January Update – and 2018 Highlights!


Happy (belated) new year! The dearth of updates from me over the last twelve months is evidence of how terrible I am at posting on here, but I’ll try to do better this year. Promise.

An exciting nomination

First of all, I’m thrilled to announce that The Fantasy Hive – the website I launched back in January 2018 – has been nominated for a Stabby Award for Best Fantasy Site over on r/Fantasy! You can check out the list, and vote for your favourites (until the end of January 7th), here.

Art of War, an anthology for charity (in which I have a story titled ‘Dear Menalaus’), is also nominated for a Stabby. Exciting times!

Stories, stories everywhere

Having finally finished the first draft of my first novel (more on that below), I’ll be spending most of my spare time this month researching/outlining not one, but TWO new short stories. Both are for anthology projects; I’ll be announcing more details in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled on here and on social media for updates!

 Farewell, 2018

After a rather turbulent 2017, 2018 turned out to be pretty great for me on both a personal and professional level.  Here are some of the (chronological) highlights!

laura-m-hughes-green-dragon-swirl-para-break-divider

I launched The Fantasy Hive!

Launched on January 1st 2018, The Fantasy Hive is a collaborative site, and a hub for all things SFF. I may be the one running things over there, but the Hive would be nothing without its brilliant team of content-providing contributors, and you can read all about them here.

The Fantasy Hive (Header)

I appeared in multiple anthologies!

Three, to be exact! And I’m delighted with the positive response they’ve received from readers and fellow writers alike. My stories are:

  • ‘I, Kane’ (Lost Lore anthology, available here)
  • ‘Dear Menelaus’ (Art of War anthology, available here)
  • ‘The Girl and the Gharial’ (Double Take anthology, available here)

I found myself a Colin!

In February 2018, I met my boyfriend, Colin. This wonderful creature accompanied me to conventions and events throughout the year, provided some much-needed support and advice, and even alpha-read my novel as I was writing it. We’re now living together, and will both be heading to Reykjavik in Iceland next month to celebrate our anniversary!

Colin Bradley and Laura Hughes

I (we) discovered DnD!

One of the most fun things Colin and I did last year was to enter the world of Dungeons and Dragons! Both of us were complete noobs when it came to tabletop games, and DnD took some getting used to, but we’re now several games into our second campaign and I think we might finally have the hang of things. (I’m currently role-playing a dwarven cleric named Grumlin Greyhammer, while Colin is Thom Truthblower, a lecherous old human bard.)

I signed with Portal Books

Remember that short story I mentioned above? ‘I, Kane’, in the Lost Lore anthology? Well, the guys at Portal Books liked it so much they asked me to write a novel for them! GOD OF GNOMES is unlike anything I’ve ever written before, being a LitRPG novel (specifically, Dungeon Core with RTS elements). It’s now complete, and will likely hit the shelves sometime this summer.

Here’s some pictures from when I journeyed to London to hang out with the Portal guys! (Clockwise from left: me, Brook Aspden, Michael Miller and Taran Matharu.)

I attended Edge Lit

Way back in July 2017, I attended my first ever convention: Edge Lit (in Derby). In July 2018, I was lucky enough to go again! It was brilliant to be able to introduce Colin to some of the finest people in our little fantasy community: T.O. Munro (aka. ‘Theo’), Steve McHugh, Dan Sutcliffe, Anna Stephens (and her wonderful husband Mark), Anna Smith Spark, James Latimer – not to mention my very close friends Mike Everest (and his lovely wife Jen), Kareem Mahfouz and Sadir Samir.

Edge Lit 2018

Clockwise from left: Laura Hughes (me), Colin Bradley, James Latimer, Anna Stephens, Mike Everest, Jen Evans, T.O. Munro (Theo), Sadir Samir, Mark Smith, Dan Sutcliffe, Kareem Mahfouz

Many meetings

A month later, in August, I had the pleasure of attending yet another gathering of awesome people, prompted by the (sadly temporary) arrival in London of US author Taya Latham (aka. T L Greylock). Taya is one of my best friends, and to finally be able to meet her in person was exciting to say the least!

