Posts Tagged ‘concept’

Please Hold…

September 28, 2016 Leave a comment

For fans of the Voidhawk series, I imagine you’re getting plenty frustrated. First I started #9 and then I took a break to work on something else (Symbols). Now I’m back on it, but it’s taking forever to write. Entirely my fault, but not due to lack of interest or desire. Just increasing demands and, arguably, less than optimal time management. But damn it, I am working on it! Just last night I finished off another 4000 words in fact. The end is near, my friends, but still a week or so out.

And that brings me to my next discussion point. I’m 99% sure I know what my next project is. This wasn’t what I had planned, but for these characters and this series, it’s usually how it works. I’m returning to my Wanted series for another installment. No idea about the title, but I’ve got some wicked-cool ideas on plot and an even more amazing idea for a new character to introduce.

This character has been rattling around in the back of my head for a while, but they never real took on a lot of substance. Some reading I’ve been doing has reestablished the need for this character though, and that in turn helped me flesh them out. Originally I was thinking it would be a woman because that’s a little less common / mainstream, but then I realized poor Carl is surrounded by women and he could really use another guy on his side. Once that decision was made, the character more or less popped into life.

I’d spend time writing more about it, but I need to get back to working on Voidhawk (amongst other things). So consider this a teaser!

Oh, and not to worry, Vitalis and Dark Universe are not abandoned, and neither is my wife’s latest series, Continuum.


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

The Universe Works in Mysterious Ways

November 26, 2014 Leave a comment

I’m willing to admit that I’m a little scared right now. Ever since Kindle Unlimited came out, my sales have been slipping more and more into the land where good books go to be forgotten. I’m terrible at promotion, I admit it, but my mantra has always been “write more books.” I’m good at that, and I’m closing in on having 70 titles out there now because of it. But with sales falling lower than they were in early 2012, it’s seems like that’s not enough.

The bundle my wife’s story was included in hit the NY Times and USA Bestseller lists (A Cold Winter’s Bite, found in A Kiss of Christmas Magic), but that happened thank to the hard work of a lot of people, as well as a sizeable marketing fun. I don’t have the same resources, so I have to fall back on writing once again.

That’s where the good news comes in. I was planning on writing book 2 in my Serpent’s War series next, but I’ve been smitten with another idea. That and Servant of the Serpent sold approximately 10 copies in the couple of months its been out now, so not many people are clamoring for book 2 yet. If you happen to be one of them, don’t worry – I will write it. Just not yet.

First I want to share my new idea and share my excitement with it. It’s science fiction, to start with, and it takes place roughly a hundred and fifty years in the future. We’ve made contact, you see, and that brought down a whole bunch of visitors.


War? Famine? Slavery? Bloodshed? Not exactly. Maybe not at all – I haven’t even considered the first contact story yet. I’m focused ahead of that a bit, after humanity has joined the space race utilizing alien technology. Humans are the minority, but we’re doing our best to catch up fast.


This particular story will pit a mixed crew on a mission to explore an undiscovered system in search of a mysterious coordinate. They aren’t exactly sure what they’ll find there, and the creature they are escorting isn’t willing to share.


What happens next? Well, that would be giving it away! Arthur C. Clark once set forth the thought that technology so advanced as to defy our understanding would be viewed as magic. To that end, I will say that with the inclusion of alien races and cultures, there is also going to be a fantasy element to the story. Or perhaps it’s merely a new dimension science has yet to uncover? Reality as we know it is going to take a serious twist.


Here there be monsters. In Space.


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


Devils Rising is in beta and cover art stages, Marshal is in my copyeditor’s hands, and I’m faced with an exciting opportunity – what should I start now? The answer is something new! Right now I’m calling it Organic, but I don’t expect that to last. I’ve also toyed around with a title like Biomech.

Or maybe instead of babbling about all that you want to know what the heck I’m talking about? Well, it’s my latest attempt to capture mass market appeal. Developing a dystopian society in a futuristic setting, complete with future soldiers, tanks, aircraft, and biomechs.

