Tag Archives: Teri Terry

Contagion

To be honest, I’d been expecting the cliffhanger in Teri Terry’s Contagion to be, well, cliffier. So many readers before me had exclaimed about being left hanging. So, yes, I knew it was coming. Not that I will require a cliffhanger to motivate me to read on, when the time comes. Which I would like to be sooner rather than later, but the Witch who waits for something good…

It’s very much a ‘whew!’ story. This dystopia is set in a place close to me, in what feels like today. There is even a female PM. The thing about Teri’s writing is that she takes topics that could be quite distasteful and that would turn people off, but the way she writes about these very horrible things makes it – almost – all right.

It’s obviously not OK that 95% of people die, but looking on the bright side, 5% survive. As in the Slated trilogy Teri has some great mothers. I wish more fiction had good mother figures.

Teri Terry, Contagion

Set in and around Scottish Killin, plus places from Newcastle to Shetland, Contagion features Callie, a missing 11-year-old girl, her older brother Kai and Shay, the girl who last saw Callie. Somehow they end up at the centre of an epidemic that kills fast, and when they realise that all is not as it should be, even under these circumstances, they decide to get to the bottom of what’s happening.

Perhaps Shay is slightly too clever even for a fictional, 16-year-old heroine with exceptional talents, but I like her. It’s good to find someone who can be both cool and interested in science and more than capable at maths. Kai is very handsome. Naturally. And Callie is quite unusual in many ways.

I have great hopes for the next instalment, with fingers crossed that somebody will survive, and doing my best not to ponder that I probably wouldn’t have, had this been real.

Advertisements

The author effect

I mentioned that Teri Terry made a return visit to a school when she was in Scotland the other week. I had assumed it was because she’d made a really good impression and they wanted her back. Then I learned that she wrote a character for her new book, Contagion, who goes to that very school.

A few weeks earlier Lari Don talked about a chat with someone who was now an adult, but who remembered an author visit to his school when he was younger. It had made a great impression on him, and had got a non-reader started on reading, which he still did.

So, all was good. It’s such an encouraging story to hear; to discover that author visits to schools really can make a difference.

Lari then asked who the author was. But he couldn’t remember. And I’m with Lari on this one – it’s even more impressive that the visit made such an impact, but that it became immaterial who the visitor was. Maybe a big name, or perhaps someone virtually unknown. But they made a difference.

Maybe one day a Callander student will tell their children about the time his or her school ended up in a novel. And maybe it won’t matter if they remember it was written by Teri.

Dinner

Yes. I do eat all the time. Brunch last week. Dinner this week.

Thank goodness for travelling authors, who come and bring excitement in the midst of getting on wrong trains and talking in schools and all that.

As I mentioned before, Teri Terry has come to Stirling for its book festival, and she wasn’t too tired to agree to dinner last night with the local witch. She also introduced me to author Moira Mcpartlin, who was kind enough to drive us to a very nice restaurant that she had chosen (I don’t go much past Pizza Express), so the Resident IT Consultant was not needed, and it was all civilised.

I felt almost like a grown-up.

We talked about Teri’s new book Contagion, which is partly set in Killin and Callander, and that is why she returned to the same school as on her last visit. (Maybe she kills someone off?) I will be able to tell you more once I’ve read the book. So for now we will leave the idea of Contagion somewhere not too far from here and hope all will be well. Well-ish, at least.

But somewhere between my cauliflower starter and the main course I ended up signing a non-disclosure form, so I’m terribly sorry but I can’t tell you a thing.

Actually, I’m not sorry. But it seemed politer to say I am.

So, lots of lovely gossip. But I’m old and it has already been forgotten, even without the form.

Although, it might be OK if I mention the mould. In places where it shouldn’t be. And places with no taxi ranks. Which is not true of Bathgate, which does have one.

It also seems that Moira had heard of me. I expect it was nothing good, but I’ll take all the fame I can get.

Off the Page 2017

If there is one thing that I have against Stirling’s Off the Page libraries book festival, it’s that it’s so hard to find the information I want online. I follow links to pages that aren’t the right ones, and then I swear a bit. Luckily the Resident IT Consultant brought home the printed programme for me, so I have finally been able to catch up with what will be on.

And things are on, so that’s good. Some of them not terribly convenient, at the further away libraries, which just proves what a large catchment area it is for Stirling. But there is good stuff.

Teri Terry is back (I mean, will be back, as this is in early May), but only for a school event. I’m guessing they like her there.

Alex Scarrow is coming, as is Ross Collins and Chae Strathie, whereas Craig Robertson is already here, being local. James Oswald is semi-local.

The names above are the ones I’ve highlighted for my personal interest, but there are many more. The Grandmother’s pal Crawford Logan is appearing at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum, for instance.

