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Hoping for a Better Tomorrow

Mathew McConaughey won an Oscar the other night for his work in the movie, Dallas Buyers Club. This isn’t news at this point, so let’s move on to speech he gave. It was a speech that I found to be rather peculiar.

Mr. McConaughey rattled off three things that he needed every day. And then he ended the speech with a quote from Dazed and Confused, which I personally considered one of his finer roles. All in all though, the speech left me a little confused and wondering if he and Gary Busey have been spending a lot of time together.

I’m not here to discuss or judge the merits of that speech other than to draw attention to one of his three needs. He mentioned he needs someone to aspire to be. The target of that need is himself, 10 years in the future. It sounded a little cheesy to me in the speech, but the important part is the recognition of what potential the future holds and the fact that with hard work and hope can make for a great tomorrow.

For example, two days ago I would never have guess that my futuristic sci-fi book, Vitalis, would shoot from being in Amazon’s 18,000 – 19,000 ranking to being 2,412 this morning when I woke up. A book about the future with a bright future. It’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now my book and Mathew McConaughey have nothing in common beyond that tenuous line of logic, but if he wanted to pick a character to portray in a movie of the book, well, I would be open to talk about it. We could even call it the Vitalis Buyers Club…

Jokes aside, I’m very excited to see Vitalis doing so well. So I’m writing this, to try and convince other people to go and check it out and  share my excitement with me. Readers write me about the Vitalis books and I love discussing the story with them. In fact, there’s been a few times where I’ve had new ideas, twists, and even characters arise from those discussions. And for only $.99 for a novel that’s well beyond 100,000 words, how can you go wrong?

So please, give it a look and some honest consideration. Vitalis has metric tons of fast paced excitement involving pirates, aliens, a new world, insufficient resources (including clothing, in some cases), politics, intrigue, and even a few crazy people. And unlike a lot of sci-fi the science isn’t there to be the story, it’s there to sit in the background, be cool, and allow the story to take place. As a few readers have said, Vitalis is a great intro into a genre (sci-fi) that they never had any interest in before.

 

Bestselling sci-fi anthology, Vitalis, by Jason Halstead

Vitalis on Amazon

Vitalis on Amazon UK

 

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.

Good Intentions Gone Wrong

February 27, 2014 Leave a comment

After I wrote Black Widow, the fourth book in The Lost Girls series, I did everything short of promise that I wouldn’t write another. That bothered a lot of people – they wanted more. The main character had been a part of my life (fictitiously speaking) for several years now and I couldn’t subject her to the kind of hurt that a main character goes through.

Then I came up with another idea. I’d closed a few chapters in Katalina’s life and didn’t want to make it any worse for her. But damn it, this new idea…it needed her to make it work. So Katalina came out of retirement for Guardian, book 5 in The Lost Girls series.

Having confessed all of that, I’m not the one with the good intentions gone bad. It’s actually the premise behind the book. There’s somebody who means the best and wants to help out, but they don’t realize the consequences of their actions until it’s too late. Forty years too late.

Here’s the blurb, cover, and all that jazz but before I get to it the obvious question is: what’s next? Will there be a Lost Girls 6? I can’t say. About the same time I thought of the idea for this story I was trying to come up with an idea for some detective agency based fiction. I thought of a bunch of young people trying to both atone for their own screw-ups as well as learning how to get by and do a little good in the process. Katalina would make an excellent mentor, if not a main character. Guardian sets the stage for that with Katalina and Skyler’s second chance home for troubled foster kids.

 

Guardian, by Jason Halstead

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

Kobo / Sony (coming soon)

Smashwords

iTunes (coming soon)

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.

When You Least Expect It

February 7, 2014 Leave a comment

When something comes out of nowhere and hits hard enough to cause a grunt it’s usually a bad thing. A car running a red light or a bad visit to a doctor, for example. But sometimes it’s not so bad. That happened to me last night when I received some feedback from a reader who asked a couple of harmless questions.

I’m not going to share what those questions are. Not out of wanting to protect the reader, but because it might lead to a spoiler I don’t want to divulge yet. The questions were harmless but they provoked what has been said to be the most powerful weapon in the history of mankind: ideas.

So I’ve pulled together some thoughts that have been percolating and I’ve got two new ideas after  I finish my current project (Guardian, book 5 in the Lost Girls series). The first involves touching two series together, briefly, for some previously unimagined fun. I’ll be building off a few things in previous books in both series to bring them together for some epic excitement.

The other idea more or less morphed out nowhere because I was in the right creative mindset. I’ve been contemplating breaking Carl Waters, from my Wanted series, out into a new book or two that explored his adventures as a US Marshal. For those unfamiliar, Wanted takes place in the very near future after global economic meltdowns help to incite terrorism to nuclear levels both at home and abroad. Los Angeles and Las Vegas, among other major cities, have been targets of dirty bombs (low grade nuclear explosions that cause less kinetic damage but leave longer lasting radiation behind to poison the ground and water for years).

So I’m thinking of how to turn some of Carl’s exploits into a book and I keep coming up with ideas that involve previous characters from the Wanted books. Then it occurred to me: hey, what you’ve got yourself is another Wanted book in the making!

So here I am, excited about two potential new books and not sure which way to lean when I finish my current one. Not to worry though, I’ll figure it out and be slapping the keyboard in no time. First I have to finish Guardian though, but I’m only a week or so away from the end and it’s really shaping into another excellent installment in the life of detective turned captain Katalina Wimple. And the amazing part is that so far she’s escaped being hospitalized or even injured. Her friends and family, on the other hand, are not faring nearly so well. The villain’s closing in on her and he’s got a hunger for pain and violence that he thinks only killing her will sate.

