Sunday 29 April 2012

Slated Book Birthday: Q&A, and a giveaway!

by Teri Terry
Slated will be published on 3rd May 2012 by Orchard Books in the UK: three days from now….! Oh my. I want to celebrate my first Book Birthday on Demention by answering some questions posed on Twitter, Facebook and by email, and giving away two signed copies of Slated (more on that below). Thanks to everyone who asked questions & I’ve answered as many as I can fit in! Go ahead and ask some more in comments and I’ll see what I can do.

Iona, 12: What gave you the idea to write Slated?

There is a short answer, and a long one. The short answer is that the start of the book came from a dream I had: a terrified girl, running on a beach, afraid to look back to see what chases her. The story grew from there.
Pick a country - I've been there!
The long answer – I think the things you are obsessed with come out in your unconscious and in your writing. With me that has a lot to do with identity: how can you know who you are when you don’t know where you come from? This is a big question in Slated. And growing up moving all the time with parents from different countries, this is a particular question of mine. Having memories taken away is an extension of this I think. I’m also obsessed with dreams, how you can use them and what you can learn from them.

Flora, 13 asked: I was just wondering how you came up with the memory erasing idea, which i thought was really brilliant! 
And Dave Sivers (just a few years older): The theme of erased/lost memories and something sinister in the past has been tackled before. What new angles have you brought to it in Slated?

I thought it was interesting to put these two questions together. One point that is immediate is that an older reader may look at themes and ideas in a YA book differently: to a teen reading about something for the first time, it is new to them.
How this idea arose – it wasn’t a planned thing, starting with a dream as mentioned above. So it isn’t like I examined what was out there in previous books before going ahead with Slated. I just had this idea of a character and a situation and went for it. And once I start writing something, the last thing I’ll do is read books that touch on similar themes – because I want to avoid any chance of influence on my story.

But a recent one I have read since writing Slated – Forgotten by Cat Patrick – a 2011 YA novel, in which a girl’s memories are gone every morning, a little like Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson in the adult sphere. But in Forgotten, she remembers her future, not her past. What an idea! And the fascination to me of writing in YA is that you can take what might seem a crazy idea, and run with it.
As far as what new angles I’ve brought to it, you have to read the book and decide for yourself.

Emma Pass (author of Acid, Randomhouse 2013): Okay… how did you come up with the idea for the Levo? It's such a sinister device - and such a brilliant idea!

Thanks! For those who don’t know – without giving too much away – a Levo in Slated is a device that monitors happiness levels. Where it came from, I honestly don’t know! Something that appeared in the murk in my mind.  Why it is there is also the whole nature vs nurture debate: are evil people born, or made? If they are born that way, taking their memories away wouldn’t change them, would it? So you’d need a safeguard.

Rashida Decina ummm...Is Slated gonna be available international..i mean in Asia?

Slated is published by Orchard Books in the UK and they have English language rights except for Canada, US and US dependencies. They’ve also sold it in translation in Germany, Turkey and Israel. In the US and Canada it is being published by Penguin Imprint Nancy Paulsen Books in 2013. Do you mean in English or another language? Which country? (sorry to answer a question with more questions – but let me know and I’ll try to find out for you).

@StephLikesBooks ( tweeted me a bunch of questions, and I’ve picked three I haven’t answered anywhere before.

How long did it take to write Slated?

I started it in Sept 2009, and finished the first draft about Jan 2011. I wasn’t working on it all the time, though. Most of it was written in Autumn 2010.

Do you listen to music when you write?
I do! I compulsively listen to a Mark Knopfler playlist of a bunch of albums on my iPod. My favourite album is Kill to Get Crimson, & my favourite song on it is ‘Let it all go’. He tells stories with music, and it just puts me in that frame to write. Though it isn’t quite right to say ‘listen’: I have it on low in the background. It is like my brain knows when the music starts, it is time to get creative.

Reading or writing?

I’m  guessing you mean which do I love the most! I don’t think I can answer that. Funny thing is if I’m not doing enough of either of them, I get miserable. I need to read, and I need to write. There have been times in the last year when all my commitments, writing-wise, have cut into my reading time. And as I said before I try not to read anything that sounds like it may have anything to do with my own story when I am writing.

But then I’ve bumped into a book somewhere along the way and just haven’t been able to stop myself from DEVOURING it in one hit, no matter how busy I am, because I can’t stand not reading any more – like The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary Pearson, and Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne – both I absolutely LOVED.

Iona, 12: Are you going to write some more Slated books?

Yes! I’m just finishing up book 2 now – which is called Fractured. There will be one more after that. Fractured will be out in the UK in May 2013.
Thanks to Hachette Children's Books I can give away two signed copies of Slated! To enter, use the Rafflecopter below: follow this blog, comment on it, tweet the giveaway for an entry each day, like my facebook page, &/or follow me on Twitter! The more stuff you do the more entries you get. This is open for two weeks, and so will close on 14th of May at 5 a.m. UK time. Open to residents of the UK, Europe and Australia.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Your previous post looks interesting. I'll be staying and crossing my fingers.

    1. thanks, glad to have you here. Pull up a chair and I'll pour the tea..

  2. It's getting EXCITING now!

    1. not at all, I'm COMPLETELY calm.

  3. Thanks for answering some of my questions! The reading or writing one was a toughie I know! :D I think the Levo is definitely interesting, I've never heard of something like it before. I loved reading about it in the first chapter! :) Thanks for the giveaway too!

    1. how important reading is to me only really hits home when I've been away from it for a while - I get really miserable. It's like some part of me needs recharging and it is the only way

  4. Really enjoyed your hilarious blog over at Notes, Teri. This post is cool too - where did you get the cool widget? I need one for MY blog!

    1. which widget - rafflecopter? google it and all shall be revealed :O)

  5. This all sounds so wonderful. It's so interesting to see where it all started - just a tiny detail that grew into an entire story! Best of luck with the release! Exciting!

  6. Wow, this blog is so interesting, now all I have to do is win the book!!! Thanks so much for this opportunity :)

  7. Slated has been on my wishlist since I saw the cover. I can't wait to read it when it comes out. 3 days to go. Yay!
    Loved your answers! Let it all go is such a great song :)

    1. yeah! Another Knopfler fan!
      We saw him at Royal Albert Hall in London for the tour for that album: front row seats. It was bliss. It was around the same time I started writing my first novel for teens, a fantasy - and every time I put that CD I get transported to that 'love to write' mindset. :O)

  8. Thank you for answering my question about the Levo. I really am fascinated by them. And it's so appropriate that SLATED began as a dream!

    Not long now… *gets confetti ready* :D

  9. You've inspired me to check out some of Mark Knopfler's songs.

  10. hello there! :) ahhhh im so so excited to read this book! great interview!

  11. Hello =) This looks like such an interesting read for a book worm like myself =D x

  12. Very interesting concepts in your work, Teri. I'd love a read - and I love signed copies even more.

  13. Eeeeee! I am so excited to read Slated! I LOVE the cover and I'm already anxious waiting for Fracture although I haven't read Slated yet!

    Thank you so much for the giveaway! <3

  14. This was a great and intriguing Q&A. Slated sounds extremely good and it's already on my To Be Read list!