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!
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?