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Fixed!

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

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If You Never Try, You Never Fail…

September 7, 2017 Leave a comment

…and you never succeed. Today’s blog happened earlier this week. As my readers might now, I finished a novel recently written in the Shadowrun setting. “Oh no, not this again,” you’re thinking. To which I respond, “Oh yes, this!”

You see, I was planning on releasing it as fanfiction simply because I really love the game / setting / story. I’ll admit, it’s taken some twists and turns over the years that didn’t necessarily sit well with me, but I can overlook some quirks based on the joy it’s brought me. Writing this book only compounded that joy.

So anyhow, here I am looking for where and how to publish it as fanfiction. In my travails I happened across the actual official forum for the Shadowrun setting / role playing game. And lo and behold, there’s a thread on fanfiction! Who knew?!

I began to read and much of it was facts I already knew regarding IP and copyright handling. So far I was feeling fine and dandy, and then I happened across a post that recommended for anyone trying to publish something official for Shadowrun, to contact a gentleman by the name of Jason Hardy and request a packet and details.

I stared at that message for a few moments, wondering… was this legit? Who was this guy? A quick Google search confirmed that Mr. Hardy was indeed a legitimate person. Moreso, he’d published a few novels himself for Shadowrun and Mechwarrior, as well as some other material. He even provided his email address for public consumption! Well now, I couldn’t let that pass, now could I?

So off I went to whip up a charming email sure to enthrall him and leave him on the edge of his seat. I had little to work off of, aside from having the same first name and last initial in common. I learned long ago in an unpleasant place to use whatever you’ve got at hand, no matter how seemingly insignificant it might be. I requested some details on how I could go about submitting my book for consideration and hit send. Then I waited.

And, to be honest, I forgot about it. The Labor Day weekend was sufficiently distracting with uncovering 2 years of missing emails and working on my new book on top of that. Imagine my surprise when early this week he responded quite good naturedly and invited me to send him a sample of the book! No packet, no instructions on what hoops to jump through or who to bother, but rather me sending him some of what I’d written. Pretty cool. Or whiz, to use the Shadowrun parlance.

So the very next morning I sat down and went over my story with an exceptionally critical eye. I tweaked some phrasing and corrected some errors, then I went over it again. By the time I was down I felt pretty good about the first paragraph. It grabbed my attention, at least, and made me want to know what happens next. So that was it – I sent it his way.

And he responded again! Almost immediately. No verdict, of course, but rather a promise to check it out and for me to reach out to him again and give him a poke if I haven’t heard back in a respectable amount of time. Pretty cool, I have to say. There’s no telling whether the story will fly or not, but I’m still grinning at having the opportunity.

Sure, I’ve been published by several different publishers over the years. Why does this thrill me so much? I don’t know, honestly, other than to say it might have something to do with the subject content. Shadowrun, to me and a considerable amount of role players, is a very cool thing. It’s been around 30 years, if not more, and is arguably the most well known sci-fi and fantasy role playing game around (sci-fi & fantasy, not just pure fantasy where Dungeons and Dragons holds the crown, scepter, throne, and the usurped king’s daughter’s discarded chastity belt). So, to a veteran geek like me, this is pretty cool.

Or am I nerd? I get the two confused. I think I’m both, what with my interest (and career) in computer programming and design as well as love of fantasy and role playing. Did I mention I wore a suit of plate mail to the Michigan Renaissance festival in Holly, MI a few weeks ago? Yeah, I’m one of those guys, and proud of it!

Ahem, so anyhow, for those of you anxious to read my Shadowrun book, you’re going to have to wait I’m sorry to say. It may end up as nothing more than another piece of fanfiction, but it might end up as an official Shadowrun novel too – at this point it’s anybody’s guess.

Until then, I’m back to working on Vitalis: Reloaded. One chapter in and I’m using the character’s I’ve got and making more up as I need them. I’m still encouraging people to send me ideas – or at least names of fictional characters that in no way resemble the cheating jerk that was your ex or the miserable boss who deserves a terrible fate only an author could deliver. Of course I’ve never included any characters based in any part to individuals that I’ve had problems with…

Ahem, right, so where was I? Oh yeah, I’m still in single digit sales of The Goblin Queen and I just don’t think that’s fair to you, my readers. You’re missing out on a hell of a great story, if I do say so myself (and I do). For what it’s worth, I’ve gotten nothing but great feedback from some of the readers too – and no, these people were not friends or family, nor did they owe me money. Give it a shot, you’ll love 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.