To tell the truth…Book Two is an actual work, that was planned, outlined, drafted, executed, pre meditated edited, edited, and submitted at 87k and was edited down by me to 67k without a blink of the eye. This book is a well written, tight, work.
Book One on the other hand was a happy accident, which given the chance I would completely rewrite and re title. I have learned so much from Savant, and the experience, that I truly wish I had known before…can you imagine how amazing book one could have been, the story is there, and the reviews on the story have been all five stars. I admit I am biting at the bit to rewrite it, but that is how the cookie crumbles.
To answer your question in the short term. I felt like an author writing the second book, and a real novice writing the first.
It didn't take Charlie long to spot his delectable friend: Just look for turning heads and one lucky boy stumbling over himself to help with her baggage. Emerging from a flurry of bouncing blonde curls that would shadow the Florida sun, Tillie too caught site of Charlie and Bailey. She dropped her Prada purse into the hands of her attendant and ran over to throw herself at the two. Her latest fan visibly wilted, shoulders slumping while Tillie's luggage dropped to the floor.
“Good help is hard to find,” she giggled at her two friends, and went to retrieve her blue paisley purse and hand luggage, rapidly followed by Charlie in tow. “I have so much to talk to you about. I missed you both so much! Oh my tour of Europe was wonderful -- the architecture and paintings. I brought slides to show you!”
Bailey rolled her eyes as Tillie walked ahead, and got a jab in the ribs from Charlie. “I know, I know, slides are so 1995 but actual film is better than digital." Bailey just looked at him blankly.
Tillie stopped and looked around, as if she had forgotten where her pet dog was. “Where is Mick?”
“Waiting in the car,” said Bailey, her patience beginning to feel stretched.
“Oh goodness, I was so hoping he would grab my bags for me. There are just so many.”
"More?" enquired Bailey, just to make a point.
“I've never been to the States before. I got excited and just couldn’t think what to pack, so I brought it all."
"Tip a half-dozen of your carriage boys."
Tillie pretended not to here Bailey's quip. "Do you think I am well dressed for the occasion?”
Bailey stifled a laugh, and looked up and down at Tillie's tan bellbottoms, the sleek modern ones from the high-end stores in the mall; a long-sleeve, blue pinstripe blouse and a captain's hat. She looked like a Gap model doing a New England shoot.
“Yes, far too well-dressed. You might want to change into some shorts, July is not exactly a bellbottom month,” suggested Bailey, still trying to retain her equilibrium after the fight the two of them had last term in school. The altercation had split the group up, and almost got Charlie killed in the process.
“Well, I brought everything,” Tillie sang back, “including my makeup kit. We can do makeovers, Bailey! A makeover, maybe...”
Charlie chuckled at this despite his annoyance that Tillie seemed to think he couldn't handle her bags without Mick. Bailey wore black eyeliner and nail polish. That was it. So the thought of his best friend receiving a glaringly colorful preppy makeover to her punk look was more than he could take.
Striving to keep the peace in the new friendship, Bailey smiled through gritted teeth: “That sounds like fun.”
In hopes of stifling his laughter, Charlie bent down to pick up the bags, slinging Tillie's bookbag (obviously filled with the summer homework Charlie had avoided) over both shoulders. He put a strap from two duffle bags on each shoulder and grabbed for the makeup bag and carry-on. Tillie’s preference for Mick's musculature had triggered a need to man-up, and that’s exactly what Charlie intended to do. Unfortunately, his body did not seem to understand his need to look good in front of Tillie and he was having a great deal of trouble standing up. Bailey sighed, walked over to a baggage cart kiosk and paid for a baggage trolley.
Charlie, at least, was eager to find out more background on his prospective more-than-friend. “So how was your vacation with the family, Tillie?” he asked between gasps. He was sure there were wheels under the baggage trolley but it seemed hardly movable. He daren't ask Are there wheels on this thing? as he felt like doing. That would do his image no good, but What did she bring with her? Charlie wondered.
“Oh absolutely brilliant. Paris was so romantic... You would have loved it, Bailey. Rome the same, and... ancient... mysterious. The Mediterranean was marvelous. I had no idea most beaches along the Mediterranean were topless. Did you, Bailey? That would never happen in England, but it was so liberating.”
Before Bailey had a chance to answer, Charlie seemed to lose his sense of direction but found a back wheel on the trolley, tripping over it and sending the bags at the pinnacle of the pile teetering off onto the floor. “I had no idea they're topless,” replied Bailey. “I don’t think Charlie did either.” She smiled at Charlie, who turned a deeper shade of red the longer the two girls looked at him."
