Saturday, March 25, 2017

The VERY BIG 1/2 Price Novel Sale

I've never done this before -- and I don't know whether I'll regret it or not. ;-)  But I'm putting all the digital novels through my JustJoshin Publishing, Inc. imprint on sale at half price for one week only.

Starting tomorrow (actually, I think the prices are already changed on Smashwords) all my novel-length stories are $3.99. That includes Stranger Things Have Happened and Man Oh Man: Writing Quality M/M Fiction.

video


The books included in this are:

The Hell You Say
Death of a Pirate King
The Dark Tide
Stranger Things Have Happened
Man Oh Man: Writing Quality M/M Fiction
Murder in Pastel
The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks
Winter Kill
The Mermaid Murders
The Curse of the Blue Scarab
Somebody Killed His Editor
All She Wrote
The Boy with the Painful Tattoo
Come Unto These Yellow Sands


That's...a lot of books! 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

As someone of what the old folks used to call "Scotch-Irish" descent, St. Paddy's has always been a big deal in my family. For years it was a grueling marathon of a day -- gig after gig after gig (usually in pubs that grew more and more rowdy as the day wore on) -- but these days it's more likely to be relatively quiet, spent with family or close friends. The SO will cook corned beef and colcannon, maybe fix up a couple of Irish Mists...we'll listen to our favorite Irish bands and perhaps watch an Irish film (anything from The Commitments -- if you've ever been in a band, that is the film for you -- or something as nutty as The Quiet Man).

Not everyone makes a big deal of cultural heritage and ancestry--and that's absolutely all right (why focus on the past when you're headed toward the future?) but in my family, we don't forget. ANYTHING. EVER. You remember those stories about the Scots dumping Campbell soup into the sea during World War 2 relief efforts? Yeah. Where I come from, that was considered the right move. :-D

Anyway, is there a holiday that is special to you or your family? How do you celebrate your family ancestry or cultural heritage?

OR do you?




Sunday, March 12, 2017

New Release - FAIR CHANCE

Fair Chance, the final installment in the All's Fair trilogy is out today in print, ebook and audio.

The Blurb:
Elliot Mills comes face-to-face with evil in this follow-up to Fair Game and Fair Chance from bestselling author Josh Lanyon

One final game of cat and mouse...

Ex-FBI agent Elliot Mills thought he was done with the most brutal case of his career. The Sculptor, the serial killer he spent years hunting, is finally in jail. But Elliot's hope dies when he learns the murderer wasn't acting alone. Now everyone is at risk once again--from a madman determined to finish his partner's gruesome mission.

The Excerpt:
“Excellent choices, gentlemen.” The petite brunette waitress dropped her ticket pad in the pocket of her teeny tiny black skirt and bestowed a dazzling and impartial smile on both of them. “I’ll be right back with your cocktails.”
They were seated at Stanley & Seafort’s Steak, Chop & Fish House, one of their favorite places in town to dine on the evenings they weren’t in a hurry to get back to Goose Island. The food was fine. The bar was excellent. But more to the point, it gave them a chance to talk about the case on neutral ground. When Elliot had finally acceded to SAC Montgomery’s request that he visit Corian, one of Tucker’s stipulations had been that they not take the case home with them. From the point they boarded the ferry at Steilacoom, the topic of the Sculptor was officially shelved.
That was the goal anyway.
Tonight there was more to talk about than could be covered in the drive to the ferry.
Tucker sighed, loosened his tie and leaned back in the sofa-sized booth. Elliot gazed out the picture window at the stunning view of Tacoma and the blue waters of Commencement Bay Harbor beyond. He massaged his knee, which had started to ache.
Tucker glanced at Elliot. “If I seemed…harsh back there,” he began gruffly.
Elliot brushed the apology aside. “It’s all right. I get it.” He didn’t expect—or need—Tucker to pull his punches when they were working.
“You’re my priority. That doesn’t change. I genuinely believe your involvement is not critical, but even if I did think we needed your help, I wouldn’t be happy with this because I don’t think this is good for you. Or us.”
Well, hell. That was Tucker for you. No beating around the bush. And an unnerving ability to say aloud the things most guys, including Elliot, were not comfortable saying outside the privacy of their own bedroom.
“I know, Tucker. Like I said, I get it.” This ground was so well trod it was practically mud beneath Tucker’s handmade Italian shoes. “But just once I’d like to discuss the case without a preface from you on how much you didn’t—and don’t—want me involved.”
Tucker grimaced. Nodded.

