Friday, September 14, 2012

Teri Terry Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Teri has lived in France, Canada, Australia and England at more addresses than she can count, acquiring three degrees, a selection of passports and a silly name along the way. Past careers have included scientist, lawyer, optometrist, and, in England, various jobs in schools, libraries and an audiobook charity. The footpaths and canal ways of the Buckinghamshire Chilterns where she now lives inspired much of the setting of Slated. She hates broccoli, likes cats, and has finally worked out what she wants to do when she grows up.

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Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

I always loved to read, and I always made stuff up. Growing up, it never occurred to me that I could be a writer. Authors were vague and distant gods, not ordinary people. I think with Twitter and blogs these days it is different. When I was 17, our high school English teacher gave us one of those pep talks, you know the ones: ‘you can do anything’. And I thought… I want to be a writer. I did try, for a while – writing bad short stories. But to me at that age it was pure fantasy. Many (many, many) years and careers and addresses later, when I moved to the UK eight years ago, I left a career behind in Australia and had to start over again. It is very easy with jobs and life generally to keep on doing what you are doing without thinking about it overly much. Being brought up short like that and having to stop and think about it, about what I really wanted to do… yes. That was the moment. But it wasn’t in my youth! I’ve been a little slow at working out what I want to do when I grow up.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?

I don’t think I can generalize this beyond myself: I have to tell stories. It is a compulsion. I’ve always done it, even when I didn’t realize that was what I was doing, even when it was just to myself in my head. I need this out from reality, even when reality is going pretty good. I hope people will continue to want to read them, but I’ll never stop even if they don’t.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

As far as writing goes? There are a few important ones but pretty high on the list is to read, read, read. Read everything you can get your hands on, but especially, read the stuff you like, good stuff. Some sort of osmosis takes place about how to structure stories, paint pictures with words, bring characters to life.

In your debut book; Slated, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?

Slated is Kyla’s story: she is 16 years old, and starting over. Her memories were erased as punishment for crimes she can’t remember, and this is her last chance. She is sent to a new family, a new school. But echoes of the past whisper in her dreams; a past she isn’t supposed to have. People have been lying to her, and nothing is what it seems…

For those who are unfamiliar with Kyla, how would you introduce her?

Kyla is an interesting character to write, because she isn’t straightforward: she seems simple to start with but she’s all about the layers. When Slated begins she is trying really hard to be what she is supposed to be, to fit in, but when things happen to those around her, she can’t leave things alone, even when she knows she should. And she is deceptively strong. She also has a tendency to speak without thinking.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

It made me do it! Honestly I think sometimes, it really feels like you don’t have a choice. This story wanted me to write it. As to why that is… I can guess at what drives me but I’m not always conscious of what lies underneath. I think part of why I relate so well to Kyla is that she is someone who has been plonked down in a strange place; she is trying to work out who she is, and where she fits. I moved around all my life and constantly changed schools when I was growing up, so I can really relate to that. Beyond the character, though, I’m obsessed with questions that are raised in Slated. Things like: are bad people born, or made? If someone does something wrong because of horrible things that have happened to them, is it their fault? If it isn’t, should they be punished? I go on about this a bit more on my group dystopian blog, Demention, here.

If you could introduce Kyla to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Sorry, no idea! She’s her own girl in her own world.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

Kyla’s story continues in Fractured: it will be out in the UK in May 2013. In the US, Slated is January 2013, and Fractured, September 2013. There will be one more book with Kyla, and after that? I’m thinking of a ghost story, or a tragedy, but it is too soon to tell.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

I never lie, not on purpose. I keep some things to myself, though, but I’d call that creative evasion.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

Hmmm… to readers, generally? A pretty diverse bunch! If you mean reading advice, it would be to try everything, not just what you think you’ll like or are comfortable with.

If you mean general life advice, something like this: everyone takes their own time to get where they need to go. Don’t be too hard on yourself while you’re working things out. But don’t be too easy on yourself, either: ask the tough questions. Don’t avoid stuff.

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

Depends a bit on why I’ve had a bad day: personal stuff, my husband. Writing stuff, more likely to be one of a few writing buddies: we understand each other. Other people get a glazed look in their eyes.

What’s your most missed memory?

I’m not sure what you mean: if I missed a memory I wouldn’t know about it, would I? Though generally I try to look around me, now, rather than look back. Having said that… I miss sand squishing between my toes on the Central coast in Australia. I miss crisp, achingly cold days skiing in Canada. I missed seeing my niece and nephew grow up: they were inches, sometimes feet, taller between visits.

When was the last time you cried?

See answer to above: ‘I keep some things to myself’!

What are you most passionate about today?

Writing, writing, writing….!

What is the one, single food that you would never give up?

Popcorn! Salty, with butter: mmmmm…. (though it makes a mess of a keyboard)

Where can readers stalk you?

I’m easy to stalk: Twitter: @TeriTerryWrites, Facebook: TeriTerryAuthor
Blogs: a dark and dystopian blogging adventure, on Demention;
And for writers: Notes from the Slushpile

I’m up for an Anobii first book award in conjunction with the Edinburgh Book Festival: if you vote, you are in with a chance to win all 47 nominated titles! Voting closes 12th October. The link is here.

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth? 

Slated by Teri Terry is the story of Kyla who is a recognized criminal given a second chance by the Central Coalition by having her slate wiped clean. In this future society, criminals can have their lives back as long as their memories are erased. She is reborn back into her sixteen-year-old body with no recollection of any memories. Under the care of Dr. Lysander, she is finally released from New London Hospital into a new family. This may be her final chance to live in this world. But normal life ceases to exist as she is being closely monitored. Her emotions are recorded and are measured on a scale of 1-10 where she must remain at a certain number or terrible things will happen.

This highly engaging dystopian thriller takes science fiction medical to new levels. Teri’s writing style allows readers to experience Kyla’s re-learning of things and will keep them on the edge of their seats. Although Kyla’s memories are literally blank, she is haunted by spiteful flashbacks that only feed her desires to find out who she really is.

The concept for this book is truly unique and the characters are intriguing. Teri’s debut novel is proven to be a powerful player in its genre. The story of Kyla opens up many different doors that readers will be eager to explore. The ending comes to a powerful surprise and sets up the next book which is sure to take the series to new heights.
You can purchase Slated at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Teri for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Slated by Teri Terry.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for another great interview and giveaway!

  2. Thank you so much for doing this giveaway for all your fans!!

  3. Thank you for doing this giveaway, but I just wanted to ask: is this is an international giveaway?

  4. Thank you Teri for the wonderful giveaway!

  5. Thanks for the amazing giveaway and for making it international. Slated sounds awesome.

  6. Based on the review, this story is definitely different, yet intriguing! Thank you for this giveaway!!

  7. This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the giveaway.