Some non-spoiler excerpts from the novel to peak your interest
The first time!
Everything in our lives has a first time—from the day we were born till our last breath, there will be ‘first times.’
Many of the firsts we don’t remember: our first breath, our first cry, first smile, first time staying upright, not toppling over, first words and the first steps. We may have recollections of the first time we cycled without training wheels, that intimidating first day at school, the first time we jumped in a pool on our own, and the first time we mowed the lawn.
Then, years later, the first time holding hands—and oh, that first kiss! We may even remember his or her name. There was a first time we earned our own money with a part-time job, the first time going to college or university, the first day at work. The first time we stood in front of people to speak—dizzy from that heady mix of fear and exuberance.
And, along the way, many of us become experts. We become good at what we do. It is so easy to forget—to forget the first times. From our position of accomplishment, it is easy to view other first-timers as “amateurs.” To look at them as wannabees, imposters, even incompetents—how dare they! Perhaps they’re not—perhaps they’re on the brink of discarding their training wheels, and before we know it, kick dust in our eyes—or perhaps just do their own unique thing. Let’s never lose our sense of wonderment, the same smile we get when we watch a toddler stagger across the sand or lawn to get to that ball without falling smack on their face.
With writing, there were also first times. The first letter in school. Our first essay. Love letters we wrote. Later, the first blog post we wrote and published, or that magazine article that saw the light. And then, the first book—we labor over draft after draft after draft, get it edited, get an agent (or not), and … get it published.
I’ll lie if I claim I’m not excited beyond words about my novel, Be Silent. But it would be an empty jubilation if nobody would read the book, love it, and tell others about it—it would be terrible, a sad, sad thing! Thank you for reading! If you keep reading, we can keep writing!
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
The novel will be available (for sale) by October 7, 2016, on Amazon, in paperback, as well as an eBook.
Here are five excerpts from the novel—hope it peaks your interest!
“Lukas, I didn’t know …”
Was that her second lie? Lukas transferred the receiver for a moment to his left hand and closed the sliding door to the balcony, shutting out the street noise and evening heat. A tepid wind had propelled the mix of Chinyanja voices, jarring trucks and car horns, along with whiffs of nshima porridge from the street vendors, six stories below, into the room. The shirt was plastered to his back; he pulled it free as he listened to her hesitant voice and the air conditioner laboring to cool the night.
The chiffon dress barely moved in the gust that pushed through the veranda’s screen windows; the humidity had it glued to her breasts and thighs. Her knuckles were clasped white behind her back as she hastened her pace, refusing eye contact. The afternoon air was charged with her discontent and traces of wisteria, yellow oleander and sugar bush. He cannot be allowed to get away with this. Not again.
“Madzi Moyo. The boys are going to Madzi Moyo.”
She had not been ready when he’d told her that. Not so soon.
“Do you realize that sunstroke can kill you?” Miss Visagie continued, raising her voice. “I am not making this up, young man—it is that serious!”
Lukas didn’t have the slightest idea what sunstroke was, other than being something very deadly and bad, according to Miss. He tried hard to image the sun striking a person down, and how the flimsy little cloth hat, would prevent that from happening. He wondered whether it was as deadly a disease as leprosy. It had to be very bad if Miss Visagie made such a big deal of it and you could get it from just being outside.
Few of the children could keep up with Rianna, though. She finished first, pushing her plate, with the generous helping of cabbage pie still on it, with some force to the middle of the table, hissing something under her breath that sounded like “varkkos.”
Miss Hannah jumped up from her seat at the head of the table. “Rianna! Did you just say pig food? What kind of example does that set for the little ones? Take your plate back immediately and finish your food!”
… None of the other children moved. They dared not blink, nor breathe.
“I don’t like this. I don’t like the sound of this at all!”
Constable Pillay often talked out loud when he was stressed.
He had no problem at all with the white people in the land, but the Amissionni, always added a degree of complexity to any issue. Just imagine, missing children—and for that matter, missing white children and to make it even worse, missing white Amissionni children!
Now he would have to phone the station commander. Sergeant Rangarajan was going to be very unhappy with him. Rangarajan probably just made himself comfortable on his back porch behind his mesh screens, sipping a martini. Second Constable Babu Pillay did not want to make waves. He was hoping to be promoted to First Constable as early as next month. Now this.
Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed it!
You can visit my new book page here—I will keep you up to date with the latest news and status of the book.
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
I’m attending a writer’s conference later this week and are planning on taking two weeks off from blogging. We all need a rest. And, summer is only so long!
In my next post (August 30), I will give some backstory as to how I came up with the concept of the novel—scratch the surface on the historical elements of the story.
Thank you for allowing me to share “the first time”—for allowing me to introduce you to my new baby, my novel. It is impossible to do this alone—we need each other.
If you enjoyed the snippets, please share the post and tell your friends about the book!