Monthly Archives: April 2014

It’s Been a While

 

 

I noticed the other day that I haven’t had a blog post about writing for some time. I figured an update on book 4 was probably in order.

 

Hellequin Chronicles Book 4: Prison of Hope is currently about 70,000 words in, so I’ve probably got 50k-ish left. It’s got quite a lot of characters from Greek mythology in it, but I don’t want to say too much more for fear of giving it away.

The question I’m getting asked the most is when will it be out?

I don’t know is the honest answer. It’s up to my publisher and it’s something I hope to find out in the not too distant future, so once I’m aware of it, I can let everyone know.

In the meantime, I’m plodding along with it and it’s all coming together very nicely. We’ve got a bunch of new species in book 4 and some very cool new characters I’m looking forward to people enjoying/hating.

I can tell you that the flashback scenes in book 4 are set in 1936, Berlin. Book 3’s flashbacks in the 1970s are going to be the closest to current times that we’re going to see for a while, so I plan on going back further and further now to learn more about Nate and his past.

So, there you go, a short update.

If you’re interested in discussing the books, there’s not a group on Facebook that does just that (In fact I’ve posted the first sentence of the book there). Click the picture below to go join in. Until next time

The beginning of book 4’s current setting is here. Not saying where that is though. I’m cruel like that.

Street Team

I’ve been considering organising a Street Team for a few months now, but after talking to several friends, decided to go ahead and start one.

I’m going to be adding people over the next week or so (I hope) and then we’ll make the group secret, so until then if there’s anyone you know who’d like to join, then go ahead and invite them.

So, what is a Street Team?

Well, primarily the people involved in this will review books as they come out on their blogs/amazon/goodreads etc, share Facebook/twitter statuses about book related stuff and generally tell people how much you like the books. In return, this is the place you’ll get to see cover reveals or parts of the book before anyone else, there will be exclusive competitions not available to anyone else and I’ll be giving away stuff like mugs and things on a fairly regular basis.

There will be things that aren’t required of you to do and things that are, but I’ll state which things are required by every one (mostly reviews and pimping new releases/sales). Those who regularly participate will be eligible for things like ARC of future books and the like.

I’m pretty new at this whole Street Team thing, so if anyone has any suggestions then feel free.

To begin with, I’m going to get everyone together and then I’ve got an idea to share. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Joined all 4

If you’re interested, click the covers above. I hope to see some of you there.

Discussion

Just to let everyone know, I’ve created a discussion group on Facebook for people to talk about the Hellequin Chronicles books old and future.

 

If you want to take part, then click the cover below. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

 

McHugh_Crimes_Against_Magic_cvr_FINAL

Film Thoughts

As a sort of sequel to my blog post about trailers a few weeks ago, here’s one about actual movies I’ve seen!

To be fair it’s only 3, but that’s 3 more than I usually get to watch in a week, so here you go.

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The first CA film was merely okay. Chris Evans was pretty good in the role, but it took far too long to do anything and when the action started it wasn’t really that interesting. The sequel changed all of that by being action from beginning to end, with a much more interesting story. And it was fantastic for it. It helped that the characters in the film are all great, with Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson and Anthony Mackie all getting some decent screen time. Sebastian Stan is great as The Winter Soldier himself, and the interplay between him and Cap sets up things nicely for a third movie.

It’s certainly up there with the best Marvel movies done so far, probably just behind Avengers and Iron Man 1. A really great 2 hours. Go watch it.

 

Considering how important Falcon is to the whole movie, there’s not a single poster I could find with him on it. So, here’s Black Widow.

47 Ronin.

I wanted to love this film. I love period Japanese movies, I love samurai and I love magic. Put  the three together and it should be fantastic. It wasn’t.

To be fair, the actors did a mostly good job with what they had, but it was just so wishy-washy. If they wanted to do a full-blown fantasy epic, they failed, and if they wanted to do a violent samurai movie, they failed at that. For a film with so much sword fighting, there was barely any blood, which I found very odd.

The fantasy parts, while interesting to begin with, were never really embraced into the story and Keanu’s character, who I guess was meant to be the big hero, never really did anything interesting. Also, the bad guy never really came across as the big evil everyone said he is and the witch was… well, she was dull.

