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Posts Tagged ‘futuristic science fiction’

The Evolution of Lucky Number 20

Mord of that damned word play, I’m afraid. “Evolution” is the title of the book I released today. Vitalis part 6, Evolution, is available at Amazon, Smashwords, and in a matter of days Barnes and Noble, Sony, and other retailers. I mentioned the number 20 because Vitalis: Evolution is my 20th published book. Why is it lucky? That’s an easy one – I’m doing something I love and the interest and feedback I’m getting my readers tells me they love it too. How much luckier can I get than that?

Speaking of Vitalis and good things, each book in the series is ranked on multiple bestselling lists on Amazon (with the exception of Evolution, but that was just released so it’s not there yet). The overall ranking for each one is near the top of the overall charts as well. That, to me, is incredible. I can’t begin to thank all the readers out there who have helped propel this series and my other books along the way. I try though. Just ask any of the readers who’ve sent me feedback, even when they’ve got an issue with something.

Just the other day I had a reader send me an email thanking me for coming up with Vitalis and sharing both his thoughts and a few questions. He’d been hesitant to write, fearing it wouldn’t be received or bothered with. I was his first attempt at ever contacting a writer. I replied as soon as I could (the next morning), letting him know that he was important to me and that I appreciated his feedback very much. I answered his questions and shared some fun trivia about Vitalis that isn’t found in the books. He was ecstatic at my quick response. To my fellow writers out there I encourage you to treat your readers with as much respect as I do. After all, without them all the talent in the world doesn’t do us a bit of good.

But enough about me! Back to Vitalis. I should warn the fans of the series there’s a lot going on in book six.  It’s longer than most of the others and there’s a good reason for it, it’s got some amazing things taking place in it.  Amazing and, by the time you finish it you’re going to ask yourself, “Holy ^$#@! Did he really just go there?” Yes I did, and there’s plenty more of that to come in book seven (which I expect to release on June 1st). Until then, here’s the blurb, cover, and links for Vitalis: Evolution!

When a highly adaptive native species merges human DNA with its own, the results are enough to threaten the existence of everything in its path. The small colony of human survivors has to decide how they’ll deal with the newest menace Vitalis has pitted against them.

 Fear turns to terror when the residents of Treetown learn that the new breed isn’t trying to destroy them, it’s stealing them away in the dark of the night and exposing them to horrors so terrifying madness is the only escape.

Evolution, book 6 in the Vitalis series by Jason Halstead

Vitalis – Evolution on Amazon

Vitalis – Evolution on Amazon UK

Vitalis on Smashwords

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

Take a Squat

April 2, 2012 2 comments

Everything about my latest futuristic science fiction book, Squatter’s Rights, has been on the fast track. This is the fifth book in my Vitalis series. I wrote it in less than a week and my editor had finished it inside of another week. The cover art came in just last night, taking perhaps a week as well. All in all, it’s been a book that defies the traditional timing of writing and publishing. I know I felt fevered and impassioned when writing it. On any given day in spite of being constantly busy I would manage to crank out 2,000 to 8,000 words. I love the direction it took me and can’t wait to explore the possibilities that lay ahead of me. My editor returned it to me with the comments, “I liked Squatter’s Rights. And soooo creepy about those parasites!”

What? Creepy? Oh yeah, I went there. I’m branching out and trying to mix my sci-fi with a dash of horror!

There’s more though, this came through at an amazing time. Today’s my birthday and what better birthday present then for two people to get something at the same time? Treat yourself to Vitalis – Squatter’s Rights for a whopping $.99 and everybody wins! Here’s the blurb and the cover…

The accidental colony on Vitalis has grown with each lucky survivor the planet tried to chew up and spit aside. For three years Treetown has offered shelter and solace to the refugees of the beautiful planets merciless life cycle. Survival against nature is no longer enough.

 A new danger threatens the indentured colonists. The survivors must put aside their differences if they hope to stand a chance against an opponent that will use their very DNA against them.

Squatter's Rights, book 5 in the Vitalis sci-fi series by Jason Halstead

Vitalis – Squatter’s Rights on Amazon

Vitalis – Squatter’s Rights on Amazon UK

Vitalis – Squatter’s Rights on Smashwords

Vitalis -Squatter’s Rights on Barnes and Noble (coming soon)

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

The Value of Mistakes

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

In my last blog post I mentioned that I made a potential mistake – I read a recent review on one of my books. It turned out to be extremely encouraging and left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling that lasted for quite a while. The only problem was that experience could hardly be classified as a mistake, thus I had little to learn from it. Quite the opposite, rather than learning I believe it conditioned me much like ringing a bell would make Pavlov’s dogs start to drool.

Yes, I went back and found another new review to read. This time it was for New Beginnings, the first book in my futuristic science fiction series titled Vitalis. Imagine my dismay when I read this review:

Jason Halstead wowed me again. I took a chance on him and read Wanted and still remember the vivid characterization even a couple months later, despite reading many books in between.

