Friday, February 15, 2013

How To Find Time To Write

Hi guys.  Today I have a special treat for all of you.  I have a guest post from an up and coming author!  I'm excited to introduce all of you to PT McHugh, who had recently published Keeper of the Black Stones.

A little bit about the Author:

PT McHugh didn't start out as a storyteller.  He was, however, born into a family that encouraged imagination.  He became a fan of history in school and then went to college to become a construction engineer, to build a world of straight lines, angles and equations.

He was just as surprised as everyone else when he realized that he believed in magic, and might just know the secret of how to jump through time.  Since then, he's been researching the possibility and learning everything he can about history.  Just in case the opportunity arises.

PT was born and raised in New Hampshire and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, two daughters and a dog named Bob, daring to dream of alternate worlds and cheering for his beloved New England Patriots.

His latest book is the YA fantasy/time travel Keeper of the Black Stones

Visit The Author

How To Find Time To Write  
Most popular question by adults: “With a wife, two kids, two dogs, and two cats, and a full-time job, how do you find time to write?”

This is a great question, and it’s a perfect of example of turning a negative in one’s life into a positive.  I’ve been a chronic insomniac ever since high school. Instead of hitting the pillow and falling asleep, I’d go to bed and stare at the ceiling, worrying about things that in most cases I couldn’t control. Not a good practice, to be sure.  But I’m sure a lot of people out there can relate. Sometimes your brain gets going, and just won’t stop. Game over – you’re up for the night, and it’s going to be awful.

Then several years ago, a doctor and friend of mine suggested that instead of thinking of this inability to sleep as a curse, I should treat it as a positive. After all, Benjamin Franklin only got three to four hours of sleep a night, and he seemed to do okay.  Maybe it didn’t have to be as bad as I was making it. With those comforting words in mind, I set out to find a hobby. Something I could do quietly at night in the comfort of my own home.  Something that wouldn’t keep my family up or damage them in any way.  Something that would keep my mind busy and – maybe – be fun at the same time. I couldn’t paint worth a lick, but I always had an over active imagination, and I wanted to do something with it.

So I started writing. A lot of it was bad, and very little of it saw the light of day, but it kept me busy, and it was the beginning of a sometimes beautiful and sometimes terrifying relationship with the written word.

When it comes to Stone Ends and Keeper of the Black Stones, the idea started with the realization that most schools weren’t teaching history anymore. At least not to any serious degree. Reading, writing, and linear Algebra were being treated with more importance, and it rubbed me the wrong way. Now don’t take that wrong– I can certainly see why those things are important, but that didn’t mean I liked it. My daughters didn’t know who Napoleon was, let alone Richard III, and they certainly didn’t understand the impact that our founding fathers had on today’s America. We were slowly losing track of our past, and missing out on some really fantastic stories along the way.

I was fortunate enough to have a father who cared deeply about history, and who enjoyed telling me stories about what happened hundreds of years ago.  Those stories had caught me in their spell when I was young, and I became fascinated with the idea of the men and women who created them. What were they like? Why had they made the decisions they made? What if I was in that situation?  What would I have done?  Would the world we live in today be the same?

From there, it was a quick hop, skip, and jump to forcing Jason into those very situations, and making him – and his friends – decide how they were going to handle it. It allowed me to put myself in those situations, and really live them. Getting to tell kids about history is just icing on the cake.
About Keeper of the Black Stones:

Jason Evans, a shy, introverted high school freshman thought that his mundane life was all there was -- girls, golf, physics, and the occasional bully.  Until he found out about the secrets his grandfather had been keeping from him ... a set of stones that allowed them to jump through time ... a maniacal mad man that used the stones to shape history to his liking ... and Jason's role as one of the few people in the world that could stop him.

Against impossible odd, a fourteen-year-old boy must take up his legacy, learn everything he needs to know within one day, and travel hilter skilter to the Middle Ages to join Henry the VII's fight against Richard III, end the Dark Ages, and stop the man that now holds his grandfather hostage.  In this romp through history, Jason and his friends must race against time to accomplish not one, but two missions.

Save his grandfather.

And save the world.

Purchase The Book:


    I never thought anything exciting would happen to me. The sky was blue, the football jocks were arrogant, and my best friend was absolutely crazy. To be honest, my life was a little boring. Until things, well, changed.
     And then suddenly, I was meeting Anne Frank before she wrote her diary. Consulting with Churchill on political doctrine. Crossing the Potomac with Washington. I even shined Napoleon's shoes in the streets of Charleroi, once, though it's not a story I like to tell. I've been in too many places to name, and done things I never thought I would do. All in the name of saving history, and saving the world that we call home.
    I realize that these boasts won't be taken seriously, but I must remind you that at one time the earth was flat, the atom unbreakable. And the thought of reaching the moon was just as ridiculous as the idea of jumping through time.
    I know because I was there.
    My name is Jason Evans.  I'm ten days shy of my fifteenth birthday and this is my story... 

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