“Most editors are failed writers–but so are most writers.”

—– T.S. Eliot

Here’s an excerpt from chapter 7 of Things Grak Hates. Don’t forget to pre-order your Kindle copy or pre-order the hardcover here:

Unlike Ruch, Zacha does her best to stay silent, perhaps considering it more dignified. But she doesn’t last long. Her determination is soon overpowered, and she begins to groan in pain.

But these groans are of a different sort than Ruch’s were. And not just because of the amplification that comes with the woman’s abnormally large mouth. No, these are more heart-wrenching. From deeper inside, as though forcing their way through a failed show of courage. These hit closer to the heart for Grak.

They echo of his ninth snow: his mother’s last. He had made the case against disrupting a good thing, but she and Sando wouldn’t listen. Complications had delayed the second child for too long, and they were blinded by their own happiness. A cruel irony that the baby should be so unkind to her.

“The first goal of writing is to have one’s words read successfully.”

—– Robert Brault

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.”

—– Arthur Polotnik

“A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure.”

—– Henry David Thoreau

Here’s an excerpt from chapter 8 of Things Grak Hates. Don’t forget to pre-order your Kindle copy or pre-order the hardcover here:

Grak reels about, prepared for the worst. But the newcomers only appear confused. And none have weapons drawn. Plus, the strangers are outnumbered fourteen to eight. Quickly taking all of that into consideration, Grak opts to restrain himself for the moment.

Still, best to keep a watchful eye. These people are far too silent in their movements. Could be surrounding us as we speak.

“Oh my, there are quite a few of you crouching down there. And you all have pointed hats,” says the voice, now connected to a man with blond hair and a harsh, thick face. Harsh except for the man’s eyelashes, that is. Those are long and delicate, contrasting sharply with his other features.

Like a woman’s lashes. Still, a striking effect. Almost enviable.

The remainder of the group looks much the same. Minus the luxurious eyelashes, of course. And they’re dirtier than Grak’s people, though he can’t tell if that’s grounds for suspicion. Nonetheless, he feels more comfortable taking his “suspicion is the best policy” approach.

“The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of wild, creative delight.”

—– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.”

—– E.L. Doctorow

Here’s an excerpt from chapter 9 of Things Grak Hates. Don’t forget to pre-order your Kindle copy or pre-order the hardcover here:

“Dernue insists we take their surplus, which is far more food than we’ve ever been able to catch. Even more than we could catch with your strategies, I imagine. No matter the speed of your kills, these ones are already dead.”

Grak recognizes the need for a heavy tone. “Are the tribe’s difficulties amusing to you? And, you’re wrong about my strategy. It would have done far better.”

In hindsight, Grak sees wisdom in avoiding such boasting from now on, no matter how difficult it is to resist. He just can’t take the risk now that the tribe has demonstrated a persistence in seeing him uphold his claims.

“My strategy favors larger kills, so it’s more efficient,” Grak adds. Just that last one, but now he’s done.

“There are men that will make you books, and turn them loose into the world, with as much dispatch as they would do a dish of fritters.”

—– Miguel de Cervantes