Today I’m welcoming Steve McHugh to Flight of the Dragon to tell us more about himself and his book, Crimes Against Magic. Steve’s been writing from an early age and 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, the results of which is Crimes Against Magic.
He was born in a small village called Mexbrough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Southampton.
I love the title Crimes Against Magic so much so I wish I’d thought of it myself! How did you come up with it?
If I’m honest, I don’t know. I don’t know how I come up with any of my titles. They sort of pop into my head when I’m thinking about the story and if I like it, it sticks. I liked the idea of there being criminal acts using magic, things so bad that if you got caught, you’d be executed for it. It probably came from there.
Well, just the title has got ideas spinning in my head about where I could take this concept. I’d say that’s a pretty effective title! What genre do you consider the book?
Crimes Against Magic is Urban Fantasy, although I’ve heard people describe it as Action, Adventure with magic. Either of those work quite well.
I’m not a fan for strict classification of books, particularly when we start drilling down into subgenres. How did you choose the genre you write in?
It sort of chose me. I’ve always loved mythology and magic and history, so combining them meant Urban Fantasy was a natural fit.
I’m with you on that one. Some of us do just naturally gravitate towards something. What was your part of Crimes Against Magic to write and why?
My favourite parts to write were probably one fight scene near the end of the book between Nate and a villain and a scene where you’re introduced to Nathan’s young neighbour, Dani. That was a lot of fun to write.
I always feel twisted and evil when I ask this question. Why am I the only one who enjoys writing things like the Black Moment? Anyway, back to Steve… Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
A lot of the characters who make it to the end of the book will be back in future stories in one way or another.
As for themes, the second book is going to be much darker in tone. That was something I made a conscious decision to do, due to what the story is about.
Ahah, so there’s a sequel! Is it your current project?
Yes, I’m currently writing the second book, Born of Hatred, and outlining the third, With Silent Screams. Hopefully book two will be out within the next six months.
That’s not a bad timeframe. So do you ever experience writer's block or that’s just not something you suffer from?
Not really, although I do experience writer’s procrastination, especially when I should be editing.
Don’t we all – I suffer from what I like to call writer’s knurd. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism would be something that was unfair. I’ve had a few, mostly when I went for the Amazon Breakthrough Award, but I tend to ignore it and move on. If someone wants to give constructive criticism, I’m all ears though.
The best compliment? I was told by someone that they don’t read a lot of books, but that they loved Crimes Against Magic. That made me feel superb.
I bet it does. The one thing I love to hear is people stayed up past their bedtime and into the wee hours of the morning reading! OK, so now a few unusual questions, just to give our readers a hint of the ‘real’ Steve McHugh. If you were a Star Trek® or Star Wars® character, which one would it be?
I could probably be really geeky and come up with something obscure, but I’m going to go with Han Solo. I think everyone wants to be him though.
Yep, even me! So what if I’m a woman? Ahem. So what is your favourite drink?
Alcoholic – Scotch
Hot – Green tea
Cold – Apple juice
Never mix those three together in the same drink.
Dang! *hides apple juice behind back* The thought never even crossed my mind. To wrap up, tell us the last book you read.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Probably not quite as good as The Hunger Games as it takes a while to get going, but still a very good book. I’ll read the third at some point too.
Haven’t read them, but they are on my TBR list – as is Crimes Against Magic! If you want your very own copy, you can get one here from Amazon or Amazon UK. For more on Steve, check out his blog or follow him on Twitter at @stevejmchugh! Thanks so much for joining us today, Steve, it was a pleasure to have you.
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