I’ve said that word ‘Biomech’ twice now. What the heck am I talking about? First let’s take the traditional concept of a mech. For sci-fi aficionados, that’s a simple task. Think Robotech, Battletech, Mechwarrior, Transformers, Pacific Rim, or just about anything involving giant fighting robots. As Pacific Rim showed us, no matter how cheesy the plot and acting, there’s almost nothing cooler than giant robots beating the crap out just about anything.

To introduce a little more science to the fiction, imagine how complicated creating a robot on that scale and making it able to move and balance, let alone fight. Yikes! Super advanced articulation in the joints and the means of moving said limbs and joints are required. Far beyond our ability to manufacture and design. So that’s where the bio comes in.

This is the future, so let’s merge man and machine in ways not often considered. The musculature needed to move these robots? Grown from organic tissue and grafted to the metal structure. That eliminates the need for a massive engine to move the robot, but puts in a complicated plumbing system for flushing the organic tissue with a replacement blood. Cooling, heating, oxygenation, nutrients – it does it all!

And what’s needed to drive one of these metal monsters? A person, jacked in directly to their central nervous system. A computer will handle the balancing and autonomous commands such as how to do what the driver wants, but the driver provides the true skill behind it all.

But yeah, as cool as that sounds, that’s not going to be what the stories center on. This is about human interest. I’m looking at it as a cross between a lot of successful projects, from (insert giant robot franchise here) to (insert dystopian society being rebelled against) to (insert underdog complicated love story). And I’m writing it Vitalis style, meaning fast paced and fun!

Before I go, let me toss out a tiny snippet of what I’ve been working on so far…

“Krys curled up in a ball in his tiny hollow and let the tears fall. He had no idea why, but something terrible was happening. His friends were dead and for all he knew, his mom and dad were next. And he was trapped beneath a fallen tree in the woods. As much as his dad loved to  tell him that crying wouldn’t do him any good, it was the only thing he could manage.”


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

I Want a Cookie

October 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Before I dig too deep a hole here let me make sure I establish something first: I only like two kinds of cookie, hot and cold. With the exception of no-bake cookies, I just can’t stand those things.

Unfortunately, I’m not talking about that kind of cookie. The other day I ran across the pet name “Cookie” online (no, not on one of those sites) and it bounced around in the back of my head. A day or two later it resurfaced with the thought, “What if that wasn’t a pet name?” It was all over at that point – any other productivity was shot until I dug into the concept.

Johnny Cash once sang about a boy named Sue. I know this because my parents ritually tortured me with country music my entire childhood. I still have nightmares and probably should seek therapy for it. But all that aside, the moral of the story is that the man named Sue was tougher because of his name. So what would a woman named Cookie grow up to become?

I’ve got ideas, but I haven’t picked anything specific yet. I’m such a supporter of strong female characters that I’m leaning towards having her be mighty tough herself. Not Barb Wire tough (even without the horrible acting of Pamela Anderson and, uh, various other faults). Maybe more of a Keira Knightley / Domino kind of tough. Sexy, but intelligent and able to handle herself.

The next problem is what do I do with her? What’s her job? Where’s she at? What kind of story does she fit into? Is she a good guy or a bad guy? I’ve had characters do this to me before. They come out of nowhere and demand that I write about them. The biggest impact any of them ever had with me was Katalina Wimple, of The Lost Girls. She showed up and wouldn’t leave me alone until I ended up slipping her into my Dark Earth setting and writing a series around her. I’ve had one or two others over the years that popped up too. At least one ended up in my Voidhawk series, another joined the cast of the Wanted series, and a third appeared in a limited role alongside Katalina in a Lost Girls book. I’m wondering if Cookie is going to be another force of nature like Katalina and demand her own book(s).

So I’ll keep letting her rattle around and try to convince me where she fits in. All I’m sure of at this point is that I have to have a cookie and it’s going to taste great.

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