A warm welcome to author Eli Lang joining us today to talk about new release “Half”.
First and Last Lines
The first line of my book Half is, “Sometimes, when the weather was just turning from autumn to winter, and the last of the late fruit was clinging to the trees, we partied in the apple orchard.”
When I first started writing what eventually became Half, I had one scene in mind. Less than a scene, really. An idea. A party in an apple orchard. I could picture the party itself—it would take place late at night. The orchard would be far away from any houses or buildings, out in the middle of nowhere. The stars would be bright, and it would be cold out—not cold enough to be uncomfortable, but so the grass was crackly underfoot and the air was clear, and the chill made your cheeks pink. There would be a bonfire in a clearing, between trees, and everything around it would be bright and people would be dancing and letting go and being wild, and past that, there would be the dark, for quiet trysts and sneaking away.
I didn’t know what the story would be about, where it would take place, who would be involved. I didn’t know who my main character was—not their gender, not their name, not their appearance, not even whether they were human or some fantasy creature. I just wanted to write about the party in the apple orchard.
The first line of the book used to be, “Sometimes, we partied in the apple orchard.” It was the first thing I wrote, and then, once I had it down on the page, I just kept going, letting that line lead me into the party, letting the party lead me to Luca, letting Luca tell me his story. The line got changed a little bit in a later draft—my editor pointed out that it didn’t work perfectly with the opening paragraph, and she was right, so I adjusted it. But I knew I wanted to keep it, because for me, that line is sort of… the heart of the book. It’s what I built the whole story on.
It seems weird to be so attached to a single line in the book, especially when that line has almost nothing to do with the rest of the story. But I am.
That’s not my favorite sentence in the book, though. My favorite is the very last line. I didn’t know, when I was writing, that the book would end there. I had an idea for a bit more. But I was working away, and I ended the scene and wrote that last line, and I just knew that was the end of the book. That nothing else needed to come after it. That sentence hasn’t changed from any of the drafts. But that one I’m not going to type here. You’ll have to read if you want to know what it is.
(Teaser made by Alexis Hall—thank you!)
Living between worlds has never been comfortable, but it’s where I’ve always fit: between human and fey, illness and health, magic and reality.
I’ve spent the last six years looking for a cure for the nameless sickness eating me up. If I believed there was one out there, I would keep searching. But there isn’t, so I’ve come back home, where my past and present tangle. Come home to live . . . and to die.
But my father insists I meet Kin. He’s a healer, and determined to help, even though I’m not so hopeful anymore. But Kin isn’t what I expected, in any way. He sees me, not my illness. He reminds me of what it’s like to be alive. And I can’t help falling for him, even though I know it isn’t fair to either of us.
Kin thinks he has the cure I’ve been looking for, but it’s a cure that will change everything: me, my life, my heart. If I refuse, I could lose Kin. But if I take it, I might lose myself.
Now available from:
About Eli Lang
Eli Lang is a writer and drummer. She has played in rock bands, worked on horse farms, and has had jobs in libraries, where she spent most of her time reading every book she could get her hands on. She can fold a nearly perfect paper crane and knows how to tune a snare drum. She still buys stuffed animals because she feels bad if they’re left alone in the store, believes cinnamon buns should always be eaten warm, can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the tardigrade, and has a book collection that’s reaching frightening proportions. She lives in Arizona with far too many pets.
Connect with Eli:
- Website: www.leftoversushi.com
- Blog: www.leftoversushi.com/blog/
- Facebook: facebook.com/EliLangAuthor
- Twitter: @eli__lang
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/eli_lang
To celebrate the release of Half, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 18, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!