Monday, April 20, 2015

Interview with urban fantasy author Steve McHugh

I’m kicking off the week with urban fantasy author Steve McHugh. He’s here to chat about the new book in his Hellequin Chronicles series, Prison of Hope.

During his virtual book tour, Steve will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a lucky winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Steve McHugh is the author of the popular Hellequin Chronicles. The fourth book, Prison of Hope, released on April 14th. He 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.

Welcome, Steve. Please tell us about your current release.
Prison of Hope is the 4th book in the Hellequin Chronicles, which center around a 1600 year old sorcerer, Nathan (Nate) Garrett, and his life. In Prison of Hope, Nate is tasked with tracking down and capturing one of the Titan’s who has escaped from Tartarus before he can fulfill his plan to start a civil war between those within the world who would use his escape to gain power.

What inspired you to write this book?
The Hellequin Chronicles world features a lot of characters from various mythologies from ancient Greece, Roman, Norse, British and several others. I’ve been dripping these characters into the first 3 books, and this is the one where you get a meet a lot more of the Greek side. I wanted to give Nate a big enough story that he can cut loose, and really show why people fear the guy.

Excerpt from Prison of Hope:
France. Now.

My mistake came in the form of saying “yes”—a simple, but powerful word that along with its brother, “no,” can do a lot of good or a lot of damage. Once that first word had left my lips, I was duty bound to follow through. I could have come up with an excuse to get out of it—hell, I could have shot myself and said someone was trying to kill me. Should have, would have, could have. Instead, I convinced myself it wouldn’t be bad, that it might even be fun. I was wrong. It was hell in a carriage.

I’d agreed, for some foolish reason, which I liked to believe had to do with drugged food and drink, to accompany Thomas Carpenter and his daughter Kasey on a school trip to Germany. Traveling along with my closest friend and his teenage daughter were over a hundred of her school friends, several parents and guardians, and their teachers. All spread out over a four-carriage train.

Avalon—the hidden true power of our world—arranged the trip, like it did for all Avalon-funded schools. But teenagers are moody and temper prone at the best of times. Throw in the beginnings of their powers, be those magical or otherwise, and you had the makings of a tense atmosphere.

Many of the kids with parents in attendance pretended that their parents didn’t exist, while most of the parents silently watched their offspring with the attentiveness of an eagle searching for its next victim. Occasionally, one of the teenagers would say something inappropriate and receive a chastised glance or a discreet cough aimed in their direction, which in turn made the teen sigh or roll their eyes. It was like the Cold War all over again. I was half-expecting someone to turn up and start building a really big wall between the two sides.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently in the editing process for Book 5, Lies Ripped Open, which is out in Aug this year, and I’m writing my first science fiction book. Which is a huge amount of fun to write.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I got my first pay. That was the day I said, “well this is now your job.” That was a fantastic day.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have a fulltime job too, and I’m hoping that one day I will be able to write fulltime, but as I have a wife and three young daughters, I need to be in a place of financial security before that can happen. I write in the evening, lunch breaks, weekends, anytime I get a moment really.

Apart from spending time with my family, I read, play videogames and I really like Lego. I find Lego to be a nice relaxing way to spend an evening.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I really need to get myself some writing quirks. Like a parrot or a monocle. I guess the fact that I share my office with my bearded dragon, Kaiju. Who is currently looking at me as if he knows I’m writing about him.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer. Or a ninja. The latter of which didn’t really work out for me. Probably for the best, stealth is not something I’m all that good at.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I hope if you decide to give the books a read that you enjoy them. They were a lot of fun to write, and I hope that comes through in the reading.


Thanks, Steve!

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Steve J McHugh said...

Thanks very much for the interview. It was a lot of fun to do.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Mai T. said...

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

Steve J McHugh said...

I edit my books initially, then they go to my beta readers, who send back more edits. Then they go to my publisher who gives it to my editor, who also edits it at least twice (with me making changes in between). Then it's gone through a copy editor and line editor, again with me making edits in between. Basically by the time it's done, the book will have gone though 5 or 6 people, each with a set of edits in between them.

Rita Wray said...

I liked the interview.

Unknown said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the interview! Thank you!