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Hidden Treasures

It might surprise you to learn that this article is not going to be about the Megadeth album released in 1995 that contained previously recorded but unreleased tracks from prior albums. I’m sure that’s what you were expecting, right?

Well instead this is about the current chaos we’re living through over here. We’re moving in eight days. Got the moving truck lined up plus a bunch of trailers. We’re headed from Howland Center, Ohio to Novi, Michigan. Higher cost of living but a magnificent house. Come to think of it, just about everything costs more up there (health insurance, vehicle insurance, gas, food, the list goes on and on). So why do it? Security. The security of a job working for the US Army. No, I didn’t enlist. I did that once almost twenty years ago (Air Force). I’m going to be writing code and working with databases for the army in relation to their tanks. For the first time in a long time I feel like I have a job where I’m actually contributing to something useful. I’m not helping people sate their addiction to gambling, I’m not helping con artists sell snake oil in the guise of super-foods, and I’m not building random parts for automobiles that aren’t particularly enjoyable to drive. Maybe I’m acting silly, but this time around I’m going to be part of a force that can make a difference in the world.

Self-righteous justification aside, this maelstrom of boxes and bubble wrap we’re wading through brought some things to light that had been long lost and forgotten about. An ARC copy of Voices from a few years back. A printed rough draft of Bounty for editing purposes, and a hand written outline of a fantasy story I’d dreamed up ten years ago or so called Silver Arrows.

Silver Arrows, as I now remember it, was the story of a fantasy ranger that lost his fire. He was bitter and sick of just about everything he’d encountered but still pushed on because he was too damn stubborn to do anything about it. Then he saves a young girl captured by slavers and takes her as his own daughter to raise her and teach her his ways. He finds his way again through her, but then I think something bad happens to her and he has to go and rescue her or prove some other form of his bad-assery.

Looking back on it now, it needs a lot more to make it work, but it’s a good baseline to start from. Instead I think I’m going to ditch the entire thing but use it as inspiration for a book down the line in my Blades of Leander series. I’m on book 2, Victim of Fate, right now and it’s clipping along nicely when I can sneak some time in for writing. It’s going to be a doozy of a book, longer than the first one I’m almost certain. Book 3 will end the unofficial trilogy, so perhaps Silver Arrows can be book 4 in the series. Of course I’ll tie this new ranger guy in with Alto and the other Blades of Leander, so he won’t be the central focus of the story but still a major character. I see a lot of great fun to be had with it, as well as some heartache and the requisite bad-assery.

That’s not the only thing on my plate though. I’ve still got the third book in my Dark Earth series to write and I’m coming up with a new idea for the next Voidhawk book. Believe it or not, I found some cool Windows 8 themes that I loaded onto my aging laptop and one of the desktop backgrounds is a really neat fantasy picture that sparked the beginning of some amazing Voidhawk style ideas. I’m not letting them burst into full flames yet though – I’ve got to finish Victim of Fate first. But the great news is that there will be more Voidhawk coming down the road.

Inspiration comes from the strangest places. For me it can be wilderness / nature or a picture on a screen. I wrote an exceptionally long book many years ago that was not fit for publication based entirely off a picture of a woman that captivated me. I’ve been inspired by songs before (Evanescence and Megadeth, to name a couple of bands that made great muses for me), by events, and even by other stories I’ve read or movies I’ve seen. I’ll grab anything I can that gets the creative juices flowing and run with it!

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

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