Today’s special guest is novelist Hugh Fritz to chat with me about his new fantasy thriller, Mystic Rampage Part 2: Public Display of Aggression.
Welcome, Hugh. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a recently published author looking to learn through experience. I took a few literature courses as an undergraduate but neglected further training in order to focus on a different career path. However, I never stopped writing stories and have constantly strived to incorporate my current field of expertise into my books. Now I aim to make up for what I missed by reaching out to other authors and avid readers for advice on how to improve my writing.
Please tell us about your current release.
This is a sequel to Made to Be Broken, which introduced a group of Genies hiding among ordinary people in modern-day Chicago, Illinois. I chose that setting because it is where I was born and spent most of my life. This book concludes some story arcs and expands on some characters who appeared at the end of the first installment.
What inspired you to write this book?
The first book was mostly introduction and setup. I had to spend a lot of pages explaining what the Genies could do, how they did it, and establish limits to their powers. Now I can get to the good parts. This book is shorter than the first one, but that’s because it dives into the action faster. I had to write a sequel because the first wasn’t enough of a thrill-ride. This one has a lot more action, and way less conversation.
Excerpt from Mystic Rampage Part 2: Public Display of Aggression:
He watched and waited for his opportunity to kill again. The group usually stuck to the city, but after the death of two members, they decided to leave Chicago altogether. It didn’t matter where they went. He would hunt them down and kill them all. Leaving the city was just Tymbir trying new things to feel like he was in control of the situation. Darren would enjoy sending a message to make painfully clear that Tymbir was in control of nothing. The group had decided to go west, and the vans were moving steadily down the highway late at night. They had left the city behind miles ago, and now there was nothing but fields of corn on either side of the road. There were no rest stops around, and few other cars. Darren summoned his body to a storm drain near the highway where he once again spied on the vans, prepared to strike when they were close. Darren’s astral projection watched from miles away as a tire on one of the vans burst. The vehicle swerved but the driver regained control and pulled over. The second van stopped close behind. The rumbling of the engines ceased but the headlights stayed on as everyone stepped out, some of them holding guns and probably suspecting Darren was behind the incident. Five of them spread out to stand guard while Tymbir and two others examined the blown-out tire. Darren’s projection drifted close to the van and saw that the tire had not been punctured. A portion of it was melted.
Tymbir told the others to stay alert as he got the spare tire. The group gripped their firearms tightly and scanned the area with flashlights. Darren’s projection surveyed the scene and saw someone else on the side of the road with a gun of his own. Darren had seen him before. Not too long ago, the man had tried to kill both him and Soleil. His shirt was decorated with strange symbols, and his face was hidden by a bandana with an image of a clock on it. His guns somehow had the ability to cast spells, and could be used on a living person without Enchanting them; they could even be used on Genies. The last time Darren had been hit by the man’s spellcasting revolver, it had electrocuted him. The shock would have been fatal if not for his magically enhanced durability and healing. Seeing the guns in action gave Darren an idea of how they worked: The man cycled through the revolvers’ six chambers by pressing a switch on the grip with his thumb, and each chamber fired a different spell. Darren recalled witnessing the electrocution and burn spells.
The mystery man’s motives were unclear, but for some reason, he had apparently targeted Tymbir. He fired his spellcasting revolver at one of the men standing guard, making the snow at his feet freeze solid and encase his shoes in a layer of ice. For a moment, the man struggled to get free as his lips and skin quickly turned blue. He would have collapsed but the snow falling on his body also froze and encased him in a layer of ice that held him upright. The masked assailant ran to the frozen man as Tymbir’s team returned fire. Their bullets shattered parts of the frozen body, but enough of a shield was left to provide a moment of cover. Darren’s projection returned. He rose to his feet, drew the saw blade, and summoned his body to one of the vans. When he arrived, he ran around the frozen man and threw the blade. The stranger clicked the thumb switch to rotate the cylinder a few degrees. When he fired, the blade turned into a pile of metal dust which fell harmlessly to the ground. Deconstruction, Darren mentally noted. Freezing. Two more abilities. He reconstructed the blade, summoned it back to his body, and charged as the stranger selected a different chamber. Darren held the blade above his head and swung down, aiming for the χ symbol on the man’s chest. He fired and rolled out of the way as Darren felt every muscle in his body tense and was overcome with pain followed by numbness. He hit his head against what remained of the frozen man as he fell. It was the electrocution spell again. He was getting sick of being hit with that one. Darren’s attack had missed, but when the man rolled out of the way, he was exposed to Tymbir’s group, and a bullet grazed his thigh. Though not seriously hurt, he fell before he could shoot another spell. He scrambled across the road to avoid more bullets, and rolled down a slope at the side of the highway. Darren followed him.
