It’s the basic imperative that any good fantasy novel about orcs has to follow. You going to introduce a dragon? Make it three. You going to have him pick up an axe? Have it have six blades. You going to have an avalanche? Make a volcano erupt while you’re at it. You going to have lunch? MAKE IT A NEAR DEATH EXPRIENCE.

Orcs. Friggin’ tusks dude, green skin and red eyes, muscles up to here, forearms like veined logs, jaws like Frankenstein, a propensity for hooks and spikes, racing across endless fields of snow and ice to engage the enemy, cruel waraxes swinging, spittle flying, braying their defiance and hatred to the skies.

How the hell am I supposed to write a book featuring orcs? How am I going to avoid making them the Green Man Group, a bunch of dudes in green skin, prancing around calling themselves orcs when in reality they’re just regular humans?

So what the frig is the thought process of an orc? How do they think, how do they see the world? Instinct? Intuition? Snap flash tempers, might makes right? No thought for the future, only for today.

The male orcs are brutes, the muscle strapped testosterone fueled warriors. The women are powerful, but much smarter, possessing wisdom and awareness that the males cannot hope for. They’re the priestesses and shamans of the tribes, the leaders, the ones who direct the fates and fortunes of the men. Who could kill them with their raw power, but who don’t, knowing that to do so would be to destroy the tribe, to leave them worse off than mindless savages as the men tore themselves apart.

God damn. I’m going to have to listen to Rage Against the Machine the whole time while I’m writing this book. It’s going to have to be amped up each and every step of the way.

I mean, frig, gonna have to KICK IT UP A NOTCH.