Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Steve McHugh and his story Prison of Hope!
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Steve’s been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up ‘One boy and his frog’ was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.
It wasn’t for another decade that he would start work on a full-length novel that was publishable, the results of which was the action-packed Urban Fantasy, Crimes Against Magic.
Steve McHugh lives in Southampton on the south coast of England with his wife and three young daughters. When not writing or spending time with his kids, he enjoys watching movies, reading books and comics, and playing video games.
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~ * ~ TOPIC du JOUR ~ * ~
I asked Steve McHugh, “How did you get your start in writing and what fuels you to continue?” and here is the response.
When I was about 11 I was told by my English teacher that I should branch out and read more than choose your own adventure books and comics. I’d read things like Treasure Island and Sherlock Holmes, but I really loved the fantasy, horror and science fiction that I found in the Fighting Fantasy books.
I took the teacher’s challenge and went to the school library and picked up Men At Arms by Terry Pratchett. I read it in a day and my dad took me to the local library the next day. While I was there I grabbed Legend by David Gemmell, more Terry Pratchett, It by Stephen King and probably a few others I can’t remember. What I do remember though is that reading those books made me want to be a writer, I wanted to tell stories.
I was maybe 11 or 12 when I wrote my first story, which was dreadful. But as I got time to do creative writing at school, I began to become more comfortable with writing short stories in various styles. When I left school, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Or a ninja, but that was never going to pan out.
Unfortunately, it took me almost another decade of false starts and constantly telling myself, “one day”, before I decided to get serious about my writing. When I was 25 my first daughter was born. That was the catalyst I needed.
I started writing a novel, joined Kelley Armstrong’s online writer’s group, and began submitting a monthly piece, critiquing other people’s work at the same time. It took me about 3 years to finish the book, and while I was over the moon, in hindsight it was crap. Eventually, I gave up on the story and began writing something else; Crimes Against Magic. It took me another 3 years to write it, and it changed a lot during that time, but in 2011, I finished and thought it was a good story. People who read it agreed and I decided to send it out to agents and publishers.
After not really getting anywhere, but receiving some good feedback and advice from agents on how to improve the book, I decided to give self-publishing a try. The book did well enough that 9 months after I published it, my current publisher, 47North, contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to work with them to re-publish the first two books and publish the third. I said yes.
It’s been three years now since I first self published, and I have four books out, along with a novella, and a fifth book on the way this year.
I love creating worlds and characters, I love seeing those characters evolve through a story. I keep writing because I can’t stop. If I don’t write, I get very grumpy. I write for me, I write for my three young daughters and my wife. I write because that’s who I am. And I love every second of it.
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Long ago, Olympian gods imprisoned the demon Pandora in a human—Hope—creating a creature whose only purpose was chaos and death. Remorseful, the gods locked Pandora away in Tartarus, ruled by Hades.
Now, centuries later, Pandora escapes. Nate Garrett, a 1,600-year-old sorcerer, is sent to recapture her and discovers her plan to disrupt the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, killing thousands in a misplaced quest for vengeance.
Fast forward to modern-day Berlin, where Nate has agreed to act as guardian on a school trip to Germany to visit Hades at the entrance to Tartarus. When Titan King Cronus becomes the second ever to escape Tartarus, Nate is forced to track him down and bring him back, to avert a civil war between those who would use his escape to gain power.
~ * ~ EXCERPT ~ * ~
The power collected by the runes would have returned to me until I’d regained my strength. Breaking the runes had changed that. On the plus side, it meant getting my missing energy back much more quickly; on the minus side, it turned the car park into a damn bomb.
The remaining magic exploded outward like a nuclear shockwave. Windscreens and headlights shattered, tires blew from the pressure, and the lights and windows at the front of the restaurant rained down glass over the ground. The blast picked me up like I was made of paper and threw me aside. I felt a crunch as I collided, back first, with something hard. Pain rocked through me, and then, just as quickly as the magical energy had rushed outward, it stopped and all rushed back into me as if it were attached on an elastic band.
The final thing I remembered before passing out was that I cried out in pain.
~ * ~ BUY ~ * ~
~ * ~ GIVEAWAY ~ * ~
Steve McHugh will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. CLICK HERE to enter to Win! Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule
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Steve McHugh, thank you for stopping by today!
Love & blessings to all! ❤
Tagged: 47North, Action, Adventure, Arthurian, Author Spotlight, Crime, fantasy, Goddess Fish Promotions, Horror, Interview, Men's Adventure, Occult, Paranormal, science fiction, Sorcery, Steve McHugh, Sword, Urban