Author Chat with Chandra Prasad, Plus Giveaway!

damselfly

Today we're excited to chat with Chandra Prasad, author of Damselfly. Read on for more about Chandra and her book, plus a giveaway!

 

Meet Chandra Prasad!

 

Chandra Prasad is the originator and editor of Mixed, an anthology of short stories on the multiracial experience. She is also the author of several critically acclaimed novels for adults, including On Borrowed WingsDamselfly is her YA debut. A graduate of Yale, Chandra lives and works in Connecticut. To find out more, visit her online at chandraprasad.com.

 
 
Meet Damselfly!
 

Their survival is in their own hands...

Samantha Mishra opens her eyes and discovers she's alone and injured in the thick of a jungle. She has no idea where she is, or what happened to the plane taking her and the rest of the Drake Rosemont fencing team across the Pacific for a tournament. Once Sam connects with her best friend, Mel, and they find the others, they set up shelter and hope for rescue. But as the days pass, the teens realize they're on their own, stranded on an island with a mysterious presence that taunts and threatens them. Soon Sam and her companions discover they need to survive more than the jungle... they need to survive each other.

This taut novel, with a setting evocative of Lord of the Flies, is by turns cinematic and intimate, and always thought-provoking.

 

 

A Chat with Chandra Prasad:

 

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

This is an easy one for me. In 8th grade we read Lord of the Flies as part of my school’s English curriculum. I was riveted by the novel, but not so much by my teacher’s assessment of it. She said, “So you see, class, Golding’s island was a perfect microcosm of human society.”

A perfect microcosm? Seriously? The island couldn’t possibly be a “perfect” microcosm because—guess what?—there were no girls on it! Nor were there any people of color. Nor was there any class hierarchy, except maybe by age. All of the kids on the island fit more or less the same mold.

Since that time, I’ve wanted to create a modern adventure novel that grapples with the same themes in Lord of the Flies, but that features a diverse cast more in line with today’s global society. Damselfly is my answer to that 8th grade quandary.

 

Who is your favorite character in the book?

My favorite character in the book is definitely Mel (short for “Amelia”), the awkward, whip-smart survivalist daughter of a botanist mother and a modern-day explorer father. Not only is Mel self-sufficient and able to deftly use the natural resources around her to her advantage, but she is also immune to the cattiness of the other girls. Add to that the fact that Mel has a big heart and she earns the top spot, at least for me.

 

Which came first, the title or the novel?

The novel came first, but the title might as well have arrived at the exact same time. It is a perfect fit for the book on three levels. First, Damselfly reflects the fact that this novel shares a similar setting and sensibility with Lord of the Flies. Second, girls rule my novel, and Damselfly reveals that. Third, damselflies (the insects) are quite elegant and pretty, but they are also dangerous predators—a lot like Rittika, the main antagonist in my novel.

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

Like many writers, I’ve received my fair share of rejection over the years. Early in my career, I probably received 50 rejection letters for every one acceptance letter. That kind of average can take a heavy toll on anyone. But I survived, and looking back, I wish I could tell my younger self not to worry as much, to have more confidence and faith, and to try to tune out a lot of the negativity.

 

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

Damselfly’s book cover illustrator, Leo Nickolls, and designer, Mary Claire Cruz, did a fantastic job. I love how at first glance there is a striking silhouette of a young girl in a fiery, ominous color scheme of black, red, and orange. But if you look a little harder, you notice that there is a detailed illustration within the silhouette that reveals various themes, characters, and symbols in the book.

 

What’s up next for you?

I have finished another YA novel and am looking forward to getting it out there to readers. More news to come on that front!

 

Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?

Does anyone like revising? I certainly don’t! But it’s the most important part of the writing process, and I’ve never regretted combing over the same page a thousand times. There’s always room for improvement.

 

Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?

