Author Interview: Cristin Terrill, Author of All Our Yesterdays


August 12, 2013 by Alice in Readerland


I loved All Our Yesterdays and named it one of the best books of 2013 (you can see my ARC review of All Our Yesterdays here), so I’m very excited to welcome the author Cristin Terrill to my blog for an author interview! Read on to see what Cristin has to say about her writing process, her characters, her job working in theatre, and of course, time travel:

   In All Our Yesterdays we have Em and  Marina, and even though they’re technically the same person, they’re also 2 different characters with two different, distinct voices. How did you keep these two different voices and timelines for the same character straight in your head?

It wasn’t always easy! Sometimes I’d have to just put my head down on my desk and think about each decision I’d make and how it would impact everything else. My brain got very used to feeling all contorted and pretzel-like. Em’s voice came to me immediately, but Marina took a little more time. I think I was afraid of making her unlikable at the beginning, but once I accepted that she was a rich bitch with a heart of gold, she started talking to me

If you could travel in time, backwards or forwards, where would you go and what would you do?

I would go back to Elizabethan England and see the first performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the original Globe Theatre.

From the TARDIS to the DeLorean, we’ve seen lots of different ways to time travel. How did you come up with the interesting way the characters in All Our Yesterdays time traveled?

I’m sort of a physics nerd, so I decided very early on that I wanted the time travel in All Our Yesterdays to be science-based (as much as that is possible!) instead of magical. Cassandra, the machine Em and Finn use to travel back in time, is loosely based on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, which is responsible for all kinds of mind-blowing, real-world discoveries that rival anything in science fiction! (See, told you I was physics nerd!)

I know that you’ve worked as a theatrical stage manager, and as a lover of theatre, I know that there is as much going on backstage as there is onstage. Do you have a fun or interesting backstage experience to share?

Oh sure! Live theatre is often just a case of managed disaster, and I’ve dealt with almost everything. Once I had an actor get trapped in a bathroom, but all I knew was he was missing just before his scene, so I threw a spare apron on top of another actor’s costume and sent him out to play the missing cook. Another time, my Macbeth was having an affair with his Lady Macbeth and became so enraged when an audience member was talking during one of her soliloquies that he rushed into the audience and nearly assaulted the guy. I had an assistant stage manager fall off a piece of scenery and have to be taken to the emergency room ten minutes before opening night, and I had to replace her at the fly rail (where backdrops are raised and lowered on ropes) with a child actor’s mother who’d never flown anything in her life. I’ve had audience members break legs, have seizures or get caught fooling around, evacuated an audience because of a bomb threat, and once did an outdoor show lit only by the headlights of my car when our power failed. 

What is your writing process like?

It’s a bit boring, to be honest. I wish I was one of those writers who sits in a window-seat with a cup of tea as rain patters against the glass and writes out beautiful prose by hand, but what I actually do is drag my butt to the library almost every day. Before I start writing a book, I have an outline of the entire story, and each day before I start writing, I write a more detailed, micro-outline of what I plan to do that day. Then I sit there until I write at least 1,500 words. Not very romantic! 

Thanks so much for the interview, Cristin! 

You can find out more about All Our Yesterdays on Goodreads or by visiting Cristin on her website.

Now I have an interview question for all of you: If you could travel in time, backwards or forwards, where would you go and what would you do?

I love comments

12 thoughts on “Author Interview: Cristin Terrill, Author of All Our Yesterdays

  1. Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary says:

    I’m just about to start All Our Yesterdays so have loved reading this interview. Thanks for sharing, Alice and Cristin!

  2. Bella says:

    I can’t wait for the book to come out! It sounds amazing. If I could time-travel, I would love to visit the Victorian age, just to explore! :)

    As a side note, I totally sympathize with the author as a Stage Manager! No one understands how quickly we have to work under pressure. Fun interview!

    • I’d love to see the Victorian age too, the fashion of that time period would also be lovely to see! :) You were a stage manager too? So was I! I just helped manage a community theatre so I know Cristin’s must have been more difficult, but not many people get how there’s a whole world going on backstage and how hard we have to work!

  3. The first production of Hamlet- good choice! :) Also, it’s awesome that she’s a genuine physics nerd! It probably makes ALL OUR YESTERDAYS that much more authentic.

  4. Stormy says:

    I love knowing the time travel in All Our Yesterdays is as science-based(as much as can be, of course!) I’ve been really excited for this book and I can’t wait to read it. I’ve always thought that one should have an answer ready to give to where you’d want to time travel to(You know, in case the TARDIS turns up on your doorstep or something), and I REALLY want to see the first printing press. I’m such a book/word nerd, and the printing press really revolutionized the world and the flow of information, so it would be my first choice.

  5. Sunny says:

    Love this interview so I first off have to say great job and thanks for doing it! :) I love that the time travel is science based, it’s more realistic. And it’s great to hear another writing perspective because usually the authors that I hear of have their own little writing room and it does seem a bit romantic (although there are the ones that go UGH), but it’s nice to hear her plan. Like I said, love the interview!

  6. Great interview Alice! I never know what to ask but (without having read the book) it seems like you capture the essence in your questions. And great answers from Cristin too!

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