Jun 27, 2016

Blog Tour: Unplugged by Donna Freitas

Welcome Donna Freitas, author of the new book, UNPLUGGED!!! We're so excited to kick off the second weekend of the tour!

1. What was the best part of writing UNPLUGGED – the beginning or the end?

Well, I’d say the beginning, because I loved starting that book. The ideas about technology and virtual reality are exciting to me, and I loved setting up my protagonist in the middle of all of these what-if’s and this virtual setting, knowing that she was going to unplug and discover what it’s like to be in the real world and her body, really for the first time.

2. Where do you write (what’s your setting/environment)?

I have a chaise longe! It’s amazing. It’s super poufy and comfy. I like to write with my feet up and my laptop sitting on a pillow in my lap. It’s next to this big bank of windows so I can look outside. And I also have a little table next to it stacked with all of the books I’ve been reading lately, and where I can put my coffee mug. I always have coffee when I’m writing. And maybe a few cookies. Or cake. I love sweets with my coffee!

3. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Not for a long, long time. It never occurred to me I could write books, even though I spend so much of my life reading, reading, reading and it’s one of my favorite things to do. (Especially if I am floating in a pool.) Then one day I thought of a character I really wanted to write—she popped into my head—but I never thought I would actually write her story. Then I did, sort of playing around. But I never thought I’d finish it never mind send it somewhere like it might get published. But my agent loved it and suddenly Frances Foster at FSG was buying it, and it became my debut in 2008: The Possibilities of Sainthood.

A lot of people know when they’re, like, nine years old that they want to be an author. I guess I didn’t know until I was in my thirties. J

4. What is your favorite way to connect with readers?

I love it when readers email me! Emails are letters, and I love getting letters.

I also love to do things like this—get to be on someone’s blog (thank you!) and answer people’s questions. It’s always so fun to see what people want to know.

But my favorite way to connect with readers will always be in person. I get to do that a lot with my nonfiction, because I do so many speaking events on college campuses. There is nothing like an in-person conversation! Which, I guess means that I like to connect with readers, unplugged. J

5. What author would you totally fangirl over?

Let’s see. I already did fangirl over Brandy Colbert. She’s the author of this amazing debut novel called Pointe that I loved so much. It’s gorgeous writing and it’s a thriller, about a ballerina no less! I got to interview her for PW and I totally gushed the second we got on the phone. I believe her next novel comes out some time in 2017 and I can’t wait.

Also: I absolutely love Andrea Portes’s books Anatomy of a Misfit and The Fall of Butterflies. She is one of the funniest writers in YA in my opinion. But I love how she makes me both laugh and cry. One minute I’m giggling hysterically and the next I’m weeping with her.

Another book I was obsessed with this spring (it comes out in June) is The Leaving by Tara Altebrando. I want to tell her how amazing it is! I hope it becomes a bestseller. She deserves it.

6. If you aren’t writing, what are you doing?

That’s easy. Eating! I love food. I love cooking. Well, eating and drinking wine, too, most likely. Over the years I used to try and make myself be this museum person when I travel, but really, if I’m going to be honest, I am a food tourist. My favorite thing is to find amazing restaurants in cities I love and see places via the food.

Also, I do love TV. A lot. There are so many good shows! And books. I love books. J

7. Any summer vacation plans? What books will you be taking with you?

Yes. I’ll be in Porto, Portugal and then in Spain—Barcelona mainly. Then I’m starting a new research project (for my life as a professor) that involves interviewing some of the refugees who are walking/taking rafts to Europe. I will likely start in Sicily and end up in some of the Greek isles for that.

As far as books go? I’m dying to read the third book in Mary Pearson’s fantasy trilogy: The Beauty of Darkness. I have loved that fantasy series so much. I haven’t loved fantasy that much since Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief series, and all of Kristin Cashore’s books.

The first book in a provocative new series from acclaimed author Donna Freitas—Feed for a new generation.

Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life.

Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again.

But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.

In the tradition of M. T. Anderson’s Feed and Scott Westerfeld’sUglies, Unplugged kicks off a thrilling and timely sci-fi series for teens from an award-winning writer.

Donna Freitas is the author of both fiction and nonfiction, and she lectures at universities across the United States on her work about college students, most recently at Colby, Pepperdine, Harvard, and Yale. Over the years, she has written for national newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesThe Boston Globe, and The Washington Post, and she’s currently a non-resident research associate at the Center for Religion and Society at Notre Dame. Donna has been a professor at Boston University in the Department of Religion and also at Hofstra University in their Honors College.

Donna is also the author of six novels for children and young adults, including The Survival Kit (FSG, 2011), named an ALA Best Books for Young Adults and the winner of the Bookstar Award in Switzerland, and This Gorgeous Game (FSG, 2010), also named an ALA Best Books for Young Adults, a winner of the CCBC Choice Award, and a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best winner. Her novel, The Possibilities of Sainthood (FSG, 2008), received five starred reviews and many accolades, including: an Indie Next Kids' List Great Read, Society of School Librarians International Book Award Honor Book, VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers, and the Texas Lone Star Reading List. Donna has also published two middle grade companion novels with Scholastic, Gold Medal Summer (about a gymnast) and Gold Medal Winter (about an ice skater), which just won a CCBC Choice Award. In June, Unplugged the first novel in her sci-fi trilogy about two competing worlds, one real, one virtual, will be out in June from HarperTeen. She lives in Brooklyn.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Schedule:
Tour Schedule:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of UNPLUGGED (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Your summer plans sound amazing! I hope you post some pics and tell us about delicious foods you got to try.

  2. These are some great questions, I really liked reading the author's answers. You know, I always thought that authors knew from when they were young that they wanted to become writers but I guess that passion can emerge at whatever age.


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