Wildlife and nature are a big part of Damselfly. Not surprisingly, I support many causes that champion environmental protection and conservation. Some of my favorite nonprofits include the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which encourages endangered species conservation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Sierra Club.

Locally, I encourage people to reconsider using pesticides and herbicides on their lawns, as the vast majority contain chemicals that are toxic to both humans and animals. These same toxins inevitably enter our water supply and stick around for a long time. For more information on healthy alternatives to lawn pesticides, visit Beyond Pesticides at https://www.beyondpesticides.org

Finally, there is a huge amount of compelling data on the dangers of playing fields and playgrounds made with crumb rubber, which comes from waste car tires. Many schools continue to install very expensive crumb rubber playing fields, though crumb rubber contains over twenty recognized human carcinogens. Grass is the best option, and certainly the healthiest. Read what doctors and scientists at Mount Sinai have to say about this topic:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/KIDdata/Tmy/2017HB-06998-R000221-Evans,%20Sarah,%20Dr.-Icahn%20School%20of%20Medicine%20at%20Mount%20Sinai-TMY.PDF

 

What would you say is your superpower?

I am very good at holding my breath underwater. In another life, I could have been a pearl diver—or maybe Aquawoman.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Damselfly

By: Chandra Prasad

Release Date: March 27, 2018

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

 
One winner will receive a copy of Damselfly (US only).
 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rate this blog entry:
Featured Review: Not If I Save You First by Ally C...
Featured Review: Zombie Abbey by Lauren Baratz-Log...

Related Posts

 

Comments 7

Dianna G. on Friday, 20 April 2018 20:18

Each year, I read the book Hatchet with my students. Damselfly would be a great next step for the kids who love the survival theme! Very pretty cover, though I don't think it really matches with the summary.

0
Each year, I read the book Hatchet with my students. Damselfly would be a great next step for the kids who love the survival theme! Very pretty cover, though I don't think it really matches with the summary.
Kara S on Saturday, 21 April 2018 01:46

This cover image is striking, and the inherent suspense in the survival-driven drama of the storyline make this read irresistibly compelling to me! Thanks for introducing me to this new release. --Kara S

0
This cover image is striking, and the inherent suspense in the survival-driven drama of the storyline make this read irresistibly compelling to me! Thanks for introducing me to this new release. --Kara S
John on Monday, 23 April 2018 22:08

Very unusual cover! I would like to learn more about the mysterious foes!

0
Very unusual cover! I would like to learn more about the mysterious foes!
Julie Daniels on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 04:19

I love that the author wrote a book in answer to the lack of diversity she found in Lord of the Flies after reading it in 8th grade. It's inspiring that she saw a problem with a book and came up with a solution in her on rendering. I love the sutvivalist theme and can't wait to pick this one up!

0
I love that the author wrote a book in answer to the lack of diversity she found in Lord of the Flies after reading it in 8th grade. It's inspiring that she saw a problem with a book and came up with a solution in her on rendering. I love the sutvivalist theme and can't wait to pick this one up!
Marisa Fort on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 14:35

The cover is awesome and the synopsis sounds amazing!

0
The cover is awesome and the synopsis sounds amazing!
Eddie Black on Friday, 11 May 2018 08:08

This sounds like a book my students would really like. The cover is eye-catching and shows the potential reader that it's not a "girl book."

0
This sounds like a book my students would really like. The cover is eye-catching and shows the potential reader that it's not a "girl book."
Danielle Hammelef on Monday, 14 May 2018 11:12

The cover is amazing and very interesting to study. The synopsis promises a survival story which immediately makes this book sound exciting and suspenseful.

0
The cover is amazing and very interesting to study. The synopsis promises a survival story which immediately makes this book sound exciting and suspenseful.

