Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category


January 23, 2018 Leave a comment

I stumbled across a neat idea a while back while swapping email with a friend. Somehow the concept of saved computer games came up. That segued to training programs on a computer and being able to retake them. Combining the two together, add in a hint of virtual reality, and all of a sudden I had a wonderful twist to add to a new Vitalis book I was thinking about. A way of training people who are in a deep hibernation sleep to preserve their bodies while they travel through space.

The first thing is, my newest Vitalis book actually starts before the original Vitalis book did. A group of wealthy and influential people are fed up with how the Terran Coalition of Systems is handling the extent of human civilization. So fed up that they’re willing to start over and try again. Armed with massive wealth and resources, they group together to build multiple colonization ships and hire the best talent they can get to serve as crew and colonists. In the year 2175 they depart, each ship heading for remote reaches of space where they can establish a foothold and try to live life free of the TCS rule.

For the Aphrodite things get very interesting. A new system is discovered after more than thirty years of traveling through deep space. A system that was hidden to the longest reaching telescopes by a massive black hole. Now that they’ve found it, it shows more promise than any of the systems being explored. Enough to warrant a thirty six year dip into the black hole’s gravity well so that they can approach it with only a few weeks taken out of their lives. Seventy one years after the Aphrodite launched, it has arrived at a possible new colony.

All that remains is to launch an expeditionary force to investigate the plant life surrounding a lake on the planet. Take a few samples, verify the planet is stable and hospitable, and then return. Nothing to it.

What they could never expect was what humanity isn’t the first visitor to this planet. The life on the planet was not set to naturally evolve for several million more years, but the interference of a fallen asteroid sped things up. An asteroid not so different from the ones that have landed on other planets through the universe and prompted terrestrial and genetic upheaval. The same kind of asteroid that turned Vitalis into the planet it is today.


But for all the expeditionary force must overcome, adapt, and endure, the planet needs to do the same. Compromise is possible if two parties can reach an agreement and an understanding. Just as annihilation is possible when one side convinces the other they’re willing to compromise.

With all that said, Vitalis: Reloaded is finished! Not just finished, but finished, submitted and available. Check the links below to find your favorite vendor and snatch it up. I’m trying to get a print version available to, but Amazon is being difficult regarding the cover creation for it.




Amazon UK

Non-Amazon Sites



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

Categories: Writing

Out of Control and Totally Awesome

December 15, 2017 Leave a comment

This is just a quick update since I’ve got the day off and I just spent the morning working on Vitalis: Reloaded. I’m having trouble with the book. I had a plan when I started it, but that plan didn’t work out the way I wanted. Sure, that always happens, but this time it went off the rails completely. The story took twists I wasn’t expecting, and twists that I didn’t dare cut short of eliminate. They made it amazing. I’m not even sure what the heck is happening and which character is doing what anymore! I mean that in a good way…

My protagonists are turning on each other, some openly and some secretly. Secondary characters are stepping up and doing amazing and important things. Unseen threats and challenges are arriving in scores. Good guys are becoming bad guys and bad guys…well, they might just end up good. Best part of it all is that there are so many “villains” vying for their own victory in this I have no idea who’s going to win – or if the good guys stand a chance of surviving.

I’m still fighting hard to finish it in December, but my day job has been running long hours and cutting into my writing time. Hopefully that will clear up a little soon, especially since I have some time off scheduled near the end of the year. Working hard to find out what happens – I can’t wait to figure out who’s going to survive this mess, only to be forced to face the darkness that’s coming.


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


December 6, 2017 Leave a comment

I used to play a tabletop role playing game called Shadowrun many, many years ago. We’re talking 1st and 2nd edition years ago, which is a lot. I think I may have even enjoyed it more than Dungeons and Dragons, but only one of my friends showed similar interests and we parted ways after our glory days of high school.

With that admission put out there, Shadowrun provided a lot of inspiration for me over the years in my creative endeavors. It’s flavored many of my books, including my various Dark Earth books, as well as my Wanted series, my Vitalis series, and even my Dark Universe series. But I felt like I wasn’t really doing Shadowrun justice even thought I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of those books I wrote.

So I looked back into Shadowrun a few months ago and holy cow, things had changed! There were computer games written for it (I sampled them and they didn’t do much for me), and 3 more versions had come and gone. Naturally, I had to do some digging and I picked up what I could of the most recent edition of Shadowrun – 5th edition. It was nearly overwhelming trying to wrap my head around it all!

