Editor, Writer, and general Knower-Of-Words, if there is text to be read on BrainLazy, Joseph Lallo probably has his fingerprints on it. As the final third of the ownership and foundation of BrainLazy, Joseph “Jo” Lallo made a name for himself when he lost the “e” from his nickname in an arm wrestling match with a witch doctor. Residing in the arid lowlands of the American Southwest, Joseph Lallo is a small, herbivorous, rabbit-like creature with the horns of an antelope. He sleeps belly up, and his milk can be used for medicinal purposes."
As you can see, this gets your attention. Also, Joseph is a computer engineer. I spent yesterday with a terrific computer engineer, doing a site survey to connect data lines to buildings in one of Florida's major ports. It was one of the best days I've had recently, working with someone who knows what he's doing and does it right and doesn't play my-ego-is-bigger-than-yours games. Looking over Joseph Lallo's information reminded me of my day, and so I'm happy to introduce Joseph, or "Jo" possibly, and his Q&A about his books The Book of Deacon, and Jade:
1) How long have you been writing?
I started writing back in grade school, mostly as a way to get the ideas out of my head so that I could concentrate. My formal education focused on engineering, but all through college and the years that followed I was actively involved in various creative writing projects and websites, most of which have gone the way of the dodo. What would become the first installment of The Book of Deacon is an edited and revised version of a story that was composed mostly during times when I should have been studying or working. All told, I've been letting my mind wander all over the page for around fifteen years.
2) How are you marketing your books?
This is my first significant marketing push. I joined Smashwords primarily as a means to make my books easily available to friends and family, but after involving them in a few site promotions and seeing some success, I decided it might be worth getting the word out to see if I can find an audience. Aside from the occasional plug on my own website, I’m starting to research sites dedicated to eBook review and promotion.
3) Tell us why readers will like your latest book.
Fantasy is a popular genre, one prone to familiar themes and sweeping, epic stories. After beginning my own epic with The Book of Deacon, I thought it would be nice to play with the genre a bit. Jade is a short, character driven tale that touches on elements of fairy tales. As the key members of the small cast grow and develop, though, the roles begin to twist in directions you may not expect. The story has threads that lead back into The Book of Deacon, and forward into books I'm still working on. It is a brief glimpse into a larger world, and one that I hope will prove enticing.
4) How do you edit your books? Do you have help?
Most of my books begin as ink and paper. (The Book of Deacon was written long hand in, frankly, an embarrassing number of spiral notebooks, for instance.) Once I get the ideas down on paper, I type them up, dropping any passages that seem to drag too long and making sure my continuity is sound. I do this mostly from memory, using the written work as a guideline. In that way, the key events that stick in the mind form the framework of the plot, while the forgettable ones are forgotten. When I find a spot that doesn't quite work, or a scene that needs to be filled in, I make a note with an easy to find search key and move on. Once I reach the end, I make a second pass, hitting all of the search keys to fill in or rework as necessary. At this point, I pass the book on to a small circle of friends for proof reading and suggestions. It is always a good idea to get another set of eyes on your work, so that they can ask the questions you forgot to answer in your story. If no one else can look at a passage, I make sure at least a day has passed before I proof it myself. Any less time than that and I see what I meant to write rather than what I really did. After final look to weed out typos, I run it through the Smashwords Style Guide and publish.
5) Where are your books available? (Include hyperlinks)
Right now The Book of Deacon is available both on Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9354) and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-of-Deacon-ebook/dp/B0036FTF4S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=books&qid=1288663639&sr=1-1). Readers interested in picking it up can get it for a $0.99 until December 2nd by entering coupon code XK35G on Smashwords.
Jade, my most recent work, is available exclusively on Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/25151). Likewise, this book is available for $0.99 by entering code BH75C on Smashwords.
6) What have your reviews been like so far?
As this represents my first marketing push for any of my books, the only reviews I've had are those available via the Smashwords page. Though several people have purchased my books, as of right now only a friend/fellow blogger has reviewed one. Granted, he may be a bit biased, but you can find his review at the bottom of the page for The Book of Deacon : http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9354
7) What do you deal with at your blog/website?
I help run a group blog, www.brainlazy.com, dedicated to technology, entertainment, and humor. Currently we are focused on video game and movie news, and just recently we did some coverage of the New York Comic Con. At irregular intervals you can also find rants written by me on subjects as diverse as the nature of good and evil and the similarities between homeless people and performance artists. I write there under the name Decoychunk.
8) Have you found reader discussion groups for your genre?
Actually, I have found that some of the most interesting and enlightening discussions on Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and virtually any other genre take place in the pages of tvtropes.org. If you go there, though, be forewarned; you are venturing into a vortex of fascinating lists that will devour a fair portion of your next few weeks. Also, don't be surprised if it turns out every idea you've ever had has been done often enough to have its own catchy nickname.
9) Would you like to review your favorite Smashwords writer?
Much as I would love to dig through the vast array of excellent artists on Smashwords, I'm still working my way through a backlog of books I'd been meaning to catch up on. With the complete works of Terry Pratchett behind me, I'm now staring into the maw of The Dresden Files, and after that Neil Gaiman. With those as samples of my favored literary fare, perhaps someone could offer up some Smashwords authors of the a similar flavor?
10) What are you working on now?
Right now I am finishing off the second installment of The Book of Deacon, which is in the proof reading stage. I'm also taking a stab at some Sci-Fi at the request of one of my circle of proof readers, but that is still in the early stages.
Please read Joseph's books and post your own reviews at Smashwords.com