But first, here's Terra!
TCR: To get ready for summer, what are some of your favorite summer-y readers?
TEM: Believe it or not, summertime for me is an opportunity to either a) focus hard on a denser, more intense literary novel or b) re-read some of my favorites. I have this one book, The Wrestler’s Cruel Study, by Stephen Dobyns that is almost impossible to describe, but is just fabulous and makes for a great re-read. (Or just a regular summer read, if you’ve never read it.) Other favorite re-reads might be The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy; A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, or Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I also read Freedom by Jonathan Franzen a couple of summers ago, and it was one of the most perfect books, ever; I’m due for a re-read, I think! Short stories are also nice: Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, Raymond Carver, Jean Thompson.
TCR: What are your perfect summer day essentials (besides a good book, of course)?
TEM: Well, of course obviously a good book. And plenty of watermelon with Maldon sea salt sprinkled on it. I really like to sip light, bubbly things in the early summer evenings too, so the fridge has to be stocked with tonic (which I like with lime), San Pellegrino lemon and orange, plus seltzer and flavored syrups to make “sodas” out of. Vintage circle skirts are also a great way to stay cool but look cute too, and plenty of pedicures are always necessary!
TCR: What was the best part about writing The Summer of Firsts and Lasts?
TEM: I think the best part was making up the whole camp world. I never actually went to sleepaway camp as a kid, so Camp Callanwolde was a mixture of a lot of research, interviews, and my own wild fantasies about what camp life is really like.
TCR: Because the title of your latest book has us curious...do you think it's possible to be just friends with boys?
TEM: Ha! Yes, I’m getting asked that question a lot lately, since Being Friends with Boys is coming out May 1st. I definitely think that it’s possible for straight girls and straight guys to be friends –I have lots of guy friends now, and have had them all my life, even when I was little—but I do think you have to be prepared to deal with what happens if one of you develops a crush on the other. What we seek in romances is often so close to what we seek in friendships, so I think –even if it’s not permanent—it’s very easy for one or both of you to get confused for awhile. (Sometimes at the same time, sometimes not.) But a good friendship can withstand anything, and I think the case is the same here.
TCR: What's the best way to stay up to date on your and your fabulous books?
TEM: Thanks for asking! My website, www.terraelan.com, is always a good place to find out about my books, as well as about other authors whose books I’m reading, because I often post interviews there. I’m also on Twitter at @TerraMcVoy, and I have a Facebook author page which I keep up-to-date (about me and other things too, like writing contests) at https://www.facebook.com/terraelanbooks.
If you want to win a paperback copy of The Summer of Firsts and Lasts, then fill out the form below! And be sure to keep an eye out for Being Friends With Boys, Terra's newest book!