Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Check out my interview with author Steve McHugh!


His name is Nathan Garrett, but he’s also known as Hellequin. And murdering one of his friends and trying to blow him up is a good way to get this centuries-old sorcerer’s full attention…
An old friend’s dead body, a cryptic note, and an explosion that almost costs him his own life propel Nate headfirst into a mystery involving a new threat from an old foe. Now he must piece together the connections between a grisly series of tattooed murder victims, an imprisoned madman, a mysterious alchemist, and a deranged plot to usurp the throne of the hidden realm of Shadow Falls, rival to the power of Avalon.
Can Nate avert the coming slaughter, or will he become the latest to fall in this clandestine war?
With the story careening between modern-day New York and Ontario and 1977 Maine, With Silent Screams continues the gritty and action-packed mix of urban fantasy and ancient mythology that mark Steve McHugh’s popular Hellequin Chronicles.


Please tell us a little about yourself
My name is Steve McHugh. I’m originally from a small town in South Yorkshire, England called Mexbrough, but I currently live in Southampton with my wife, 3 young daughters and pet bearded dragon called Kaiju. I’ve been writing to some degree or another since I was at school, but Crimes Against Magic was my first published work, which was in 2012. Since then I’ve published two sequels (the most recent of which was With Silent Screams) and a novella.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Like everything I’ve ever written the start of the idea comes from a tiny spark from something that interests me and it grows from there. In this case it was the idea that someone would murder the main character, Nathan Garrett’s, friend and then try to kill him. I wanted to know how he’d react to that. Badly for those involved was the answer.

As Nate used to be Merlin’s assassin, I also wanted to show more of the people who make up his past, hence Galahad. The two of them grew up together as friends in Camelot, but something happened to split that friendship and I wanted to explore that.

When did the characters first pop into your head?
Nate’s always in my head and has been for years. Which sounds terrifying, but it means I can figure out how he’d react to a situation with relative ease.

Apart from Nate, the first character I knew I wanted in the book was Galahad. I wanted someone from Nate’s past, someone who had known him for a long time, someone who definitely wouldn’t take any crap from Nate. Having two people, both sort of vying for that alpha-male spot, made for some fun interactions.

Without giving away any spoilers, was the story always straight forward for you to write, or did it pop up any surprises along the way? 
Each of my books has two storylines. One set in the current time, and one set in the past. As Nate is a 1600 year old sorcerer, I’ve got a lot of past to choose from, but the past story has to link to the present one, otherwise what’s the point?

Once I’ve got the present plot figured out, the past portion of the book comes along pretty easily. But I don’t tend to plot out in detail. I usually have the main plot points I want to get to and roughly who is doing what, where, but the actual detail of each chapter I leave until I start writing it. If I did it any other way, I’d only ignore it and change things anyway, so this makes my life considerably easier. And it’s nice to be surprised.

Where do you like to write?
My office is my usual writing spot. It’s away from everyone else in the house and it’s quiet. Most of the time anyway. But I can usually write anywhere. I can block out noise around me, so it’s usually not too difficult to get a few things down when I have time.

Do you read a lot?
I used to read all the time, but I don’t get as much chance as I used to. I usually read a few books a month, alongside some comics. I’m just pickier about what I read these days.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

I have so many favorite authors from so many different genres; Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, John Connolly, Dan Abnett, Gail Simone, Sarah Pinborough, Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Warren Ellis, Greg Rucka, Robin Hobb, Richard Morgan, Kelley Armstrong, Karen Travis and many, many more. Those are just the ones off the top of my head.

And last but not least, have you any words of wisdom for aspiring writers out there?
Write what you like, what you enjoy. Don’t just write something because it’s popular or because someone told you that’s what you should write. Because if you don’t write something you care about, your readers will notice and can always tell what work an author put their heart into.

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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  1. Thanks for the interview, Dee it was a lot of fun.

    1. No problem Steve! Thanks for answering my questions :)


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