Thursday, June 6, 2019

Welcome to Lori

UPDATE: What Happened to Lori Book 2?

The release date got pushed back!

Due to circumstances completely beyond my control, you will have to wait a little longer to find out what happened to Lori...

WHAT HAPPENED TO LORI BOOK 2: REVELATIONS will now be available on Kindle, September 29, 2019.

If you are reading this for the first time, WHAT HAPPENED TO LORI is a two-book gearshift thriller series written by me, Joe Konrath.

Currently, the 180,000 word epic is available as two ebooks.

BOOK 1 is $4.99 (or free with Kindle Unlimited) on Amazon.

BOOK 2 is $4.99 and available for pre-order on Amazon.


If you haven't read BOOK 1, you need to do so.

Right now.

If you'd like to know more about why I wrote LORI, check out my blog post on that topic.

So now here come some spoilers...

If you continue reading this post without reading BOOK 1, it could spoil some of the secrets in the book.

Part of the fun of WHTL is guessing what happened to Lori. There's a long tradition of this in media.

  • Does Frodo get the Ring to Mount Doom?
  • Who shot JR?
  • Who will sit on the Iron Throne?
  • Are all those Avengers really dead?
  • Will Sam and Diane ever have sex?
  • Who killed Laura Palmer?
  • Will they rescue Han Solo from Jabba?
  • Will David and Maddee ever have sex?
  • Will Number 6 escape?
  • Will Harry Potter defeat Voldemort?
  • Will Richard Kimble catch the one-armed man?
Maybe you recognize some, or all, of these pop-culture references. Call them cliffhangers. Or episodic drama. Or a single, long story told in sections. What they all have in common is they didn't answer their own questions right away.

Many people, including me, like the guessing and the waiting as much as the answers.

As Gene Wilder said as Willy Wonka, "The suspense is terrible. I hope it'll last."

Happily, you won't have to wait years to find out what happened to Lori. It will be released when the countdown clock above reaches zero.

But if you have already read BOOK 1, you probably have some guesses about what happened. And maybe you came here to discuss those ideas with other like-minded readers.

Please post your questions in the comments below. I'll be watching and moderating.

If you think you've figured something out, please announce SPOILER ALERT before you speak your mind.

And if you want some hints, keep reading.


See what I did there? If you read this from this point on, I'll give you some clues about what happened to Lori.

But are you really sure you want the clues? Don't you want to just wait until you read BOOK 2?

Really? You want clues?

Okay. You have been warned. Here come the spoilers...

Q: I read BOOK 1. What the $%@*&! happened to Lori!?!?!

A: I seeded enough clues in BOOK 1 for smart readers to take an educated guess. That guess may be wrong, because I also intentionally misled readers.

Q: Why would you intentionally mislead readers?

A: We all like to be surprised. We all like to keep guessing. Being handed a wrapped present and wondering what it contains is as much fun as opening it, which is as much fun as knowing what it finally is. A roller coaster isn't just a big drop. It's seeing the coaster as you approach it. It's waiting in line, anticipating the ride. There is a long climb to the top, and a drop, and then lots of twists and turns.

I'm taking readers on a journey. Journeys are about more than just the destination. There are moments of joy, and moments of disappointment, and moments of expectation, and moments of frustration, and moments of relief. Clickbait cartharsis.

Plus I'm really interested in seeing how many people read BOOK 1, and how many continue on to BOOK 2.

Q: What's with all the pictures of houseflies?

A: Do you think they're really houseflies?

Q: Sometimes in the book you put numbers next to the date, like this: 

August 13, 2014 ○ 11:33pm ○ 1407972798

What is that long string of numbers at the end?

A: I'm glad someone finally asked. It's about time. I'm sure a smart reader will post it in the comments.

Q: Who is The Watcher?

A: The Watcher is the person watching.

Q: You know what I mean! Is Grim the Watcher? Is Fabler? Is Presley? Kadir? Is the reader the Watcher, like some sort of metafiction thing?

