Author Cristin Terrill
Cristin Terrill is a young adult author and aspiring grown-up. She grew up semi-nomadic and graduated from Vassar College with a degree in drama. After getting her masters in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, she lived in London, Austin, Boston, and Washington, DC while working as a theatrical stage manager. Now she writes and leads creative writing workshops for DC-area kids and teens. All Our Yesterdays is her first novel.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Definitely the past! I spend way more time wondering what the past was really like than imagining the future. And there’s always the risk that the future is terrible, which I’d rather not know.
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Hmm, this is hard. Do you want to go fun? Or serious? Or try to mix both? I’ve decided to go with actors – because, as a former theatre person, I have a particular affection for them – and ones who seem fun and funny and not self-serious.
- Jennifer Lawrence
- Neil Patrick Harris
- Daniel Radcliffe
- Ellen Degeneres
- and my best friend so I’d have someone to talk to about it when it was over
What is one book everyone should read?
The Giver by Lois Lowry.
If you were a superhero what would your name be?
Oh man, I would be the worst superhero ever. It’s hard for me to motivate myself to go to the grocery, let alone save the world. I just put my name into a superhero name generator, though, and it gave me the name “Captain Quark.” Since I wrote a book about physics, that’s seems appropriate to me.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
You haven’t read ten versions of this same story this year except with time travel swapped out for werewolves/aliens/robots/etc.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m working on the sequel to ALL OUR YESTERDAYS right now, and my only goal right now is to finish that and make sure it doesn’t suck!
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
That’s a big span! When I was a kid, my favorite book was probably The Secret Garden (or, let’s be real, The Babysitter’s Club). As a tween, I tore through (the highly-inappropriate-for-an-eleven-year-old) Christopher Pike books, but by high school I was mostly into classics whose authors had been dead at least century. But my favorite books now that I first read as a kid are The Giver by Lois Lowry and The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Don’t wait to be inspired; write a little bit every day no matter what.
Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Sure. Since I created them, there are little pieces of me in all of them. According to my friends, Finn’s the one who sounds the most like me, but the Em/Marina relationship is the closest thing to my heart in the whole book.
In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
I have no idea! I think co-authoring would be about finding someone whose way of working and thinking jives with yours. Otherwise it would be a nightmare, no matter how awesome they were. It is definitely something I’d like to try someday, though.
Do you have any weird or interesting rituals you do to get into writing mode or while you’re writing.
I really don’t. I’m a work-house type of writer. I go to the library, put on some white noise in my headphones, and type until I hit my word count for the day. Pretty boring. I’m considering making up some elaborate, eccentric ritual to tell people I do, because I feel like the real answer is always disappointing!
What is your favorite scene in the book? Which scene or characters were the most difficult for you to write and why?
The most difficult characters to write were James and Marina. James has the most dramatic character arc in the book, and figuring out how to make that work was a real challenge with many missteps. I also wrote Marina all wrong originally and didn’t discover her actual personality until the second draft of the book. Confident James and Sweet Marina had to go.
My favorite scene is probably the first one with Em and the note. It was the first thing I wrote, and it just poured out of me and has changed very little from that first draft. It was writing that scene that got me really excited to write this book.
All Our Yesterdays
“You have to kill him.” Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.
Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.
Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.
All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.