My timing for this couldn't be better, because I woke up this morning to find Publisher's Weekly had done a terrific piece about YA dystopian novels, which features both my forthcoming novel The Gardener as well as Teri Hall's debut novel The Line. http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6719039.html
And I am very happy to have Teri Hall with us today for a brief interview about The Line. The book is slated to release in March, but I pre-ordered it online and just learned it has shipped. So it seems it is available now and I cannot wait until my copy arrives. In The Line, a physical barrier encloses the United States. A young girl works with her mother on The Property in a greenhouse. She can see The Line from there... If you want to read the first chapter, Teri has a link on her website http://www.terihall.com/ And now, to the interview.
Stephanie: Your first novel The Line is about to be released. What excites you most about your debut going out into the world?
Teri: Just about everything. I mean, I never expected to have a novel published, so every bit of the experience is like a huge bonus. I think one of the very best parts is when someone reads The Line, and understands what I was trying to talk about in it. Courtney Summers, a writer I much admire (her newest novel, Some Girls Are, is out now) reviewed The Line and mentioned that it asks questions about “the reality of being brave juxtaposed against desire to be brave, reconciling what you can do with what you should do.” Questions like those, along with explorations of how we define beauty, and how fear blinds us, and most especially how unfortunately easy it is to dismiss and even persecute the “Other,” the one we don’t know or understand, are things I wanted to talk about. Hearing from other writers and readers that they see these questions in the story I wrote, and that these questions stir their interest, and prompt discussions, that is a huge thrill.
Of course, I also wanted to write a fun, fast adventure. And hearing from readers who appreciate that is equally as great.
Stephanie: Let’s go back. Can you tell us how you got the news that The Line had been accepted for publication? And who was the first person you told?
Teri: I heard the news from my wonderful agent, Kirby Kim. We knew that there were offers, but finally hearing that the one I was hoping for was a done deal was a great moment. And the first person I told was my mom.
Stephanie: What was your absolute favorite novel when you were 15?
Teri: Maybe A Separate Peace by John Knowles.
Stephanie: What is your absolute favorite novel as an adult?
Teri: I have no single favorite. I love A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. The Cage by Audrey Schulman. A Fairly Honorable Defeat by Iris Murdoch. And many, many others.
Stephanie: Favorite “writer’s block” food or beverage?
Teri: Red wine and white cheddar. Generally, of course, this is for when writer’s block has won for the night.
Thanks for joining us , Teri. We potatoes wish you the best of luck with The Line!