Pre-Pub Adventure: March

Today is a special Pre-Pub Adventure day! The authors will be showing their favorite sentences or paragraphs form their books!

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Let’s take a peek at our Pre-Pub Adventure authors’ books!


Nisha Sharma


What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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“Remember, Winnie Mehta, fighting fate never works. I’ve made a career out of proving just how powerful destiny can be.”

In MY SO-CALLED BOLLYWOOD LIFE, the heroine Winnie has dreams where one of the biggest actors in Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, visits her and gives her life advice. This line is from the first time Shah Rukh Khan visits Winnie. Shah Rukh Khan delivers the line after Winnie questions whether or not he knows what he’s talking about.

The reason why this is one of my favorite lines in the book is because it was one of the first scenes I wrote when I started drafting My So-Called Bollywood Life, and it remained untouched after all the years of editing the book went through. I think the reason why it hasn’t changed, is because it’s the key truth the main character has to realize in her journey through the story. I hope readers enjoy the journey as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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Don Zolidis

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What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

It’s so hard to pick one paragraph or line! So I picked this one from the first chapter that kind of encapsulates the tone and theme of the book:

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“Craig,” she said gently, “I don’t want to hurt you.” This is what she always said while she was hurting me. It was as if someone was taking an ice pick and stabbing it through my eye. I don’t want to hurt you. Stab. Stab. Stab. You’re only making it worse by screaming and crying. Stab. Stab. Stab. This will feel much better when I do the other eye.

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Amy Trueblood



What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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“Do you want to talk about it? The war?” I asked.

“No. I don’t like thinking about it, much less speaking about it.”

I understood what he meant. You could fool yourself into believing you had a normal life if you never thought or talked about your past. It was easier to put those feelings away in some small box locked deep inside your heart rather than face it every day. 

The reason I love this part of the book is that for the first time readers are seeing Grace recognize the deep flaws in her life. How she realizes that her past makes her vulnerable. In this scene with Henry she sees herself reflected back in his pain, and she acknowledges that for the first time in her life perhaps she’s not alone.

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Adrienne Young

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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I have way too many favorites, but here is one! I cried while writing this little section. Inge, who you will meet in Sky in the Deep, is explaining sál fjotra – an unbreakable bond between souls. I love this because I feel like it’s so true in real life, finding a connection with others through pain that you may have never formed without it. There is something really special about those bonds and I think in a way, they really are unbreakable. When you’ve hurt with someone, you become fused to them on a very deep level. Eelyn calls it “a tether borne of tears”.

Inge spoke softly. “This kind of bond is formed when a soul is broken. It’s formed through pain, loss, and heartbreak. They’re bound by something deeper than we can see. And that made Iri family.”

I stopped trying to hold back the tears that were waiting to fall. Because I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was what I had with Mýra. A tether borne of tears.

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Laurie Morrison


What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

It’s hard to pick a favorite sentence or paragraph! But here’s one I really love:

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“It’s all still completely messed up, that I live in this big house with all this expensive stuff we don’t really need and go to this school where most people’s parents drive shiny new cars and buy them expensive stuff that they don’t need, either, and then there are neighborhoods like the one in Northeast Philly where Mr. Ellis used to teach and even the one where Sierra came from. And even though I don’t know what to do to make any of it less unfair, I do know this: I’m not going to forget about Hailey or zone out when I walk past somebody asking for money on the street. I won’t. Because someday, maybe, I’ll be able to do something more.”

This paragraph comes from the end of the book and I added it pretty late in the game, at the line-edit stage. I like these sentences so much because they really capture my main character’s enduring commitment to justice. The desire to act when she sees something unfair is at the core of her character, and she makes a whole lot of really big mistakes throughout the novel, but I don’t think those bad decisions define her. What really defines her, in my mind, is her continued determination and hope that she will someday help to make the world a better place even though she’s majorly flubbed her very misguided first attempt at doing that. I love this about her and hope readers will, too!

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What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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There’s a certain very famous designer who’s been quoted as saying, “No one wants to see roundish women.” For this guy, fashion is a world of dreams and illusions where only certain people are welcome.

Of course, it’s true that fashion mocks and humiliates fat people relentlessly. But the real deal is that we’ve all been Roundish at one time or another. We’ve all been made to think we’re less than we ought to be. We’ve all faced su­perficial shaming about our sizes, shapes, skin tones, hair or age and have been led to believe that our value is based only on what we see in the mirror.

Yet this designer is totally wrong about fashion. He’s completely missed the point. It’s not an illusion or a dream. It’s a tool that should help people feel good about themselves and to achieve their dreams.

The Roundish are the thinkers, dreamers, doers and be­lievers. Your heart, your spirit, your hopes—these are the things that matter.

About this excerpt: Personally, I have always loved fashion but also, as a fat person, have felt quite excluded by it. There are entire trends – like skinny jeans – designed to show that fashion isn’t really meant for fat people. In my book, I really wanted to explore that idea via my main character, Cookie Vonn. She’s pursuing her passion of designing clothes, dreaming of success in a field that often deliberately shuns people who look like like her. So there’s this tension between this art form that Cookie loves and the industry that monetizes it. Part of her process of growing up is trying to find out if she can change that industry or if it’s going to change her.
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Mae Respicio

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My favorite lines in The House That Lou Built are actually the very first and last lines but since I don’t want to give those away I’ll share a few that introduce one of my favorite characters in the book, Lou’s wood shopteacher:

“Whenever Mr. Keller sees people goofing off during shop, he points at them with his nub and says, “Careful or you’ll lose a digit.” His finger ends at the joint. He lost the tip in high school while not paying attention during shop. Everyone freaks out when they see the stub up close—including me. Right now it’s hovering a few inches from my face, pale and smooth around the bone. I try not to look.”

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 Weren’t all these quotes beautiful and leave you wanting more?

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See you on the next Pre-Pub Adventure!

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