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Posts Tagged ‘shaman’

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.

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The Serpent and The Girl

October 23, 2014 Leave a comment

I was wracking my brain for a catchy blog title and decided to go with something that sounded rather biblical. And taboo / risqué / naughty. I admit, that’s how I roll. I’m one of those guys that often says the things that other people think but are afraid to talk about. I figure if I scare a few people off the voices in my head will still talk to me.

Enough rambling! What the heck am I talking about? Well it’s a new book. Servant of the Serpent, a new fantasy novel set in my world of Kroth. It happens to be book one of a new series I’m working on (Serpent’s War). I would have called it the Serpentwar series, but another far more renowned author than I (Raymond Feist) already has a series by that name. He wrote some darn fine books too, I have to admit.

But this isn’t about him, this is about something new and never-before-read! Servant of the Serpent takes place in the southern lands. More southern than even Shazamir, for long time readers. New lands are explored and new enemies are encountered. Of course the book ties in to old enemies (and friends) as well. There’s a connection and an overall sweeping plot behind the scenes here, after all.

Servant of the Serpent marks the eight book in the world of Kroth (nine, if you count the visit from the Voidhawk’s crew in Voidhawk: Broken Shards). There’s plenty more to come with new adventure, excitement, and the occasional maiden being eaten by a dragon.

Here’s the blurb, cover, and a link to get it on Amazon. It may be available elsewhere soon too, I’m evaluating my distribution channels and trying to pick what works the best.

 

Servant fo the Serpent, book 1 of the Serpent's War fantasy series, by Jason Halstead
Allie was meant for something more.

The world of Kroth is full of amazing people. Men and women that did miraculous deeds. Kings and queens and knights and wizards. Allie wanted to meet some of them. She wanted to learn what it was like to make a difference and to escape the hot and dusty life on the edge of the desert.

Yet dark forces are moving in the shadows and trying to reclaim what was lost. A secret prophecy guides them on their quest for blood and fire. The path of the scaled splisskin people cross with Allie’s, proving that the cost of her dreams might be more than she can bear.

Amazon

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.

The Mind is a Messed Up Place

I’m slapping keys working hard to bring another Voidhawk book into the world. It’s long overdue, I know, and my readers are already miffed enough I took a couple months off to help my wife (Dawn Michelle) get her stories out there (Claimed by the Beast). So I’m working hard and about 10k into Voidhawk : Broken Shards (book 7 in the series).

In fact, Dexter, Captain of the Voidhawk, just found out he needs to visit a new world. A world by the name of Kroth. Kroth, as some of my diehard fantasy readers may remember, is the place where Alto and his companions have toiled and triumphed over the years in the Blades of Leander trilogy and Order of the Dragon saga. Will they meet? Probably. I won’t deny it’s almost guaranteed to happen. I don’t know the details yet though, nor am I even sure if they’re going to get along.

At what point do things become messed up? Just a few minutes ago, actually, as I was thinking about one of the scene stealers from the Blades / Order books. Thork,, an unusual troll shaman. He plays a key role in every book and yes, he’s going to be in this one too. What just occurred to me and, honestly, astonished me, is that Kroth (the name of the world) and Thork (the troll) are anagrams. Not only that, but they’re practically spelled backwards of each other (except the darn ‘h’ screws things up).

Totally unexpected and unplanned. But I don’t think for one minute that my brain didn’t do it on purpose. It just didn’t tell me what it was doing. My brain let me figure it out on my own, trusting that I’d be a good student and realize it sooner or later. It only took me over a year and a half to do it…

Amazing the little tricks we play on ourselves. How many other hidden gems like this are out there in my books? Some I’ve done on purpose, I admit, but maybe there are others I don’t know about. If you find something and aren’t sure, drop me a line and ask— maybe we’ll both learn something!

 

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.

Who Wants a Guardian Angel?

February 11, 2014 Leave a comment

No, I’m not handing any out. I’m afraid I don’t have any to spare. Or any at all, for that matter. Which is ironic, considering the book I just finished the rough draft of. I’m calling it Guardian and the title is applicable for so many different reasons. For example, the main character is a foster parent aka legal guardian of some troubled teens.

There’s also a spirit out of southwestern Native American folklore that serves as a bit of a guardian angel. With a twist. Then there’s a few other spirits that get involved and a few people doing their best to protect others. It’s a mess and before Katalina (the main character) figures out what’s going a lot of people have been hurt and she’s too late to stop what she set out to do.

Guardian is book 5 in The Lost Girls series and it’s in the hands of my editor now. The cover artist is feverishly at work (or he should be when he wakes up). All that means a potential release before the end of the month. And the inevitable…what’s next?

Building on a blog post I released last week, courtesy of feedback from a reader, I have a couple of options. So I tossed the question out on my Facebook fan page to help me decide which direction to go. I won’t say the response was overwhelming but it was probably the biggest feedback I’ve had on a post so far. The result? Carl Waters, reluctant hero of the Wanted series, is strapping his boots back on and taking a stroll in the near future mildly scorched earth setting.

Carl is a US Marshall these days thanks to some contacts he acquired both in the private sector and their affiliations with the government. His wife, Jessie, has revitalized her acting career. Allison, their adopted daughter, may or may not play a role in the story. She’s turned to technology ever since Carl rescued her from the streets of Houston and demanded she learn to read.

