Welcome . . .

Much of my inspiration for writing has always come from the brilliant natural world, and the physical adventures we can undertake to awaken ourselves to it. Even in my fiction, I strive to render the physical world truly, and to share the many sensations that a life lived fully can bring. Just to show you that my research is ongoing, here's a recent photo taken of me launching a newly-shaped waveski on a "dawn patrol" at a famous West Coast surf break.

Just below is a link to a recently published story providing readers with details about California's 2014 whitewater recreation season on the state's rivers. Because, you see, I don't just supply information. I also like to provide encouragement.

Link to the Sacramento Bee story: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/10/6309784/want-to-raft-better-do-so-rapidly.html#storylink=misearch


Recent hits include features on:

Big Wave Virgin.Paul’s minute-by-minute account of an epic surf ride on a giant swell, “Big Wave Virgin,” came out as a Kindle Single, to acclaim by surfers.

Blue Ridge and Cache Creek Natural Area

Poised like a massive wave forever about to break, a mighty ridge looms on the west rim of the Sacramento Valley. Yet despite its high visibility to drivers speeding past Fairfield on Interstate 80, this lofty geologic neighbor – Blue Ridge – retains an air of mystery.

Indian Paintbrush.But it's a mystery that can be probed. While it soars up to more than 3,000 feet and extends about 29 miles in length, Blue Ridge only looks like a barricade. Actually, the mountain forms a gateway to a wildlife haven and outdoor sport mecca dubbed the Cache Creek Natural Area.

Sprawling across 75,000 acres, this rumpled landscape over the past 20 years has increasingly provided trails for hikers, birders and wildflower buffs, routes for equestrians and mountain bikers, opportunities for hunters and distinctive campgrounds. The preserve forms a migratory destination for dozens of bald eagles each fall and a home for sizable herds of tule elk and blacktail deer year-round.

Nighttime operations at a major Sierran resortPaul McHugh.

An incoming blizzard makes a dark line that billows on the horizon as the sun sets. Flags drooping on poles begin to lift and flap.

In a room that's a nerve center for Heavenly Mountain Resort on Lake Tahoe's South Shore, a dispatch officer scribbles on a status board – rising gusts mean the speed of a gondola taking the last skiers off the hill has to be reduced from 4.2 meters per second to a safer 3.5.

It's late afternoon, but the day is just beginning for a small army of personnel who will work throughout the night, readying the mountain for the next day's onslaught of eager skiers and snowboarders.

A collection of Tiffany stained-glass windows at Mare Island in VallejoGalahad.

An impressive array of Tiffany stained glass and other religious art elements is showing at the Museum of Biblical Art in New York. To see it, you need to fly to the Big Apple before Jan. 20. Or make it a lot easier on yourself and stay in Northern California, instead driving a short distance to enjoy the astonishing collection of 25 Louis Comfort Tiffany stained- glass windows that illuminate Saint Peter's Chapel on Mare Island. It's one of Vallejo's best secrets, and it hides in plain sight.

In addition, Paul is having a blast as he analyzes the mystery and thriller genres on his new blog,  “Skullduggery.” This site offers reviews, commentary and recommendations for readers.

More big news is that he plans to publish a post-apocalyptic thriller, “Came A Horseman,” as an e-book in the fall. Stay tuned for news on this release! Paul has written three novels since his award-winning mystery, “Deadlines,” came out in 2010.

About "Deadlines"


"Deadlines" reading from Paul McHugh on Vimeo (above)

John Lescroart and Paul McHugh in Conversation.

Mystery writer John Lescroart in conversation with Paul McHugh (above)


Click to listen to Paul's Interview with Michael Krasney on KQED FM