A native of Bayonne, NJ - the fabled birthplace of George R. R. Martin - Joseph Lallo is an unlikely entry into the world of literature. After a childhood spent daydreaming and reading, he fully intended to pursue a career in the tech sector. He received a Master's Degree in Computer Engineering from NJIT, and subsequently got a job working IT for a large healthcare corporation. Things changed when, in January 2010, his friends finally convinced him to publish the story that had accumulated over the course of a decade of spare time. That story, now known as the Book of Deacon Trilogy, was a surprise hit, and once he got a taste of the world of indie writing, he was hooked. Now he splits his time between crunching numbers at his day job, writing novels at night, and writing articles and reviews for BrainLazy.com, a group blog he helps run. Joseph recently had a birthday(late January) and is 31 years old.
Hi Joseph. It's good to have you on the events blog today. So, have you always wanted to be a writer?
I went through periods of wanting to be all sorts of things. Through most of the time that was actually writing my main trilogy I was hoping and fully expecting to become a computer engineer. (I’ve got a Master’s Degree and everything.) I was perpetually daydreaming, and I would write things to fill empty moments. It wasn’t until I ended up with a pile of filled up, handwritten notebooks that it was suggested to me that writing might be a valid career choice.
Do you base any part of your books (the plot, setting, characters) on your personal experiences?
There are characters with a firm or loose basis on people in my life. Mostly, though, people who know me and read my books will find little personal opinions, anecdotes, and idiosyncrasies of myself and others working their way onto the page. Eating a whole bowl of chili with corn chips instead of a spoon? That one’s me. Considering all questions to be a robotically simple process of weighing perceived benefits or costs? That’s a friend of mine. There are whole scenes that are pretty much inside jokes among my friends.
If you could meet one of your characters for lunch, who would you want to hang out with and what would you want to talk about?
I’d love to sit down with Deacon (one of the more talented wizards in my books) so he could give me the ins and outs of magic. Failing that, Karter (a mad scientist) would be a fun one, though I’d probably need armed guards to make sure he doesn’t have one of his ‘episodes’ and try to cave my head in with whatever blunt object is handy.
Should writers break the rules?
Yes. Tell your story. As far as I’m concerned the rules are there to help people know how best to tell their story. If you’ve already got your story and you know how you want to tell it, then tell it. If you do a good job, it won’t matter how many rules you break so long as it is actually readable.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
Spit-balling. Pitching ideas. I’ll sit down with my brother, or open up a chat with my friends and we’ll toss ideas back and forth and whole new plots will roll out. For me, writing is 90% connecting the dots, but the 10% where I decide what the dots will be is the most fun.
What is your greatest fear?
I haven’t stepped off the cliff and become a fulltime writer, but that might change this year. The thing that has kept me at the day job is the bone-deep fear that the moment I do, the sales figures will zero out, the nest egg will empty out, and I’ll have to sheepishly trudge back to the IT desk.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Well I wouldn’t mind putting the aforementioned degree to good use. Despite being trained to build gadgets for a living, I’ve never actually had that job. (These days my official job is more about crunching numbers.)
What are some of your favorite curse words?
You know, I don’t curse. In most situations I will literally say the word “curses”. Yes, I am the villain from a silent film. I also tend toward nonsensical pseudo-foreign words. “Schlitz Veit” is a fun one, which I got from the show David the Gnome.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Recently, my brother, his wife, and I bought a house. Every cent of the down payment and closing cost, which was pretty darn substantial, came from the books. My silly imagination literally put a roof over my head. It boggles the mind.
What turns you on creatively?
The strangest things. Music is a big one, and not in the obvious ways. I don’t know if there are a lot of people who associate epic fantasy with the band System of a Down, but the climax of my trilogy was inspired by it. The lyrics and vocals of the band Clutch inspired a prophet character. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Outside of music, I tend to soak up the style of anything I watch or read. It has actually convinced me to be very careful about what entertainment I consume and when. The last thing I need is for one of my characters to suddenly start speaking as though he was written by Aaron Sorkin.
Thanks so much for sharing a bit more of yourself with us.
About Joseph R.Lallo' s Novels
Priced for this event!
Free at Amazon
Video trailer for the Book of Deacon novel
Where to find Joseph R Lallo -