A: Could be any of those. Probably not, though.

Q: Is Lori the Experiment?

A: All I'll say about the Experiment is he/she is really well-armed.

Q: Is Lori dead?

A: You'll meet Lori and get into her point of view in BOOK 2. But I'm not saying when she appears. Could be in the past. Could be in some other time.

Q: If Fabler a good guy or a bad guy?

A: He's a guy. We all have good and bad in us. Everything isn't always so simple.

Q: Did Fabler do something to Lori?

A: Fabler's problem isn't about what he did. It's about what he didn't do.

Q: Are all those movies that Fabler makes Presley watch a clue?

A: Yes. Or they're red herrings. One of the two. Maybe.

Q: You call this an epic gearshift thriller. What does that mean?

A: It's epic in that it's really long and expansive and deep. A gearshift thriller means it changes direction. You'll see that in BOOK 2. It gets crazy.

Q: Who is the hero? Is there even a hero? You have lots of messed-up characters doing messed-up things.

A: All three main leads are at their low points. It's up to them to see if they can pull themselves out of their slumps and be heroic.

Q: Do any of the three leads die in BOOK 2?

A: Yes. And it's probably the character you like most.

Q: There is a mention of Mu. What's that?

A: Readers of my other books may remember Mu. But I doubt it. You really have to know my backlist.

Q: Is the fact that Lori has red hair and blue eyes important?

A: It is very important.

Q: Why is Fabler making Presley do all that crazy stuff?

A: He's training her for something.

Q: I knew that, obviously. But is he training her for something real? Or is Fabler insane?

A: Fabler believes it is real. Or he wants to believe it is real. Or he's afraid it's real. Or he's afraid it isn't real.

Fabler has some issues...

Q: Does all of that training pay off?

A: It would have, if Fabler and Presley followed the rules...

Q: You've got a bunch of weird random-looking characters at the beginning of BOOK 1, and it ends with:


20 GOTO 10. 

What is that?

A: I thought it was pretty basic. And those weird random-looking characters weren't random.

Q: This took you a whole year to write? Why? It's just a regular thriller, isn't it?

A: Yes. And no. The concept was difficult to work out. I had to think a lot about world-building, and the science behind it.

Q: World-building? Science? Where?!? This story is just two characters trying to figure out if a third character killed his wife. Right?

A: Wrong.

Q: What's with the diples? Do you have a reason for using diples for interior monologue other than trying to be clever and hip?

A: <I sure do.>

Q: Is it aliens?

A: I'll be honest with you; I have always wanted to write an alien abduction story and then take readers onto the flying saucer. We never get to see that in books or movies. The action always stays on earth.

I bet there's some really cool stuff happening on the spaceship.

But to answer your question; no. It's not aliens.

Q: BOOK 1 seems like one long teaser. You're a jerk just trying to get everyone to buy BOOK 2.

A: You mean like all writers are trying to get readers to buy their books? :)

If you're angry and feel you wasted your time because BOOK 1 ends on a cliffhanger, please feel free to write a 1 star review, and don't feel obliged to read BOOK 2. I'm cool with that. Thanks for giving it a shot.

Eventually, BOOK 1 and BOOK 2 will be combined and sold for about six bucks, which should eliminate folks being irritated that BOOK 1 ends abruptly.

Q: Will there be a BOOK 3?

A: The story I'm telling will be wrapped up in BOOK 2. If I ever do a BOOK 3, it will tell a different story within this same universe.

Q: Why was BOOK 2 delayed by 30 days?!?! You're killing me, man!

A: Even with the best supercomputers of 2019, it is impossible to accurately calculate a galactic year. We were off by about a month.

Mu apologizes for the limitations of current technology.

Q: WTF does that mean? Is that some sort of story clue?!?!?

A: Be sure to read WHAT HAPPENED TO LORI BOOK 2: REVELATIONS, available September 29 exclusively on Kindle.

End of line.