They were silent for a few minutes. That was mostly weariness, though a small amount of irritation factored in. They were both too opinionated and strong-willed not to bump heads now and again. They’d learned over the past months that simply taking a deep breath and a step back usually took care of things.
The waitress appeared with their drinks. Whisky and soda for Tucker and a glass of California merlot for Elliot. He needed a drink after the day he’d had, but he would be taking pain meds that night for sure. He must have twisted his knee when he’d raced across Corian’s property to see who had opened fire.
Tucker’s expression was somber as he sipped his whisky.
Watching him, Elliot asked, “Do you want me to share my thoughts on my visit to Corian’s place?”
“If you think it’s relevant.”
Elliot let his head fall back, summoning patience.
“Sorry,” Tucker muttered. “It’s not pleasant watching a psychopath threaten your partner.” He threw the rest of his drink back.
Fair enough. Elliot would be struggling with that too, were the shoe on the other foot. There was nothing he could say to comfort Tucker, so he related his trip to Black Diamond and his encounter with Corian’s former neighbor.
Tucker mulled it over. “Do you think Corian was working with an accomplice?”
“I don’t know. My first instinct was no. Except…I’m not sure that was instinct so much as rejection of something I didn’t want to hear.”
“I watched the interview twice. I still can’t make up my mind.”
“Twice?”
Tucker was looking at his empty glass like he didn’t know what had happened to his drink. He caught the waitress’s eye and she nodded. He turned back to Elliot. “What I am sure of is there’s nothing he won’t do to wreck you.”
“Of course,” Elliot said. “We already knew that.”
Tucker’s expression drew a faint smile from him. “Come on, Tucker. We already know I’m the bad guy in Corian’s movie. He didn’t invite me over there because he thinks I’m the one person who can appreciate his artistic genius or have a civilized conversation with him, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. He wants me there so that he can dump his horror stories all over me and hopefully cause maximum mental distress.”
“That’s right,” Tucker said grimly. “He’ll try to get to you any way he can. Including physically, so don’t ever turn your back on him.”
“Is that literally or figuratively? Do you want me to shuffle backwards out of the room at the end of each visit?”
“I’m not joking about this.”
“I know. He’ll continue to be handcuffed and wear ankle restraints during our interviews. I’m not about to forget what he’s capable of.”





The Launch Party -- and you're invited! 





Friday, March 10, 2017

Epic Fail

I was reading an article the other day about how writing "short" will maximize profits--this was right after I'd watched a webinar on writing to market, which was right after I'd watched another webinar on understanding Amazon's algorithms.

Now I do enjoy writing short stories. They're excellent for exploring theme or a particular character dynamic--and I'm good at them! So I had no objection to that article. I thought it was interesting. And I think in this publishing environment, authors do need to think in practical, i.e., businesslike terms. There's nothing wrong with identifying and analyzing your target audience. Nor is there anything wrong with understanding Amazon's algorithms.

But yet I still felt a little depressed after an afternoon of...authorial self-improvement.

Which is probably illogical because writing is a business, and I'm the first one to get impatient with people who don't conduct themselves like professionals. But writing is also an art, and lately everything seems to be about the business of fiction writing and very little, if anything, about the art.

Even the rare posts that are ostensibly about writing, are usually thinly disguised promotion.

And I get it. This is an insanely competitive market. And by "this" I mean any genre you can think of.  There is no sub-genre of commercial fiction that it isn't swamped with new books and new authors, so it's only natural that we're all looking for an edge. It's like the Olympics. Now days winning is determined by a fraction of a fraction of a second. Your sunscreen can make a difference.