Here we are, hanging out with Anna Stephens and Timandra Whitecastle:

While in London, we also attended SRFC (Super Relaxed Fantasy Club), and mingled with a bunch of other awesome folk, including Kareem Mahfouz, Mike Everest, Anna Smith Spark, John Jarrold, Graeme Williams, James Latimer, and RJ Barker!

Clockwise from left: Laura Hughes (me), RJ Barker, Kareem Mahfouz, John Jarrold, Taya Latham (T L Greylock) and Timandra Whitecastle

I attended BristolCon (again)

In October, I found myself heading down south yet again. I’m pleased to say my second BristolCon was even more fun than my first!

Colin and I got to catch up with a bunch of the Edge Lit crowd, as well as great friends from across the globe, including Marielle Ooms, Julia Sarene and her husband Andreas, and of course our BFF J.P. Ashman.  It was also lovely to see other familiar faces such as Jude Hunter, Mark Lawrence, Rosa Watkinson, Tom Clews, Rita Sloan, G.R. Matthews, Adrian Selby, James Tivendale, and Rob Hayes. There (naturally) ensued the usual inebriated hijinks with Kareem, Dan Sutcliffe and Dominick Murray, and I also got to meet even more people for the first time, including Beth Hindmarch, Tom Gaskin, Timy Takacs, and Luke Scull.

Colin Bradley, Laura Hughes, Sadir Samir

Road trip to BristolCon with Colin and Sadir!

To sum up…

All in all, 2018 was an excellent year for me. I finished writing my first novel, I found love, I was reunited with friends from across the world, and I worked with some incredible editing clients. Despite being so busy, I also managed to read 50 books! (And  tweeted about every single one of them here.)

Fingers crossed 2019 is just as good. 🙂

Norse Fantasy by T.L. Greylock: SALE!

It’s not often you can grab an ENTIRE trilogy of awesome books for less than £3. So believe me when I say you should shoot on over to Amazon and grab all three books in the Song of the Ash Tree while they’re 99p apiece. DO IT!!

Someone *cough* may have gotten a bit carried away making banners during all the excitement. If you’re on social media, feel free to borrow the banners and share the love!

 

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence – review on Tor.com!


Check it! I reviewed the incredible RED SISTER by Mark Lawrence over on Tor.com.

If you haven’t read the book yet, read it NOW!

A Spoonful of Thunder


This is just a quick message to implore any and all fantasy lovers and/or supporters of Doctors Without Borders to join Booknest’s Fantasy Fundraiser’s Thunderclap campaign.

What’s the deal with Thunderclap?

  1. You visit Booknest’s Thunderclap page.
  2. Select whether you’d like to show your support through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr – or all three!
  3. Connect your chosen social media account(s) (it takes less than a minute to sign in)
  4. That’s it!

On 28th December, if we make it to 100 supporters (currently we’re sitting at 60), Thunderclap will send out a one-time tweet/post through all the supporters’ accounts. Hopefully this will give us the boost we need to reach our donations target on JustGiving.

You can read more about this incredible project below!


Booknest’s Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser

Peter Tr, founder of Booknest.eu, has organised something brilliant, turning his idea for a fun competition into an insanely exciting charity project. Check it out!
Booknest's Fantasy Fundraiser banner

Booknest’s Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser (#BooknestFFF) brings together one hundred (100!) SFF authors in a bid to raise as much money as possible for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières/MSF).

As you’re reading this, BFFF is raffling off books donated by myself and ninety-nine other authors. Each of the books will be signed, dedicated, and shipped straight to the winners.Booknest's Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser

Every £1 (GBP) you donate gets you 1 ‘ticket’ in the raffle. On January 1st 2017, Peter will kick off the new year in style by drawing six winners, each of whom will receive a bundle of ten randomly selected books from the raffle.

What about the other books? Well, the remaining 40 will be split into two equal lots, both of which will be auctioned off later in January.

Médecins Sans Frontières do amazing work across the globe. And with just £1 per ticket – and all those amazing books waiting to be won! – you could help them do even more.

So enter now, and please help us spread the word. Feel free to use any of the banners above when sharing across social media, and use the hashtag #BooknestFFF.

THANK YOU!

Booknest's Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser (Jthumbnail)

Booknest’s Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser!


