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>> A hidden past and an uncertain future

A hidden past and an uncertain future
07/07/2020

A hidden past and an uncertain future


DARK BLUE RISING is the first in a brilliant new trilogy from bestselling author TERI TERRY! Look out for stolen identities, mysterious abilities and questions around climate change in the thrilling first installment.

DARK BLUE RISING follows teenager Amber, who starts to question things about her past after a visit to hospital drives her and her mother into hiding. Why has her mother always kept her away from other children, and why is she so suspicious of the authorities? And why does Amber have such a strong calling to the sea?

We asked TERI TERRY to introduce us to DARK BLUE RISING, and to tell us about the ideas that drive her stories:


Q: Can you tell us a little about your latest novel, Dark Blue Rising?

A: Dark Blue Rising is Tabby's story. She and her mum have always lived off the grid, moving around, never staying anywhere long enough to make friends. Then something happens at the start of the story that leads to her being taken to hospital, setting into motion a chain of events that lead to her discovering everything she thought she knew about herself and her life was a lie.



Q: How did the ideas for Dark Blue Rising start to emerge?

A: It came when three obsessions collided: the climate emergency; the sea; and weird science (I don't want to say what kind of weird science just now - plot spoilers!)



Q: How do you know which idea you want to continue into a novel / series?

A: I usually know right from the beginning. The exception to that was Slated, which started as a single novel and it quickly became apparent that the story needed more room.

Likewise, the things I wanted to tackle in Dark Blue Rising were too big to fit in one novel. We did debate whether to make it two or three, but I feel it more naturally sits in three. I never set out with the goal of writing a standalone or a series; when I find a story I want to tell, the story dictates the form.



Q: Can you tell us a bit about your main character, Tabby, and why you decided to make her a bit of an outsider?

A: Tabby's life when the story begins has been dominated by living off the grid - outside of society, really. This was essential to the story, so I suppose I knew that about my character before I knew anything else about her.



Q: Tabby is drawn to be near the sea - does that echo something in you?

A: I've always loved water - lakes, rivers, the sea - but especially the sea. I've been at sea in heavy weather where even the crew are getting sick but I'm cheering on the waves! I particularly love islands.



Q: This novel is set mainly in the west country, why did you choose this area? Do you like to know your settings?

A: The story had to be set by the sea. I considered a number of locations - and was tempted by the Scilly Isles and far north to the Hebrides - but as the story progressed, it made more sense if it was nearer to London.

Some settings I write about I know well and some not at all. Whenever possible I go places for research. The beach where Tabby and Jago are at the beginning is important in the second book; I meant to make a trip there this spring, but of course couldn't travel. A friend who was there last summer took a huge number of photos for me, which really helped.



Q: There is a big focus on fossil fuels and the environment in the story, why did you want to include those questions?

A: They are where the story began for me. Global warming and the threat of the sixth mass extinction - and how we react to it, now - are the defining crisis of our age. Even just from a selfishly human standpoint, it threatens more lives than Covid-19 ever will.



Q: Were there any areas you needed to research in order to write Dark Blue Rising?

A: I enjoy learning about things and having context in my mind that will never make it into the story. It's one of the pleasures of being an author: an excuse to take courses and read books!

I've delved into the climate and weather, climate change, tipping points, oceans, cetaceans, memory and cognitive dissonance. And mermaids and conspiracy theories, too!



Q: Book 1 ends with a number of loose ends, why did you decide to finish the novel at this point? What's next for Tabby?

A: Tabby's emotional trajectory has been momentous, in the things she has learned about herself, her family, the world. It made sense to me to end when she's running away on her own.



Q: How many books in the series are you planning? Do you prefer writing series to stand-alone novels?

A: This will be a trilogy. I like writing both standalones and series, at different times. Generally, a trilogy is harder to plan and structure but easier in the sense that the world building is in place when you get past the first book. It really depends on the story which is the best fit. After this trilogy there is a standalone planned.



Q: You've already written a series about a pandemic - Contagion (see Q&A below), did that colour how you reacted to how news about Covid19 emerged?

A: It felt strange, surreal - much like Brexit did in relation to the Slated trilogy. Some of my friends have started calling me Teridamus.



Q: How have you found writing during lockdown - especially if you can't get to the settings you might have wanted to visit?

A: To begin with I was pretty much derailed. It took some weeks before I could concentrate enough to write again; it took really focusing on why I was writing this story, why it was important to me.

The settings issue has been tricky, particularly with writing the second book of the series which has a fair chunk set in London. Normally I would go to places I'm writing about if at all possible. But there are things like google maps, satellite images, and friends from London to speak to when I'm unsure of details.



Q: What have been your favourite escapes from your desk during lockdown, and what are you most looking forward to doing once it's all over?

A: There has been regular scrabble at lunchtime, jigsaw puzzles, drawing and watercolour pencils, more adventurous cooking and baking. Our cockapoo Scooby is such good company. I'm very much looking forward to seeing and hugging a few close friends.

 
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