Somehow, Hugo returned

Hi, everyone, it’s Hugo. Sorry for the long silence – it lasted far longer than it should have.

I’ve been going through my inbox and answering everyone who sent a message during my absence, but it’s taking a while, so I figured I’d write a post here in the meantime.

First of all, thank you for all the concern and words of support. I expected I’d open an inbox full of annoyed messages increasingly demanding to hurry up and finish the damn book. Instead, I found message after message of worried readers wondering about my health and telling me to take all the time needed to sort stuff out. Not to go all mushy, but damn. You guys are fantastic.

So, sometime after Dungeon Lord 4 came out, I was riding my bicycle for a bit of morning exercise when I got hit by a motorcycle from behind. The impact wasn’t that hard – we were able to fix the bike later – but something about the angle itself made it so I was launched up in the air like a very surprised human baseball.

I remember, quite vividly, that I had enough time before hitting the pavement to think “Let’s do one of those shoulder-roll things from action movies to avoid the impact…” So I threw my hands forward, got ready to turn, and SPLAT. Flat against the pavement. Inertia even slid me halfway across the street without rolling at all, as if physics itself were teaching me a lesson or two.

Please be aware that as I’m writing this, I’m perfectly fine and healthy and 99% recovered, there’s no need to worry about it.  

After I got up, there was no pain, only a few scratches. A traffic officer who was right there asked if I wanted to press charges, which seemed quite frivolous, because I wasn’t in any pain, other than the scratches. He shrugged and said, “You sure? That’s gonna hurt in the morning.”

We helped the motorcycle rider get her ride up, then I limped back home. A few hours later my hands had the size of boxing gloves and I couldn’t move them at all.

Recovery took several months. Almost two years for the right hand to fully recover, left one never completely did (we found a small fracture we’d missed the first time around. I had surgery to correct it, which seems to be doing the trick. I’m writing this in an arm cast, two more weeks to go!) By then I was already nursing one mean case of writer’s block, to say the least. The heart of the issue was something like:

Me writer. Writer uses hands. But hands not hand-ing. What do?

I’d like to clarify this period wasn’t all a gray, depressing funk. There are pictures somewhere of me drinking beer using my forearms to hold the glass. I went to parties, played board games, met a lot of people, all of that stuff. But my writing was a mess. Slow, clunky, forced… I deleted a third of Nightmare Kingdom’s original manuscript, started again. Started a different novel to see if the change of pace helped, got halfway there, and then scrapped it. Then slowly started NK again from the beginning.

At this time, I had decided I’d take a break from social media – which turned into a break from the internet entirely. I planned to finish the book before making any announcement, that way I wouldn’t string anyone along by missing deadline after deadline. It didn’t occur to me that people were concerned about my health before any release date.

This period lasted a while. Writing slowly but not consistently and the book just wasn’t finished. One day, I decided I needed to shake things up by doing something out of character, so I joined an MMA gym without telling anyone and started training every day, despite having zero talent for it. Great fun. I even fought a few matches, and got demolished in most of them, but managed to qualify for that year’s amateur national tournament. I had 2 matches, managed to win them 90% via sheer luck, and now I’m proud to be probably the worst amateur national champion ever produced in the history of my country.

(Because I never told anyone about this stuff until after I’d done it, long-time-no-see friends sometimes understandably think I’m bullshitting them, so here’s the only footage of the match as far as I know, about half a second of gif. I’m the one in gray socks. Finding the vid gave me great joy because it doesn’t show the several minutes of me getting turned into origami)

To avoid making an already long post even longer: there was stuff to handle. Good stuff and back stuff, as with everything in life. I do believe my writing is stronger for all of it, but that’s, of course, up for the reader to decide.

I’ve been writing consistently again for a while now, and Dungeon Lord’s 5th installment is done, and waiting for the last touches before launch in a couple of months.

Thank you again for all your patience and understanding. I’m already working on Book 6, “The Wraith’s Bane” and this time I’m keeping an eye out for any wild motorcycles lurking around.

-Hugo Huesca

2 thoughts on “Somehow, Hugo returned

  1. What a coincidence. I’ve just reread the whole series and wondered if part 5 is out yet. Checked your Facebook page, checked your blog and saw this post only was one day ago. Happy to hear you’re doing well and am really looking forward to book 5

    1. Glad to hear you enjoy the series enough to re-read it, that’s fantastic! I’ll post an update with a more specific date for Nightmare Kingdom as soon as I have it. Cheers!

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