Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Jeanz Blog

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

In polite company I prefer to go by Jason Halstead. It’s a shame I don’t know more polite people.

Jason Halstead wrote the Voidhawk series, the Dark Earth series and Human Nature.

Home for me at the moment is a nice little place in Warren, Ohio. I get around though – I was born in Michigan, but I’ve lived in Texas and southeastern Utah as well. So far Ohio is the best.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

Voidhawk – Redemption. A fantasy novel that proves sometimes a warriors hardest battles are the ones hidden inside.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

Yes, several new books! I have four in various stages of publishing (including a sequel to Wanted, entitled Ice Princess, which will be released shortly), and a three book series taking place in my Dark Earth setting. A fourth one is in the planning stages still.

Beyond that I have a series of science fiction novellas partially written that I’m also very excited about it.

Due to reader feedback I’m also working on a follow up book to my near future sci-fi book, Human Nature. Proof that readers should never hesitate to send feedback to an author!

Oh, lest I forget I also have to mention the brainstorm I had just last night about a fantasy YA novel I’m hoping to get my daughter’s assistance with?

I have eight books published as of writing this and guarantees for four more in the near future, plus the ones mentioned above and other ideas that are sure to stick with me. Sometimes I wish I could slow myself down but the voices just won’t let me.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?

I’ve been writing since I was ten or eleven. Unfortunately, I was really terrible at it. It took almost two decades for somebody to level with me and tell me as much though. That was the point when I knuckled down and decided to get better at it. After all, writing for an audience is a fun activity and all but without anybody willing to read it there really isn’t a point.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

I have no problem with this sort of thing, in moderation. A book that is heavily reviewed already doesn’t need such a thing but for new releases or less reviewed books I think it’s only fair. After all, if a reader is willing to devote the time to not only read the book but also put some thoughts down about it for the author, what right do I have to benefit not only from the review but also a royalty?

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?

At present I’ve got a friend who is letting me chain him to a desk and act as my personal cover artist. As for the idea behind the images, there’s no rhyme or reason to it. I just brainstorm ideas based on what happens in the book and who the characters are. I’m looking for an idea that jumps out at me and would make me stop and not only be interested in the image itself, but in the questions the image asks.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

I’ve used variations on people’s names simply because I needed a name and it fit. Outside of that the closest I’ve come to crossing that line has been taking some experiences that I or people close to me have been through and using that as research material.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?

The closest I can come to blaming someone might be Terry Brooks – I read The Sword of Shannara as my first major novel when I was around nine years old and was emotionally moved by it. Since then I’ve only found a few books with similar impact on me, sadly none of them by Mr. Brooks (Raymond Feist and Dean Koontz, on the other hand, have sucker punched me a couple of times).

Anyhow, I believe that having read that my imagination was supercharged and I thought, I wonder if I could do something like this?

Which format of book do you prefer, e-book, hardback, or paperback?

I’ve evolved over the years to prefer e-books. My wife recently took the plunge into the world of Kindle herself and now can’t imagine going back. It’s not just about convenience either, there’s also cost (ebooks are usually cheaper) and space. I kept running out of bookshelves and would have to regularly go through my books to donate them to schools or libraries. Not so with ebook, I can acquire as many of those as I’ve got the hard drive space to handle.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is your favorite/worst book to movie transfer?

I believe that they can but they seldom do. A book worthy of a movie is typically written well enough that it does not need modification. The problem is the screenwriter wants to make it their own and put their twist on it. That generally turns it into a bag of poo.

Stephen King’s books have not made the transition well at all, in my opinion. The one exception being Shawshank Redemption. As for a favorite – I can’t say for sure, there are several that try hard and are possible. The recent Clive Cussler creation, Sahara, wasn’t too bad of an adaptation even if I do think Matthew McConaughey is a scrawny punk. He’s talented, mind you, I just can’t stand how people think he’s big and buff when in fact he’s only lean and maybe 150lbs soaking wet.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)

Sadly there’s nothing I’m reading at the moment. All of my time is spent either trying to figure out how to promote my books, writing new ones, working at my day job, spending time with my family, or finishing up my MBA.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?

The Grapes of Wrath. Was supposed to read it in High School but I just couldn’t do it. I tried and failed.

As for something I know I will never read – and of the Twilight books. Sorry, I’m not a self-pitying American teenage girl. Thus I’m not in the target market for that book. Nor will I ever have anything to do with that blatant abuse of a once fun and scary topic.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?

I can think of a couple. Marc Hamlet and Robert Stewart come to mind. Both are publishing books in the near future, one sci-fi and the other a horror / crime mystery dealing with the occult. I’ve had access to both and really liked them.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and why?

Other than better sales, no. The possible caveat to that would be my first book, Voidhawk. In a review it was aptly labeled as a first novel. In hindsight I wish I’d had some experience before publishing that one because I really have a thing for it. But then again, if it wasn’t Voidhawk that I cut my teeth on it would be something else.

Who designed the Cover of your books?

Is this a cross-examination question?

At present I’ve got a friend who is letting me chain him to a desk and act as my personal cover artist. As for the idea behind the images, there’s no rhyme or reason to it. I just brainstorm ideas based on what happens in the book and who the characters are. I’m looking for an idea that jumps out at me and would make me stop and not only be interested in the image itself, but in the questions the image asks.

What do you think about book trailers?

I don’t have any. If they help sell books, then I probably should. My problem is a lack of graphical artistic talent and a general loathing for Microsoft Powerpoint. Powerpoint seems to be what most of the trailers are written / composed in, and I can’t bring myself to use it unless there’s something like a gun being held against my head.

One of these days when I’m independently wealthy I’ll be happy to put some trailers together using real actors and proper filming. Until then, I’ll either have to swallow my angst or continue muddling on without one.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Learn how to take criticism. We don’t learn anything from a success, only that we didn’t screw up. Mistakes, on the other hand, are full of opportunities to make things better! That’s an amalgamation of advice received and something I definitely recommend to anyone who wants to write and not be laughed at more than a couple of times.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

I considered it over the years but every time I came close, I felt like I was hiding something. I’m a bluntly honest person and it would just bother me to feel I couldn’t be up front and honest about who I am and what I write.

Where can readers follow you?

I’m all over the place – or at least I’m trying to be! Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Novel Concept Publishing, All Romance Ebooks, Bookstrand, and the usual social media and such.

Your blog details?

Your web site ?

Your facebook page?

Your Goodreads author page?

Your Twitter details?!/booksbyjason

And any other information you wish to supply? All blood tests to date have come back negative – and I done blood every six weeks because I’m just a swell guy.

Patti Says: And obviously a very funny guy!!! :)

Where to buy -

Amazon: Here


Barnes and Noble:

Other contacts -

Independent Author Network:


Novel Concept Publishing:

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