Creepfest Blog Hop – Day 7 – Introducing Jessica McHugh

Don’t forget to visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and have fun!

Check at the bottom of this post for some crazy prizes you can win :)

Jessica McHugh is an author of speculative fiction that spans the genre from horror and alternate history to epic fantasy. A prolific writer, she has devoted herself to novels, short stories, poetry, and playwriting. She has had ten books published in three years, including “Rabbits in the Garden”, “The Sky: The World” and the first three installments in her “Tales of Dominhydor” series. More info on Jessica’s speculations and publications can be found at JessicaMcHughBooks.com.

1. You’re quite a busy lady between working an outside job and penning multiple projects. How do you keep up with it all?

It’s a rough gig, that’s for sure. The most torturous part is being at my full time job when there’s a story I desperately want to write. I can fit in little writing spurts while at work, but it’s definitely not the same as being home.

But this is the life I chose. Dealing with this situation is like getting a tattoo. It hurts and it’s a lengthy process, but I’m not going to cry from the pain. I knew what I was getting into. I also know I always end up with something beautiful, something that makes it all worthwhile.

2. You write across a multitude of genres when many writers specialize in one. Which one is the easiest for you to write and why?

I’d say horror because it’s so much fun for me, but when I really think about it, suspense comes easiest to me. No matter what genre I write, there’s always some suspense, whether I originally intended on it or not. It just slips in, probably because I have so much fun with slow reveal of secrets, the misdirection, and the twists and turns of unraveling the characters’ capabilities.

3. Sit on Santa’s lap and tell him your top five Christmas wishes.

1st off, I wish Santa didn’t smell like Doritos and Skoal. 2Nd, I wish I had a house with a patio where I could write during the summer. 3Rd, I wish one (or more) of my books would get super popular so I could ditch the day job. 4Th, I wish racism and homophobia would just disappear (although that might be a taller order than the day job-ditching). 5Th, I wish I didn’t have to exercise to be healthy. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it would be nice to devote that time to writing instead.

4. Out of all the imaginary worlds out there, which one would you chose to live on if you were banished from Earth and why?

I’d love to live in Dictionopolis from “The PhantomTollbooth”. There are lots of reasons, but mostly, I want to eat my words. “Turkey, pumpkin pie cheesecake, and pink champagne.” I’d be so happy right now if that worked.

5. What would you say are the biggest challenges to writers today?

I think there are so many talented self-published authors out there today and I respect so much of their work. However, the majority of the readers don’t understand that there are really remarkable authors available through those avenues. They think of self-published authors as people who CAN’T secure publishers, and that’s why I get frustrated when people just assume I’m self-published. Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with it, but I’ve sent out the query letters and been accepted and published by several small presses. I’m extremely proud of those accomplishments and it really hurts my feelings when people dismiss my work, thinking I just uploaded it to some website and decided to call myself “published”. If the majority didn’t have such a disparaging attitude toward self-publishing, it wouldn’t be an issue, but unfortunately, being respected as self-published author, is a huge challenge writers face today. And being published by small presses isn’t too different.

6. If you could turn back the hands of time, like Cher, what would you do differently in your life if you could?

Any change I’d make might prevent me from meeting and marrying my husband, and I wouldn’t risk that for anything. His encouragement and support is what pushed me to try getting published in the first place. Plus, he’s pretty damn easy on the eyes.

7. What superhero would you chose to hang with?

I love Ozymandias from “The Watchmen”. Ozymandias (or Adrian Veidt) is the smartest man on the planet, after all. Plus, I love characters who help the world through what others perceive as villainy.

8. You’re at a dinner party and you see Stephen King sitting all alone. What do you do?

I certainly wouldn’t try to drug him, take him to my snowy mountain home, and break his ankles so he couldn’t escape. No, I certainly wouldn’t do that at all…

9. What is your writing process like? Pantser or plotter?

It depends on the story and any obstacles I face after diving in. I suppose I always start as a pantser, but after a bit of writing, I may stop and outline the story’s skeleton.

10. Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I’m trying very hard to finish the revision process on three different novels. 1: “Telinhe”, the 4th and final book in my “Tales of Dominhydor” epic fantasy series. 2: “Verses of Villany”, a historical fiction about playwright Christopher Marlowe. 3: “Pins”, a horror novel set in a strip club/bowling alley.

You can find Jessica here:

Homepage
Facebook
Blog
Twitter: theJessMcHugh
Amazon

Visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and plenty of free swag!

Prizes!

Here’s the deal: At the end of the Blog Hop, on December 24th, I will give away twelve e-copies of “Athena’s Promise”, one for every day of Creepfest. But that’s not all! I will also give away one autographed print copy. WAIT! One more thing — I’m so excited about Creepfest, I will also give away one Amazon gift card in the amount of $20!

Since this is a sweepstakes and not a contest, entering is easy-peasy, and you can enter as many times as you like. Here’s how:

Leave a comment on any (or all) blog posts here during Creepfest.

Sign up for my Once in a Blue Moon Newsletter. (No spam, I swear.)

Like my Facebook Fan page.

Like “Athena’s Promise” on her Amazon page.

Tweet about this blog or AP and use the hashtag #AthenasPromise so I can track properly.

Mention this blog or AP on YOUR blog.

That’s it. You’ll get one entry apiece for each action – up to 17 entries if you do each of these things! Damn! I will tally the results from all twelve days and choose the winners via Random.org. Make sure you leave a comment that lets me know what you did and include a working email address so I can make an accurate count and contact you if you win.

Spread the word! The more the merrier :)

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And Where Have You Been, Young Lady?

La fine del giorno
Image by DanielaNob via Flickr

That’s a good question, and I wish I had a good answer.

The truth of the matter is, as some of you might know, I lost my momma in August and the world has not been the same since. I’ve been trying very hard not to fall into the Abyss of Depression, but it’s been a difficult battle. Words don’t come as easily now as they once did, and this causes me no small amount of angst.

I guess everyone deals with a Major Life-Changing Event in their own way, and I have to constantly do a self-check — and I have to stop being so hard on myself. Why is it so difficult to be as kind to myself as I am to other people? Dunno. A Mystery of the Universe, at least for right now, because it’s too damned early in the morning to do an intense self-examination.

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