Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC: Dive Smack by Demetra Brodsky-- Interview + Giveaway

Dive Smack

by Demetra Brodsky
Publisher: TorTeen
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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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 him question what he really knows about his family, the night of the fire, and if he can trust anyone—including himself.


The favorites are always the hardest. What is this thing called favorite that you speak of. Give me all the things! 

Favorite Book?

 If I were stranded on a deserted island, I'd want The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Strangely,  even though I write thrillers, I'm drawn to historical fiction. I think it's why I have a deep love for character backstory. My other favorites authors are Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott, Jennifer McMahon, Jeffrey Eugenides, V.C. Andrews. Books about dark family secrets inspire me the most. 

Favorite TV show? 

Supernatural, but the early seasons when Sam and Dean were hunting demons. I love the dialogue between the brothers. I also loved Hannibal and Teen Wolf. If I had to pick TV Show comp titles for Dive Smack, Hannibal meets Teen Wolf would definitely be my picks. I studied the relationship between Will Graham and Dr. Lector religiously before I wrote Theo and Dr. Maddox. And with Teen Wolf, Dylan O'Brien is my perfect pick for an on-screen Chip Langford.  I also never miss Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. 

Favorite movie? 

JAWS! I watch it every year on my birthday unless something else comes up. We got to the beach, I get a Lobster roll, and we go home beaten by the sun and sea and watch Jaws. It feels like a really long vacation, even though it's only one day. A couple of years ago it rained and I we to the movies instead. It wasn't the same. I can't even remember what we watch. I grew up in Massachusetts and have spent time on Martha's Vineyard where the movie was filmed. I've always loved it and feel like it transports me back to my summers going to Cape Cod. In the winter, as soon as Thanksgiving is over, though, I'm begging everyone in my family to watch It's A Wonderful Life. I guess I have seasonal loves. 

Your Favorite Song? 

I guess Ramble On, but Led Zeppelin comes as close to a favorite as I can think, and Theo listens to it in Dive Smack while he's running toward the cemetery in the first act of the book. But truthfully, I'm a bit of an audiophile, not unlike Dr. Maddox in Dive Smack. I love everything from Jazz to Hip-Hop, but I'm most drawn to songs that tell stories rather than the ones that just hook and beat. 

Favorite Food? 

Donuts. A new place opened in my town and they make strawberry cheesecake donuts, and banana cream pie donuts. It's a dangerous place. 

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. 

Wonderland, The Isle of Avalon, and Olympus. 

What were your favorite books when you were growing up (childhood or teen years)?

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, V.C. Andrews Flowers in the Attic. I didn't grow up with a lot of books in my house, except for encyclopedias and some Greek Mythology coffee table books. My parents are immigrants and my mother can't read, so I had to get books from the school library. My parents definitely encouraged my sisters and I to read, though. They wanted us to love books and we all do. It's really special to my mom that I became a writer, and when I found out that Dive Smack was chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection, I cried. If it weren’t for librarians, I wouldn't be a writer or a lover of books today. 

Favorite Quote?

My favorite quote is a Greek one that heard growing up, it translates into "If you want to eat fish, you have to get your butt wet." It makes me laugh, but also reminds me to work hard toward my goal. 

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over? 

I fangirl pretty hard over Supernatural and Gillian Flynn books. 

What recent book would you recommend to our YA fans? 

I got to read an ARC of #MURDERTRENDING by Gretchen McNeil and I'm crazy for that book. It comes out in August and I hope everyone reads it and loves it as much as I do. 


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about DIVE SMACK?

Dive Smack is about Theo Mackey, a springboard diver who gets assigned a family history project at school that forces him to dig into his mother’s past where he uncovers things that he shouldn’t. It’s as much about his mother’s story as his own, but telling you more would ruin all the fun twists and surprises I have in store for readers. Just know that the springboard diving is used as a metaphor for Theo’s life spiraling out of control. 

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of DIVE SMACK.) 

This is such a fun question. 

Do you have any favorite books/movies/tv shows that feature swimming and/or diving? 

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrns and Period 8, both by Chris Crutcher feature swimmers uncovering dark secrets.  I love both of those books. He’s a phenomenal writing. Back On The Board is an incredible documentary about Greg Louganis. I’ve been a fan since I was young and he’s mention in Dive Smack. I highly recommend it. The two YA movies that I love, featuring swimmers, are Swimfan (2002) and The Covenant (2006) features a swim team, but isn’t about swimming, specifically, much like Dive Smack. 

Honestly, diving/swimming aside, I’ve always thought of Dive Smack as a mash up of Hannibal (the TV show) and Teen Wolf, so I’m including those for readers to think about, too. 

Can you tell us 5 random facts about Theo?

He would do anything for his friends.
He likes his best friend Chip’s house better than his own.
He’s afraid of failure.
His crush on Iris Fiorello is hardcore.
He does the right thing even when he doesn’t want to. 
He has two moles on his face.
He likes classic rock.
His car is named after Bumblebee the Transformer.
His teammates call him The Big Mack because he’s tall for a diver.

Oops, you only asked for five. I got carried away. 

Tell us your favorite quote from DIVE SMACK.

I don’t have a single favorite so I’ll share a short excerpt that doesn’t contain spoilers that still makes me laugh. 

“I stand on the board and take a deep breath. Some people like the smell of freshly mowed grass, barbecue, even gasoline. I swear this one kid in my English class loves the smell of his own armpits. But for me, it’s chlorine.”

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?  Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

The diving scenes were the hardest to write because I’m not a springboard diver and it took a lot of research. The title scene in Dive Smack was one of the hardest to write, but also the most fun. When a diver hits the water going 35 MPH there is definitely a lot of pain involved, but how that scene unfolds from that moment is one of my absolute favorites. I'd tell you more but there are too many spoilers and I want readers to see that unfold in their minds.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for DIVE SMACK– Which one would you pick?

Scumbag Blues by Them Crooked Vultures. It’s featured on the Dive Smack Spotify Playlist. 

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read DIVE SMACK (specific music, snacks…)? 

I can do you one better and give you the link for the Dive Smack Spotify playlist that features songs that are mentioned in the book and that inspired me while writing:
French fries are the perfect snack while reading Dive Smack. You’ll see why when you start reading.  

What’s 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
Thanks so much for chatting with us!!

Thank you so much for having it. These questions were a lot of fun!

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. Dive Smack, her debut novel, is dedicated to Pumpkin, the monarch butterfly she once saved from the brink of death. Once you read the book, you’ll understand why. She is a first generation Greek-American and a member of International Thriller Writers. Dive Smack is a 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection.

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  1. I think I will have to add this to my tbr! Supernatural is one of my favorite shows, and Dylan O'Brien is my favorite part of Teen Wolf. :)

    1. I love him. He's the best. I hope you like Dive Smack.

  2. This is definitely on my TBR. The cover is exciting and symbolic. I'm reading a mystery/thriller right now--the Tombs.