Author Of The Week: Chat with Donna Freitas (The Mind Virus), Plus Giveaway!!
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 Donna Freitas, YABC's Author of the Week!
Donna Freitas is the author of both fiction and nonfiction. Over the years she has written for national newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal,The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Newsweek. Donna has been a professor at Boston University in the Department of Religion and also at Hofstra University in their Honors College. She writes children's novels for Scholastic, Harper Collins, and FSG, and she loves it very much! Donna splits her time between Brooklyn, NY and Barcelona, Spain.
Meet The Mind Virus!
Skylar Cruz has managed to shut down the body market that her sister Jude opened, and to create a door to allow App World citizens reentry into the Real World. But as tensions between the newly mingling people escalate, she’s not sure if it was the right decision after all. Still reeling from Kit’s betrayal, she’s not sure of anything anymore.
And for those who are still in the App World, a new danger looms. A virus, set in motion by Jude’s actions, is killing off the bodies of those who remained plugged in—and no one knows how to stop it.
It’s up to Skylar to once again save the worlds—and only time will tell who will be standing alongside her in the end.
Meet The Body Market!
Skylar Cruz found her sister in the Real World—only to learn that her sister has betrayed her and put everyone in the App World in danger. The Body Market is now open for business and everyone still plugged into the App World is for sale.
Shaken by the betrayal of everyone she trusted, Skylar is through being a pawn. She may be the only one who can stop what her family started. And she has to do it before the App World runs out of time.
In the tradition of M. T. Anderson’s Feed and Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, Unplugged is the first in a thrilling and provocative new series that Kass Morgan, New York Times bestselling author of The 100, called “chilling and addictive.”
Skylar Cruz still remembers the day she plugged in and joined the App World for the promise of a better life—the day she left her family behind in the Real World. Skylar is now a virtual teenager and even though she’s surrounded by everything she ever dreamed about, she’s never felt like she fits in and all she wants is to see her mother and sister again.
Skye is desperate and ready to risk everything to unplug from the App World. But she soon learns that the only person she can trust—in either world, including friends and family—is herself.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I think it’s Kit, actually. He sort of came out of nowhere during the second book in the series, The Body Market, and I really loved writing him (I always love writing the bad boys!).
Though I also really have loved writing Lacy, who has quite an evolution over the course of the three books. She is SO nasty in Unplugged, but I wrote a kind of redemption arc for her character, that culminates in The Mind Virus. Lacy really grew on me. ☺
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
Well, there was the idea—two worlds, one real, one virtual—with a girl at the center of everything, who’d never experienced her real body or what it’s like to be in the real world. I guess that came first. But those titles came quickly—Unplugged, then The Body Market, then The Mind Virus—all in one sitting, and I immediately knew it would be a series because of those titles. They felt so compelling to me, that they made me want to write the books!
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
That writing a series is the hardest thing ever! I mean, like, crazy hard. It’s such a huge commitment—both time-wise, and writing-wise. You are basically agreeing to write about 1000-1200 pages of a single, over-arching narrative arch, over the course of three books, which is kind of like writing three mini-arcs that all fit into one.
There’s something wonderful about writing a story that big—it’s so exciting. But it’s also incredibly difficult.
I will think long and hard before I do another series, that is for sure! I so love reading them, though. There’s nothing like a good, long series.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Oh, wow, I love the covers of all three books. I think they are the most beautiful covers. I especially love the cover for book one, Unplugged. It’s eerie and disturbing and beautiful—a girl hanging there, against all that blue.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017-2018?
That one is easy for me! Philip Pullman (one of my favorite authors in the history of novels ever) is releasing his first novel related to His Dark Materials this October, 2017, and I cannot wait. His Dark Materials is up there in my top five reads of all-time, and book one in The Book of Dust series is out so soon. My plan is to re-read His Dark Materials for, let’s see, the tenth time, as a way to gear up for the release. I am so excited. Like, giddy fangirl excited.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2017?
That is such a difficult question—there are so many wonderful books that came out this year. One that I truly loved, though, that has really stuck with me, is The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe, about a young teen, Dita, who is a prisoner at Auschwitz, and who takes charge of these eight tattered volumes on behalf of the rest of the prisoners, risking her life, because they are not allowed books. It is a long and intense book (obviously), but gorgeously written, and I just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s an incredible story.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
Oh, I’m SO exciting about my next book! It’s called the Healer—it’s YA contemporary, with a dash of magic realism. It’s about a girl named Marlena, who heals people with her touch. By the time readers meet her she is eighteen, she’s questioning her gift, and she’s angry at the world for being so needy of her. There is a BIG love story in that one, and I spent days weeping the whole way through writing the end of it.
I can’t wait until it’s out (September 2018 from Harper Teen!). We’ve had a lot of excited early readers and I’m looking forward to seeing what other readers think, too!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I’m a drafting girl, all the way! I love that first draft. I love the freedom of it, the excitement of it, all that possibility. I love how you can do whatever you want, because you know that you can always come back later to change things and take things away. To me, that first draft is exhilarating!
I generally loathe revising though. It is the opposite of the feeling I get on the first draft. Heavy and weighty—now you have to make big decisions about what to cut and what to keep. And I hate having to restructure, if that is an issue. It’s like reorganizing the most difficult puzzle.
But writing the first draft is like a new romance! Wee!
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Eating. Definitely eating. I love to eat. I am a champion eater. The Wonder Woman of eating. ☺
The Mind Virus
By: Donna Freitas
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: December 26th, 2017
Three winners will receive a SIGNED copy of The Mind Virus (Donna Freitas) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
The synopsis elicits my great enthusiasm. That said, the bright colors on the cover don't really work for me. I like the other covers of the books in this series more. I think it's the particular combination of colors because I usually am quite drawn to deep and/or brightly colored cover designs. Thanks for the opportunity to win this great new read! Cheers, Kara S
The cover is wonderful and fits with the story. The synopsis is very interesting. The series sounds exciting and intriguing.