Here’s our second Soho Teen Guest Blogger, Kelly Hager, who runs the wonderful

Take it away, Kelly!


I’m very proud and honored to be guest-blogging here for Soho Teen. I’ll have a little bit more about me after my interview with Heather Terrell. (I figure she’s the real draw here, right?)

I was very interested in interviewing Heather Terrell because I love a good dystopian novel and Relic is one.

I was happy to learn that Boundary (the sequel to Relic) has a release date but less happy to learn that it will be out in January of next year.

In case you haven’t read the book, one of the interesting things about it is the fact that it centers around forbidden relics that should be very familiar to everyone: Apple, Coke and Tylenol among them. So what would be the hardest for Heather to give up?

Ironically, the forbidden relic that would be the hardest for me to give up would be the one that is most feared and reviled in RELICApple Tech! As the Arctic, pseudo-medieval inhabitants of New North suspected, Apple Tech is incredibly addictive, and I am no exception. With my MacBook, iPad, and iPhone in constant daily use, it would be very challenging for me to stop worshipping the “false god Apple.” This is probably why I selected Apple as the focal point for the New North’s people’s fears.


This book seemed very plausible given today’s reality. Where did the idea come from?

Growing up, I had a wonderful aunt, who also happened to be an English professor and a rebellious nun, and she was always gifting me with amazing books that none of my fiends had read and talking to me about history and myth and literature. For Christmas one year, she gave me The Mists of Avalon, a retelling of the legend of King Arthur from the female point of view. This change in perspectiveusing basically the same facts, but telling the story from a different point of viewutterly alters the traditional understanding of the tale. From this book and conversations with my aunt, I learned that there are often hidden truths lying in history and myth and that trusted leaders and storytellers can shape those truths in the name of their agendas. In THE BOOKS OF EVAof which RELIC is the first bookI wanted to get at this theme of hidden historical stories differently than I ever had before, even uniquely. Instead of going back in time like the author of The Mists of Avalon and as I had with earlier books, I wanted to go forward and examine our time through another’s eyes. I thought that this might best show readers how history is created through the alteration of myth and literature.

I’m pretty sure that if I tried to do The Testing, I would be dead in 20 minutes or fewer. Heather’s pretty sure she’d last longer. (She would almost have to.)

I like to think that I would have the strength and temerity to attempt the Testing and go the distance. In fact, my fantasies about accomplishing a race akin to the Iditarodand undertaking an arctic archaeological digare two of the reasons I wrote RELIC. That said, I think I have probably become all-to-accustomed to the luxuries of our pre-Healing worldelectricity, heat, cars, ready food–to last more than a day or two. Particularly since, this summer during a trip to Alaska, I learned first hand the true difficulty of the Iditarod when I spent some time with a musher and his dog team who raced in the Iditarod several times.

One of the things I always ask people is what book they would make mandatory reading.

Hmmm, the decision about which book to make mandatory reading is an incredibly hard one because I read so voraciously and in so many genres. That said, I’d probably pick the Bible, because it is such an amazing amalgamation of history, story-telling, myth and legend making, and religion, of course.

What are your five favorite books?

Again, I devour and adore so many types of books that it is difficult for me to select just five books or authors!!! If I was forced to do so, I would probably select the authors Jane Austen (an unusual choice, I know), A.S. Byatt, J.R.R. Tolkien, Edith Wharton, and C.S. Lewis.

Another thing I’ve been asking everyone lately is what they’re most excited to read in 2014.

Oh my goodness, you are really challenging me on the favorite books questions! In terms of books that I am looking forward to in 2014, I already have on my nightstand several unread books from 2013 that I received as Christmas presentsThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Life after Life by Kate Atkinson, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, and The Riddle of the Labyrinth by Margalit Fox. When I get through those, I’ll probably turn my attention to the books on my nightstand sitting underneath those Christmas presentsby authors George R.R. Martin, Margaret Atwood, Ann Patchett, Lois Lowry, Kate Morton, and John Green, as well as the rest of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game books.

Thanks for letting me interview you, Heather!


Now, as promised—my name is Kelly Hager. I started reading when I was three and never really stopped. I’ll read pretty much any fiction you put in front of me, but I’m in a current three or four year trend of reading a lot of YA (currently I prefer contemporary but a great dystopianlike Relicwill grab me every time). I live in Baltimore with my adorable dog, Sam, and blog at