Tag: <span>author</span>

April Already?


So it’s been a while since I’ve used this blog. Moving country took a lot more out of me than I realised, and I had to just take a step back from a lot of things because I was getting really overwhelmed. A lot has happened between my last post and this one, not least of all is that we’ve actually moved all the way across the country to Nevada!

It’s a lot different here than Florida, but strangely Nevada is much more similar to what I’m used to in England – being close to stores, variety of restaurants, events and shows to see. Basically, we’re back in civilization lol! And it’s nice.

Since arriving in Nevada about a month ago I’ve definitely felt the writing bug bite me hard. I lost it Florida (which is weird considering how many other bugs there are in Florida), but now I’ve got it back it’s great to feel motivated about writing again.

My novel, which was tentatively titled Broken, is still going to be my focus. It’s a story I really want to get written and share with everyone who loves urban fantasy. The title is still uncertain – I have a couple of ideas bouncing around but I think the title is going to be finalised after the novel is finished.

The blog itself is going through a few changes – I’ve completely changed the theme (this one is much more sleek, I think), and will be making the menu and whole site easier to navigate. I’m also debating about starting a serial story on the site too. I have a novel I started a long time ago, it’s about half way finished and something I do plan to finish, but it could work really well for a serialised novel on the site. I’m just not sure if I’m trying to take too much on before I’ve got into any kind of routine, or if it would be worth the extra time/editing.

What do you think? Do you enjoy serialised novels on blogs?

I Love Mythology – A Guest Blog by Author Steve McHugh


Bio: 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.

Author links: Facebook / Twitter / Website


I love mythology. I find it fascinating, exciting, interesting and more than a little weird. And I don’t think I can emphasise that enough. Mythology is weird. Some more than others, but all of it deals with the fantastical and some of it feels like the random assortment of ideas that someone once wrote on a brainstorming session and was found years later by someone else who thought it would make a great story.

I’ve always enjoyed mythology, ever since school, when we did work on the ancient Greeks and Romans, the idea that there were all these gods, goddesses and monsters that the people at the time believed in, was something I wanted to learn more about. To be fair, that whole time period was very interesting (mythology or otherwise), and it woke a love for learning more about these creatures of power who people prayed to or feared, sometimes in equal measure.

When the idea for Crimes Against Magic started to bounce around my head, I knew I wanted to use mythology. It was such an absolute certainty that I couldn’t envisage the story without it. First I had to think about what mythology to use, which became quite hard work. A lot of books only use Greek mythology in their novels and I wanted to do something different.

The solution was fairly simple in the end. I decided that all mythology was real, or at least that the characters were real. Okay, there were some, like Roman and Greek, which I decided were basically the same people who had changed their names so as to still hold onto that power that they’d enjoyed for so long, but for the most part the mythological characters were all going to be real.

I’d decided that in book 1, so as to not confuse people with a mass of different names, that only ancient Greek and British mythology would be used. I plan on introducing the rest during the series, but wanted to keep it simple in the beginning. Then I came to another problem. Most of the mythological stories are batshit insane.

Zeus seducing people in various animal guises, people having sex with their sisters/brothers/parents/various other weird stuff, and that doesn’t even start on those born from someone else’s head or bones or such. I wanted to ground these stories in reality, I planned on using magic in the story, but the magic I wanted to use was much less all other the place than what is used in the original stories, where what they can do appears to change depending on what the situation is.

So I came to a realisation that to get around that I had to give each of these characters a basis in my created world. After a lot of playing around, I thought I’d come up with good (and in many cases, obvious) ideas. Merlin was a sorcerer, Hades a necromancer, things along those lines.

That only left me with the problem of the stories themselves. Some of the main characters don’t exactly come across as sympathetic; the myths regularly had the characters kidnap, rape, murder and act like spoilt children on a number of occasions.

So, the presidential elections of 2008 to the rescue, I came up with an idea. Propaganda. They didn’t have TV back when these myths were created; they had stories and rumours passed from one person to the next. I decided that those myths, although they would have truth somewhere inside it, were twisted and used against someone. So instead of Hades kidnapping Persephone and taking her as his wife against her will, I changed it to Demeter (Persephone’s mum) making the story up because she was so angry that her daughter had run off with someone she disproved of.

