"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Introducing Jessica McHugh!

Jessica McHugh

It's my pleasure to introduce to you all 
Jessica McHugh

She writes a better introduction than I ever will, so here it is.

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. 

Jess Writing
I'm lucky enough to be (distant) friends with her on FB. Sassy, in your face and pithy, her observations and reflections never fail to make me laugh. The stuff I've read from her is pretty hot too. The lady can write!

The Wizard asked her a few questions about her new projects and here's what she told him.

1. Tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I'm a 29 year old wacky writer chick who lives in nearly 5 different worlds a day. I was born and raised in Maryland, where I live with my husband Dave, a spindly cat named Gracie, and a meowing meatball named Tyler. I work a full-time job in molecular diagnostics, but if anyone asks me what I do for a living, I always reply, "I'm an author." I figure since it hasn't killed me (yet), I can say it's my living. :)

Roald Dahl
2. Who are your inspirations as a writer? Have you a role model? Does your environment inspire you?

Although our writing styles are different, I have always admired Roald Dahl. His children's books are fantastic, but his twisted short stories are even better. From an early age, I would read Roald Dahl books and think, "I want to do that. I want to make people laugh and cry and cringe. I want to brighten someone's life with a heartfelt phrase. I want to ruin someone's day with a sickening story. I want to be a writer."  When it comes to finding inspiration for stories, I wait for it to find me. And I never have to wait long. Inspiration is all around, in car drives or long walks, in the people I meet and the people who pass me by. Just by keeping an open mind, it's fairly easy to see the strange stories hiding in the normalcy of everyday life.
Danny Marble

3. Tell our readers about your latest book?

"Danny Marble & the Application for Non-Scary Things" is an illustrated young adult horror novella about a boy with nightmare-induced insomnia. 

For years, he's been plagued by three "Scary Things" who ruin his nights...and subsequently, his days at school. Finally, Danny has had enough and embarks on an adventure to rid himself of his fear, an adventure that takes him into a realm of dreams, to Hades, and beyond. 

3a. On average how long does it take you to write a full length novel and how long did it take you to write this one?

I admit it takes a lot longer than it did a few years ago, mostly because I take on a lot more projects now. "Danny Marble" took about 4-6 months with writing and editing, but it's only a novella. 

Nowadays, I average about 7-10 months for writing and editing, depending on what other projects are also occupying my mind. It also depends on the intensity of the story. "Darla Decker Hates to Wait," the 1st book in my young adult series, took less than 2 months to write, while my horror novel "PINS" took almost 2 years. 

4. Wow! Two years! I'm impressed! How do you write? Do you have a daily target or do you binge?

My first drafts are always written by hand. I don't know if I'll call them "longhand" as my handwriting appears to be some sort of abbreviated language only I and top graphologists can decode...if it was written while sober. If I was drinking a lot of beer that night, even the graphologists are screwed.
After a first draft is finished, I type the manuscript into the computer. This is a rather annoying process I call "stabbing the alphabet." After that's done, I print out the book and put it into a 3-ring binder for editing. Once edited and extended, I type the revisions into the computer and print out the manuscript again. Wash, Rinse, Repeat as needed. 

5. Hahahahaha! I understand that. Three books, two CD's and one DVD only for your desert island stay! What would they be?

Books: "Skin" by Roald Dahl, "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norman Juster, and "The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle" by Avi.

I've never heard of the latter. Wizardwatchers can download it free on PDF from:

Book Choice

My two CDs would be: "Into the Woods", the Original Cast Recording and Billy Joel's Greatest Hits.  

For my DVD, it would have to be the uncut director's edition of "True Romance." 

True Romance and cool Brad Pitt appearance
6. Love that film! What's your ideal night out?
Writing for a few hours at a patio bar where a lovely young chap is playing acoustic guitar before my husband and best friends show up to tilt a few ales with me. Also, cheesecake should be involved.
Jessica and husband David enjoyiing night out

7. Agree on the Cheesecake, as long as its Key Lime Haha, How do you stay fit when writing is so sedentary? Are you a sporty person?

I hate exercising in front of people, so the Just Dance games on Wii are perfect for me. But even if I didn't have those games, I'd probably dance every day. I love allowing music to fill me with so much joy that I couldn't care less about looking like an uncordinated monkey on rollerskates. 

8. What is the main function of a writer? To entertain? To inform? To educate? To make money?
It depends what kind of writer you are, I suppose. For me, I just want to entertain people. If they learn something, that's awesome, but my goal is to tell interesting stories that twist people's imaginations, perhaps a little further than ever before. Making money would be great, but despite my outlandish nature, I'm a bit too realistic to say I write for the money.


9. What have Jessica McHugh's audience got to look forward to in the coming months?

So much great stuff! 

First off, Post Mortem Press, who published my novel "Rabbits in the Garden" has created a young adult imprint called PMortem Tall Tales and just started releasing a series called "The Blue Moon Crew of Sawmill Falls." 

Early McHugh
Although the books are attributed to author E.J. McCain, the series is actually written by three different authors. Kenneth W. Cain wrote the first book "From the Deep will Rise," I wrote the second book "Play the Way Home," and Eric Beebe will write the third book "The Crying Carousel of Sawmill Falls." The first and second books are already available on Amazon and elsewhere. 

Second, I just received a contract from Post Mortem Press for my horror novel "PINS." That title might change, by the way. I don't know when it'll be out, but I have a feeling the book, which takes place in a strip club/bowling alley, will be released later this year. 

I also have several short stories in forthcoming anthologies, as well as several projects, including a historical fiction and my "Darla Decker" young adult series, that may see the light of day in 2012. But as I'm always piling more projects on top of an already alpine stack, who knows? My official author page on Facebook is the best place to go for updates and humorous (sometimes horrifying) witticisms. 

Cool quote
 Jess, it's been terrific talking to you. How do Wizardwatchers contact you?

Your readers and buyers can contact me on

and they can read more about me at

Thanks for having me on The Wizard's Cauldron!

You're welcome, Jess and the best of luck from all at Green Wizard.

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