Interview: Teri Hall

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming newcomer Teri Hall for a 1-on-1 about her dystopian YA debut, The Line, that came out on March 4th. Please join me in giving her a warm welcome, and continue reading for an inside look on the mastermind behind the words. 

As for the picture, I've reverted to posting the picture on Teri Hall's info page. (No, that is not actually her, if you were wondering.)

Very, very clickable links: {website}{goodreads}, {amazon}

1. What three words would you use to describe The Line?

I’m going to cheat and use three words people who have read it describe it as:

2. I expected The Line to be a serious dystopian read, but you mentioned that The Line is a fun adventure that also asks some questions about integrity, bravery, and love. What exactly would you say makes The Line both entertaining and meaningful at the same time?

I think The Line is mostly the story of a girl who has a fun and sometimes dangerous adventure. This girl, Rachel, also happens to live in a country—a world, really—where things have gone pretty wrong in a lot of ways. She learns a lot about how some things—like being brave or doing the right thing—aren’t so simple or easy as she thought they were. So while The Line is a fun, fast read, it does also ask some pretty serious questions, questions I was asking as a younger reader and questions I still ask today.

3. On the topic of those "serious questions," would you say The Line is an outlet for you to express your opinions on those questions?

I think some of my opinions are in there. But I hope that The Line raises more questions for readers than it proffers opinions.

4. Who was your favorite character to write about?
I loved writing Ms. Moore. I think that she is such a great example of the possibility of growth and change. Honestly though, all of the characters were fun to write. Is there any one you particularly relate to? I relate to all of the characters in the book, in one way or another. And I hope readers will, too.
5. Now that you've written your first YA book, what did you like/not like about the genre and do you plan to explore other genres in the future?
Well, I am in the camp that believes YA is not a genre, it’s a marketing category. Within that marketing category you can find many, many different genres; romances, sci-fi, etc.. That said, I do love writing books that can fit into the YA marketing category, because I think many of them are reaching an audience for whom reading can be transformative. Not that reading isn’t transformative for adults too, but some of the most intense reading experiences I ever had were as a young adult.
6. If The Line is a dystopia, what would your ideal uptopia be like?

I tend to be a pragmatist (my friends might say something a bit more harsh) so the idea of a successful utopia seems pretty far-fetched. But the thought of people being kind to one another—even when it’s not easy or convenient—that seems like a good start.

7. And what does love mean to you?

To me, love is never a noun, it’s an action verb. <-- original answer, but changed because Teri realized it might be misconstrued! And I didn't even notice. Lol, isn't she sweet? :)
Love is never about saying something; it’s about the small kindness we do, the great sacrifice we make, the meal ready at the end of the day for someone more tired than you, the offer of help from someone in a better place than you. Love is doing something to make life better for someone else, in whatever way you can do that.

8. Spill, what's your deep, dark secret that people could never guess by looking at you?

I would tell you, but then it wouldn’t be a deep, dark secret.

9. Are there any not-too-secret projects you're working on now?

Right now I am hard at work on Away, the sequel to The Line.

10. Anything else you'd like to add?
I think that covers it! Thanks so much for the chance to chat!

Thank you, Teri, and congrats on your debut!

And Teri claimed she was boring at the end of my interviewing - what? No, definitely not! Double thank-you to Teri for sticking up with me and correcting all my juvenille errors. I hope you enjoyed the interview, and be sure to look out for Teri's book in the bookstore! ;)