Thursday, 1 August 2013

2013 YA UK Debut Interview: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

We all like supporting YA and New Adult debut authors, but this year, rather than just read their books, I'll be highlighting them on my blog too, so you can hear about these wonderful authors.

Today I'm interviewing YA author Cristin Terrill whose debut YA novel, All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, is being published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in the UK today, 1st August 2013. Read on for more:

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin TerrillAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill - Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.
from Goodreads.

Cristin TerrillCan you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up a bit of a nomad (twelve cities, seven states, two countries) and lived in London and the West Midlands for four years until they kicked me out a few years ago. Now I live just outside Washington, D.C., and split my time between writing and teaching creative writing workshops for local children and teens.

Have you always wanted to be an author?

Actually no. I grew up wanting to work in the theatre, which I did until a couple of years ago. I wrote sometimes just for fun, and my mom was always on me to become a novelist. I thought that was ridiculous, but one year I decided to write a novel just for her as her Christmas present, mostly because I knew it would make her cry and then she’d love me more than my little sister. Through the process of doing that, I discovered I actually really liked it! See, guys, Mom is always right.

How did you come up with the idea for All Our Yesterdays?

My main inspiration came from watching The Terminator on cable one night when I couldn’t sleep. I started thinking about how different the story would be if the killer robot from the future was actually the good guy. Then, because I write YA, I wondered what it would be like if the robot was the good guy AND a (non-robot) teen girl.

If you could describe All Our Yesterdays in three words, what would they be?

Time + love + complications

Why will readers like your main characters, Em and Marina?

I think readers will like Em because she’s tough but not callous. Although she’s had to harden herself, there are still people she would do anything for. I actually don’t know if readers will like Marina, at least at first, although I love her. She’s not always a nice girl, but she has her reasons, and underneath it all she has a heart of gold.

What research did you have to do for All Our Yesterdays? Was there anything you found that surprised you?

I did surprisingly little research for the book. I’m kind of a geek, so I already knew most of the physics included in the book (much of which is just nonsense time-whimey talk only partially based in reality), and I live just outside D.C., so I’m very familiar with the city. My agent, God bless her, knows a ton about law enforcement, which was immensely helpful and time-saving.

Tell us about how you write; do you write in a particular place? Do you have any music playing? Do you have any must-haves with you while writing?

I prefer to write at the library or a coffee shop because I find too many distractions at home, and I usually listen to a great white noise app called Sound Curtain because I find most music too distracting as well. (I guess I’m just easily distractable!). My only must-have aside from my laptop and relative quiet is Scrivener, which I’ll never draft without again.

What was most surprising to you during the writing process?

It’s different with every book, but for this one, it was how easily it came to me. I went from starting the draft to being on submission in about nine months, which is very fast for me, and aside from changing the tense and perspective (I started in third-person past and changed about halfway through the first draft to first-person present) I hit no major speed bumps along the way. It’s like the story was just ready and waiting in my head.

How does it feel to know your book will soon be in the hands of readers?

Surreal! When I was writing it, I never really thought about anyone ever reading it. It’s a bit scary and bizarre to imagine.

Anything else you would like to add?

Thanks so much for the great questions, Jo, and to anyone who’s made it this far for reading!

Thank you, Cristin, for such a great interview! Funny and awesome! I love that All Our Yesterdays was inspired by The Terminator (is it bad that I've never seen the first one?)! And I love the Doctor Who reference! All Our Yesterdays is absolutely amazing, I loved it! You can read my review here. You can find Cristin on her website, Twitter and Tumblr.

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