Peter Tr, founder of Booknest.eu, has organised something brilliant, turning his idea for a fun competition into an insanely exciting charity project. Check it out!
Booknest's Fantasy Fundraiser banner

Booknest’s Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser (#BooknestFFF) brings together one hundred (100!) SFF authors in a bid to raise as much money as possible for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières/MSF).

As you’re reading this, BFFF is raffling off books donated by myself and ninety-nine other authors. Each of the books will be signed, dedicated, and shipped straight to the winners.Booknest's Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser

Every £1 (GBP) you donate gets you 1 ‘ticket’ in the raffle. On January 1st 2017, Peter will kick off the new year in style by drawing six winners, each of whom will receive a bundle of ten randomly selected books from the raffle.

What about the other books? Well, the remaining 40 will be split into two equal lots, both of which will be auctioned off later in January.

Médecins Sans Frontières do amazing work across the globe. And with just £1 per ticket – and all those amazing books waiting to be won! – you could help them do even more.

So enter now, and please help us spread the word. Feel free to use any of the banners above when sharing across social media, and use the hashtag #BooknestFFF.

 

THANK YOU, and HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Booknest's Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser (Jthumbnail)

Dead Tree Danse Macabre


As you may already have noticed, Danse Macabre is now available in paperback!

Danse Macabre (paperback covers) by Laura M Hughes

Yesterday, I shared this picture on Facebook and Twitter; the response was, quite frankly, overwhelming. Friends, family and strangers alike showed bucket-loads of enthusiasm, generosity and kindness, and many of them inquired about signed and dedicated copies of the book.

Slightly stunned by their earnestness, I hastened to set up a ‘Buy My Book‘ page. I’m immensely flattered and grateful to everyone who expressed an interest, and to all who ordered within the first few hours of my announcement. I’m now preparing to personalise and ship orders to readers (and friends!) in Greece, Ohio, London, Northern Ireland and Wales, and want to say thank you once again for the support.

Not wanting to disappoint anyone, I set the ‘orders’ page up with little thought of what I’d do afterwards. But those who know me, know that logistical stuff (like money management and posting parcels) tends to get me in a bit of a flap; so for now, I’ve decided to restrict the signed/dedicated copies to UK-based customers only. I’ve also had to adjust the price slightly (I calculated it wrong – surprise, surprise!)

Those who’ve already been in touch and received a response from me, fear not: I’ll proceed with your order as promised (if you’re still interested).

For those who just want a bog-standard copy, or who aren’t in the UK: here’s the universal Amazon link again.

Thank you again for your patience, generosity and well-wishes… and I hope you enjoy the book!

The first paperback copies of Danse Macabre!

Grimdark Magazine’s ‘Evil’ Kickstarter – LAST DAY


Anyone wanting to jump on the back of Grimdark Magazine‘s anthology Kickstarter has less than 28 hours to do so.

Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists on Kickstarter

Started up by the founder of GDM, Adrian Collins, this Kickstarter is a kick-ass collaboration of fantasy readers and writers. The anthology, titled ‘Evil is a Matter of Perspective, will be packed with short stories by some of the genre’s most popular and talented modern authors. Each tale will feature an antagonist from the author’s existing work.

Featuring the likes of JEFF SALYARDS, T. FROHOCK, COURTNEY SCHAFER, MARC TURNER, JANNY WURTS, ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY and R. SCOTT BAKKER, ‘Evil is a Matter of Perspective’ is a truly exciting project well worth investing in.

Here’s the link one more time. The clock is ticking, grimdarkians . . .

Gemmell Awards 2016: Longlist Voting OPEN!


It’s that time of year again! On September 24th the British Fantasy Society will be hosting the eighth annual David Gemmell Legend Awards at Fantasycon. The ceremony recognises and rewards outstanding achievements in fantasy fiction, as well as commemorating the legacy of David Gemmell and his contribution to the genre.

Since their establishment in 2009 the awards have been presented to a succession of extremely talented authors, including Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Brent Weeks, John Gwynne, Mark Lawrence, Brian Staveley and Andrzej Sapkowski.


