The Compulsive Reader: Author Interview: Terra Elan McVoy

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Author Interview: Terra Elan McVoy

Terra Elan McVoy is a debut author who lives in Atlanta, Georgia and manages an independent children's books store (yay, Terra! We love indies!). I loved her first book Pure, which came out just this month. She graciously agreed to answer a few questions.

What prompted you to write Pure?

While I was working at Scholastic, I was in this really great book group that read a lot of YA. Even though each book was terrific, I always came away from it feeling like the life of a plain-old, regular high schooler wasn’t really represented. I also wanted to write something that addressed how tough it is trying to define your own morality when you’re a teenager, let alone stick to it. When I read an article about purity rings, it all came together!

Have you ever worn a purity ring yourself?

I wore a lot of crosses, but no purity ring I’m afraid!

Do you think that purity rings are a good reminder for teen girls about their faith, or that they cause unneeded problems, like they did with Tabitha and her friends?

Since purity rings weren’t around when I was a teenager, I’m still formulating my own opinions about them now, actually. But I do think –as I hope the book points out—that all the decisions we make can be complicated ones, even if at the time they seem very simple.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Pure?

I hope, if nothing else, that people who read Pure end up with a lot to talk about. I hope that maybe it generates for readers some reflection about their beliefs and where those come from. I also hope Pure can be a reminder that no matter what someone else believes, it’s just as complex and important to them as your own beliefs are to you.

What are you working on now/what can we expect from you next?

I will say that I am not planning a sequel to Pure. I want that to be a self-contained story. My new book will be something completely different.

What were a few of your favorite books as a teen?

A lot of my favorite books now became my favorites then, thanks to some outstanding English teachers. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren is my all-time #1 favorite book, and I read that my senior year. I also loved Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, of course, and was really swept up by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.

How have your teenage years influenced your writing?

I’ve always loved reading and writing, but I really got encouraged and supported when I was in high school to grow and stretch myself. Definitely the help I got there pushed me in the directions I took for college and graduate school, where I really honed my skill.


Thanks so much, Terra!


Reverie said...

YAY!!! we are meeting her Friday at her release party. So excited!!!!

Carrie said...

I'm really looking forward to this book. Great interview, thanks!!

Lenore said...

I think it will definitely get people talking. There were lots of opinions on my blog review, that's for sure!

The Compulsive Reader said...

Ooh, cool, Vania! Have fun!

Michelle Zink said...

I've been hearing a lot about this book...

Thanks for the great interview, as always!