What about the rest of the cast? Tanya, Sarah, and any past players? All to be determined. I’ve got a lot of scattered thoughts that I need to pull together on this one. It’s going to touch on Carl’s new career as well as bring in enough from the prior storylines to continue the series.

What was the other option? A new Voidhawk book that brings some or all of the crew to the world of Kroth. Kroth, for those unfamiliar with the name, is the world that my Blades of Leander and Order of the Dragon series take place on. If I remember correctly the Voidhawk’s crew slipped away from the City at the Edge of Forever with a certain something that belonged to someone very powerful. The very same being that played a part in the formation of Kroth. The really cool part – my subconscious planned all that out without even letting me know! I’m devious and I don’t even know 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.

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.

The Big 4 – 0

September 17, 2013 Leave a comment

On September 17th, 2013, it finally happened. I hit a very significant number. 40. That’s right, I’ve got 40 books published!

Number 40 is none other than Sands of Betrayal, the third book in my fantasy series Order of the Dragon. Order of the Dragon, for those sleeping under a rock, picks up a year after my trilogy, Blades of Leander, ends.

Sands of Betrayal continues to follow the adventures of Alto and his companions as they search for his sister in the desert nation of Shazamir. The end of Chasing the Dragon have forced events to escalate quickly and if Caitlyn is to have any chance of survival, Alto has to move fast. It’s a gut wrenching book and survival requires sacrifices. In some cases, sacrifices in blood. Sands of betrayal digs deeper into the characters backgrounds as well as introducing some new blood (which may or may not be spilled).

And for those interested in the unlikely heroine Aleena, the young paladin of Leander, she’s making a name for herself in the northlands alongside her mentor and friend Celos. Together they’re forced into trying to calm the growing tensions with the savage elves that refuse to show mercy or kindness.

Here’s the blurb and cover for Sands of Betrayal. Dragonlady, the fourth (and final – I hope) book of Order of the Dragon should be out around the holidays. Until then, enjoy Sands of Betrayal and don’t be shy about letting me know who you’re favorites are (or which character’s you’d like to see tossed in a deep, dark pit).

Alto’s choices have led him through ruin and victory. His friends and his enemies are among the most dedicated the world has ever seen. From farm boy to champion, Alto has excelled where no one else has dared to venture.

Now the young Thane must fight through the broken remnants of the Order of the Dragon and the city of Mira to rescue his imprisoned sister. She’s being held for the death of her husband, a minor royal who married her under false pretenses. Alto must save her and find a way to abort the massing armies that threaten to overwhelm the northern nations.

But first his enemies give him a choice, save the woman he loves or save his sister. Only he can decide who must die so that the other may live.

Sands of Betrayal, book 3 in the fantasy series Order of the Dragon, by Jason Halstead

Amazon

 Amazon – England

Amazon – Germany

Amazon – Canada

 Barnes and Noble

 Kobo

 Smashwords

 iTunes (coming in a couple of weeks)

Sony (coming in a couple of weeks)

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.

Fricking Awesome

I’ll admit I’m not usually given to such eloquent words of praise. In this case though I think it’s very applicable. That’s how I feel about what a reader just said in a review on Amazon about my Lost Girls series, in particular the final book, Black Widow. Don’t believe me? Here’s the 5 star review in full:

Fricking Awesome October 2, 2012
I bought the whole series and if the author sees this, let me just say thank you and please write more. Usually I’d be more descriptive but I’m feeling a little sleepy. I definitely recommend reading this book. You will be entertained. I honestly think all of the books would be perfect as a movie if given to the right individual. 🙂 Love the characters and storylines especially in this particular one.
How could I feel anything but a giant warm fuzzy feeling after reading that? Truth be told, it kind of echoes what I thought of the book as I wrote it, but to be fair the characters in that book touched me in ways different and perhaps deeper than any other characters I’ve ever written about. There was a lot of pain in those characters, some of it I induced, but also a lot of joy. Okay, I suppose I created all of the pain, not just some of it, but with a good character I don’t feel like I created them. It’s more like they just showed up one day and offered to let me write about them. That’s how it was with Katalina Wimple.
Sadly, I don’t have any more planned for Katy. Not only am I afraid of what she might do to me if I tried to run her through a meat grinder again, but her friends and family have become very formidable as well. I don’t want to be the first writer tortured and killed by his own fictional characters!
On the matter of movies – I’d love to have my books turned into movies. I write them with the thought in my head of seeing them on a big (or at least medium) screen. So far nobody has stumbled across them and offered to take me up on the offer, but I remain hopeful!
So instead I write about other people. Take Carl Waters, one of my first characters in the book, Wanted. He and Jessie are back and more fun (and irascible) than ever in Bounty, the third and final book in their trilogy that I’m working on now.  So far I’ve worked in another measly 800 words today on the story. My plan calls for a couple thousand more (at least). It’s a great book so far and I can’t wait to share it with the world. Wanted has a bunch of great reviews too, by the way (and it’s free on Amazon).
Now I’d better get back to writing! There are a lot of people who are anxious for this book to come out. I hope, if you’re reading this, you’re one of them!
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.