Author's Introduction:
A First Novel Finds a Second Life

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The Language of Light was the first thing I sat down to write in earnest, once I started writing as an adult. It was ten years in the making by one measure: it wasn’t the only thing I wrote in those first years of my writing career, but it did take ten years from the moment I first put pen to paper until it hit bookstore shelves. If you’d like to know about the gory details of that journey, do read “In Praise of Writing Friends.”

The reader who sets the paperback of The Language of Light side-by-side with the hardcover will notice some slight differences. I don’t think it will reveal too much to anyone who hasn’t yet read either to say the only substantive change is in Nelly’s relationship with Dac. The ending that appeared in hardcover was the result of a compromise early in the process of bringing the book out. The fault is my own; I proposed the hardcover ending as a solution to save me from having to argue against a third ending that I didn’t think worked, at a time when I so wanted to publish a novel. The restored ending is the original, and was the ending at the time the novel was chosen as a finalist for the Bellwether Prize.

I’m forever grateful to my lovely editor, Caitlin Alexander, and to everyone at Ballantine for their belief in this book despite the “modest” sales it saw in hardcover (published by another publisher). It is a real blessing to be in such wonderful hands now, and an incredible joy to see this first novel of mine finally in paperback.