Kim McDougall

I Brake for Snails

Despite my protesting knees, I try to walk every day. And since there is a lovely wooded path nearby, I often see critters–squirrels, chipmunks and bunnies, but I’ve also seen a mink, a raccoon, geese, herons, salamanders, snakes and many, many snails. They come out after it rains and it breaks my heart to see them squished on the path from bikers. So I usually stop and move them off to the side. I always wonder if it’s really traumatic for them to see a giant hand coming down then being uprooted and moved a dozen feet (which is a world away for them). And yes, that’s how authors come up with stories.


imageHere’s a cutie that I found on the path this week. Just like Kyra in in Dragons Don’t Eat Meat, snails fascinate me–the way they glide across the ground, their funny little eye stalks, and the perfect work of art that is their shell. Truly one of our world’s magnificent wonders.


Here’s a snippet from Dragons Don’t Eat Meat about how Kyra gets the best gift for a critter-lover.


“I have something for you.” Mason pulled a small glass terrarium from the bookshelves that lined one entire wall of the room. “In truth, he came along for the ride from the Inbetween without permission. I found him in my bag when I was unpacking, and I don’t recognize the species. I’m afraid to put him in the garden and have him eat all my roses.” 


imageI peered inside the case. A small snail sat on a pile of leaves. It had a brilliant hued shell, all in jewel tones—green, pink and blue. 


“You know most girls get flowers.” 


“Well, you’re not most girls.” He watched me with a worried expression, his eyes flicking down to my lips and back to my eyes. 


“I love it.” And I did. Mason could have squashed the gastropod under his shoe. He could have flushed it or left it outside in a strange environment to die. Only someone who really got me would understand that I would love to take in a lost little snail. I squeezed his arm and he smiled a small, tight smile. 


Dragons Don’t Eat Meat is now available in paperback and eBooks are available at pre-order prices. Launch is August 15th!

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