New Beginnings drew me in immediately. I turned the pages quickly, anxious to see what happened but didn’t expect the outcome at all. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in this series, as I believe the conclusion of this initial book sets the stage for things to come. Keep writing, Jason; you’re even managing to hook readers like me who would never have considered myself remotely close to being part of your target audience.

Woe is me! How am I ever supposed to learn my lesson when my dopamine receptors keep buzzing with good vibes from these kinds of reviews? I looked a little deeper into the New Beginnings reviews and found four reviews in total, rated 5 stars, 4 stars, 5 stars, and 5 stars in order of review date. All in all, I’d say that’s enough of a buzz to get me through the coming week!

Sadly, there’s no lesson to be learned about focusing on the writing rather than the review reading. In response to past reviews I did make a move to break my Dark Earth series up. Originally I’d called The Lost Girls, Traitor, and the immediately pending Wolfgirl part of my Dark Earth series. Well that is no longer the case! A few people were disgruntled at the span of time, distance, and lack of relation between Dark Earth and The Lost Girls so I’ve now reserved my Dark Earth series for Dark Earth and the sequel, Devil’s Icebox (which is due out in the second quarter of 2012). The beginnings of a ideas for a third Dark Earth book is forming in the back of my head as well.

As for The Lost Girls, Traitor, Wolfgirl, and Black Widow (due later this year) – they now comprise The Lost Girls series, which takes place in the Dark Earth setting. Hopefully that will clear up any future confusion and not mislead anyone.

But for now, if you haven’t checked out New Beginnings here’s your chance! As Norma Budden and a couple of other people have told me – it’s a story that pull you in even if you’re not a sci-fi aficionado.

Vitalis Book 1 - New Beginnings by Jason Halstead
Vitalis – New Beginnings, on Amazon

 Vitalis – New Beginnings, on Amazon

Vitalis – New Beginnings, on Amazon UK

(for now that’s it – my Vitalis books are exclusive to Amazon so as to be part of the Kindle Owners Lending Library)

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

Gotta Love a Screamer

February 5, 2012 2 comments

Now the question is, what context am I using when I mention the word, “screamer?”

For those who know me well, it’s not what you think. For those who’s minds are twisted just right, see my earlier statement. For those interested in reading some fresh science fiction, you came to the right place!

Screamer is book 4 in my Vitalis series. It introduces the Terran Coalition Systems Marine Special Operatives. They’re called FIST teams, for First Insertion Special Tactics. And just like our Navy SEALs, Army Rangers / Delta Force, and Air Force Pararescue operators these guys and girls are truly bad ass.

“Gunnery Sergeant Elsadora Quinn’s nickname was Dark Angel. The Special Ops recruits she trained respected and feared her – almost as much as the scum her First Insertion Strike Team was sent up against time after time.

FIST team 3 earned the opportunity to lead the way into discovering what happened to the destroyed research station on Vitalis. Elsa’s deployment pod was knocked off course and radio contact with her platoon was lost. Elsa learned she and Vitalis had something in common: they both were intent on showing the other who was stronger.”

Screamer, book 4 in the Vitalis series by Jason Halstead

Screamer, book 4 in the Vitalis series by Jason Halstead

It’s available on Amazon (and Amazon UK, Spain, Germany, and Italy) and for free via the Amazon Prime program!

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

Another Amazon Prime Experiment

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

In a recent post I both applauded the usefulness of the KOLL (Kindle Owners Lending Libary – I think) and challenged the usefulness of Amazon Prime to people who suffer from a lack of enough hours in the day.  None of that has changed from that post until this one, but I’m trying to figure out just what an author can get out it.

For me the greatness of KDP Select (the program through Kindle Publishing where an author enrolls his or her books in to the KOLL program) isn’t about the lending or the borrowing. It’s about the [limited] ability to manage promotions. Each title gets a 5 day collection of days that the book can be offered for free. These can be broken up into 5 separate days, a five day stint, or any combination of lesser time (in full day increments running from midnight PST to midnight PST). That helps books get visibility and exposure, and if everything else is lined up AND the book doesn’t suck, then it can help generate sales.

So with that in mind, I’m releasing the third book in my Vitalis series, Parasites. Parasites isn’t going free but it’s close at only $.99. New Beginnings, the book that started it all, will be free for both Thursday and Friday (January 19th and 20th). Grab it and check it out, it’s got some great reviews and it’s free, what more could you ask for? And after that’s over, you’ll surely want to know more about this undiscovered planet and how the survivors are making do, so check out The Colony and the brand new third installment: Parasites.

Parasites, book 3 in the Vitalis series by Jason Halstead

Parasites, book 3 in the Vitalis series by Jason Halstead

Parasites on Amazon (doesn’t that just sound cool?)

