made figurines of my characters if the budget permits.)

So, that’s that. If it sounds like something you’d like to support, please do! If not, that’s a-okay. Things’ll continue on for you like nothing had ever changed. The first Patreon release will be on October 17th, to coincide with…

Rogue Derelict Re-release!

By now you’ve heard me talk about it plenty of times, so I’ll keep it brief. I wrote a story in Lindsay Buroker’s Fallen Empire series as a part of Amazon’s Kindle Worlds program. The program ended, and Lindsay allowed me to republish it on my own. It’ll be out on October 17th, and you can find the pre-order here. People who prefer Kindle probably already have this, but this is the first time (outside of last month’s bundle) that non-Amazon readers can get their hands on it.

And then there’s Rustle and Eddy!

Another one I’ve talked about a bit, so just a reminder. A merman and his fairy buddy go on an adventure in the Crescent Sea. Available now!

The Best of Joseph R. Lallo

I’ve got a brand new bundle at StoryBundle right now. It’s called the Best of Joseph R. Lallo Bundle

So many books! If you’re not familiar with StoryBundle, they’re a site that curates collections of books and makes them available for a limited time at a price of your choosing. If you hit certain levels, you get different amounts of goodies, and you can even choose to send a piece of your purchase to a charity. I’ve worked with them a bunch in the past, and it’s always been a great experience, so I’m happy to say that they offered me the opportunity let folks get their hands on a collection of stories that have been lucky enough to have been bundled in the past. You can visit the website for the details, but the short version is, until roundabout August 7th, you if you pay at least $25 you can get 17 full novels and a comic! Here are some of the highlights.

This bundle has three exclusives. Things that either haven’t been available in a neat little ereader-friendly package or haven’t been available anywhere but Amazon before.

The Adventures of Rustle and Eddy is the edited, polished, and published story of a merman and fairy friend who go on an adventure deep under the sea. Previously it was only available as a tumblr blog. Cover art (and, if I’m honest, a great deal of character design) by ViiStar.

Weird Nothing is a webcomic, updated semi-regularly, that has had its first four chapters collected for the bundle into a little digital comic! Written by me, art by Adam J. Hall.

Rogue Derelict is a (former) Kindle World’s novel in the Fallen Empire setting. Kindle Worlds, as the name would imply, is (no longer) an Amazon product, which meant that I couldn’t release it wide. Well, good news! Amazon’s Kindle Worlds doesn’t exist anymore! That means I can now (with Lindsay’s permission) sell the book everywhere. And the first place you can get it, is in the bundle.

So, there you have it! Check it out!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Jo. I love your writing, because you are the greatest dude ever, so I already own all of your stories. Is there anything in this for ME?”

First, cut it out, you’re making me blush. And second, YES! There are three prizes on offer to everyone who buys a copy.

First, there’s these goodies!

Left to Right: Full 3D Print of Squee the Funk by Liz Landis, Faux Bronze Monkey-Toe Wrench by ViiStar and me, and hand painted Myn Bust by Leilia’s Clay Creations. You get all three if you’re the lucky winner. If you don’t get that, you could get this!

White (we’ll call them “unpainted”) versions of the same goodies!

And finally, there’s something called a tuckerization. That’s where you get to have a minor character named after you. One of the winners will get to help me pick the name for a character in the upcoming Big Sigma 5!

So, again, check out the bundle!