 

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.

Off to Boarding School

October 21, 2013 Leave a comment

If you’re a parent you just had a guilty flash of memory where, at one point or another, you fantasized about shipping your kid(s) off to boarding school. If you haven’t had that thought yet, you will, just wait and see. The thing is, this post isn’t about me getting rid of my kids (or you, for that matter). It’s about somebody else who’s done something similar. Several somebodies, and they all happen to be fictional.

Before you become convinced I’ve overdosed on medication after finishing up the grueling 12 day heavy lifting process of moving (I probably have), let me explain this is a book idea. I’ve already hinted in the past of another possible Katalina Wimple book (The Lost Girls series). But poor Katy has been through so much I’m torn. I really do think of her as an abusive sister that I can’t help but love. She’s earned an early retirement – the good kind, not the one involving fertilizing daisies. So what to do?

Those familiar with Katalina’s story know that after a very traumatic event in her childhood she was taken in by a police officer named Janice Wimple. She did everything right and made it possible for Katy to move forward with her life and one day trust and love again. I’m thinking having Katalina spending her life trying to repay the favor to other women and children in scary places isn’t enough. Or at least the way she does it needs to change. Instead of having a job as a police detective for special victims, maybe it’s time she opened up her house to others.

Imagine a half dozen girls with their own troubled pasts living in the same house and having to put up with Katalina, who gets frustrated and tends to swear and punch things a lot, but beneath the anger and fear she’s got a lot of teach and give. Enough so that these young ladies that have futures involving drugs, crime, and a string of abusive relationships might have a chance at decent lives.

At least until the deranged serial killer with an angry spirit on his shoulder catches Katy’s scent and decides to start hunting his way to her by hurting everyone she’s helped out.

Sounds like it might just be a fun book! And possibly open up the possibility of a new series based on the “kids” that Katalina helps out. Maybe even something young adult or new adult. Yikes… that’s a freaky thought for someone like me. Not sure I could tone myself down enough to do that, but maybe I can find somebody willing to help me with the softer side of younger fiction…

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.

A Most Rewarding Bounty

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Long term readers of my blog will know by now that I take great delight in twisting my words into multiple meanings. In this case, I’m taking about the book I’m writing, Bounty. It’s book three in the Wanted trilogy. I’m nearing the end but in spite of the layout of chapters and tasks I’ve assigned to myself, I keep finding extra chapters slipping in. This shouldn’t be upsetting to anyone – the extra content isn’t merely added quantity, it’s added quality as well.

I’m talking about it now because I’m having such a fun time writing it! Sure, I love all my books but this one really had me scared. I’ve gotten a ton of reviews (overwhelmingly good) on Wanted, and almost as many on book 2, Ice Princess. That present a problem to me – it meant if I wrote a third book like I’d originally planned, it needed to be of equal or better quality. How’s that for being scary?

I don’t question my ability as a writer anymore. Some people don’t like me, some people do. Fortunately it seems to be more are pro-Jason Halstead than against. But there’s a different between knowing how to tell a story and living up to an expectation. I’ve seen this plenty of times in the powerlifting venue and even experienced it myself a couple of times. I expect so much even though I know how hard it’s going to be and subconsciously come up with ways to defeat myself. I justify the failure and before you know it instead of picking up 565lbs I only got it halfway before I twisted it around and damn near broke my shin in half.

And knowing the root of the problem does not mean it’s any easier to beat it. Our brain is designed to protect us, whether it’s from ripping muscles off of bones or public failure and embarrassment. Our subconscious is call ‘sub’ because it’s also subversive. It whispers in our ear and tells us it’s okay to give up, it won’t think less of us. We can say we had a busy day and needed the quick calories a cupcake provides. One little drink won’t hurt. I can lift heavy weights next week after my back stops hurting. All excuses that sound great at the time. Justifications for allowing ourselves to not try as hard as we could. As hard as we should.

So out of the blue an idea for Bounty came to me. It felt good but I wanted to be sure, so I let it rattle around in my head a few days while I finished writing Child of Fate. It was harder and harder, I’ll admit, but once I finished Child of Fate I knew what I had to do. Fear of failure be damned, this book needed to be written! And so I’ve been writing – not as breakneck as usual because life’s been a lot busier lately, but I’m still averaging at least 2000 words a day on it.

Bounty takes place six years after Ice Princess ends. Everybody’s living their own happy lives (more or less), and getting by. Allison’s gone off to college after being legally adopted by Carl and Jessie and without Allison around to keep her busy, Jessie’s itching to get back into the movie industry.

The United States government had moved back in to officially reclaim the western states. The special hardware Carl has is still state of the art, but it’s not the razor’s edge of biotech development anymore. It should be safe to reenter the public eye. It’s been six years, everything that happened before is ancient history, right?

For most people in most situations, yes. It’s time to live and let live. Two things can change that. Two very powerful things, such as beauty and hate. Either independently or together they can turn a rationale human being into something entirely different. Something obsessive and vicious. Something that will stop at nothing to get what they want.

And that, my friends, is what Bounty is all about.

A few more days and the rough draft will be complete. After a few weeks of editing I’m hoping for a early to mid December release date. I promise it will be a fun ride and it lives up to its predecessors in every way, shape, and form.

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.