That said, it wasn’t terrible. I watched the whole 2 hours (although the love story was needlessly shoehorned into the story) and when the action started it usually looked pretty good. I just wish they’d picked one or the other and gone with it. A real shame and a waste of some excellent source material and interesting characters.

The whole time I was watching it, I just kept thinking, “I should put Ninja Scroll on again.”

 

Of these 3 characters, 1 is in it for all of 10 seconds. No idea why he’s even on the poster, except because he looks cool.

The Hobbit 2

A confession to make; I like the first Hobbit film. It’s a bit overly long, and the singing Goblin King is annoying, but Sir Ian McKellen was awesome as always and Richard Armitage was excellent as Thorin.

But despite my enjoying the first, the second film is better in every way. It’s paced better, it’s more exciting and Benedict Cumberbatch is awesome as Smaug. Luke Evans as Bard is a great addition and the whole films 2+ hours time flies by.

I don’t mind the addition of Legolas, and the barrel escape was wonderful to watch and a lot of fun too. The only problem I had was with the love story between Tauriel and Kili, which came across as pointless and forced (although I like both characters).

Looking forward to part 3.

 

The film looks great, as you’d expect. Except the spiders. They’re horrible.

So, 2 films I recommend as they’re great and 1 that probably had far too much interference from studios to be anything other than okay. That said, if you want to watch a great Keanu film, go see Man of Tai Chi, which is brilliant and Keanu places a pretty good bad-guy.

Until next time, have a good week.

Trailers

Had a bit of a new Trailer watch last night and I figured what else is a blog for if I can’t share my opinions!

TMNT: Megan Fox being awful and it looks like it’s either going to be good fun or a train wreck. Now I like early Bay films (The Rock and Bad Boys), but since then they’ve all been dreadful. Still, he’s not directing so there’s a glimmer of hope.

If the movie sucks at least the new cartoon is good fun. What, am I saying, ‘if’, of course it’s gonna suck.

Lucy: I’m happy to admit I do like Scarlet Johansson, and Luc Besson’s films are usually, at the very least, entertaining. But saying that, the whole using more than 10% of your brain has been played out a bit. Still it looked pretty good and something I’d probably enjoy.

I don’t really need a caption here, do I?

Joe: Nic Cage in acting shock! It reminds me a little of the sublime, A History of Violence, and when Nic is on, he’s very much on.

And if nothing else, that is a masterful beard.

 

Jinn: I have no idea what the hell happened in this trailer. Bright colours and noise. Looks dull.

Oh there was a car in it, and the car looked pretty good. There, that’s the end of what I remember.

Jupiter Ascending: Okay confession time, I like Channing Tatum. He seems like a nice guy and he’s been in a few films I’ve enjoyed, but nothing spectacular. I don’t see this changing that view. It looks like an okay science-fiction/action film with Sean Bean, who I’m sure will die at some point in heroic fashion.

I’m guessing he dies with fighting a hoard of aliens, cup of tea in one hand and broken bottle in the other. As a Yorkshire-man should.

 

Edge of Tomorrow: It’s a Tom Cruise film based on a Japanese novel. Interesting premise, where a soldier dies in battle and has to constantly relive the same battle over and over in an attempt to win and get better, but the trailer didn’t do it any favours.

Brick Mansions: Paul Walkers last completed film is a remake of the incredible French film, District 13. This looks identical to the original, with some of the same cast returning. Should be good fun.

Hercules: Not the shambolic movie that came out a few months ago, this one has Dwayne Johnson in it. I’ve always liked The Rock in action films, so I can see this being a great watch.

If nothing else, he damn well looks the part. That lion he’s wearing is probably the happiest it’s ever been. You know, if it weren’t dead.

The Raid 2: If you haven’t seen The Raid, stop whatever you’re doing and go watch it. It’s the best action film for the last… well, since Die Hard. After 20 minutes of set up, it’s then an incredible 90 minutes of brutal, unrelenting action that will have you glued to your seat. And the sequel looks like being even more insane. I can’t wait to see this.

In any Asian action film, when the above part happens, you just know the following fight is going to be amazing.

Moms’ Night Out: Yeah, I know, I was just curious. Trailer raised a chuckle until it got to the bit where the dads are left alone with their kids and they don’t cope. Because as we all know, dad’s are fucking useless. Total horseshit.

So, there you go all the trailers I watched. Some look good, some look bad. But what I can take from all of it is that The Raid 2 will be full of awesome, so I’m happy.