Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Countdown Begins

I added it up. I had to pull up a calendar to do it--I'm not so much on the math--but it's 26 days until the launch of Shalan Adventure #3, In The Shadow. That's assuming you read this on the day it was published. Just in case, I've included a calendar with the big date highlighted for your counting pleasure.

Note: If you would like, we could make this interactive. You can mark off the days
until the book comes out on this calendar. But please print it out first, or you'll have
a heck of a time getting the Sharpie marks off your monitor.

For me, this part of the process is, in many ways, the fun part. The heavy lifting (aka actually writing the book) is finished. Now it's down to the little last-minute things before it's completely ready for publication. Like publicity. The first thing I've been doing is peppering my social media with questions that I hope will generate interest. Questions like, "Where is Jenn Bezaleel?", "What is Cleo Heflin hiding?", and "Why does Antonio Bezaleel have his garage windows blacked out?". I also created a faux newspaper with a story about how the whole city of Parkersburg is wondering what happened to Parkersburg High School student, Jennifer Bezaleel and it's started appearing on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest. Piece of trivia for you: I used an old picture of the same young woman who will be on the cover. 

Not to insult anyone's intelligence, but THIS IS PURELY FICTIONAL! Please don't start
a panic. Please do start talking about how clever it is and how it must mean the author is
a literary genius and we must all buy this book, along with the first two. 

Speaking of which, it's also time to create the cover art. The first step in that (not including the literally months of rolling it around in my head) took place last week when I met with my friend, fellow teacher, and photographer extraordinaire, Charlie Gesell to talk over my, admittedly still somewhat fuzzy, vision for it. Charlie, as you may recall, took my portrait for the back cover of Kisses and Lies. If he can manage to make even me look presentable, he's sure to make the cover look great. The photo session for it took place in a dark little corner of our school that, after eighteen years, I still had never been before yesterday evening. When Charlie took me down into that basement room and showed me the decrepit wooden door, it was like the heavens opened. It was exactly how I'd pictured the door in the end of the book! He got our model, a lovely trooper of a young woman named Courtney Stackpole, to pose against that cobweb-covered, filthy, ancient door to capture our shared image of just what we wanted the cover photo to look like, and, even before he did his editing magic, I was blown away. I can't wait to see the finished product. For those of you who liked the cover of KAL, be prepared--it's a completely different direction, but I think you'll be blown away too. 

camera, dslr, lens, photography, photographer, hands, objects
Not actually Charlie or his camera. His was somewhat
kind of similar to this, but only in that it takes pictures.

And then there are the launch preparations. I know it's late in the game, but I'm still not completely decided on how I want to handle it. Frankly, the launch for KAL was a tremendous letdown after Harsh Prey. I spent way more money than I made in book sales and, though I was excited to see the handful of people who came, it made me question whether I should go in a different direction. So I'm strongly and e-launch party on Facebook and Twitter. But I'm also going to put in a call this week to CJs Italian Kitchen, a local restaurant that appears multiple times in the book, and ask about the feasibility of doing something connected with them. A signing later might be appropriate if they are interested. 

Gemini 5 Launch
It's a launch. Get it? It was a pun. Wait, not a pun.
What's that thing that's spelled the same backwards and forwards?
A palindrome? Yes. It's not a palindrome. The palindrome
of launch would hcnual. It's a play on words, then. So, a pun?
Yeah, I guess it's a pun. 

So be prepared to hear more than you want to in the next few weeks about In the Shadow. Not that I don't feel good about the first two Shalan books, but I really feel like I hit my stride with this book. It strikes the balance between light and dark, soft and hard. It still maintains the snarky voice of Harry, but definitely strikes a deeper, more noirish note. I hope you'll agree.

I'm the author of two novels, both Shalan Adventures. Harsh Prey and Kisses and Lies are both available in paperback and ebook format (Kindle only at the moment). In the Shadow will be available around October 1. A prequel novella, "Harry and the Redheaded Angel", will be free to mailing list members at the beginning of November and for sale in Kindle format the week of Thanksgiving for everyone else. 
Buy on Amazon!
Buy on Amazon!


  1. What an exciting time Joe. I wish you all the best with this third one. Sounds like you are hitting you stride. Doris

    1. Thanks--I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

  2. Can't wait. I like the idea of an E-launch. CJ's sounds brilliant too.

    Great. Now I'm hungry.

  3. Can't wait. I like the idea of an E-launch. CJ's sounds brilliant too.

    Great. Now I'm hungry.

    1. Should've gone to Haltermans. SO MUCH FOOD! Including birthday cake for Jennifer.