Sally Green’s novel, Half Bad has made the Guinness world record as the most translated book and the most translated children’s book by a debut author before publication. The second book in the series, Half Wild is due for release in March 2015 and I CAN’T WAIT. I absolutely loved Half Bad.
For us fans of Half Bad, there are two special bits of news. Firstly, there has been a new e-short released. It is set in the months prior to Half Bad. It’s called Half Lies: A Half Bad story.
Secondly, Sally and Penguin have released the first chapter of Half Wild which is below. Enjoy!
(Warning, there is some bad language and may not be suitable for small children.)
a new day
a crossbill calls
another bird replies,
not a crossbill
the first bird takes over again
the crossbill ñ
shit, itís morning
iíve been asleep
itís morning, very early
shit, shit, shit
need to wake up need to wake up
canít believe iíve been aslñ
the noise is here. HERE!
that level of noise means, oh shit, someone with a mobile is close. very close. i canít believe iíve been asleep with hunters on my tail. and her. the fast one. she was close last night.
itís a mobile phone, for sure itís a mobile phone. the noise is in my head, not in my ears, itís to the upper right side, inside, constant, like an electrical interference, pure hiss, mobile hiss, loud, three-or-four-metres-away loud.
ok, right, lots of people have mobiles. if itís a hunter, that hunter, and she could see me, iíd be dead by now.
iím not dead.
she canít see me.
the noise isnít getting louder. sheís not moving closer. but sheís not moving away either.
am i hidden by something?
iím lying on my side, face pressed into the ground. totally still. canít see anything but earth. got to move a little.
but not yet. think first.
stay calm and work it out.
thereís no breeze, no sun, just a faint light. itís early. the sun must be behind the mountain still. the ground is cool but dry, no dew. thereís the smell of earth and pine and . . . thereís another smell.
what is that smell?
and thereís a taste.
a bad taste.
it tastes like . . . oh no ñ
t think about it
donít think about it
donít think about it
t think about it
think about something else
Think about where you are.
Youíre lying on the ground, in the early morning, and the air is cool. Youíre cold. Youíre cold because . . . youíre naked. Youíre naked and the top half of you is wet. Your chest, your arms . . . your face are wet.
And you move the fingers of your left hand, the tiniest of movements, and theyíre sticky. Sticking together. Like theyíre coated with drying, sugary juice. But itís not juice ñ
donít think about it donít think about it donít think about it donít think about it
DONíT THINK ABOUT IT!
THINK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE!
THINK ABOUT STAYING ALIVE!
Youíve got to move. The Hunters are on your tail. That fast one was close. She was very close last night. What happened last night?
NO! FORGET THAT.
THINK ABOUT STAYING ALIVE.
WORK OUT WHAT TO DO.
You can look, move your head a fraction to see more. The ground by your face is covered with pine needles. Brown pine needles. But the brown isnít from the pine, itís the colour of dried blood. Your left arm is extended. Itís streaked in it. Crusted with dried brown. But your hand isnít streaked in it, itís thick with it.
You can find a stream and wash. Wash it all off.
You need to go. For your own safety you have to get out of here. You need to get moving. Get away.
The mobile phone is close, not changing. It wonít be coming closer.
But you have to look. You have to check.
Turn your head to the other side.
You can do it.
It looks a bit like a log. Please be a log please be a log please be a log please ñ
Itís not a log . . . Itís black and red. Black boots. Black trousers. One bent leg, one straight. Black jacket. Her face is turned away.
She has short light-brown hair.
Itís sopping with blood.
Sheís lying as still as a log.
Not fast any more.
The mobile phone is hers.
And as you raise your head you see the wound that is her throat.
And it is jagged and bloody and deep and
Sally Green lives in north-west England with her husband and son. She has had various jobs and even a profession but in 2010 she discovered a love of writing and now just can’t stop. She used to keep chickens, makes decent jam, doesn’t mind ironing, loves to walk in Wales even when it’s raining, and will probably never jog again. She really ought to drink less coffee. You can follow Sally on Twitter @Sa11eGreen
Half Bad and Half Lies are available to buy on Amazon and Half Wild is available to pre-order. Click here to be re-directed to Amazon.