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Monday, June 8, 2020

Exclusive Cover Reveal Q&A: Frozen Rage by Steve McHugh (by Mihir Wanchoo)

Official Author Website
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Crimes Against Magic

Today we count ourselves lucky to have Steve McHugh with us. Steve is an Indie best-selling phenomenon who was since then been published by 47 North. Steve was gracious to answer a few questions about his upcoming novella Frozen Rage featuring his nearly immortal protagonist Nate Garrett. So read along to find out what Frozen Rage is all about...

Q] Welcome to Fantasy Book Critic Steve. To start with, could you tell us what inspired you to be a writer in the first place, and why you choose to go the self-published route? Anything else you’d like to share about yourself and your past?

SJM: It’s a pleasure to be here, thanks for having me on the Fantasy Book Critic.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I fell in love with it during creative writing classes in English when I was 14 or so. I started to read Pratchett, Gemmell, King, and a whole bunch of other authors and decided I wanted to do that.

I self-published my first book in 2012. Crimes Against Magic was then picked up by a publisher 8 months or so later, and they’ve published all of my books since, but I get to self-publish my novellas. It’s nice to be able to have both sides of that creative experience, and my novellas let me tell stories that just wouldn’t fit in the main series.

Q] You have gone for a Shawn King original cover with your novella. What convinced you to indulge his artistic skills?  

SJM: I’ve known Shawn for a while now on Facebook and have always loved his work. I was looking for an artist to do the cover to Frozen Rage and thought that his style fitted the idea of the cover I had in my head. Turns out he managed to make it even better than the idea in my head, so that’s always a great thing.

(Cover design by Shawn T. King)

Q] I loved the cover for Frozen Rage. What were your main pointers for Shawn as you both went through the process of finalizing it? What were the main things that you wished to focus on in it?

SJM: I wanted a snowy forest landscape, I wanted Nate in the front, using his magic. After that, I just let Shawn do his thing. I have a tendency to come up with cover ideas that are completely unworkable for a book, so I’ve learned that keep it simple and let the experts do their job and you’ll get something awesome out of it.

Q] Frozen Rage is I believe part of your Hellequin Chronicles and focuses on Nathaniel Garrett. What made you write this novella about him with his magic still intact?

SJM: The Hellequin Chronicles is seven books long, and there’s quite a bit of time that happens between the books, so it’s a good spot to put a side story. Between Promise of Wrath and Scorched Shadows (the 6th and 7th books) are three years, so that was a good place to put this story.

Q] Let’s talk about Frozen Rage’s chronological place in the long life of Nate Garrett. Where/why is it set?

SJM: It’s set in the realm of Dreich, which is essentially this barren, snowy wilderness that at some point in the not too distant past had part of it converted into a getaway for the rich and powerful of the magical world.

It’s set just after Promise of Wrath (Hellequin book 6), and Nate is in a weird place at the time. A lot of stuff has happened to him over the last few years, and now he’s found that things are quieter, and he doesn’t know what to do with himself, so he accepts a job from his friend.

As things tend to do when Nate is involved, it goes badly pretty quickly.

Q] Can you share something about the novella that’s not mentioned in the blurb and why Nate Garrett fans should be excited for this new addition?

SJM: It’s a murder mystery with returning favourite characters before Scorched Shadows when everything changed for Nate and his friends. And Nate and Tommy get to team up, which I haven’t done much of since the Hellequin Chronicles ended.

Q] So for someone who hasn't read any of your novels, how would you describe the type of stories that you write, what would be your pitch for this novella?

SJM: I write fun action-adventure books with magic. The bad guys are awful, the good guys aren’t always much better, and there’s lots of mayhem and humour that happens before the end. I write the books that I want to read, which in my head is how all authors should do it.

The pitch for Frozen Rage would be: "Nate and Tommy stop murderers from re-starting a war."

Q] In closing, do you have any parting thoughts or comments you’d like to share with our readers?

SJM: I just hope that everyone who has read the Hellequin, Avalon, and, or the Rebellion books, enjoy the novella. It’s always fun to write about Nate, and even more so when I get to put his best friend with him.

Take care of yourselves, and stay safe.


OFFICIAL NOVELLA BLURB: The Realm of Dreich is a getaway for the rich and powerful, a medieval-inspired town in the middle of a vast frozen wilderness. Now it’s the site of a wedding, intended to join two feuding families who have spent centuries in an uneasy truce with each other.

When Tommy Carpenter asks his best friend, Nate Garrett, to help him with the security of the wedding, Nate reluctantly agrees, knowing that it will be a long weekend of work and, in all probability, treachery.

It is only a matter of time before members of each family are found murdered and it is up to Nate and Tommy to find the killer before more bodies fall, potentially reigniting a war.

NOTE: Author picture courtesy of Steve McHugh himself. 


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