“You’re not on my list,” said the gunman when Darren landed nearby. “Why are you after me?”
Darren would have responded, but blood burst from his head as a bullet struck his temple. The masked gunman fired an electrocution spell at the shooter. Darren slowly rose to his feet and shook his head as the masked stranger drew a second revolver.
“Maybe we can help each other. Let’s kill some more of these folks tomorrow night. I’ll see you then.” He pointed the gun to his head, pulled the trigger, and disappeared. He summoned himself somewhere, thought Darren. That’s ability number five. He had drawn the second gun to do it, though. Together, the two guns might have a range of twelve abilities. There were more popping noises, and Darren felt a burst of pain in his back as he was hit with more bullets. He stood still and took the hits until the gunmen were out of ammo, then walked up the hill clutching the saw blade hard enough to make his knuckles pale. The group ran to the van without the blown-out tire and clambered in.
“You’d better run,” Darren shouted as the engine revved and the driver bolted down the snowy highway as fast as he could without losing control. Darren turned to the abandoned van and summoned the bullets in his body to it. When he healed, he made his way to a nearby barn, crept inside, and found a place to rest for the night.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I was hesitant to make this a trilogy, but I feel like it’s necessary. There are a few characters whose story arcs are not entirely wrapped up. Part three is going to put the spotlight on the characters who spent the first two books in the background and make them heroes in their own ways.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The shutdown has been a way to reveal true interests. I don’t want to make my job sound easy, but it has never been so demanding to require a full nine hours of undivided attention. The office atmosphere was laid-back, and everyone took a few minutes a day to get away from their desks and talk to each other. Now that I’m working from home, I still have time to take breaks, but there’s nobody around so I can’t fill the time talking to anyone. I still needed to do something other than work to keep from going stir crazy, and I didn’t turn to video games, or online movies, or social media to do so; I opened Microsoft Word and added to my series. I feel like I can call myself a writer now that I’ve used it as a means to stay sane.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full-time because as much as I enjoy it, I still need to get outside. Now that daily temperatures are rising my routine is to catch up on emails first thing in the morning, then water and prune the plants in my garden. The plants require a lot of care but once I’m sure they’re set for the day I get back to my job. I’m currently a graduate student in chemistry so during semesters I have to put my work aside to attend classes, but I still focus on my job for a good portion of the day. When I need a break from school and work I’ll open my story and review what I’ve written so far. I’ll spend some time outlining a chapter and writing a scene or a few lines of dialogue that I feel are really good. It’s important to maintain a work-life balance so I won’t set everything aside and solely write my novel until close of business. It works out because by that time I’m ready to set the real world aside and become engrossed in my fantasy world.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
This isn’t really a quirk, but as a hobby I try to read one book every month. My selection process has been shaped by my experience as an author. I know how frustrating it can be getting books to sell, so I avoid famous authors and focus on local ones. I haven’t read a lot of Dean Koontz or Stephen King. Instead I’m look into stories like the Four Gates series by B.L. Voorhees and Eruption by Adrienne Quintana. Those names probably won’t mean anything to most readers but trust me, they’re good writers.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I don’t remember most of my childhood, but I recall playing music a lot. Like most kids I dreamed of becoming famous that way. My main instrument was guitar but I also played alto saxophone. Music is still a part of what I do. I usually have the radio playing while I’m writing. The feeling in songs provides inspiration.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
It sounds like events will be opening to the public again soon. Before the shutdown comic conventions were good for sales. I’ve held on to hard copies of the illustrations that Lothar Speer made for the book and when I’m able to purchase a booth at an expo I’ll be selling them as glossy’s along with hard copies of the novels. Lothar is a great artist and I really hope people appreciate his work.
Thanks for stopping by today, Hugh!