Ravenheart-Award-by-Lee-Blair

The Ravenheart Award trophy

The awards fall into three categories:

The Ravenheart award for Best Cover Art
The Morningstar award for Best Debut
The Legend award for Best Novel

The longlists are now opened for voting, and will remain so until 24th June. So if you’re keen to see some of your favourite books from 2015 make it to the shortlists (which will open on 8th July) then GET VOTING!

The longlists for each category are as follows:


The Ravenheart Award (vote HERE)

(I *strongly* urge you to visit each page to check out all of these amazing covers!)

cover-image-uprooted

This is one of my personal favourites. I’m utterly in love with this cover!

James Annal for Uprooted by Naomi Novik  (Pan Macmillan)

Tommy Arnold for Skyborn by David Dalglish  (Orbit)

Kerem Beyit for The Dread Wyrm by Miles Cameron  (Gollancz)

Jason Chan for The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence  (Harper/Voyager)

Wendy Chan for Swords and Scoundrels  by Julia Knight  (Orbit)

Alejandro Colucci for The Boy Who Wept Blood  by Den Patrick  (Gollancz)

Bastien Lecouffe Deharme for The Darkling Child  by Terry Brooks  (Orbit)

Krzysztof Domaradzki for Old Man’s Ghosts  by Tom Lloyd  (Gollancz)

Larry Elmore & Carol Russo Design for Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia

(Baen)

DGLA-ruin-ravenheart

I’ve always been a fan of bold, striking covers

Mark Ferrari for The Flotsam Trilogy Omnibus by Peter M Ball  (Apocalypse Ink

Productions)

Christopher Gibbs for The Cathedral of Known Things  by Edward Cox

(Gollancz)

Sam Green for Shadows of Self  by Brandon Sanderson  (Gollancz)

Manuela Hackl for Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell  (Jo Fletcher Books)

Mohamad Hani/Archangel Images for An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

(Harper/Voyager)

Teddy Eduardo Iglesias for The House of Shattered Wings  by Aliette de Bodard

(Gollancz)

Patrick Insole for The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams  (Headline)

Jaime Jones for The Vagrant by Peter Newman  (Harper/Voyager)

Nik Keevil & Nick Castle for Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan(Orbit)

Patrick Knowles for Foreign Devils by John Hornor Jacobs  (Gollancz)

Laura B for Spinning Thorns  by Anna Sheehan  (Gollancz)

Tim McDonagh for The Hunter’s Kind by Rebecca Levene  (Hodder & Stoughton)

dread-wyrm-cameron

Stylised covers like this are neat and eye-catching, but readers’ tastes differ wildly

Chris McGrath for The Aeronaut’s Windlass  by Jim Butcher  (Orbit)

Jackie Morris for Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb  (Harper/Voyager)

Lauren Panepinto for The Fifth Season  by NK Jemisin  (Orbit)

Lauren Panepinto, Gene Mollica & Michael Frost for The Autumn Republic by

Brian McClellan  (Orbit)

Rhett Podersoo for Those Above by Daniel Polansky  (Hodder & Stoughton)

Larry Rostant for The Skull Throne by Peter V Brett  (Harper/Voyager)

Larry Rostant for Black Wolves  by Kate Elliott  (Orbit)

Larry Rostant for War of Shadows by Gail Z. Martin  (Orbit)

Larry Rostant for Reign of Iron by Angus Watson  (Orbit)

polansky-those-above-cover

So. Damn. Gorgeous.

Duncan Spilling for Angel of Storms by Trudi Canavan  (Orbit)

Steve Stone for Battlemage by Stephen Aryan(Orbit)

Steve Stone for The Dagger’s Path by Glenda Larke  (Orbit)

Raymond Swanland for Archaon: Lord of Chaos by Rob Sanders (Black Library)

Andrew Unangst for Twelve Kings by Bradley Beaulieu  (Gollancz)

Stephen Youll for The Silver Kings by Stephen Deas  (Gollancz)

Paul Young for Ruin by John Gwynne (Pan Macmillan)

Paul Young for Acendant’s Rite by David Hair  (Jo Fletcher Books)

Paul Young for Valkyrie’s Song  by MD Lachlan  (Gollancz)


The Morningstar Award (vote HERE)

morningstar-new

The new Morningstar Award trophy

Stephen Aryan, Battlemage  (Orbit)

Seth Dickinson, The Traitor  (Pan Macmillan)

Francesca Haig, The Fire Sermon  (Harper/Voyager)

Lucy Hounsom, Starborn  (Pan Macmillan)

Peter Newman, The Vagrant  (Harper/Voyager)

Sabaa Tahir, An Ember in the Ashes  (Harper/Voyager)


The Legend Award (vote HERE)

Joe Abercrombie, Half A War  (Harper/Voyager)

abercrombie-half-a-war

Who else thinks it’s a crime that poor Joe has yet to win a Snaga?