It was endless fun (and still is) to make changes to the stories so that they fitted the viewpoint of the person telling them. (I mean, basically they were propaganda anyway, told by people to make their gods sound more impressive, and other gods sound less… well, godly.).

That’s why I love mythology so much. Despite the stories we all know, there’s so much leeway to interpret them, much like people have been doing ever since they were created and told for the first time.


withSilentScreams With Silent Screams: Hellequin Chronicles: Book 3

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?

Amazon US / Amazon UK

Creating Interesting Secondary Characters – A Guest Blog by Author Jaye Wells


Bio: Jaye Wells is a USA Today-bestselling author of urban fantasy and speculative crime fiction. Raised by booksellers, she loved reading books from a very young age. That gateway drug eventually led to a full-blown writing addiction. When she’s not chasing the word dragon, she loves to travel, drink good bourbon and do things that scare her so she can put them in her books. Jaye lives in Texas.

Author links: Facebook / Twitter / Website



Main characters get a lot of attention. Makes sense, I guess. But some of my favorite characters in fiction have been secondary players. Ones who walk into a scene and make it leap off the page.

In my own books, I have heard from lots of readers who want to know more about these characters. Most notably has been Giguhl, the Mischief demon sidekick from my Sabina Kane series. He provides a lot of the comedic relief in the series, so it’s easy to understand why people love him.

But Giguhl’s role in that series wasn’t just to be a jester. To me, he was an agent of benevolent chaos. His job was to force Sabina Kane, the main character, out of her comfort zone and not take herself so seriously. In short, he was an active agent for change. If you paid close attention, he also had his own story arc in the series.

The best secondary characters are three-dimensional—meaning they have their own goals and obstacles and backstories. But more than that, they have to be believable products of the world they inhabit.

I write speculative fiction, which means I play fast and loose with magic and monsters and add with glee to our world. While all of my characters have to have identifying and empathetic human traits (even if they’re demons or faeries), they also have to have believable issues that someone living in a world where the arcane and paranormal are commonplace. That impacts the types of characters you’ll create. A world where magic is used by most people will produce different personality types and archetypes than our own mundane world. Use that.

The best example of what I’m talking about is from my new Prospero’s War series. Little Man and Mary are technically two characters, but since they’re conjoined twins they’re also kind of a single unit. Mary is a large woman who has the mental capacity of a child. Her bother, Little Man, is a homunculus who grew from a mole on Mary’s chest. Fully grown, he is carried around in a custom-made baby carrier by Mary, who protects him. Little Man, despite his size, is the brains of this operation.

Little Man and Mary are the way they are because their mother was addicted to fertility potions. She died in childbirth because Mary was so large. And then, later Little Man came along and Mary never had to be alone again. After surviving a screwed up foster care system, they became hustlers of a sort—trading information for money. IN fact, they are the go-to informants for the cops in DIRTY MAGIC.

Little Man and Mary aren’t just memorable because they’re disturbing. They’re memorable because they deepen the reader’s understanding of the world. They also are victims of their world, which makes them more empathetic and sympathetic even if their choices are not always good.

So my advice to you, if you want to create awesome secondary characters is to really think about how the world they live in and their personal stories have shaped who they’ve become. Try to play with tropes and combine ideas in new ways. Also think about the kind of people your main character needs around them. What kind of lessons do they need to learn and what kind of people can best force them to learn those lessons?

But most of all, try to have fun. The more you enjoy your characters, the more your readers will. Happy writing!


dirtyMagicAbout Dirty Magic:


The Magical Enforcement Agency keeps dirty magic off the streets, but there’s a new blend out there that’s as deadly as it is elusive. When patrol cop Kate Prospero shoots the lead snitch in this crucial case, she’s brought in to explain herself. But the more she learns about the investigation, the more she realizes she must secure a spot on the MEA task force.

Especially when she discovers that their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier – on the same day she swore she’d given up dirty magic for good. Kate Prospero’s about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should never say never.

Amazon US / Barnes and Noble / Apple / Indie Bound

I Always Wanted To Be A Writer – A Guest Blog by Author Steve McHugh, and A Giveaway!


Bio: 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.
He was born in a small village called Mexbrough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.

Author links: Facebook / Twitter / Website


I always wanted to be a writer. When I was young, about 7 or 8, I would write little stories that I can’t even remember anymore. I was about 10 when I wrote the opening chapter to a book that sounded so much like Terry Pratchett that the word plagiarism would have been too soft.

