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Author Archives: demitrialunetta

2K13 at SCBWI OH

Whew, that’s a lot of acronyms…but The Class of 2K13 is going to be at an event in Ohio next week. Well, six of us are! Here’s the rundown!

 

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Reconnect – Recharge – Renew: N. Ohio SCBWI 11th Annual Conference

WHEN: Friday, September 20, 2013 2:00 PM –
Saturday, September 21, 2013 5:30 PM (Eastern Time)

WHERE: Cleveland Airport Sheraton
(216) 267-1500
5300 Riverside Drive
Cleveland, Ohio 44135

WHAT: Reconnect with old friends and make some new friends. You can never have enough acquaintances in this industry. The networking opportunities are AMAZING!!! Recharge and become motivated, educated and inspired with the presentations from experts in the field. Renew leaving the conference with new ideas or goals on making old ideas successful. Feel refreshed and ready to jump into your career of writing and/or illustrating for today’s youth.

WHO: 2K13 Members:

•Kelly Barson, Author of 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS)
•Geoffrey Girard, Author of PROJECT CAIN
•Demitria Lunetta, Author of IN THE AFTER
•Mindy McGinnis, Author of NOT A DROP TO DRINK
•Jennifer McGowan, Author of MAID OF SECRETS
•Kate Karyus Quinn, Author of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE

We will be doing a debut panel on Friday: From Finished Manuscript to First Book: A YA Debut-Author Tells All and a Query panel on Saturday.

There are a ton of other authors and panels, so come check it out! There’s still time to register so we hope to see you all there!

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Having a Book Baby – What I’ve Learned

InTheAfter - hi-resThe blog theme this month is what we’ve learned during our debut year. IN THE AFTER came out in June, so it’s only a few months in bookstores, but I learned a lot before it even hit shelves!

1)      Social Media is Your Friend – When I first made a facebook fanpage I kind of did it with an eye roll, I mean, who needs another random social media outlet? The same with Twitter. But I’ve grown to embrace the social media aspect of being a writer and wish I’d started sooner. First of all, it gives you more exposure and that’s always a good thing. Secondly, it’s an easy way for people to get in contact with you and ask you questions about your book, or even just give you a shout out. It’s also a great way to keep in contact with other debut authors. If you’re an aspiring writer, get on twitter now. Don’t wait. Follow people at first, then jump into the convo…you’ll soon be addicted!

2)      The Importance of Community – Whether you’re a reader, an aspiring writer, or a debut writer, community is important. I don’t know what I would have done without 2K13, 19 other people who are experiencing the same things I was, all the joys, stresses and wonders of our debut year. Community is important!

3)      It’s Out of Your Hands – I joke about my “book baby” but really, once your book releases it’s out of your hands. People will love it. People will hate it. People will sing its praises, or use it as a doorstop. I try to think of my book as more of a “grown up” now and try not to check up on it every five minutes to make sure it’s doing well. Instead I occasionally hear things about it and I’m okay with that. My editor emails me the trade reviews and I think of it as my book checking in when it comes home to do laundry. I decided early on in the process not to be an overbearing author-parent and it’s working out for me. Believe me, it’s better for my sanity.

So those are just a few things I’ve learned from my debut year so far!

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Class of 2K13 at ALA

ALA was so amazing! We had over 150 librarians attend our panel and trivia game!

Here is Liesl finishing up putting swag in the swag bags! We got there early to set up…

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and there was already a line outside!

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Here we all are at the front table for our quick pitch…we each had 30 seconds to talk about our books. Also a special shout out to our moderator, the wonderful Veronica Roth.

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And then it was time for to play trivia! It was a close game but Stephanie’s team beat out all the rest to win it!

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Yay Class of 2K13!

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Top Row: Geoffrey, Tara, Kate, Kelly, Stephanie, Cristin, Caela, Tamera, Nicole

Bottom Row: Jennifer, Liesl, Demitria, Polly, Mindy, Debra, Lydia

IN THE AFTER is Almost Here!

Hi guys!

It seems strange that IN THE AFTER is releasing tomorrow (Tuesday 6/28)…considering that my process took 2+ years from signing with Harper Teen to actual real live hold-in-your-hand book. It’s got me looking back on my writing career and everything I’ve done to get here and how easily I could have given up. When you want to be a writer, you have to deal with a lot of rejection & criticism and it’s easy to think that it will never happen, but then you keep with it. Each step, (getting an agent, going on submission, getting a publisher) is a hard won accomplishment and now, with my book so close to actually being out, it’s a bit surreal.

So…what do all you writers out there want to know about the publishing process…in general or specific to my journey. Ask, and I’ll do my best to answer! And if you’re in a book store tomorrow, go and check out my book-baby. The cover feels really fantastic (no joke, the cover feels amazing). It looks like this:

 

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Want To Sell Your Manuscript? Do Your Homework!

One smart thing I did to sell IN THE AFTER was research everything that applied to my book/genre/industry. It may sound completely counter to a creative process, but if you want to sell your manuscript you have to do your homework. Research the market, the publishers, and the agents.

Now I’m not saying write for the market, unless of course, you were already writing in a high-demand genre, but know what’s selling and know who’s buying your type of work.

For IN THE AFTER, I knew that YA dystopian was selling like crazy, and while IN THE AFTER is post-apocalyptic it has enough of a dystopian feel to fit that market. But it’s also different enough that I hoped it would stand out.