Parasites on Amazon UK

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

Have Passport, Will Travel

November 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I don’t know when, nor do I know how, but I do know that I have got to get over to visit the UK. I haven’t done much of anything to target readers of fantasy and science fiction in the UK but I’ve had several books hit bestselling lists over there on Amazon. Voidhawk, Wanted, Ice Princess, and the Lost Girls all had a few moments of glory. It’s been shocking and amazing for me, and it instills in me a serious fondness for my readers in the UK.

So my plan, far fetched as it may be, is to visit the UK at some point in the future. I sincerely hope I can hook up with at least a few readers when this happens to share firsthand my appreciation with them. No, there’s nothing on the books yet, and for that matter I’m not sure when I could afford to do visit with my entire family, but that’s how goals start out.

As a case in point, let me share a link and a snippet from a review I stumbled across today on the web. It’s from Ishbel Stronach, a wonderful woman across the pond. She picked up Vitalis: New Beginnings not so long ago and used it to step into the world of science fiction for the very first time. She loved it and came back for more, starting with Wanted. To quote a line from her review she said: “New Beginnings was a fantastic book by Jason Halstead. my first science fiction book ever and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

If you’d like to read more of her blog, here’s the link: http://ishbelstronach.blogspot.com.

If you’d like to check out Vitalis – New Beginnings, here’s your chance:

Vitalis Book 1 - New Beginnings

Vitalis - New Beginnings, on Amazon UK

Amazon US

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

Never Give Up!

November 1, 2011 Leave a comment

As a first time published writer, share some of your misery with other would-be writers to give them hope. How long have you been trying to break into the industry?

To start with, I gave up on writing years back. Sometime in February ’09, I decided I wanted to write an outer space novel inspired by the stories I read when I was a teenager. It took two years of giving up fun and entertainment, but I got it done. The one true misery I’ve felt was a sympathetic agent telling me that these kinds of stories don’t get published anymore. I took a long look at the F&SF shelves at my local Barnes&Noble and saw that vampires and werewolves had taken over the place.

 

Did you consider self-publishing as a route? Why or why not?

I checked out the author-friendly Smashwords. That led me to Novel Concept Publishing and editor Jason Halstead. Going it alone on my first time through was a bit daunting for me. It’s a much easier ride when you work with people who know the route.

What’s your greatest fear (as it applies to writing or not – your call)?

Well, there’s having cancer and wondering if you’ll run out of treatment options. There’s reading about relentless budget cuts for public schools when you have two school-age children on the autism spectrum. That’s plenty of fear for one man.

 

Tell us a little about The Capable Man – what is it, what’s it about, and why did feel the need to write it?

The concept began as a moral mirror-image of Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit Will Travel. The protagonist—an adult, not a teenager—survives by his wits and the courage to take action; but he is, in fact, a pirate. He finds that choosing to do the wrong thing comes easily, especially when you’re being rewarded for it.

 EDITORS NOTE: Since debuting The Capable Man has shot up the ratings at an amazing rate. It’s listed on two top 100 bestseller lists already, and that was before any press releases or marketing / advertising has taken place. Having also read the book myself I highly recommend it to any futuristic sci-fi lover.

What’s next for Justin Maisling and the others featured in The Capable Man? Do you have a sequel planned or is the story told?

Yes, a sequel is in the works because I just can’t help myself. I have family and friends telling me that more should be happening to Justin. I feel the principal story has been told; however, there’s some unfinished business with certain unsavory folks that can be dealt with and there are repercussions following Justin’s actions. The working title is A Tolerance For Pain.

 

What’s next for Marc Hamlet – anything in process or any ideas nibbling away in the back of your mind?

I’ve done some research on horse training and black powder revolvers for a fantasy story that’s been in the back of my mind for the past year. It could be three novellas or three novels, depending on how hard I want to work. All I’ve settled on so far is the main character, the social setting and the California Central Valley.

 

How was your experience with Novel Concept Publishing, especially as a first time published author?

I wasn’t asked to re-arrange the furniture within my story, much to my relief. The editing process went easily although it helps to have a wife with a tech writing degree to copy edit for you. Truly, it’s been smooth sailing from the start.

 

What advice can you give to other writers trying to be published?

As everyone else says: don’t give up. I did once and I regret it. If you have a story you want to tell, sit yourself down and write it out… and don’t worry about marketability.

 

Where can anxious readers find you on the web? Website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Wattpad, book links, and anything else I neglected to mention.

My facebook account name is Marc Hamlet, although I rarely post anything there.

My twitter account (which is more fun than Facebook) is @MarcHamlet.

My blog is http://marchamlet.com/

 

 

The Capable Man can be found at the following links:

The Capable Man, by Marc Hamlet

The Capable Man, by Marc Hamlet

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0060DDBU2

Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/2940013224728

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/99843

 

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

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