It makes perfect sense that we're all studying formulas and algorithms and trends like we're searching for a cure for cancer. I don't care how good you are, when the market gets this crowded and this competitive, you have to run a lot faster just to stay in one place.

But writing is also still an art.

I don't care how many of these marketing courses tell you it's not about writing, it's about productivity...if you consider yourself to be a real writer, if you take pride in the idea of being a writer, then you need to care about the work. You need to care about the words.

And that means you need to have the courage to experiment. To, yes, fail. Because it's through trial and error that you get better. That you get to the goal--at least, I think it should be a goal--of excellence. Excellence doesn't happen through copying what everyone else is doing. It doesn't happen through homogenization.

I mean, think for a moment about the numbing sameness of what's being published in this genre alone. The same covers, the same blurbs, the same promo tactics--and yes, even the characters and plots all sound the same. For. The. Love. Of. God.

Last year I wanted to experiment. I wanted to try something new. I was eager to push myself to try something new. So I put out two books that had some readers scratching their heads. Murder Between the Pages was a semi-satirical take on classic locked room mysteries. Some readers got it -- but a disconcerting number of readers did not get it. Were actively hostile to the very idea of it. HATED it.

It was one of my least successful titles -- joining the ranks of other not terribly successful experiments like Blood-Red Butterfly.

The other experiment was a monster mash-up. The Curse of the Blue Scarab. An Edwardian murder mystery with supernatural overtones. Some readers got it -- some did not. It too was not as successful as my contemporary crime thrillers. Several one or two star reviews. Genuine grievance at the idea that I would turn out something like that.

IT'S LIKE A DIFFERENT PERSON WROTE IT!!!!! 

:-D :-D :-D

(It's okay, by the way. I don't expect everything to be a huge hit with every single reader. Hell, even the most enormously successful of my books have a few people screaming they can't understand why anyone ever reads me.)

The point of writing is not to never get a bad review. The point of writing is not for every story to be a huge financial--or even critical--success.

What is the point of writing?


This is not rhetorical.

Why do you write? If you don't know the answer, ask yourself: why do you read?

What is the point, the purpose of all this literary exercise?

 If the answer is...to make a lot of money fast...well, okay. Whatever. This is not the post for you. But if you actually care about the work, care about what it means to be a writer--versus just another author--you can't be afraid to experiment, to try new things, to push yourself a little further. You must not be afraid to fail. 

Don't sacrifice art for the algorithms.

Friday, March 3, 2017

And Then My Puppy Ate My Homework

I'm not exactly sure what happened to February.

Well, true, the first part of the month I did have a couple of days of vacation. The annual island retreat with my sibs--I LIVE for those sisterly retreats.

And of course, February IS a short month (and every day counts in this biz).

That said, the month started out really well. Very productive, lots of writing -- particularly on The Monet Murders and the surprise, secret project Writing Killer M/M Suspense and Mystery. (Nice cover, eh? He seems very relaxed about the possibility of having to shoot someone.)

But I'm not just an author. (Is anybody "just an author" these days?) I also run my own publishing empire, so there were also contracts to read and sign (specifically two Thai and one German publisher), print collections to arrange (trying to do a holiday collection...waiting to hear from Carina Press on a couple of titles there) translations to arrange (Italian -- the good news is So This is Christmas will be released by Triskell Edizioni in December and The Monet Murders will be published through my own imprint in the summer), audio to arrange (and then files to listen to because I Trust No One).

Oh, and then Samhain announced that, Oopsie! Yes, they were actually closing as previously announced at the same time last year. Which meant scrambling to prepare those 6 titles for re-release: cover art, formatting for print and ebooks... Although, given Samhain's vagueness on when the titles will actually officially revert, I'm wondering if we really did need to scramble. But the point is...TIME. Precious time being gobbled up in chunks of minutes.

So...all those Samhain titles are pretty much ready to go, we're just waiting on the word. I will give readers a heads up: I'm not re-releasing The Dickens With Love until the holiday season--and I might not release Mummy Dearest until I have Bite Club ready to go. But all the other titles will be immediately available, once Samhain releases them to me.

