“A good style should show no signs of effort. What is written should seem a happy accident.”

—– W. Somerset Maugham

Several advance readers have asked what my next project will be–specifically whether Grak’s story will see a sequel in 2015. The answers to those questions are, “I’m not telling you yet,” and “no.” In that order.

But fans of my writing shouldn’t take this to mean that I don’t know what my next novel will be about. On the contrary. In fact, I’m currently working on the outline (in what spare time I can find), and I even have plans to write and release the first part in a short story series somewhere toward the middle of the year. However, both of these pieces will stray far from Grak in topic, though not necessarily in style or subtext. Stay tuned to learn what that means.

And Fans Grak Loves, while potentially unhappy about this news, can at least take comfort in knowing that Grak was originally conceived as a trilogy. The entire story arc is already written down, though not yet refined into an outline. And I’d love to see it come to life; I really would. But other, more pressing, story ideas (and to an extent, Grak’s success) will decide if we hear anything more from our lovingly despised nomad.

So, all that to say, “Grak 2, the Grakening” (not a working title) may yet be written, but it won’t be in 2015. To find out what will be written in 2015, stay tuned …

“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