I am Erna Grcic, the author of the poetry collection Beneath the Surface and I do a lot of things.

I feelt that three lives would not be enough for me to do everything that I’m interested in. First and foremost, I’m a writer, poet, educator, and an entrepreneur. I graduated summa cum laude and received two Golden Badges from the University of Sarajevo upon getting my MA in English Language and Literature.

I firmly believe in lifelong learning and possessing a very versatile skillset, so I went on, got an MBA, and started my own business.

How it came to that is an interesting story that I’ll blog about one day. But for now, it’s enough to say that I’m currently juggling between managing my own digital marketing firm and writing a novel inspired by ancient Slavic mythology under the working title The Hatching.

The Story of My Cats

Richard the Lionheart – Ricky

I adopted Ricky in Dubai in April 2021 and since then he’s become my cream-coloured familiar. He’s occasionally grumpy, very serious about his nap times, and likes hanging around book stacks, so we get along quite well.

Ricky was found in Dubai’s industrial area. He was abandoned, shaved, underfed, riddled with ear mites, and living off of the contents of the labourers’ lunch boxes. He was lucky to be spotted and picked up by a cat shelter and to end up on an adoption day organised by my local pet shop.

I arrived around 20 minutes before closing time. I was just planning to ‘have a look around.’ And then I saw this little grouch. He’d been there all day, and nobody took him. Many cats got adopted, but the combination of still-healing ear mite infection, fresh snip, a couple of bald patches, shaved fur, and painful undernourishment, did not make Ricky an appealing sight. But I only saw those beautiful brown eyes, the pink nose, the gorgeous fur that just needed some time to grow back, and I wasn’t afraid of a handful of ear mites. And since then, Ricky has been in my heart and on my shelves.

Henry (VIII)

Henry was adopted in Sarajevo in August 2015. He was around 2 years old at the time, and he had ended up at the shelter because his previous owner had passed and her children lived abroad so they told the vet to have him put down. Luckily, the vet is friends with my mum and knowing that we were having a hard time getting over the passing of our old cat Sigmund, she suggested that we take Henry.

Henry was named by his previous owner, because he was her king (she used to call him that, the vet said) and because he was the chubbiest kitten in the litter when she picked him up from the street in her neighbourhood. He was, and still is, an immensely beloved cat. Henry mourned the loss of his owner for a long time. He absolutely hated being adopted, and it took ages for him to finally relax and assume the reign of his new dominion – my mum’s house. He’s taken his rightful place on her pillow and in our hearts where he rules with a velvet paw.

A Word from the Author: 

‘Literature is my work and my favourite pastime. My first literary experience had started almost thirty years ago, during a particularly bloody war, when in the basement of our heavily bombarded house, my mother read to me in the flickering light of a candle in order to pull me away from the roars and blasts that shook us every now and then and make me fall asleep. Since then, literature has become a safe haven, a source of peace and security in the midst of the everyday uproar.’

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