Tick. Tock.

Big, big time suck there.

And there is this First Ever Mini Writer's Retreat, which also took up some time. If that should turn out to be a fun and productive thing, we might even do it again. Every couple of years. Maybe you would want to come?

Oh, and then of course I have a book release this month. Fair Chance, the final book in the All's Fair trilogy, is being released on March 13th.

And there is a blog tour! For which I had to write a LOT of posts. :-D

Here's the line-up:
Tour Schedule: 

Monday, March 6th - Tome Tender - Guest Posts
Tuesday, March 7th - Alpha Book Club - Guest Posts
Wednesday, March 8th - Books,Dreams,Life - Interview (Author or Character)
Thursday, March 9th - Rainy Days and Pajamas - Guest Posts
Friday, March 10th - Gay Book Reviews - Guest Posts
- -
Monday, March 13th - Joyfully Jay -
Tuesday, March 13th - The Silver Dagger Scriptorium - Guest Posts
Wednesday, March 15th - Bayou Book Junkie - Guest Post
Thursday, March 16th - http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com - Interview (Author or Character)
Friday, March 17th - Bewitched Bookworms - Guest Post


I won't be live and in person at any of these blogs because--as I mentioned--I'll be at my first ever writer's retreat. (Meaning first ever that I was "responsible" for--usually I am privileged to be the person asking everybody where my hotel is.) But I did write posts and offer a few giveaways. That said, most of the giveaways will be occurring at the Launch Party on my own Fan Page.  I don't want people just showing up to win stuff, but I have to admit, my mods give some seriously cool gifties away. So if you are a fan or do genuinely like to read M/M, you are very welcome to the party. Come! You'll have fun.

I'm hoping that you're seeing a pattern here, and that pattern is...there were a lot of interruptions to the writing. And then came the biggest interruption of all...my laptop died.

Which...you know, I still have a desktop, so I'm not sure why this felt like the end of the line (aside from the fact that I lost all the initial chapters of the writing book--and maybe some other files too) but the truth is I don't "create" at my desktop. I create on a laptop while sitting in a giant, comfy chair in front of a fireplace in my bedroom. :-D My desktop is on a desk in my downstairs office and I have to sit on a yoga ball and be sensible. That is really not what writing fiction is about.

When we come back from the writing retreat, we will have house-guests (beloved house-guests) for a couple of days, and then I have a concert (coz that's a thing in my life) and then, then, THEN I will finally be able to get back to writing The Monet Murders.

You see what I'm getting at.

I had promised to deliver The Monet Murders ahead of schedule--because at one point that looked very doable--and even Blind Side ahead of schedule. But that is not looking realistic now.

Now it looks like I will need to put out a short story in the interim. Plenty of Fish. Because I love short stories, short stories take me about a week to write and I need money.

Yes! I admit freely that as a professional writer, money is the fuel that keeps the engine cranking.

I read the funniest comment in a review a while back. Something to the effect that Josh Lanyon put this book out simply to earn money.

LOL

Uh...why yes. You are correct, little person. I put all my books out to earn money. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. I publish to earn money. I can write for my own pleasure. I need not involve anyone else in that alarming process. To make the hassle and stress of publishing worth it, I need to earn money. That's how I earn my living.

This is not a comment on people who choose to live in their mom's basement. Just saying I have to earn a living. Or why the hell would I go to the exhausting and stressful extreme of publishing my work?! Nobody publishes who doesn't hope to earn money. End of story.

Usually.

But I digress.

This is a very long explanation of why I'm having to recalibrate my previously stated plans. I'm genuinely disappointed at having to delay The Monet Murders and Blind Side.

The Monet Murders is being shoved back to its original April release date. Blind Side...should come out about six weeks later. But. Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.

So I hope no one is too disappointed. Or at least no more disappointed than me. The books are coming. And I do genuinely believe that it's better they come a little bit late than that I try to shove them through at top speed. I think you would rather I take my time and deliver the best possible product, right?