Archive for December, 2009

An Appearance in SAPC Alumni Magazine

December 15th, 2009 by admin | No Comments | Filed in News
Because my college friends and experiences still play a huge role in my current life, and because I would not be the writer or the person I am today without St. Andrews Presbyterian College, I was thrilled to be interviewed for the Alumni Magazine by Stephanie Kjelgaard. She asked great questions and incorporated my answers in a nice little piece, just recently published. Here’s the whole thing, but you can learn more about SAPC at their website,

Terra E. McVoy’s Pure: Digging for Deeper Meanings

By Stephanie Kjelgaard ’10
Communications Intern

St. Andrews’ alumni can be found in a variety of professions, lending unique skills and perspectives that St. Andrews is known for. Terra McVoy ’96 has found her own niche in Atlanta, Ga., where she was able to write her first book, Pure.

Pure is a young adult fiction book published this year by Simon & Schuster. One of the linking motifs in Pure is the subject of purity rings, a ring worn on the left hand by many teenagers as a physical symbol of abstinence. However, the book is not as much about purity rings and abstinence as the title might lead one to believe.

McVoy wanted to write a story that would be relevant to today’s teenage girls and the drama of the teen years- anything from driving, pimples, curfews and boys to situations that test faith and friendship.

“When I found out about purity rings, that gave me the central conflict for the rest to fit around,” McVoy said.

Pure centers around a group of girls who have made a vow abstinence together. The vow links these girls and gives them a support system. That system is shaken when one of the girls breaks her vow. The book quickly turns into a conflict of trust, friendship, and the tests of faith teenage girls face in high school. The book relays many emotions teenagers feel during high school, and Pure gives girls silent advice on the subject.

“I think one of the biggest themes of Pure is tolerance and forgiveness,” McVoy said.

The book is dedicated to the Glam Girls Book Group, a great inspiration for McVoy. The faces of the young ladies of the Glam Girls Group shined and their cheerful voices chimed in McVoy’s mind while she wrote Pure. McVoy wants her book to resonate with all the girls who are dealing with the same kinds of questions and issues seen in Pure.

While the contradictory emotions of the human condition can provide a challenge to the most adept writers, McVoy finds writing about how people interact with one another and the world of great interest.

“I am interested in playing with the deeper reasons behind things,” McVoy said. “I am most curious about the real value of human feeling, and what it can teach us.”

Even though Pure holds Christian aspects such as purity rings, McVoy hopes that her theme of choosing your own morality will speak through all the words of Pure and other coming books.

While McVoy “ended (Pure) exactly where I wanted to end it, with the future of these girls to be in the reader’s imagination,” McVoy has written her next book, After the Kiss, which is scheduled for release in May 2010.

This next book will center around two girls who do not know one another but have some level of relationship with the same boy- a love triangle of a kind.

“It’s easy to forget that all three people in a love triangle are all human,” McVoy said. “They have their reasons for doing things that might not be what it looks like on the surface.”

According to McVoy, this book will take the reader “on a journey through human aspects we all see every day.”

“One may see a cheating boyfriend, think the other woman must be a total slut . . . attacking complete strangers on limited information,” McVoy said.

McVoy believes that her time at St. Andrews helped her in the development of her books. Professors across disciplines helped McVoy’s writing and perspective on the world as a thinker and contributor. St. Andrews aided McVoy in becoming an outstanding, cheerful person with the interaction and relationships between professors, classmates, and colleagues. Having been given a chance to explore herself throughout college and her life thereafter, McVoy is now able to guide others who are just beginning to explore themselves with books like Pure and After the Kiss.

Covered With Delight

December 3rd, 2009 by admin | 2 Comments | Filed in After the Kiss

Oh my goodness!! Humongus thanks goes out to my good friends at WORD in Brooklyn for nominating Pure in this incredibly awesome cover contest! These covers are ah-may-zing and so I am just happy to be in with them! Go to the actual website to vote.

Favorite Book Covers of 2009, Part One: WORD, Brooklyn, NY

As announced a few weeks ago, I’ve asked three independent bookstores to contribute to this year’s Favorite Covers of 2009 coverage. Here are the selections from the staff of WORD in Brooklyn, NY. Three more lists (including my selections) are on the way.

The only guideline I asked the good folks at WORD to follow was to limit their selections to books published this year, so I was glad to see them include some YA and children’s books — I don’t get around to discussing either genre very often.

I couldn’t chase down all the design credits, so if you know something I don’t, please set me on the right track so that I can give proper credit for this fantastic work. And of course correct me if I’ve gotten something wrong.

There’s a poll at the bottom of the post: vote for your favorite. The top three vote-getting designs from this list will eventually join the other favorites from the upcoming lists in a final poll.

Lastly: each title is linked to WORD’s online store. Something tickling your fancy? Support indie bookstores and buy from them.

WORD’s favorite covers of the year, in no particular order, are:

Wuthering Heights, design by Ruben Toledo: “This is our favorite of the three covers Toledo did for Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions.”

The Sickness Unto Death, design by David Pearson: “This is really a shout-out to the entire line-up of the newest installment of the Penguin Great Ideas series, though this is probably our favorite cover of the bunch. These are some of the most irresistible book covers I have ever seen. They’re all embossed. Almost everyone who looks at them touches them and then moans ecstatically.”

There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby, design by Christopher Brand: “This made our top 10 last month, probably solely on the strength of the cover.”

The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov, design by Barbara de Wilde: “We love the new Nabokov covers, and this is our favorite of the bunch.”

Seven Nights, design by Rodrigo Corral: “Love this so much that I continually re-display it just to look at it.”

Pure, design by Cara Petrus: “a teen novel about purity rings and the girls who wear them (and a girl who breaks her pledge).”

The Book of Fathers: design by John Gall, collage by Nicole Natri: “The men and the arms on the cover are raised. It’s possible we just like this because it looks like the art of a former employee. Didn’t love it at first, but it has really grown on us since it came in, to the point that now we love it.”

Che’s Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image; design by Mark Abrams, cover image by Jim Fitzpatrick, original photo by Alberto Korda: “There could be no better cover for a book about history’s most reproduced image.”

The Children’s Book, design by Stephen Parker, “adapted by Gabrielle Wilson” (per the jacket): “A beautiful cover that only gets more beautiful after you’ve read the book.”

(I snapped this to show some of the detail; there’s a much better photo here):

The City Out My Window: “The only die-cut we will ever like in this store (we hate die cuts because they inevitably rip on the floor, no matter what you do with them, and then nobody wants to buy them). But this one is thick cardboard, and obviously a perfect choice of a book of window pictures.”

The End of Food, design by Mark Robinson: “Love when the paperback is way better than the hardcover.”

The Lion and the Mouse, designer credit to come: “Not sure if this one counts, but we love it.”

The Most Beautiful Book in the World, design by Emanuele Ragnisco: “Even though it feels kind of busy on this cover, the image is just so great.”

Never Smile At A Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember, design by Scott Magoon, illustration by Steve Jenkins: “Even though it kinda scares me.”