The Tortoise and the… Frog?

18 Jul

Forced Intelligence coverMaybe you’ve noticed one of the trademarks of a J.H. Glaze story. Animals. Animals play an important role in nearly every one of his books. In Forced Intelligence, of course, the animals have a starring role, but let’s take a look at the others.

In The Life We Dream, a deer adds a pivotal element to the story, and another one in the opening scene of NorthWest foreshadows the drama that will unfold later. In Send No Angel, some animal-type creatures play quite a supportive role as well. The new YA thriller series, Rune, casts a beautiful Labrador retriever to guide and mentor the main character. Even in Glaze’s new “secret story,” he has decided to launch the tale with yet another animal.

I think there are two things going on with this. J.H. Glaze takes a cinematic view when writing his stories. Perhaps he’s a frustrated screenwriter / director. When you read his books, you should not simply read them. It is better if you view them. See the screen in your mind. Follow Glaze’s lens. He is not simply writing paragraphs and chapters, but camera angles and scenes. Animals can help him set up a scene, or set the mood. The new story, for instance, will start low to the ground close up on the animal before panning up for the opening sequence. I won’t say any more about that before it is published, but you get my point here.

The second reason J.H. Glaze refers to animals so Imageoften, I believe, is that he become quite attached to our family pets and backyard animals. For instance, he stresses over their food quality making sure the birdfeeders are full of high quality seed, our fish and birds are very well fed, and the dogs… well, Harley and Jake are in a league of their own. Glaze cooks them up chicken and beef batches at a time and stores portion sized packages in the freezer. Believe me, it is quite a production. Each evening, he opens the freezer door while Harley, our sturdy little mixed breed helps him choose what the meal of the day will be. He serves it up with a side of chopped vegetables. Spoiled little beasties!

This morning, as the dogs headed out for their morning walk, they strained against their leashes to get at something in the road. Jeff headed down the driveway, and as he got closer, he could see that it was a turtle in a splat of guts. Poor thing must have been hit by a car, he thought. Considering it best to remove it from the road, he got right up to it and realized that the turtle wasn’t dead or even injured. It was chowing down on some roadkill… a flattened splat of frog.


Is that the end of the story? Oh no. Glaze picks up the turtle and sets him safely off the road. Then, he finds a stick, scrapes up the frog meat, and sets it next to the turtle. Something about that makes me melt just a little. So touching. Ha! So typical Glaze, a little sentimentality mixed with a little gore.

Funny, just as I was writing this post, J.H. Glaze was posting this: The Great Equalizer

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One Response to “The Tortoise and the… Frog?”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Great Equalizer | J.H. Glaze - July 18, 2013

    […] For the back story, check out Mostcool Susie’s blog […]

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