Saturday, October 12, 2013

Guest Post with Steve McHugh

Born of Hatred – Blurb

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.


Crimes Against Magic – Blurb

It’s been almost ten years since Nathan Garrett woke on a cold warehouse floor with nothing but a gun, a sword, and no idea of who he was or how he got there. His only clue … a piece of paper with his name on it. Since then, he’s discovered he’s a powerful sorcerer and has used his abilities to work as a thief for hire. But he’s never stopped hunting for his true identity, and those who erased his memory have never stopped hunting for him. When the barrier holding his past captive begins to crumble, Nathan swears to protect a young girl who is key to his enemy’s plans. But with his enemies closing in, and everyone he cares about becoming a target for their wrath, Nathan is forced to choose between the life he’s built for himself and the one buried deep inside him.

Crimes Against Magic is an Urban Fantasy set in modern day London with Historical flashbacks to early fifteenth century France. It's book one of the Hellequin Chronicles, a series about Nathan (Nate) Garrett, a centuries old sorcerer.

Links –

The Day I Clicked Publish.

I’ve been trying to come up with something to give as a guest blog. Writing blogs can be tough, especially when you’re doing a huge number in a short space. But then, inspiration struck.

I published my first ever book, Crimes Against Magic in April 2012. It, and it’s sequel Born of Hatred, went on to do well enough to get me a contract with 47North. So, I’m going to take you back to April 29th 2012, the day before I published.

07:00 – I woke up feeling excited. This was the day I’d dreamed about for years, the day I was going to finally have a published book.

09:00 After sorting out my two daughters with breakfast, getting them dressed and other things that you wouldn’t think would take two people so long, I finally got to my office eager to get things sorted. (I’ve since had another daughter. Now everything takes all the time. Ever.)

10:00  - I’d spent the entire previous day trying to figure out how to format the book in the correct way. All I succeeded in doing was angering myself and generally deciding that whoever had come up with the idea of having to convert a word document into HTML format is in fact an ass. Fortunately, a good friend had told me that I could use Scrivener to do it.

10:30 – And done. I’d used Scrivener to compile the book and a wave of euphoria swept through me.

11:00 – I downloaded the Kindle viewer app and my euphoria changed to something akin to being kicked in the balls. Repeatedly.

11:10 – I have no idea what the problem is. None. The first fifteen chapters work like a dream. But after that there are chapter numbers replaced by words, the first line of chapters are now chapter heads and basically it’s all gone horribly wrong.

11:30 – I recompile the file in the hope that I’d done something wrong and it was a one off. I was not. I did it again. And again. In fact I did it A LOT. Each time changing a few settings to figure out what the hell was going on.

12:00 – I start to curse ancient gods. Mostly, because I don’t want to piss of any that might actually still hold sway over anything, but also because cursing Zeus is just more fun. Nothing changed. But I also wasn’t hit with a thunderbolt, so you get the rough with the smooth.

12:30 – I email my friend to explain what’s happening. Her response of ‘try this’ fills me with the kind of hope a seal must feel with it hops onto an iceberg to escape a pod of Orca’s. Her suggestion doesn’t work. Her follow up of ‘eh’, now makes me feel like that same seal as it jumps back in the ocean only to realise that the orcas have been playing a game of hide and sneak.

13:00 – I e-mail scrivener themselves in the hopeful attempt that they might know what ‘s wrong with my computer.

13:00 – In the mean time I read various forums to try and find a result.

14:00 – I’m no more the wiser, and after reading some of the forum posts, I actively now worry about the human race.

14:00  - I go back to scrivener’s forum, normally a bastion of helpfulness, to find an answer. I type in my problem and fifteen pages of forum flashes up. I get comfortable.

14:30/15:00 (I no longer know, time is relative when reading forums) – On page 12, I find someone with a similar problem. I refuse to allow myself to feel hope, but my heart flutters. Just a little bit.

15:30 – I’ve tried the suggestion and… it works. I jump in the air in a euphoric moment. Or I would do, if I had a larger office. In reality jumping in the air in my office would cause me all kinds of pain, as I’d hit my bike, a wall or the door.

The problem, as it turns out was that Word placed hidden page breaks in my novel. Yay, Word.  Removing them fixed the whole problem (something clarified by the e-mail from scrivener explaining this to me at the moment I figure it out). I curse Microsoft and change a few details in the book before creating an epub file and mobi file that actually works.

16:30 – I upload the book onto Amazon in preparation of the book launch the following day (it takes 12 hours or so to go live) and go find a bottle of scotch.

It was the single most nail-biting day of my life that didn’t include the birth of my children. My wedding day was less stomach churning that realising that my book might not be ready on the day it was meant to be.

But in the end it worked out. The book went live and I had one of the craziest days ever. But that’s a story for another time.

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.
He’s the author of action-packed Urban Fantasy series, Hellequin Chronicles. The first 2 books of which, Crimes Against Magic and Born of Hatred, are available now.

Two winners receive both  Crimes Against Magic and Born of Hatred

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1 comment:

  1. Loved the blurb. Can't wait to read. Thanks for the giveaway.


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