Hello! I’m so excited for Demitria Lunetta’s release of IN THE AFTER next week on June 25th from HarperTeen! I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this book and it was the definition of unputdownable. Demitria let me pester her with questions. Here we go!
I was entranced by how Amy and the little toddler she cares for, Baby, communicated in total silence. Did you always know this would be a major part of the book from the beginning?
Thank you! When I first came up with the premise for IN THE AFTER, I knew I wanted my creatures to be unique…they have poor eyesight and are very sensitive to sound. I built my post-apocalyptic world around this concept. As a result, my characters living in the After would have to be painfully quiet. I loved the idea of two people relying on each other for survival, living in complete silence. Amy, my teen MC, and Baby, the child she care for, only have each other to communicate with. Over the years they’ve created their own version of sign language. I realized that this language that only they shared linked them together throughout the novel, and often highlighted the unbreakable bond between them.
What was the weirdest (or most fun, or most gross) thing you had to research for this book?
The weirdest thing I had to research was what actually happens when a lobotomy is performed. It’s a very small part of my book, but I think of all the horrors present, including flesh-eating creatures and the end of civilization, the threat of a lobotomy is the scariest. It’s so frightening to me because it used to be an acceptable medical procedure, resulting in drastic behavior changes and often ending with a non-functioning comatose patient. In the mid twentieth century, thousands of people were lobotomized in order to treat depression, manic behavior, violent tendencies and was even recommended to cure moodiness. Some people had their children lobotomized because they were too willful, or defiant. I still get chills whenever I think about it.
Plotter, or pantser?
I think about a story for a long time before I start to write. I finished the first draft of IN THE AFTER in four months, but I thought about the plot and characters for about three months before that, sometimes jotting down my thoughts. While I don’t have a long complicated outline or pages and pages of notes I definitely carefully consider a story before I begin writing.
Have you stockpiled your own pantry for the apocalypse? If so, what’s in it? And also, what advice do you have for the paranoid masses out there who know it’s coming?
While I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about “the end” in theory, I am not at all prepared for an apocalypse of any kind. I have mostly fresh and frozen foods…I might have a can or two of tuna fish somewhere. There are so many ways in which the world could end, how could I ever be prepared for them all? I have a strange respect for doomsday preppers, they’re so committed to their view of the apocalypse. I’m more of a “whatever happens, happens” kind of girl, so at the end of the world I’ll be gorging myself on slowly melting ice cream and hoping for the best.
Thanks Demitria! I’ll have some of that ice cream too, but let’s hope the apocalypse doesn’t happen. I like my ice cream cold, after all. 🙂 Congrats on your upcoming book release next week!
IN THE AFTER is available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!