My track record for attendance isn’t terribly good, I must admit. I’ll have to see what calamities will prevent me from seeking these various libraries out next month. I hope none.

Book of Lies

Teri Terry, Book of Lies

The end is rather disturbing to my mind. But then, the Resident IT Consultant is always saying twins are trouble. Teri Terry’s Book of Lies features a pair of twins as the main characters. Twins who have not met before the first chapter of the book, when they are 17. And after that there is plenty of trouble.

Quinn and Piper were separated soon after birth, and the odd thing is that Piper was brought up by their mum in Winchester, while Quinn lived with her witch of a gran on Dartmoor. They look exactly the same, and they have shared experiences from when they grew up, even if it was separately.

Now, their mum has died in an accident and their gran has had a stroke and is in hospital. So they meet, and… well, let’s say that one of them is much nicer than the other. Apparently they were separated because gran the witch knew one of them was trouble and she was trying to save the situation somehow. But who is the dark twin?

There is a nice dad, and Piper has a lovely boyfriend, Zak, who is too good to be true. Too mature, anyway.

Each girl wants to sample the life her sister has lived, and there is a fair bit of upset over this. There is an inheritance, which one of them wants more than anything. Inevitably they all end up on the dark moors, far from everywhere else, with no electricity and ‘hounds’ hunting at night.

Very atmospheric and quite alarming. You sort of wonder how this could ever be right, and how it will end. Not as you think it will, is the answer. Nor the other way.

Exciting and scary, and plenty of witchcraft to satisfy.

The new kids

When I first joined Facebook – and I must point out I only did it for literary reasons! – I was quickly introduced to lots more authors than those I already knew and corresponded with. It’s that automatic suggestion system thing they have, and before long I was awash in new – to me – authors of children’s books.

Some of them I’d barely heard of, and I had not read anything by them. But then I discovered a new category of people. I don’t want to call them wannabes, as that sounds childish, and as though you could become a published author if you only wish for it enough.

Hopefuls, maybe. Those fully intending to be out there with published books very soon. I was amazed at how they all seemed to know each other, too. I was under the impression that garrets were there for a reason, and when you weren’t even published, how could you know others who were also not published?

Seems there are groups for everything under the sun. They knew each other because they attended writing groups, or critiquing groups, or any other kind of authorial group. They supported each other. They were friends.

But I was always afraid that when they did get published, I ‘would have to read’ the books and that I wouldn’t like them.

Well, that was almost as silly as my other ignorant thoughts, because the books have all been great. Many of the ‘hopefuls’ were published around the same time, like Keren David and Candy Gourlay and Jon Mayhew. Teri Terry wasn’t far behind. But so far Kathryn Evans hasn’t joined them. Until now.

It’s almost more exciting, after such a long wait. Not everyone writes at the same speed, and of course, I never knew where in the process people might be when I first encountered them. And Kathryn has strawberries to grow, and bellydancing to do.

Kathryn Evans

Here she is, at the recent SCBWI conference, wearing purple hair and the covers of books being published by her SCBWI friends this year. (In other words, perfectly normal…) Kathryn’s own book – More of Me – will be published in February. I’m really looking forward to it.

Bookwitch bites #131

Sally Nicholls, An Island of Our Own

David Almond scooped the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize on Thursday. Congratulations to him, and commiserations to young ‘Master Sally Nicholls,’ who at his very young age let his disappointment that Mummy didn’t win be known. I like a baby who can cry when the time is right. And apparently he was passed round like a – very valuable – parcel, so I’m quite jealous I wasn’t there.

Sally is also on the shortlist for the Costa, so perhaps the young Master will appear at another awards event soon. Because as he well knows, Mummy’s is one seriously good book, and he will read it as soon as he can.

Someone (Muckle Media. And you know, I blogged about muckle only the other day) has been looking into who is most popular on Twitter in Scotland. It seems J K Rowling does quite well with followers and such. And what’s fascinating is that I’ve never heard of some of the top names, although Ian Rankin and Val McDermid ring a bell. As do Bookwitch favourites like Gillian Philip, Nicola Morgan, Julie Bertagna and Helen Grant. Long may they tweet.

On Twitter (where else?) I learned that Teri Terry was interviewed when she was in Denmark recently. Her answers are perfectly easy to understand. For those of you who still don’t read Danish after all those Killings and Bridges, I can only suggest you guess what Teri is replying to, as the questions are in Danish.

Anne Rooney has been interviewed by the Society of Authors about non-fiction (I thought of it first!), and it makes for very interesting reading. Times are hard. Being interested in everything is good. Anne is good.

If all this feels like it’s getting on top of you, counselling is at hand. Nicola Morgan is now the proud owner of a Certificate of Counselling, part of her Diploma in Youth Counselling. She is so good at so many things. And I’d have happily unburdened myself to Nicola even before she was certified.