The love between Dmytro, an impoverished aristocrat turned farmer, and Khrystina, daughter of a wealthy landowner, carries their family through the horrors of the twentieth century that befell the Ukraine.
Wretched Land by Mila Komarnisky, Chapter 12, Excerpt 2
It was only one more day until Dmytro would return home, but there was no food left in the Verbitsky house, and Khrystina and the children had not eaten for three days. Despite their small daily ration, Khrystina had insisting on feeding children every day, and when, several days before, she saw the hunger in their eyes, she boiled an extra potato, they drank potato water but it would not diminish the hunger. It just seemed to burn in their empty stomachs, as if they had swallowed hot coals.
The children were weak from malnutrition. They did not play; they only spoke in feeble voices about the food Khrystina had served before the famine, especially on Christmas and on Easter holidays.
Even though Khrystina heated the house once a day, the children felt cold and lay in bed dressed in warm clothes. Finally, they stopped asking for food and only complained about the pain in their stomachs. Their cries split Khrystina's heart. When Ganna threw up a greenish, viscous looking liquid, Khrystina could not wait any longer. For the first time in her life, she had to go into the village and beg for food. She was heart-broken. She dressed in the only clothes that she had left, the ones she used to work in the barn. She put her felt boots and galoshes on her bare feet, took the baby, and went out into the street.
The day was cold and windy. The gale blew piles of snow in the yard and in the street. She walked along the quiet, empty street as snow crunched under her feet. All the dogs and cats had disappeared from the yards as well as their own dog, Tobik, and cat, Murka. The children missed them very much. They had called to them every day but they did not come home. Probably someone had caught the animals and had eaten them.
One of the book's reviews at http://tinyurl.com/43pnt8e
Wretched Land is available from the Savant Books and Publications Bookstore at https://www.createspace.com/3578979
At the Amazon.com bookstore http://tinyurl.com/3rh9ae2
At the Amazon.ca http://tinyurl.com/3bha4jq
At the Amazon.co.uk http://tinyurl.com/69ro3ps
Author of Wretched Land (2011)
The press release at http://prlog.org/11432786
The author's website: http://www.komarnisky.com
The book trailer on YouTube:
Hi Everyone: Have been out for a while. Just reviewed all the postings. Wow! A lot of amazing things are going on at Savant. Very exciting. Dan---I would love to do a skype appearance at the bookstore. I'll email you. Here's my second excerpt.
Charlie No Face by David B. Seaburn----a coming-of-age story
(available-- http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984555285 )
Were all the stories and rumors true? Did Charlie No Face kill children and eat wild animals? Jackie and his friends had to find out. One fateful night local teen tough, Kelso, took them on a ride they would never forget. They found Charlie along a deserted country road. Kelso prodded him with a stick, hoping he would turn so they could finally see his infamous face.
This time Charlie heard Kelso. He stopped rocking and didn't make a sound. "Oh my God," said Brian, "he's gonna kill us. I just know it. He's gonna kill us, and then eat us, and then scatter our bones where no one can find them, and my mother's gonna wonder why I didn't just stay at Tommy's, and why I was so stupid, and she's—ouch!"
I smacked Brian on the head.
"Call again," I said to Kelso.
"Hey, Charlie! We got some beer for you!"
Charlie sat back on his haunches and raised his head. I had never seen anything like it before. It was as big as the globe that sat on Miss Loss' desk in social studies, but not exactly round, more ballooned out in spots, like something went terribly wrong at the factory when they made it, like the whole continent of Asia stuck out as if it were as high as Everest, while South America was just one big indent, like it was a reject globe, one that no teacher would ever put on her desk, one that no one would ever want.
Tommy jumped into the backseat with Brian and me.
"My God, look at that," he said.
"I know, I know," I said. Kelso was silent. Brian was crying now.
A Customer Review: This is a beautiful story of coming of age in a small mill town. I loved the way the author captured the trials and tribulations and emotions of growing up in the late 50's and all that entailed. I found it to be a wonderful look into human nature, both the cruelty and compassion we humans can impart, overcoming adversity, accepting the cards we are dealt and making the most of our life no matter what. While the book started out as a book about the lives and friendship of 2 young boys, it became evident that it was about much more of a story of a young boy finding himself and and realizing what is really important in life.
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