Bradley Beaulieu, Twelve Kings  (Gollancz)

Peter V. Brett, The Skull Throne  (Harper/Voyager)

Terry Brooks, The Darkling Child  (Orbit)

Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut’s Windlass  (Orbit)

Miles Cameron, The Dread Wyrm  (Gollancz)

Trudi Canavan, Angel of Storms (Orbit)

Larry Correia, Son of the Black Sword  (Baen)

Edward Cox, The Cathedral of Known Things  (Gollancz)

David Dalglish, Skyborn  (Orbit)

Stephen Deas, The Silver Kings  (Gollancz)

Aliette de Bodard, The House of Shattered Wings  (Gollancz)

Sebastien de CastellKnight’s Shadow  (Jo Fletcher Books)

Kate Elliott, Black Wolves  (Orbit)

David Guymer, Gotrek & Felix: Slayer (Black Library)

John Gwynne, Ruin  (Pan Macmillan)

legendawardsnaga

The most coveted award of all: the Snaga

David HairAscendant’s Rite  (Jo Fletcher Books)

Joanne Hall, Spark and Carousel  (Kristell Ink)

Markus Heitz, Devastating Hate  (Jo Fletcher Books)

Robin Hobb, Fool’s Quest  (Harper/Voyager)

John Hornor Jacobs, Foreign Devils  (Gollancz)

NK Jemisin, The Fifth Season  (Orbit)

Drew Karpyshyn, Chaos Unleashed  (Del Rey)

Julia Knight, Swords and Scoundrels  (Orbit)

Snorri KristjanssonPath of Gods  (Jo Fletcher Books)

M.D. Lachlan, Valkyrie’s Song  (Gollancz)

Glenda Larke, The Dagger’s Path  (Orbit)

Mark Lawrence, The Liar’s Key  (Harper/Voyager)

Rebecca Levene, The Hunter’s Kind  (Hodder & Stoughton)

lawrence-liars-key-cover

Will the Red Queen come back fighting after last year’s double defeat?

Tom Lloyd, Old Man’s Ghosts  (Gollancz)

Alex Marshall, A Crown For Cold Silver  (Orbit)

Gail Z. Martin, War of Shadows  (Orbit)

Brian McClellan, The Autumn Republic(Orbit)

Naomi Novik, Uprooted  (Pan Macmillan)

Den Patrick, The Boy Who Wept Blood  (Gollancz)

Daniel Polansky, Those Above  (Hodder & Stoughton)

Steven Poore, The Heir to the North  (Kristell Ink)

Anthony Ryan, Queen of Fire  (Orbit)

Rob Sanders, Archaon: Lord of Chaos  (Black Library)

Brandon Sanderson, Shadows of Self  (Gollancz)

williams-iron-ghost-cover

If Williams makes the shortlist, d’you think she’ll let the Copper Cat attend the awards ceremony?

Anna Sheehan, Spinning Thorns  (Gollancz)

Brian Staveley, The Providence of Fire  (Pan Macmillan)

Adrian Tchaikovsky, Guns of the Dawn  (Pan Macmillan)

Ian Tregillis, The Mechanical  (Orbit)

Angus Watson, Reign of Iron (Orbit)

David Weber, The Sword of the South  (Baen)

Django Wexler, The Price of Valour  (Del Rey)

Jen Williams, The Iron Ghost  (Headline)


What. A. List. HUGE congratulations to all the nominees!

Voting will remain open until 24th June. And remember, if there’s a book you think should be on there, members of the public still have two more weeks to submit nominations.

Now for the hard part: choosing who to vote for . . .

See you in July for the shortlist announcement!DGLA Logo