Welcome! I am L.S. Johnson, award-nominated author of dark fantasy and weird fiction, and this is my ongoing series Prima Materia. If you have questions, here are answers.

What is Prima Materia?

To quote an author friend of mine, Prima Materia is "the vampire War & Peace" ... and honestly I still haven't come up with a better logline for it, so thank you again, Cath. :) Prima Materia is about warring vampires, the alchemists who want their blood, and maybe—just maybe—the return of a serpent god; it's got found families, smoldering romance, dry wit, and an awful lot of blood and biting; it's set in a diverse, grubby, bawdy Enlightenment Europe both like and unlike our own, where beings not quite human walk among us and the line between faith and science is often blurred. Every writer, I think, has a passion project, the one where we throw all our favorite ideas and tropes into a story and run with it. Prima Materia is mine.

Okay, that's the series. But what is this website?

Well, when I first realized just how many books it would take to tell the whole story in my head, not to mention all the research ... phew. I knew if I tried to publish it book by book I might well lose my nerve, plus it would be a struggle to maintain an audience through the long months between installments. Still, I tried to do just that for many years ... and ended up with research strewn across half a dozen accounts and notebooks, a whole lot of disconnected scenes, and not a finished book in sight.

What I needed was structure, and thus primamateria.online was born. A place where I could post chapters as I wrangled them into shape, and corral my research into something more organized and book-specific.

A place that I could also share with you, the reader.

So what's in it for me?

  • Have you ever wondered what went into your favorite book? What planning, what research? How it changed from draft to final story?
  • Do you enjoy getting news about your favorite series before everyone else—news such as cover reveals, excerpts, and preorder dates?
  • How about exclusive material such as outtakes, short stories, and limited-edition chapbooks?

If any or all of these appeal to you, dear reader, this is the place for you.

And best of all, it's free. All you have to do is sign up!

Wait a minute ... What about the subscription tiers?

Well, people often ask me how they can support this project. Do I have a tip jar, or a Patreon? And I've never quite known what to do with sites like Ko-fi, and Patreon's format just didn't work for this project.

So if you want to support Prima Materia, or just support me as a writer, this is your chance. Paying subscribers will get printed swag and books for free, and in 2023 I'll be adding something else to the mix—high on the list right now is some kind of chat &/or group writing time on Zoom or Discord. And of course they also get my eternal gratitude.

I'm intrigued! Can I read some posts before I sign up?

You certainly can! Here are links to some sample posts:

Okay, I think I'm in! I just need a few more details ...

How many books will there be?

I've got seven planned right now: three novellas and four novels. A list can be found here, or by clicking on The Books at the top of this page.

In an ideal world I'd love to keep writing these characters up into the 20th century, but I've got to get through the 18th first haha.

The other posts are divided into categories. You can read about them here or by clicking on The Posts at the top of the page, but briefly they are:

  • Behind the Curtain - posts on writing craft and my process
  • Below the Waterline - posts on big picture worldbuilding stuff and thematic influences
  • Characters - lists of characters in the series
  • Language - glossaries of the conlang and period slang used in the series

There are also book-specific posts—annotations, really—that are listed under each book title.

How willl I get my ebook/print rewards?

All ebook files will be delivered through Bookfunnel, who will help you get the file onto your preferred device. If you have any trouble, just click help. Their tech support is great.

Print rewards are free for paying subscribers and at minimal cost to free subscribers. They ship via Media Mail domestically and First Class internationally. Each time one is available I'll send complete information on how to receive it.

Can I loan the ebooks to friends and family?

Absolutely! All my ebooks are DRM-free.

Gods above, L.S., you still haven't answered my question!

The answer to that, dear reader, is contact me.