Guest blog: Steve McHugh on Changing Times

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My friend novelist Melissa Olson put me on the track of Steve McHugh.  He’s the author of the Hellequin Chronicles series, about an immortal sorcerer who still battles evil in the modern day.  I asked him to talk a bit about how he chooses the flashback scenes for the novels, which jump back and forth through time, much like the … Read More

Second hint, and a chance to win an ARC

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As I said last week, the advance reader copies (ARCs) of He Drank, and Saw the Spider are available, and they do me no good sitting in the box in my study. So below you’ll find another photographic hint about the book. And here’s the contest: the best caption (as determined by me) wins a signed ARC! So leave a … Read More

An Average Day in the Word Mines

This is what my desk looks like as I write this blog post.

A while back, I asked for blog topic suggestions, and my pal Bill Bodden actually gave me three that were related.  So I’m answering this trio of writing-related questions as one blog post.  Thanks, Bill! How much time do you spend writing in an average day? Do you set word count goals, page goals, or do you not set goals … Read More

Writer’s Day: A Visit to the Tufa Library

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  Recently I had the honor of being invited to Rugby, TN, to do a reading and signing as part of their Appalachian Writers series.  Rugby is the inspiration for Cricket* in the Tufa novels, and the real Thomas Hughes Library shows up as the Roy Howard Library.  Here’s a glimpse inside. [media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkiEk3nGJqY”]   *because I don’t work any … Read More

New Anthology: FLYING HIGHER

I’m not a poet. I feel I should say that at the outset. But I have written a poem, “O Captain! America’s Captain.” It’s now part of this anthology: It’s a labor of love, as they say. Editors Michael Damien Thomas and Shira Lipkin loved the idea, and they approached me and the other authors, asking us to channel our love … Read More

Location, location, location

Memphis

“Memphis is in a very lucky position on the map.” –Steve Cropper   Facebook friend and fan Paula Cassidy recently asked me, “What’s the most difficult thing about using Memphis as a setting for some of your books?” For those unfamiliar with them, I wrote two vampire novels set in 1975 Memphis, Blood Groove and The Girls with Games of … Read More

No More Heroines

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I don’t like heroines. If you’re familiar with my work, you should immediately know I mean the word heroine, not the concept of the female protagonist. I’ve written one fantasy novel (The Hum and the Shiver) and a series of short stories (The Firefly Witch) with strong, tough female main characters, and I try to make the women in my Eddie … Read More

How Does Being a Southerner Affect My Writing?

Not an exaggeration; this is actually typical.

Recently fan Laura Kannard asked me, “How has being from the South affected your writing?” I got a similar question during my recent appearance at Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, AZ, so it’s been fresh on my mind. And it’s one of those questions for which there’s no easy answer. It’s clear that the South certainly has more than its … Read More

Three Questions on Writing

Alas, his cat was no help.

Recently my friend Talis Kimberley, an amazing songwriter and musician, asked me a couple of questions I thought might be of more general interest. So I thought I’d answer them here. 1: What are you proudest of having written? That’s got a couple of answers. Every writer has, in his or her head, an ideal version of their book. It’s … Read More

Steam from manure: working with details

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Recently on Facebook, fan Claudia Tucker asked me, “How do you decide what bits are superfluous even if it sets the ambience of the scene?” Every writer’s approach, methods and habits are different, so keep that in mind when I describe mine. We all deal with the same issues, but ultimately there’s no right or wrong way to achieve these … Read More