Cheltenham grad publishes first novel, now available on Amazon

Tim McHugh, a 2017 Cheltenham High School graduate, recently published his first novel, “A Dark and Silent Song”.

The book’s summary: 

Barric is a prodigiously gifted sorcerer and a rising force in the Guild of Magi. For decades the Guild has coexisted peacefully with the Crown of Sark, using their powers for the prosperity of the people, but as a young and impulsive king rises to the throne, the kingdom tumbles into chaos and threatens to drag the Guild into the fray.

As the threat of war looms, Barric finds himself entangled in a battle of espionage where he must face the morality of his actions and confront the demons of his secret past. However, when an ancient, dark sorcery is unleashed, the lines between hero and villain blur, and the true cost of power emerges with devastating consequences.

“I started by writing short stories so I could make the bigger mistakes that every writer makes before taking on a large project,” McHugh said. “Learning how to write coherently was a big task on its own.”

He eventually wrote “Lightsiren,” his first short story to be published, and he built off of the ideas in that story.

“A lot changed throughout the process,” said McHugh, who is a functional consultant for the software company Oracle NetSuite. “I tried at first to plan out the novel but as I started writing, I kept finding better paths to follow. I finally abandoned my initial plan, and though I had broad ideas in my mind of major scenes, I didn’t know where a lot of the story went until I wrote it.” 

McHugh took six months from putting pen to paper to publishing his work, but says the process is always ongoing as he markets the book and works to get it into bigger publishing houses.

“I was definitely not the best English student in high school, and though I was always a reader, my interest in writing didn’t start until after I graduated,” McHugh said. “But even now when I work on describing a scene or am critiquing someone else’s work, I can hear (Cheltenham English teacher) Mr. Topper’s voice saying things like, ‘Show, don’t tell!’ It’s only now that I realize he was teaching some of the core strategies absolutely necessary for all writers. I’m sure he would be surprised to learn he got through to me even if it took me a few years to realize it.”

To purchase a copy of the book, you can click here.

For all the latest news, follow us on Facebook or sign up for Glenside Local’s “Daily Buzz” newsletter here.