Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Interview with Demetra Brodsky for Last Girls

Last Girls

Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: May 5th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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No one knows how the world will end.

On a secret compound in the Washington wilderness, Honey Juniper and her sisters are training to hunt, homestead, and protect their own.

Prepare for every situation.

But when danger strikes from within, putting her sisters at risk, training becomes real life, and only one thing is certain:

Nowhere is safe.

Can you briefly describe LAST GIRLS and its characters? 

Last Girls is a twisting, YA Thriller about sisterhood, survival, and family secrets. Three sisters being raised as doomsday preppers in the Pacific Northwest face a different kind of threat when one sister’s actions draw the unwanted attention to the secret compound where they live. As the group leader’s erratic behaviour and actions increase, they have to decide if it’s better to run or take their chances against the very people sworn to protect them. 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

That’s such a tough call. Honey is the oldest of the three Juniper sisters, and the POV character for all three sisters, but Birdie and Blue come with their own strengths and worthiness. If I have to pick just one, I’d say Birdie (the middle sister) is my favorite. I don’t think she’d be the choice of most readers. Maybe that’s why I love her. She is, in my own opinion, the most misunderstood. Headstrong, independent, and impulsive, Birdie rarely shows her more sensitive site. But when she does, it’s visceral. Throughout the story Birdie is the one that suffers the most, and I felt so her emotions viscerally while writing her into the scenes she shares with her sisters. 

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere? 

I’d love to say I had this unforgettable ah-ha moment. The truth is, I was curious about the lives of doomsday preppers. Not the variety that are sensationalized on television, but the ones who homestead and try to live mostly off the grid. It was a combination of that and an episode of Criminal Minds titled Amplification that dealt with a jilted scientist creating a pathogen to use as a biological weapon. My research spread into military history until I had the makings of my own thriller. Being the youngest of parents’ three daughters, I’ve always wanted to write a book about three sisters. I love a good power trio. 

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

My favorite question. Mother, by Pink Floyd. The book opens with a quote from this song. You can find my public, author-curated LAST GIRLS playlist on Spotify.

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

I love dreaming about who would play my characters. This is always so much fun. 

Honey: Diana Silvers

Birdie: Emily Rudd

Blue: India Eisley

Toby: Cole Sprouse

You can visit the Last Girls Pinterest board to see more.

What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

Tazo makes a heavenly Juniper Mint Honey tea. Sipping that in front of campfire would be amazing while reading Last Girls. 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish LAST GIRLS? 

There are some great books with similar themes that I love. 

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

The hardest part for me is creating a viable villain or villains. The main characters usually come to me easily and I just have to massage them into existence. Once I have an idea of who the story is about, I jump into creating the villain because their motivation is what will drive the character’s actions and reactions. I have to know why they feel compelled to do the things they’re going to do, what their lives were like, who or what happened that made them the way they are. That advice was given to by Lois Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer) when she read an early copy of Dive Smack, my debut. She told me she always starts with the villain and to have more information on them than I needed, stuff that will never even make it into the book as long I knew them as well as I knew my protagonist. She then proceeded to email me a bunch of questions to help me flesh out the villain (Dr. Maddox) in my debut. 

What’s next for you?

I’m currently outlining an adult Greek Mythology story, which is a revision and reimagining of the first YA book I ever wrote. It also contains a power trio, and you won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve spent a long time developing the villain. As a first-generation Greek-American, this story is very near and dear to my heart and I can’t wait until the day I can share it with readers.

The Juniper sisters in LAST GIRLS don't go anywhere without a backpack (what they call an EDC: Every Day Carry) and they take great pride in their artwork. Honey paints, Birdie draws comics, and Blue uses embroidery to fancy up her clothes (when she's not spending time with her beloved falcon, Achilles). To honor the sisters' talents, I'll be sending one lucky winner some artistic inspiration by offering up a fabulous pre-order Grand Prize. But don't worry, everyone who orders will receive a gift with purchase. And, as a bonus, I'm including a 2nd prize that holds a special place in my author heart.

ALL PREORDERS WILL RECEIVE: Last Girls 5x7 Glossy Art Print & Signed Bookplate (see above)


GRAND PRIZE WINNER: (chosen at random on or before 5/19) will receive a BUILT NY grey & blue camouflage backpack with thermal lunch compartment. Inside you'll find a mini acrylic painting kit (From Honey), a sketchbook & pen (From Birdie), an adorable 10" peregrine falcon plushie and mini sewing kit (from Blue), a flashlight (with batteries), a rosy tinted lip balm, camouflage band-aids, a 3-pack of portable tissues printed with positive messages, and a dehydrated camping meal like the one the sisters eat in the book.

FIRST PRIZE: (chosen at random on or before 5/19) A signed hardcover copy of my debut novel, DIVE SMACK, to round out your collection (Surprise! There's a big Dive Smack Easter Egg hidden in the pages of Last Girls).

TO ENTER: email proof of purchase to before May 5th. You'll get one entry for each copy of the book you purchase.

Available wherever books are sold.
Whenever possible, please support Indie Bookstores by buying through
Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego will have signed copies (not bookplates) and offers Free shipping for media mail rate within the U.S. on orders over $35.

VISIT: to learn more!

*Open to U.S.A. Residents Only
*Sweepstakes run and fulfilled by the author
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DEMETRA BRODSKY writes twisty thrillers about dark family secrets. She is an award-winning graphic designer & art director turned full-time. A native of Massachusetts with a B.F.A from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Demetra now lives in Southern California where she's always exploring and researching, looking for clues to things that might feed into her next book. She is a first generation Greek-American and a member of International Thriller Writers. Dive Smack, her debut YA Thriller, is a 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection, an (ALAN) Pick (The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE), and a Publishers Marketplace Buzz Book for Young Adults for Spring/Summer 2018.

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited to read this book and it's already on my TBR.