Laura M. Hughes

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in Manchester, The United Kingdom
September 17, 1988




Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Terry Pratchett, Mark Lawrence, Raymo ...more

Member Since
September 2013


Laura M. Hughes was born and raised beneath the grey, pigeon-filled skies of northern England. She currently works as a freelance proofreader, and has also been known to write for publications such as Fantasy-Faction and These days you're most likely to find her playing D&D, painting gaming miniatures, or working on the sequel to her first LitRPG novel, God of Gnomes (published as Demi Harper). She co-founded The Fantasy Hive in 2017; her sanity has been steadily disintegrating ever since. ...more

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Laura M. Hughes J.P. Ashman asked me the very same thing a couple of months ago. This is what I told him . . .

I can be easily distracted. Hell, it took me eight attem…more
J.P. Ashman asked me the very same thing a couple of months ago. This is what I told him . . .

I can be easily distracted. Hell, it took me eight attempts just to finish writing this. There’s a ridiculous amount of stuff in our everyday lives that has been designed to distract us. But I don’t just mean video games, or TV, or social media, or household pets, or shiny things, or passing butterflies, or—where was I?

Not sure. Anyway, I’m easily distracted, and this is a serious obstacle to someone who’s trying to write a novel, i.e. wrangle hordes of protagonists and slot events correctly into overlapping timelines (which sometimes feels as though I’m playing ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’). Any time I reach a bit of a creative bump, I find myself heading down to the taskbar and bringing up Facebook. Or Twitter. Or email. Since this totally kills my productivity I have to set myself a realistic limit. Say . . . I’m allowed to check Facebook three more times this evening. Knowing I’ve limited myself makes me think twice about reflexively logging in when the going gets tough, and is really helping me kick the habit of floating around in a pointless cycle of procrastination.

And speaking of the ‘P’ word . . . I frequently waste hours of my life inventing convoluted family histories for obscure characters who I’ll then eliminate from the story altogether the following day. I linger over phrasing (“MUST think of the perfect adjective before I can move on with this sentence!”) and I dither over pithy details like the spelling of characters’ names (“Cailoh? Kailo? Cylo?”). Over time I’ve become much more aware of this, and am gradually forcing myself to change my habits. Can’t think of a word? That’s okay, I’ll just write ‘Something’ and continue with the sentence. Not sure what my character is actually called? Just put [???] instead of their name and come back to it later.

It hardly needs to be said that different things will work for different people. Many writers claim that going for a walk, or a run, or a workout, really helps to get their creative juices flowing. Not for me. Physical exercise just annoys me and throws me completely out of sync, as do noise and other people. On the other hand, a weekend indoors with the curtains closed and a blanket round me is a sure-fire way of helping me to focus; it was a while before I realised that coming home from work in the late afternoon and sitting straight down to type was well-intentioned, but just not working for me. More recently I’ve been setting my wake-up alarm for 5.30am (two hours early) and bashing some words out before work each day: once I’ve showered and breakfasted it’s amazing how switched on my brain is in these early hours! But as I said, the thing that helps me most is when I’m able to dedicate an entire day to just sitting down with my work in progress and taking my own sweet time with it. No deadline, no pressure: just me and my story and all the time in the world. Last weekend I wrote nearly 8,000 words . . . not because I had to, but because I wanted to.

Basically I’m saying that by treating writing as a fun, non-compulsory hobby – an activity that’s impulsive, not scheduled – I enjoy it more, and as a result I’m much more productive. All the advice you see on writing blogs says you have to “treat it like a job”, and that’s fine if you have your own publisher and actual deadlines to meet. But I tried that on more than one occasion (NaNo is a prime example), and you know what? I began to resent writing. Because it had become a chore. Something I had to do. And that, for me, is the key to overcoming writer’s block. Mind gone blank? Motivation fled? That’s fine. I’ll sit back. Close the laptop; make a nice cup of tea, maybe. Put on a fun video game, if I feel like it. And remind myself: I don’t have to write this book. I can just abandon it now, and there’ll be no repercussions whatsoever. No pressure, yeah? Yeah.

And every single time I’ll find myself back at the keyboard within the hour, because I’ve remembered that I really, really want to write it. Yes, it’s essentially using reverse psychology on my own brain. But it works.

(answer first appeared on on 13.3.16.)(less)
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

Who is Demi Harper?

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So, my LitRPG debut novel God of Gnomes has been out for more than half a year now (they grow up so fast *sniff*). I’m finally about to begin work on book 2 in earnest, and will share more details on that at a later date, but for now, here’s an interview I did a couple of months ago with my publisher, Portal Books. Enjoy!

Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Demi Harper?


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Published on May 28, 2020 07:51

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Laura’s Recent Updates

Laura M. Hughes wrote a new blog post

Who is Demi Harper?

So, my LitRPG debut novel God of Gnomes has been out for more than half a year now (they grow up so fast *sniff*). I’m finally about to begin work on Read more of this blog post »
Laura Hughes rated a book it was amazing
Paternus by Dyrk Ashton
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One of the most epic, heartbreaking and satisfying conclusions to a fantasy series I've ever had the joy of experiencing.

Basically, if you liked the first two books, you will love this incredible denouement with every square inch of your heart. Even
Paternus by Dyrk Ashton
" Did you cry as hard as I did towards the end? "
Paternus by Dyrk Ashton
"ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Bloody magnificent. Urban fantasy novel just doesn’t get more epic than Paternus: War of Gods.

This has unquestionably become one of my favorite indie books. I’ve read 58 books so far this ye" Read more of this review »
The Red Knight by Miles  Cameron
" Petrik wrote: "Laura wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Great review, Laura! I don't usually mind a few typos here and there, but the typos and grammatical errors ...more "
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Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma
by Priya Sharma (Goodreads Author)
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A Ritual of Bone by Lee C. Conley
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Annex by Dennis Vanderkerken
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These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
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Laura Hughes has read
Heroes Wanted by Laura M. Hughes
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HEROES WANTED contains nineteen tales by nineteen different fantasy authors. My story, 'Ratman,' is about a reluctant necromancer struggling to find the 'right' path amid the army of darkness.

The ebook is FREE in all online stores!
More of Laura's books…
“You say glory, necessity, pride; I say barbarity, greed, arrogance. War is a search for glory, for that particular sense of joy and satisfaction that comes from staking one's life on the outcome of a gamble. The search for a cheap thrill, with a cost too dear for Midas, and on a pretext that, more or less, amounts to 'My neighbour has a thing. I want it.”
Laura M. Hughes, Art of War
tags: war

“All angels are men, all men are crows, and all crows are liars.”
Laura M. Hughes, Danse Macabre

“Continue to fill the underworld, and the ferryman's pockets, and don't even bother trying to wash away the blood of thousands that already stains your hands. Meanwhile, I'll be over here, growing old in comfort, warmed by my home's hearth and my lover's gentle arms.

So, carry on, dear. And when the ships' shadows creep over the horizon, when the chariots thunder across the sand and fire rains down from the sky, ask yourself, which would be the better way to die?”
Laura M. Hughes, Art of War
tags: death, life, war

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Lost Lore Readalong!: Readalong Schedule 6 77 Feb 01, 2018 04:09PM  
“Elodin proved a difficult man to find. He had an office in Hollows, but never seemed to use it. When I visited Ledgers and Lists, I discovered he only taught one class: Unlikely Maths. However, this was less than helpful in tracking him down, as according to the ledger, the time of the class was 'now' and the location was 'everywhere.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

“Tell me, tutor,' I said. 'Is revenge a science, or an art?”
Mark Lawrence, Prince of Thorns

“Memories are dangerous things. You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but still you'll find an edge to cut you.”
Mark Lawrence, Prince of Thorns

“Most men have at least one redeeming feature. Finding one for Brother Rike requires a stretch. Is 'big' a redeeming feature?”
Mark Lawrence, Prince of Thorns

“Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket.
But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear

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This is a group for discussing The Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne. We will also be taking part in read alongs at various times in the y ...more
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A place where all Goodreads members can work together to improve the Goodreads book catalog. Non-librarians are welcome to join the group as well, to ...more
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The Signed Page is an online bookseller established in 2001 that has helped people all over the world acquire signed sci-fi/fantasy books at an afford ...more
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Fantasy-Faction is a Fantasy Book Review Site and Forum Community. We review some of the genres leading titles as well as interview authors and post ...more
636120 The Cool Kids' Fantasy Club — 1431 members — last activity May 10, 2020 02:41PM
A group to chat about SFF books. Authors and readers welcome. I might post about my books and the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off too. I plan on maki ...more
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