Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Demetra Brodsky , YABC's Author of the Week!!
Demetra Brodsky is an award-winning graphic designer & art director turned writer. She has a B.F.A from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and lives in Southern California with her family of four and two lovable rescue dogs where she is always trying to make more time for the beach. Dive Smack is dedicated to Pumpkin, the monarch butterfly she once saved from the brink of death. Once you read the book, you’ll understand why.
Meet Dive Smack!
Theo Mackey only remembers one thing for certain about the fire that destroyed his home: he lit the match.
Sure, it was an accident. But the blaze killed his mom and set his dad on a path to self-destruction. Everything else about that fateful night is full of gaping holes in Theo’s mind, for good reason. Maybe it’s better that way. As captain of the Ellis Hollow Diving Team, with straight A's and solid friends, he's only one semester away from securing a scholarship, and leaving his past behind.
But when a family history project gets assigned at school, new memories come rushing to the surface, memories that make Theo question what he really knows about his family, the night of the fire, and if he can trust anyone―including himself.
~ Interview ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I’ve always been drawn to stories about dark family secrets, but the seminal idea for Dive Smack came from my friendship with 1992 Olympic Springboard Diver, Karen LaFace. I was working on an idea about a boy looking into his family history and thought, Wow! Springboard diving would be a great metaphor for this character’s life spinning out of control. There’s a little more to it than that, but it would spoil the twists in the novel to dive in deeper into the inspiration.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Tough one. I think Chip Langford, Theo Mackey’s best friend is my favorite. He was the most fun to write, but what I love most about him is his honesty and steadfast loyalty to Theo.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel idea came first, as did the male POV. It was never a doubt in my mind. “I want to write a book about a boy who…” But then I wanted to give him a sport or a hobby. I have a friend who was a USA Olympic Springboard Diver in 1992 and I thought, what a great metaphor for someone’s life spiraling out of control.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
The title scene is Dive Smack was hard to write because diving is technical, but how that scene unfolds from that moment is one of my absolute favorites. I want to tell you more but there are too many spoilers
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Voice shouldn’t be something you have to constantly think about. Once you develop a character, whether that’s through a worksheet, or visuals and notes, take a minute when you sit down at the keyboard embody that character and write like you’re telling one person that story, like you’re that character talking to a friend.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Tor Teen commissioned the artwork on my cover from Stephen Youll. He’s an award-winning British artist living in the U.S. and has worked on some of the most amazing fantasy books out there, like DUNE and SONG OF FIRE AND ICE. You can learn more about him and his work here: http://www.stephenyoull.com/stephenyoull.com/BIOGRAPHY.html
I feel really honored that he did my artwork and captured the story essence so well. My second favorite thing is that the Art Director at Tor Teen and I had the same professor in college. When I found that out, I knew I was in great hands.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
#Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil. I devoured the ARC in two days.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2017?
BERSERKER by Emmy Laybourne, who also wrote Monument 14, is one of the best YA’s I’ve ever read. It’s stunning and breaks all genre boundaries in the most spectacular way. One part mythology, one part western, one part thriller: I devoured it in two days and then reread it again to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. You have to check it out. I recommend it to everyone.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
At the moment, my projects are slightly under wraps, but I can say I have a YA thriller about alien abduction out on submission at the moment, and I’m also working with my editor at Tor Teen on another thriller proposal about siblings, and maybe the end of the world as we know it. I’d tell you more, but . . . I’m a thriller writer and you know how that saying goes. But please, stay tuned for things to come
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I like both, actually. Drafting is more fun because I can be free and let things flow, realizing I’ll cut things later. But as a Type-A personality, I get really into revising and shaping of the story. I took one of those right side/left side brain tests once and I was a 50-50% split of right and left hemisphere, which is unusual, especially for me because I have fine arts degree. I try to use both sides of my brain to their best advantage at the right times, but I can’t say for sure whether they always play well together.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Being able to jump to conclusions in a single bound. In other words, my imagination. Sometimes it can run wild with me in a good or bad way. And like any superhero, it’s a power that needs to be tamed and control so that it’s use is for good.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Literacy is extremely important to me, and I’m currently looking into how I can get involved with that cause as an author. I’m a first generation Greek-American and bilingual. I went to Greek School for six years after regular school, just like in that movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I didn’t grow up in a houseful of books. And the truth is my mother can’t read, so libraries and librarians were very important to me in my young life. Without them, I don’t know if I would have such a strong love for reading and writing. When I found out Dive Smack was a 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection, I broke down and cried. That designation means so much to me and I’m extremely grateful my debut novel was chosen.
By: Demetra Brodsky
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: June 19th, 2018
(US & Canada Only)
There will be 5 winners:
1 winner will receive a Signed Copy of DIVE SMACK and a bookmark
2 winners will receive 2 DIVE SMACK Themed Bracelets (each) + a signed bookmark
1 winner will receive a DIVE SMACK themed necklace + a signed bookmark
1 winner will receive a DIVE SMACK themed keychain + a signed bookmark
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*