But my love of the setting conquered the rule books and, by the time it was all said and done, I knew I had to do something with it. I don’t have the resources (time, firstly, but also interested players and / or a game master) for role playing these days, but I do have a rabid imagination. So I created characters that were begging to be made real. And once I had them, I had to tell their stories. Turns out their back stories were intertwined, and the details unveiled themselves as I wrote the novel you’re about to read.

With all that out of the way, here is my first Shadowrun novel: Fixed. I submitted the first chapter to the current creators of Shadowrun and received a favorable response, even though they passed on it for now. I was invited to send any future works their way for consideration, but I may have satisfied my urge to write about Shadowrun with this novel.

So what you have here is a work of fan-fiction. Because I cannot and will not charge for it, it does not have a beautiful cover like my other books do. It also has no professional editing like my other books. If you do find mistakes, I encourage you to let me know so I can fix them.

I hope you like reading it as much as I did writing it. When you’re done if you haven’t already tried them, I encourage you to check out my other books. Some of those are free as well, so start there and see what you like! They can be found virtually anywhere ebooks are sold, and several are available on Amazon in print.

Enjoy, chummers, and stay whiz!

Click here to download the pdf for Fixed

-Jason Halstead

Good News / Bad News

December 1, 2017 Leave a comment

So the bad news is, my Shadowrun novel was gently rejected. I was encouraged to try again because they liked it, but didn’t quite like it enough. He gave me some good feedback on what they like to see too, which I appreciated.

Would be writers take note: accept a critique from just about anyone, even if they are obviously off their rocker. We write, erego we have opinions we want to share on how things should be done or considered or handled. If we, as writers, want to be successful, we need to find a way to merge what we want to share with what people want to hear / read. Being outspoken (or out-typed, in our case), does not mean our opinion is right or popular (often the opposite), so the trick is to learn how to present it. PSA over now.

So the bad news becomes good news – I’m going to publish it for free! No cover art though, just a raw story that is self-edited. I’ll put it on as many locations as I can think of. Probably Wattpad, some fanfic sites, my blog and / or website, and a few others. And if you find errors in it (you will, I’m sure), I encourage and request that you let me know so I can fix them. Self-editing is hit and miss, at best. For a free title I’m afraid I can’t afford to get it professionally edited these days.

So stay tuned, I’ll have news of it being available soon! Hopefully a free book can tide you over until I finish up Vitalis: Reloaded. I’m getting close to the end, but I’ve been insanely busy lately between the day job requirements, holidays, and kids being tied up in a lot of afterschool activities. to be fair, my son has been recruited to take part on a football team charity league and my daughter is rocking in a lead role in a school play, so it’s worth the distraction to me. As for the day job, well, sometimes it’s nice to be “The Guy,” and other times, well, it’s not so nice.

how, Vitalis: Reloaded has a bit to go yet, probably at least another half dozen chapters if not more. It’s going to be a pretty large book, and it’s been a lot of fun to explore the opportunities a fresh and more or less original exposure to Vitalis have given me. I’d say more but, well, I’d be sharing too much! Hang in there and find out all about it yourself!


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

Ideas are a Dangerous Thing

November 9, 2017 Leave a comment

The concept of ideas being dangerous isn’t new. This post, however, has nothing to do with the concepts of educating people to stop doing stupid things in the name of extreme religions, political beliefs, or because the voices told them to. It’s not even a spin off from movies like Inception. I’m rambling on about the fact that I have too many ideas at any one given time and while creativity is awesome, the consequences can really suck.

For example, I’m around 60,000 words into Vitalis: Reloaded and I have no idea how far it will go until I finish it. I have the end in mind, plotting the course from now to then has a lot of curves and bumps in the road. That means I don’t know how long until I can finish it up and get it out there and it also means I don’t know how long until I can work on some other ideas I’ve had that are killing me.

Because I enjoy the ideas so much, I write them down. The most recent one I not only wrote down, but I had to crank out the first chapter in too, just to make sure I didn’t forget any key parts. I know, I know, I shouldn’t entertain these stray thoughts when I’m working on a project. It’s kind of like multi-tasking, but not. Truthfully, it feels more like being unfaithful and cheating on my current work in progress.