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The God Gene Chronicles: The Secret of the Gods
Legend and lore lay the foundation for this exciting new...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Big Water
Seventeen-year-old Christina McBurney has led a sheltered life. But when...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two schools: One of magic and science, the other focused...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Kidult Handbook: From Blanket Forts to Capture the Flag, a Grownup's Guide to Playing Like a Kid
Adulting is hard! But “kidulting”— engaging in nostalgic childhood activities...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Science: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World
Did you know that the blue whale could blow up...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Meant To Be Broken
Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (3)
Switching Gears
Still mourning the loss of Lucas Nelson, the boy she...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Finding-Elora.jpg
High school’s a whole new ballgame. Elora used...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Deadly Exodus
Their love is forbidden…their lives in danger… ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Front Cover
Join Clementine on a Winter Adventure in the Great Outdoors!...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Front cover
Growing up as a biracial child, Maggy Williams had three...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
hanna_final.jpg
Inspired by real Holocaust events, this poignant debut novel is...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
51MO7YjcihL.jpg
Twins Finn and Eric’s peaceful lives are turned upside down...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Super Rabbit Racers!: A Branches Book (Press Start! #3)
This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Original Syn
Fifty years after the Singularity, the world is divided into...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
What I Leave Behind
After his dad commits suicide, Will tries to overcome...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Last First Daughter
 
3.5
"Intriguing and action packed. The Story: The country has been in a silent age for a decade after terrorists..."
Zombie Queen of Newbury High
 
4.3
"This book was probably the best book I have ever read. I loved the end so much I wished there..."
Meant To Be Broken
 
5.0
"*I was given an e-galley.* Brandy Woods Snow is a wonderfully talented writer and plotter! This story has a..."
Meant To Be Broken
 
5.0
"Aw yes, transparency. I’m but one of her brutal critique partners and friends. Will this book capture you..."
Meant To Be Broken
 
5.0
"I COULD NOT STOP READING THIS BOOK! I fell in love with all the characters and secretly plotted the death..."
The Kidult Handbook: From Blanket Forts to Capture the Flag, a Grownup's Guide to Playing Like a Kid
 
5.0
"THE KIDULT HANDBOOK is the perfect book to pull out on a boring day. It is packed with fun activities..."
Science: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World
 
4.7
"Insightful, engaging, and downright fun! LEGO hits on all the learning styles in this brilliantly interactive science primer. ..."
Switching Gears
 
3.7
"Lucas Nelson loved Emmy Martin, but he waited until a week before he died of cancer to tell her that...."
Sky in the Deep
 
4.7
"What worked: This is a highly engaging historical tale of a teen warrior who is taken by a rival clan..."
We Are All That's Left
 
5.0
" Zara feels shut off from her Bosnian born mother. She knows that her mother survived some..."
The Fault In Our Stars
 
5.0
"Seriously, is it possible to read this book without crying? Asking for allllllll offffff myyyyyyy friiiiiiiiiends."
Super Rabbit Racers!: A Branches Book (Press Start! #3)
 
4.0
"In this story, Chris joins Sunny and Rue for a few friendly rounds of Rabbit Racers. (He’s never played before,..."
Frat Girl
 
4.0
"The writing style is what really stands out in this book-- SO easy to read, conversational, believable character interactions. It..."
Original Syn
 
5.0
"Got an ARC of this one and flew through it. So so good."
What I Leave Behind
 
5.0
"Will’s dad commits suicide. His childhood friend, Playa, is raped at a party. His mom works long over-night shifts as..."
When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel
 
4.5
"'When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel' by G. Neri, illustrated by David Litchfield, is an artistic..."
Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries
 
4.0
"'Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries' by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson is a fun read, chock..."
Watcher
 
4.3
"The story: Sawyer is an orphaned girl who lives in a world not unlike that of the Terminator movies,..."
Savage Beauty
 
5.0
"SAVAGE BEAUTY is a dark twist on the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty. Aura and Luna are sisters, but they're the..."
All The Crooked Saints
 
3.7
"Trust me when I say no one was more stunned than me when I enjoyed All the Crooked Saints. ..."