What kind of research did you do for Slated and Fractured?
There are aspects of the Slated trilogy – things like, dreams, memory, and DID (dissociative identity disorder) – that I’ve been fascinated with for a long time. So I’ve been drawn to read about these areas in the past without it being research specifically for what I’m writing. I also did a bunch of courses in psychology, human physiology, and brain structure and function along the way at university, so have some background there already. I did specifically look into DID and memory while I was writing Slated – mostly internet research.
Weaving history into a dystopian world. How do you manage to do this? How do you construct a believable history inside your already believable story world?
Getting details about the history of the world created into the story without it being an information dump is tricky. It was especially so with this series because as a new Slated, Kyla’s understanding of the world around her was limited, so the readers could only learn things when she did. With this trilogy set in 2054, not undefined centuries in the future like many dystopian novels, the world and its history are recognizable, so it is more about showing the differences than having to fill in a complete world. I wanted it to be a time and place readers can relate to, that feels like it could happen.
How do you maintain the level of suspense in your books?
To me, suspense happens between the action, in the quiet places. A book that is non-stop action doesn’t create suspense. It might be thrilling to read, but endless fight scenes aren’t as suspenseful as fearing a fight to come. In this sense I think less is more. Suspense comes from doubt, uncertainty, fear. Seeing the character heading for trouble that they can’t avoid; keeping the stakes high, yes, but also not knowing what all the dangers are. The fear you imagine is worse than the monster you can see.
When it comes to complicated (or as I like to call it my reviews of Slated and Fractured, multi-layered) characters, how do you know when to stop? When will you decide if a certain character's personality is complex and interesting?
That is a really good question – and also really hard to answer, because the process of developing characters is mostly instinctive to me. A good example in Slated is Kyla’s assigned mother. Without wanting to give too much away for anyone who hasn’t read, she isn’t quite how she appears at the beginning. But that wasn’t a plan, more it happened as I wrote it. With rare exception I don’t believe people are all good or all evil in real life, so I want my characters to reflect this. A villain is far more interesting if you can see how they became what they are, if there are things about them that are sympathetic. Likewise a hero is more interesting with flaws they have to overcome to get what they want.
If you were given a chance to write another book that falls under a different genre, what genre would it be and why?
Slated was my first published book, but it was actually the ninth book I’ve written. The others cover many different age groups – from 7+ to adult – and everything from scary stories, realism, fantasy, crime. So I’ve dabbled with different genres in the past, and don’t feel constrained by any particular genre. Overall I love writing for teens, and I love writing thrillers – but I don’t feel found by futuristic thrillers.
Aside from this series, what else are you working on?
A supernatural thriller! I’m really excited about this one. Whether it’ll be my next published thing or not is too soon to tell. I hope so!
Thanks for dropping by!
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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Paperback, 432 pages
April 4th 2013, Orchard Books
How do you know where to go when you don't remember where you came from?
Kyla's memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.
Or so she thought.
Kyla shouldn't be able to remember anything. But she can - and she's beginning to realise that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life, she thinks she's on her way to finding the truth. But the more she learns about her history, the more confusing her future becomes...
Set in a disturbing future world, FRACTURED is an engrossing, fast-paced read that establishes Teri Terry as a master thriller writer.
What's up for grabs? If the winner is from US, he/she will get an ARC/Proof of Fractured, the sequel to Slated, and if the winner is from outside US (international), he/she will get a finished copy of Fractured. UK version.
You should be at least 13 years old.
Be a follower. :)