Oh sure, they’re just stories, but the problem is less about hurting their imaginary feelings than it is losing traction and forgetting important parts. Continuity suffers and the people anxiously waiting for me to finish book A get upset when book it takes too long to be released. Or worse yet, book B comes out first.

And this blog post? Possibly another tiny distraction where I should be spending time writing on the story in question instead of putting words here. I justify it by explaining delays to the faithful readers out there, as well hopefully generating some excitement on the new ideas yet to come.

My latest ideas? One’s a somewhat stereotypical scifi trope where humans are scattered across the galaxy after intergalactic wars and forced to live as savages. Except for one… I’d share more, but there’s always that off chance that someone might snag the idea and run with it.

Another idea involves timescaping. In fact, that’s my intended title at this point: Timescaping. That’s my newest / freshest idea and I’m still working it out in the back of my head. We’ll see what happens there.

There are some other ones too, but they’re on hold as well. And all the time Dawn Michelle gets frustrated because I work on my stuff and not with her on hers. So at some point, I’ve got to do that too. But first, back to Vitalis: Reloaded. I’m going to finish this book this year!


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

It’s Not That Easy

October 18, 2017 Leave a comment

To get rid of me. I’m still here and still writing. Haven’t published anything in a while because I’ve got a book in consideration for publication with an old fashioned publisher and I’m working on a new one. Most of you knew all this though, so enough with the recap – on to the update!

Vitalis: Reloaded is over 45,000 words in and, honestly, it’s turning into a much bigger story than I first expected! Colonists sent out from the Terran Coalition before the discovery of Vitalis have stumbled across a new world dozens of light years from human occupied space. It’s a world nobody expected, in a solar system hidden behind some space anomalies that befuddled and confused sensors. It’s a world with a spot of life on it, life that nobody expected or can explain.

But what would a harrowing space exploration story be without challenge and excitement? Inexplicable events have to happen. Surprises in the alien vegetation have to leave the colonists guessing. Murphy and his damn law have to strike at the most inopportune times. And the people? They have to suffer and prove they’re stronger than what the planet throws at them. That’s what being on the frontier is all about. Life as a colonist is a life of hardship and endurance. Sprinkle in a strange massive alien geode filled with glowing crystals that nobody has ever seen before, and the hardships increase exponentially.

The other priority for a colonization ship? Well, colonization – you know, establishing a home in a new savage place and making sure there are future generations to inherit it. So they’re headed out there with the reward in mind of some good old fashioned population growth. If they can survive long enough to make it to that point.

Now back at it! At the rate I’m going and the plans I have for this book, it could easily double in size. Bear with me, it’s underway and coming as soon as I can make 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

Gas Powered Writing

September 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Yes, my wife did make a pot of chili the other day, but this has nothing to do with that. Or gasoline, for that matter, except in the most allegorical* of ways.

I find myself somewhat driven right now due to a few factors. The first is the delay of my Shadowrun novel for release. I hate letting so much time pass between releases, you see. The second is part of my email dilemma I recovered from – I have an opportunity to work with a roleplaying game company to write a story or stories for them. We’re in licensing talks to decide if the books would become canon or not. Exciting stuff, and the more questions I ask and the more involved I get with it, the more cool the world is becoming.

In fact, I have 3 character concepts already worked out in my head. I have to flesh them out as characters using the game system yet so I can create something that meshes with their mechanics, but I don’t foresee any problems at all with this.

A bit of a teaser on this new stuff. It’s a new world in a fantasy settings. New races unlike anything traditional fantasy has to offer. There are humans and fae, but the humans are a definite minority. Other races abound, both good, bad, and indifferent. Each fleshed out with their own unique histories and lore. All in all, it’s growing on me and offering some really fun new opportunities to torture perfectly helpless characters!

But there’s a problem… that problem is Vitalis. I’m still very much in love with the book I’m writing for it. So I’m attacking it feverishly to try and finish it the way it deserves to be finished without cutting the story short. That means it’s back to late, late night writing! In fact, I broke the 10,000 word mark last night and I’m not yet finished with the first act of the story. Good times to be had, I assure you!

Oh, and I haven’t shamelessly reminded you to pick up The Goblin Queen lately, here it is.


* – I expect bonus points (maybe even a triple word score) for using the word allegorical.


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