All Our Yesterdays
A brilliantly brain-warping thriller and a love story that leaps back and forth in time – All Our Yesterdays is an amazing first novel, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games.
Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet.
Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future...
Cristin Terrill lives in Washington, D.C. with one dignified cat and one deeply ridiculous one. She works in the theatre, hold the world's most pretentious post-grad degree, and bakes a mean margarita cupcake. All Our Yesterdays is her first novel, and she's currently at work on her second.
All Our Yesterdays
Author: Cristin Terrill
Interview with Cristin Terrill
Question: What inspired the idea for All Our Yesterdays?
Cristin Terrill: The initial kernel from the idea came one night when I couldn't sleep. I dragged myself out of bed at 3:00am and ended up watching The Terminator on cable. I drowsily found myself wondering how the story would be different if the killer robot from the future was actually the good guy instead of the villain. Then because I write YA, I started thinking about what it would like if she was a teenage girl instead of a robot.
Question: Was it difficult to write a story which leaps back and forth in time?
Cristin Terrill: Yes! If I had known how difficult it would be, I might have run screaming in the other direction. Basically, I had to run every tiny plot decision forward and backward in time, keeping track of every ripple it would make, to ensure it didn't mess up anything important. I was constantly getting very confused about who knew what when, how past actions would affect the future and therefore affect the past again, etc. My brain often felt like oatmeal by the end of a writing session.
Question: What was the best thing about creating the character of Em?
Cristin Terrill: I don't feel as though I did a whole lot to create Em. She arrived in my mind pretty much the way she reads on the page now. Marina, oddly, was the far more difficult character to create. Em is so shaped by her hardship, whereas Marina has yet to go through any of that.
But writing Em was a little bit like cheap therapy for me. Although she and I don't have a lot in common, one part of her that I did pull directly from my own experience is the tenderness she feels for her younger self. Getting to write Em telling Marina all the things she wished she'd known was a bit like me getting to tell teenage Cristin she isn't nearly the loser she thinks she is.
Question: What do you enjoy most about writing for young adults?
Cristin Terrill: Everything! I feel like teenage problems are really just human problems without the cynicism and denial we learn to pile on top of them as we get older, and there's something so immediate and intense about viewing the world through teenage eyes.
Question: How does it feel to have All Our Yesterdays compared to The Hunger Games?
Cristin Terrill: Ridiculous! Although very flattering, obviously, because I love The Hunger Games and think they are incredibly brilliant. I aspire to someday be worthy of the comparison.
Question: Can you tell us about your second novel?
Cristin Terrill: All I can say is: Em and Finn were wrong.
Interview by Brooke Hunter