Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lies Ripped Open by Steve McHugh (VNBtM, guest post, excerpt and GIVEAWAY) GFT

My life is a little hectic lately so my apologies that this didn't get posted at the proper time!  I appreciate that author Steve McHugh was generous enough to give us a glimpse into a process that many of us are curious about...

ELF:  What is your writing process?

SM:  I get asked about my writing process a lot, and frankly I’m beginning to think I should have something more impressive than sit down and get on with it. But that doesn’t really tell the whole story.

First of all there’s the idea stage. Now when I get an idea, it likes to ferment in my brain for a few days, maybe a week. It doesn’t seem to make any difference about what else I might be working on, my brain will want to think about this new sparkly idea.

Usually the idea begins to fake after I’ve spent some time working on it, be that anywhere from writing a few notes, to a whole synopsis. Once the idea is down, it’ll usually let me get on with whatever I’m meant to be doing.

When it comes to the time of actually working out how the book is going to happen, I usually start with the ending, or a big scene in the book. It doesn’t usually take long for me to figure out where the rest of the jigsaw pieces go, although I do have a tendency to change those pieces around mid-writing.

So, before I’ve ever sat down to type out the first word of the book, I’ve got a good idea of where the story is going, any major scenes and the ending. I will usually know what happens to each chapter, and what side-characters and their stories will be too.

Then I start writing and it all changes. You see, I have this tendency to be happily writing along and a new idea to do with the book will happen. Sometimes, it’s a scene, sometimes a new character, or a change of direction for one I was already aware of. Mostly this will result in re-writes, new chapters and extra time added onto to the end of the writing process.

I actually quite like it that way, I like having the mystery there that something will happen that I hadn’t planned for and I have no idea until it happens. Why this happens, I have no idea, but it certainly ensures I never get complacent while writing the story.

Once the book is done, and by done I mean that draft is finished. It’s on to the edits. I usually do an edit myself before sending it to my beta readers and agent. They read it, send it back, I make changes and send it to my publisher.

The process takes a turn for detail then. I’ll do at least 2 more edits with an editor, usually changing bits of the story, or characters. Anything that doesn’t work, could be better, or needs to be changed.

After that it’s the copy and line edits. Anyone who has ever done these knows just how much fun they are.

So that’s the whole process. Something that takes me 6-9 months broken down into a few hundred words. Oh, and usually I’m working on at least 2 things at once (writing one, plotting another, with maybe a third in the planning stages). I don’t really switch off, I’ll read a book, play a game, watch a film, anything really, and think of something I could do in a story. Writing is a 24/7 job. And it’s the greatest one I’ve ever had.

Steve McHugh is the author of the popular Hellequin Chronicles. The fifth book, Lies Ripped Open, was released on 25th August 2015. 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.

by Steve McHugh



Over a hundred years have passed since a group of violent killers went on the rampage, murdering innocent victims for fun. But even back then, sorcerer Nate Garrett, aka Hellequin, knew there was more to it than simple savage pleasure—souls were being stolen.

Nate’s discovery of the souls’ use, and of those supporting the group’s plan, made him question everything he believed.

Now the group Nate thought long dead is back. Violent, angry, and hell-bent on revenge, they have Hellequin firmly in their sights. And if he won’t come willingly, they’ll take those closest to him first.

The battle begins again.



The doors opened and the classical music inside settled over us.

“I have no idea who the Williams are,” I said as the doors closed once Grayson pressed the number four button. “But doesn’t this all seem a bit much to you? Marble floors and the like. I’d be scared to break something.”

“That’s because you’re an uncouth ruffian,” Grayson said with a laugh. “The more refined among us need not worry about breaking things; they merely glide through life, never really touching anything.”

I paused and stared at Grayson as the doors opened. “That might be the single most depressing thing I’ve ever heard.”

“I know,” he said with a sigh.

A moment later he stopped walking and turned back to me. “We’ll take this slow. We don’t want to go spooking anyone.”

As the Williamses’ home was the only one on the whole floor, it wasn’t exactly difficult to find. I knocked twice and waited for a few moments until the door was unlocked and pulled open slightly. The woman in the doorway was the same elderly woman from the hostage situation.

“Remember me?” I asked.

Liz Williams nodded.

“You feel like telling me why the Reavers want you or your husband dead?” I turned to Grayson, who appeared as though he’d like to find a big hole to climb into. “Slow enough for you?


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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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The tour dates can be found here



  1. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

    1. Great to see you, Mai! I look forward to seeing what the answer is!

    2. Thanks for the question. I'm not sure if there this anything I'd never write about. There are things I would think long and hard about before involving in a book, but I'd never say never.

  2. Every male in my life, wants to read this book. Good job. My nephew thinks it should be a movie. Full of action. He also wants to star in it.

    1. That's quite a recommendation, Misty! I love that your nephew is such a fan, thank you for sharing that and thank you for taking the time to visit and comment!

    2. That's fantastic to hear. I'm glad they all enjoy the books. And if your nephew can get it made, he can totally star in it.

  3. Replies
    1. You're quite welcome, Steve. Hope the tour is going well. Sorry that I haven't been around, I was away from a reliable internet source for a while. Thanks for coming by to interact with my visitors!

  4. I really enjoyed your comments. This book really sounds exciting. I loved the excerpt.

    1. Glad you liked it so much, Jane. Thanks for taking the time to visit.

  5. Replies
    1. Always happy to share, thanks for dropping by, Victoria!

  6. Sounds like a great read, thank you!

    1. You are very welcome, Betty, great to see you!