I have the pleasure of having a guest post from author Steve McHugh today. He answered my question:
ELF:What was the most difficult thing to overcome on your path to becoming a published author and how did you conquer it?
I flitted about with writing for several years; I’d write little bits here and there, but never more than a few chapters before going off to do something else. I’d tell myself there was always time, that I’d get around to doing it, but I never really did. There was always a reason to do something other than write, even though I knew I wanted to write.
Things changed 10 years ago, when I was 25. I’d found out that I was about to become a father for the first time, and decided that I really needed to get on with writing. I needed to do it rather than talk about it.
Over the next 3 or so years, I wrote my first ever book, I joined Kelley Armstrong’s online writing group and got critiqued and learned how to critique, which in turn made me a better writer. Those 3 years were a revelation. I learned how much I loved writing, I learned how to plot and pace and so many other things. By the time that story was done it was a steaming pile of crap, but I’d learned so much from writing it and loved the experience that instead of being disheartened, I immediately started writing something new. That book took 3 years too, and eventually became Crimes Against Magic, my first published work.
I wish I’d started earlier, I wish I’d taken it more seriously in my early 20s, but if I had I might be the writer I am now, I might not be published, so things probably worked out for the best. With every new book, I learn more, I get better at my craft, and I love doing it just that little bit extra. There’s nothing quite like seeing your work come to life in front of you, and I might never have taken it seriously if it wasn’t for the birth of my daughter.
by Steve McHugh
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.
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.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.
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