Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Prison of Hope by Steve McHugh Creating Characters & Giveaway

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.

Creating Characters:
I’ve always enjoyed character creation. Being able to create a whole new person and have their lives laid out before you is an experience unlike many others. In my case with the Hellequin Chronicles series, my main character Nathan (Nate) Garrett is 1600 years old. That gives me a lot of life to plot.

Nate has lived in my head for about 10 years now in one way or another, and over that time he’s formed from a relative shadow of a person to a fully-grown entity. I can switch his voice on and off in my head like it was nothing, I can do the same with several of the main characters of the series. When you have someone stuck in your head for so long it doesn’t take a huge amount to know what they’d do in any given circumstance.

It’s easier for me to create characters now that it was when I first had the idea of this series all those years ago. New characters, both minor and major, come and go with each new book, so being able to give a glimmer of an idea a personality, history and reason for their role in the story is important to figure out the kind of person I’m dealing with. Admittedly, these aren’t always pleasant people, and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out why someone wants to do something horrific, but once it clicks, whatever unpleasant person I need quickly finds their role in the story.

There is one slight problem I have with character creation. Actually it’s two, but I’m trying to get better at one of them.

The first problem, and one I’m trying to get better at, is hair. I have a tendency to just write whatever colour comes to mind when creating someone, but that has in the past created a lot of people with one hair colour. It’s something I’m now quite mindful of.

The second, and more problematic of my issues, is naming. I can pick the names of planets, realms, weapons and pretty much anything else I can think of without too much fuss, but names, names are a different matter. Even minor, almost inconsequential characters will drive me nuts with their name choice. A major character might have their name changed two or three times in the same script when I realize they don’t sound like a Peter, or they don’t look like a Mary. It’s infuriating, and it’s also something I’m trying hard to get better at, but I still find myself annoyed that I’ve spent an hour reading names trying to find the one that fits.

Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to figure them out without trouble, but then that means I won’t get to learn new and weird names when I go searching… so maybe, I should just be happy that my brain is never happy and let it get on with things.

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:
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.

Steve McHugh will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2015/03/vbt-prison-of-hope-by-steve-mchugh.html 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks very much for hosting my post today. It was a lot of fun to write.

  2. Great excerpt, sounds like a very intriguing story.

  3. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from this book?

  4. I really enjoyed your comments.

  5. I liked your post on how you create your characters. Good character development really adds to a book.