Thursday, March 4, 2010

Interview with Teri Hall

Today's interview is with Teri Hall about her debut novel, The Line.

Rachel lives with her mother on The Property. The good thing about living there is that it’s far from the city where the oppressive government is most active. The bad thing, at least to most people, is that it’s close to the Line—an uncrossable section of the National Border Defense System, an invisible barrier that encloses the entire country.

She can see the Line from the greenhouse windows, but she is forbidden to go near it. Across the Line is Away, and though Rachel has heard many whispers about the dangers there, she’s never really believed the stories. Until the day she hears a recording that could only have come from across the Line.

It’s a voice asking for help.

Who sent the message? What is her mother hiding? And to what lengths will Rachel go in order to do what she thinks is right?

Before we get into the guts of this interview, let me remind you that Teri Hall is giving away one ARC of The Line. This is NOT the same as Lauren Oliver's giveaway! They're two separate contests, people, so don't get that confused. However the rules remain nearly the same for both:

To enter this contest, comment under this interview with at least a name and an email address. Those are required. You won't be entered without them. For one more entry, pump this contest somewhere on the web (twitter, blogs, myspace, etc, etc.) and comment with the link. Between the link and your original entry, you can have a total of two entries. Additional comments/links won't count. Entries for Lauren Oliver's contest do NOT count in this one!

The contest runs one week. That means starting today--March 4--and running until next Thursday--March 11. Due to the other giveaway that is going on, I'll announce both sets of winners next Saturday (March 13.)

Winners: I'll contact the winners about how to receive your prize.

Doesn't sound too complicated, right? If you're still a little confused you can comment with questions in this post, or check out the full set of rules in my previous giveaway post. Now. On to the interview!

Hey Teri, welcome! Tell us a little about yourself as a writer. Do you outline, or wing it? Do you write daily, or in snatches?

Bits of all of the above. I usually wing it and then once I am in the story I do a little casual outlining for plot. I don’t really have just one method though. And I definitely write in snatches, not daily.

When – and why – did you begin writing?

I think I have always written, though certainly not books. Poetry, short stories. The Line is my first novel.

What was it liked getting published? What was your publishing journey like?

It was super cool getting published. Strangely enough I tend to think of my publishing journey like this:

1) Write novel
2) Get agent (Kirby Kim, the best agent EVER)
3) Agent sells novel
4) Revise novel with editor (Kathy Dawson, fearsome and good)
5) Yay!

But really it is never quite that simple. Still, that is most of it in a nutshell. With lots of luck added in there.

What was your process writing The Line?

I wrote The Line for fun, so it was a fun, loose process. Very casual, very “Hey, what about this?” sort of stuff. Making up a whole world and the people in it and then deciding that X will happen to Y is a blast.

Tell me one thing I wouldn’t know about The Line by reading the blurb.

Sheep cats.

Wow. Now I have to know what that means!

The Line has been optioned for television. How has that worked so far? How did you feel when it got optioned?

So far that has worked great! It was optioned by Sony/Jamie Tarses/Mary Harron/John Walsh, and a nicer bunch of people have not been made. They have all been so kind to me and have allowed me to comment on the pilot script (and really listened). Any option is a looooong shot, but this has been so fun, and it has been an honor to have interest from such great people!

Here on Headdesk, I have a minor obsession with the rules of writing. Is there any particular rule you write by?

I try to write a story I would like to read. For me that means not a lot of description (I don’t want a detailed description of the protagonist—I want just enough for me to fill it in for myself. I don’t want a two paragraph, lyrical account of the weather.) I want to have occasional “wow” sentences. I want some action.

If knew you a teenager who aspired to be a novelist, what would you say to them?

I do know a teenager who aspires to be a novelist, and I hope she hears me when I say it is a LOT of work, but more importantly that it is POSSIBLE. Nobody ever told me that.

How have you grown as a writer, and how do you hope to see yourself grow in the future?

I think I have learned a lot from my editor (again—Kathy Dawson) in terms of her notes and suggestions. I have learned a lot from the ones I incorporated and from the ones I did not. It’s important to know why you are doing whatever it is you are doing in your writing, so when I really disagreed with a suggestion from my editor, I had to be certain why I was unwilling to make the change—that I had a valid reason. Equally edifying were the suggestions she had that I totally agreed with, but probably never would have thought of—suggestions that improved The Line so much!

What’s next for Teri Hall?

Hmmmm. Infinity? And beyond. :)

Thanks Teri!

Teri Hall lives in Washington State with her dog, Simon, and her two cats. The Line is her first novel. It has been optioned by Sony Pictures Television as an original TV series. The sequel, Away, comes out in early 2011. You can find out more about Teri and her novels by visiting her website.


beth said...

Sheep cats? AWESOME! This book has been on my radar FOREVER; it looks brilliant!

bethrevis (at)

donnas said...

Great interview. I would love to be included as it sounds like a great book.

Tweeted -

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Anonymous said...

Jessica Secret

shutupjessicasreading @ gmaildotcom

Anonymous said...

I try to write a story I would like to read.

That's definitely one of the most important rules that don't get espoused a lot. Great interview! :)

I've added the contest to my blog's sidebar & tweeted about it here:

sandyshin7 [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I blotched up the tweet! Here's the real one:

Sara said...

Thanks for the great interview! Infinity and beyond? Sounds promising! Ha!

+1 Linked to my blog sidebar @

Sara @ The Hiding Spot

angie said...

Would love to win! My email is bangersis(at)msn(dot)com. I tweeted

Sherry @ Flipping Pages for All Ages said...

Yay awesome contest and great blog, I just found it! :)

I tweeted.



Tabathia said...

Great interview and the book sounds good

My name is Tabathia

tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Tabathia said...

I tweeted

tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

One Pushy Fox said...

Thanks for the contest!!!

One Pushy Fox

I tweeted the contest here:

Kate said...

I've only heard great reviews of this book! I hope I win!!

kpic724 (at) gmail (dot) com

Kelly said...

Great interview! I would love to win this book. I am really getting into dystopian-type ya these days-which is totally awesome!
Thanks so much!
-Kelly H.

Alice said...

This book looks amazing, and I would love the opportunity to read it!
I hope this is international. If it's not, I guess this entry won't count. Oh well!
+1 tweet:

Creative A said...

Hey Alice. This contest isn't open internationally; that was something I completely forgot to say in the contest rules. I'm really sorry. Best of luck in getting your hands on a copy, though.


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