— Blog Tour Calendar
June14th @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of this incredible tale. Find out more about the author, Hugh Fritz, and enter to win a copy of Public Display of Aggression for yourself. https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com
June 15th @ A Storybook World with Deirdra Eden
Deirdra Eden shares the spotlight today – and in today’s spotlight it is none other than Hugh Fritz with Book #2 in the Mystic Rampage Series: Public Display of Aggression! Readers won’t want to miss an opportunity to dig into the magic of this incredible story! http://www.astorybookworld.com/
June 16th @ Create Write Now with Mari McCarthy
There’s a guest author at Mari McCarthy’s Create Write Now and it’s the one and only Hugh Fritz who recently finished Book #2 in the Mystic Rampage Series. He’s busy promoting Public Display of Aggression but has taken time out of his busy schedule to write an informative post about “Using Bacteria and Fungus in Food”. Join readers at Create Write Now to learn more! https://www.createwritenow.com/
June 17th @ World of My Imagination with Nicole Pyles
Nicole Pyles shares her thoughts as she reviews Public Display of Aggression by Hugh Fritz. Readers at World of My Imagination will put their imagination into overdrive with this fast-paced story involving plenty of magic. This is Book #2 in the Mystic Rampage Series but reads just as well as a stand-alone. Don’t miss today’s review by Nicole! https://worldofmyimagination.com/
June 18th @ Bibliophile with Diti Shah
Diti Shah shares her book review with her Insta followers – find out what she thinks of Public Display of Aggression by Hugh Fritz! This is Book #2 of the Mystic Rampage Series that has delighted readers and left them wanting more!
June 21st @ A Storybook World with Deirdra Eden
There’s a guest author at A Storybook World and it’s the one and only Hugh Fritz who recently finished Book #2 in the Mystic Rampage Series. He’s busy promoting Public Display of Aggression but has taken time out of his busy schedule to write an informative post about “Illustrations in Fantasy Novels”. This will be great for writers and readers alike.
June 22nd HERE!
June 23rd @ SueBe with Sue Bradford Edwards
Fellow author Sue Bradford Edwards offers her review of Public Display of Aggression by Hugh Fritz. Readers won’t want to miss her thoughts! https://suebe.wordpress.com/
June 24th @ Knotty Needle with Judy Hudgins
Judy Hudgins keeps readers on the edge of their seat at the knotty needle blog as she reviews Book #2 in the Mystic Rampage Series . Readers will want to grab their own copy of Hugh Fritz’s Public Display of Aggression so they won’t miss a beat of this imaginative story! http://www.knottyneedle.blogspot.com
June 30th @ Bookish Trischa
The spotlight is bright at Bookish Trischa and today it shines on Hugh Fritz and his latest creation Public Display of Aggression – Book #2 in the Mystic Rampage Series! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the book everyone is talking about! http://bookishtrisha.com
July 1st @ Book Santa Fe with Crystal Otto
Crystal Otto reads a lot and she loves a fast-paced imaginative story. Public Display of Aggression is 5 Stars and she can’t wait to tell readers more about it at Book Santa Fe today! This is the 2nd book in the Mystic Rampage series, but she says it reads great as a standalone. Read Crystal’s full review today! http://www.booksantafe.info/booksantafeblog
July 7th @ Sreevarsha Sreejith
Readers of Varsha’s blog will hear from Hugh Fritz today in a post about “Fan Fiction” as he takes a break from promoting his latest book Public Display of Aggression. Don’t miss this guest post and opportunity to learn more about the Mystic Rampage Series and the man behind all the excitement! sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com
July 9th @ Bring on Lemons with Carmen Otto
Carmen is an avid reader and soon to be high schooler – she loved Book #1 in the Mystic Rampage series and she joins us today to share her 5 Star Review of Book #2 – Public Display of Aggression by Hugh Fritz. Don’t miss her youthful insight! http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/
July 10th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Readers of Author Anthony Avina’s Blog will hear from Hugh Fritz today as he pens a guest post titled “Preference of Series of Stand Alone Pieces”. This post will delight authors and readers alike – so don’t miss it! This is also a great opportunity to learn more about the Mystic Rampage Series and Book #2, Public Display of Aggression. https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/
July 12th @ Bookish Trischa
Today is the day – Trischa reviews Public Display of Aggression – Book #2 in the Mystic Rampage Series! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about and hear from Trischa herself as she shares her insight into the writings of Hugh Fritz. http://bookishtrisha.com
July 7th @ Sreevarsha Sreejith
Today it’s Varsha’s opportunity to share her review of Public Display of Aggression. Don’t miss this chance to learn more about the fast-paced writing of Hugh Fritz and Book #2 in the Mystic Rampage series! sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com
July 14th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
A few days ago, readers of Author Anthony Avina’s Blog heard from Hugh Fritz in a guest post: “Preference of Series of Stand Alone Pieces”. Now it’s review time – hear what Anthony has to say in his review of Public Display of Aggression, Book #2 in the Mystic Rampage Series by Hugh Fritz! https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/