I knew I wanted to write, although I had no idea about doing it for a living, I just wanted to tell stories. I was probably about 13 or 14 when my English teacher, gave the class a creative writing assignment. Mine was something to do with a C.I.A operative trying to escape from assassins while he hid out in diner in the middle of the desert. It was, quite frankly, trash. But fun trash. Unfortunately, my teacher and head of department disagreed with my use of violence and swearing and I was told that I’d need to write something else before he’d submit it as work. Apparently, teachers don’t like their students using swearing and violence in work. Who knew?

So, I wrote a story about a boy who finds a frog and took it home. He then had to keep it hidden from his mum, who eventually found it and he had to give it up. It was heart-wrenching and got me an A. It was probably also trash, but I was 13 years old, so to my mind it was a work of genius.

Anyway, that was point when I realised that actually I really, really liked writing. I wrote a few more things in English class over the years, although I can remember very few and then I went to college and stopped. I didn’t write again, except the occasional opening chapter of something that never went further, for about 3 or 4 years. I always told myself, I had loads of time and that I’d get round to it, but I never did.

I liked the idea of writing a book, of being a writer, but I didn’t know how to go about actually doing it. So, I just let the dream glow inside me while I did nothing about it.

My eldest daughter, Mim (that’s not her real name, I just call her that. Mim’s from the Sword in the Stone) was born 9 years ago, when I was 25. I decided to actually stop messing about with the idea of writing and actually write. I joined a writing group and over the following three years wrote my first book that will never be read by anyone.

After that, I had the bug and immediately set about starting my second book, which as it turned out would be my first published work, Hellequin Chronicles, Book 1. Crimes Against Magic.

It took me a lot less to get the book done, although I took nearly 2 years to try and get an agent and try to make it better and better, until I decided to just self-publish it. Then last year I self-published book 2, Born of Hatred. They both did pretty well, certainly well enough to interested 47North, Amazon’s own SF, Fantasy and Horror imprint. Both books are now re-published and the third will be out next Feb.

It’s an overwhelming feeling to have had success in something you love to do. There’s really nothing quite like it. But I do regret having wasted so many years not working on my writing or not taking it seriously. So, if you have a dream that you’ll ‘get round to’, don’t wait, don’t put it off, just do it. It could well be the best decision you ever make.


Crimes Against Magic: Hellequin Chronicles: Book 1

How do you keep the people you care about safe from enemies you can’t remember?

Ten years ago, Nate Garrett awoke on a cold warehouse floor with no memory of his past—a gun, a sword, and a piece of paper with his name on it the only clues to his identity. Since then, he’s discovered he’s a powerful sorcerer and has used his magical abilities to become a successful thief for hire.

But those who stole his memories aren’t done with him yet: when they cause a job to go bad and threaten a sixteen-year-old girl, Nate swears to protect her. With his enemies closing in and everyone he cares about now a target for their wrath, he must choose between the comfortable life he’s built for himself and his elusive past.
As the barrier holding his memories captive begins to crumble, Nate moves between modern-day London and fifteenth-century France, forced to confront his forgotten life in the hope of stopping an enemy he can’t remember.

Amazon US / Amazon UK


McHugh_Born_of_Hatred_cvr_FINALBorn of Hatred: Hellequin Chronicles: Book 2

There are some things even a centuries-old sorcerer hesitates to challenge…

When Nathan Garret’s friend seeks his help investigating a bloody serial killer, the pattern of horrific crimes leads to a creature of pure malevolence, born of hatred and dark magic. Even with all his powers, Nate fears he may be overmatched. But when evil targets those he cares about and he is confronted by dire threats both old and new, Nate must reveal a secret from his recently remembered past to remind his enemies why they should fear him once more.

Born of Hatred, set in modern London with historical flashbacks to America’s Old West, continues the dark urban fantasy of Crimes Against Magic, the acclaimed first book in the gritty and action-packed Hellequin Chronicles.

Amazon US / Amazon UK



This is the first giveaway I’ve ever done and I’m really excited about it 🙂  To celebrate the re-release of Steve McHugh’s Hellequin Chronicles novels, one lucky winner can choose to receive either a signed copy of Crimes Against Magic, or a signed copy of Born Of Hatred. Winners choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway