Author Greg Hulme talks about the first book in a new dystopian book series for young adults, Magnus Powell And The Shadow Squad.
I interviewed Greg Hulm about his life and career, what inspired his writing, and the story of Magnus Powell and The Shadow Squad.
Tell me who Greg Hulme are:
My name is Greg. The first thing you should know about me is that I am a huge tea lover and have been known to be grumpy before my first cup in the morning. After I’ve had my first cup, I enjoy getting involved in anything creative storytelling, whether it’s composing music, acting, or writing books.
When did the first want to write a book?
Surprisingly, the idea of writing a book only came to me a few years ago. The medium of music and film has always fascinated me more and more. However, when COVID-19 struck and the world shut down, I needed a new challenge to deal with isolation.
When did thou decide to start writing?
I toyed with this idea for about five months before I started writing anything. As the world started to open up and we could finally get back to work (I do background work on TV shows sometimes), I remember sitting in the green police room on the show Stay Close, waiting to be used and used by the Deputy Director. There was silence in conversation with the extras around me, and finally, I decided to put pen to paper and start planning the structure of my story.
How long did it take thou for your first book, from the initial idea to publication?
I think it took about 18 months from the first idea to publication.
Focus on the latest version. What made thou decide to write this book?
Writing this book was an integral part of the quarantine. Because of my more creative and introverted personality, I’m usually pretty good on my own, but I needed a new way of challenging myself, one that was completely under my control.
What were the biggest challenges writing Magnus Powell and The Shadow Squad?
Motivation. I have a terrible ability to focus on anything that doesn’t interest me, and I find the writing process itself particularly boring. It was difficult to find the motivation to get up every morning and start writing.
Who or what stimulates you to create The Protagonist?
There were many inspirations for Magnus Powell, but it’s mostly based on me as a troubled teenager who felt he didn’t fit in and just wanted to hide from the world. Luckily, like Magnus, I had a wonderful group of people around me to help me through these negative emotions.
Who or what invigorated you to create The Antagonist?
The Master is largely based on the major villains of many fantasy books and films, such as Voldemort and Darth Sidious. Although the Master’s motivation is driven directly by his past of abuse and poverty, which has led to selfish claims and lust for power.
What is the Magnus Powell and The Shadow Squad fire incident?
A fire incident occurs as Magnus is released from prison by the Shadow Squad and forced to turn his back on the only life he has ever known and fight an oppressive dictator who has failed the needs of his people.
What is the primary fray between Magnus Powell and the Shadow Squad?
After his release from prison, Magnus realizes that he has supernatural powers that he cannot yet control. Upon discovering this, the master attempts to claim Magnus as his own and turn him into a deadly weapon.
Did ye plan ahead for Magnus Powell and The Shadow Squad, or did you fly behind the pants and start writing?
I wrote a very general outline of everything that would happen in each chapter before the actual writing process began.
Did ye get editing help and how much editing did Magnus Powell and The Shadow Squad take up?
The first person I had my book read to was my sister because I knew she would give me honest, constructive feedback without destroying my fragile self-esteem. I then sent it to Emma at The Word Hutt for review and help with publication.
What is the first part of writing advice thou would give someone that inspired you to write a story?
Stop worrying about what other people think about your work and quit it. So many people shy away from creative endeavors because they fear negative feedback. I was like that until I realized that not everyone will like what you do, but some will and these are the people who should motivate you.
Can thou tell me what other books you want to write?
I am composing the second new book in the Magnus Powell saga and the third is in the very early stages of planning. Things will speed up.
And finally, are thou proud of your achievement? It was worth it?
I am very proud to be able to write and publish my first book. It’s something I never thought I had a talent for, but it taught me that you really can achieve anything as long as you’re willing to work hard and block out those negative thoughts that tell you that you are not good. Enough.
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