So I started researching agents. I looked at the acknowledgements page in books that I thought were similar to mine. I also went to the website for the Association of Author’s Representatives, http://aaronline.org/ and searched by which agents represented YA authors. You don’t want to waste your time approaching agents that don’t even represent your genre. If an agent has sold books of your genre in the past, they have connections and know who in the publishing world will be interested in your manuscript.

I researched the hell out of agents and got not one, but five offers of representation. That’s how I knew my hard work paid off. And since I’d already done a ton of research on each agent, I felt really good choosing one who I knew could sell my manuscript to a publisher.

Take it from me, if you want to sell your manuscript, you have to do your homework!

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Violence and Cursing and Sex, Oh My!

InTheAfter - hi-res

This month we’re talking about the levels of violence, sex, and other “badness” in our books. IN THE AFTER is recommended for 13 and up, and if it were a movie it would be PG 13…but what does that actually mean?

Violence – I’m not going to lie, my book is filled with violence. By definition post-apocalyptic means after an apocalypse, a horrible event in which millions are killed. Flesh-eating creatures appear on the planet, and very quickly wipe out the human population. My main character Amy, is left in the aftermath and ends up killing countless creatures. These attacks are some time gruesome, but never at any point is there violence for violence sake. It’s about survival and living in a harsh environment.

Sex – There is absolutely no sex in my book. With little romance, the only “sexual situation” is a man who tries, and fails, to force himself on Amy. This one incident is in no way gratuitous, and younger readers may not even understand the sexual undertone.

Bad Language – There are a few “curse” words in my book, but nothing that is still bleeped on television after 9pm. No F-bombs.

So, like I said, pretty PG-13 across the board. The truth is; every child/teen has a different level of reading comfort. While admittedly my book does have a lot of violence, it’s important to differentiate between gratuitous brutality and important strife. Children of all ages should know that there is a difference between fighting for nothing and fighting for something.

IN THE AFTER is available June 25th from Harper Teen.

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What I’ve Learned From Kids – Kids Say the Darndest Things

Let’s face it, kids can be brutally honest. They’ll tell you if you have spinach in your teeth or ask you what’s up with the mole on your chin, or flat out tell you at the top of their lungs that you’re wrong. And children say it with such sincerity, such openness, that it’s not even insulting.

Maybe it’s because of this honesty that children are incredibly insightful. Kids are very observant and pick up on a lot of things that an adult may not. I don’t have children myself, but I’ve spent countless hours baby-sitting, listening to little high-pitched voices, and I’m always eager to hear what they have to say. Children are amazingly bright and perceptive. We have a lot to learn from them.

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Silence IN THE AFTER

This month’s theme is about music and creating playlists for our books…but IN THE AFTER is all about flesh-eating creatures that hunt by sound so I decided to instead write my blog post about silence.

I want you all to do a little experiment. It would be best during nighttime because my creatures are more active during the day, but any time will do.

Turn off all the electronics. No TV. No music. No Computer. Anything that makes a noise, off.

Now turn off all the lights. The creatures in my book have poor eyesight, so will focus on any little light they see and go to it like a moth to a flame.

Listen. What do you hear? If you live in a city you’ll hear traffic and voices and it won’t even be that dark because of light pollution. Tune all of that out. Imagine a world where you are the only person left and your survival depends on your absolute silence.

Now walk across the room. (Please try not to walk into anything…I won’t be responsible for any bruised shins.) How quiet are you actually? Does the floor creak? Is your breath louder than you thought?

How noisy are you actually, and what if any little noise meant your death?

This is the world that my MC, Amy lives in. Silence.

In the after cover

IN THE AFTER releases June 25th from Harper Teen.

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How IN THE AFTER is different…in a good way

In the After

Sure, there are a lot of creature books out there, from aliens to zombies to vampires (ummm…I’m talking about the non-sparkly kind) …but IN THE AFTER takes these norms and flips them. These creatures (referred to as They) are ravenous, flesh-eating monsters, but they have poor eyesight, making them more active during the day when it’s light out. They also hunt by sound. This means that my MC, Amy, lives in a world of silent darkness. She only goes out at night, making the usual world of frightening shadows her comfort zone. The day becomes a time of terror, when They own the world.

Another difference in IN THE AFTER is its focus on the relationship between Amy and a child she finds in the After. Called Baby, this child becomes Amy’s reason to survive, not only the After, but all that she must face as the story unfolds. While a lot of YA spotlights romantic relationships, I wanted to focus on Amy and Baby’s sisterly bond and the connection two people would form trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

IN THE AFTER will be available June 25th from HarperTeen
Pre-order at B&N or Amazon
Add on Goodreads

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Comparable Titles for IN THE AFTER

It’s strange to compare your book to someone else’s…but here goes…

In the After is a post-apocalyptic story, but it’s also strongly rooted in sci-fi, dystopian, with a dash of horror. It’s like if you take Brave New World, War of the Worlds, and One Flew over the Cuckoos’ Nest and put them in a blender, then took the gelatinous mess and molded it into something new and delicious. Chocolate mousse maybe? Mmmmm chocolate…

Anyhoo, if you like old school sci-fi, you’ll want to check out IN THE AFTER. These titles are also comparable if you’re in to the apocalypse…because who doesn’t love a good destruction of everything story?

And if you’re more in to dystopian titles, like these:

Then IN THE AFTER also has you covered. It’s classic sci-fi with a modern, dystopian twist. Yes, the world ends, but hopefully you’ll love every minute of it.

You can find In the After on Goodreads and will be available June 25, 2013.

And don’t forget to check out this week’s giveaway…sponsored by myself and the awesome K.A. Barson.

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