Lies Ripped Open
By Steven McHugh
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
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.
I walked over to the second agent, whose back was toward me as he stood a little further into the park, and placed my hand on his shoulder. “That’s enough,” I repeated, but he spun around and all of the breath left my body at once, followed immediately by pain as it exploded across my torso. I glanced down as a shimmering blade of ice was pulled free from my chest. It was covered in my blood. I dropped to my knees and watched as the magical weapon vanished from view. The pain forced me to abandon my night vision, and the darkness once again took control.
The overwhelming thought that bounced around my head was that neither of the SOA agents had been sorcerers. My attacker crouched beside me. “They interrupted me and my prey got away,” his accent was from East London, but sounded slightly different from many of those living in the city. As if he’d been away from here for a long time, and had not quite remembered how the accent was meant to sound.
I glanced up at him, still unable to breathe; the blade had punctured a lung. It wouldn’t kill me, but it would be a few hours until I was back to normal, and without my night vision I could have been staring into Merlin’s own face and I’d never have known.
The man got back to his feet and kicked me onto my back. “I should make sure you remember your time here, but I’m sure your comrades over there will be able to do that better than I could.”
Best Advice I’ve Ever Received as a Writer By Steve McHugh
I’ve been a published author for over 3 years now, and was working on my craft as a writer for a good 5 or 6 years before that. During that time I’ve been given a lot of advice. Some were worthwhile out and some weren’t. Some good and some down-right awful.
However, out of all the great advice I’ve been given, there were probably two significant pieces of advice that have shaped my writing.
The first is to practice. Practice every day. That’s not write every day, although that’s certainly a big part of it. But when you’re not writing, you should be thinking about the story you want to tell, the characters you want to use, and the world they will inhabit.
Actually sitting down and writing is still an important part, without that you’re just someone who walks around thinking about writing. And that isn’t going to get a story written, or improve your ability to tell stories. Like anything in this world, getting good takes practice, you need to find your voice, you need to write your story until you find yourself in the worlds.
It’s a weird thing to say, but it works. You think about the story, you work on the story, you write the story. And eventually your voice will come through in your words and it’ll give you your own style, your own sound. It’s an incredibly important thing for a writer to have.
The second piece of advice is to write for me. To write a story I want to read. Yes, it’s great if other people love what you’re doing, but if you don’t love it, why would anyone else?
You need to find a story that you want to tell, that you need to tell. Don’t try to write because that’s what you think other people want to read, because 9 times out of 10 people can tell if that’s all you’re doing. You need to believe in what you’re working on, because if you don’t, why should anyone else.
Those are the two biggest pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten. There were probably hundreds more, but those two stand out. Those two were the ones that set me on my path to writing my first book, binning it, writing my second and getting that published.
I wish I could say it was simple, but it isn’t. But when it all comes together, it’s completely worthwhile.
About the Author
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.