June 9, 2015

Deadly Design Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to be participating in the blog tour for DEADLY DESIGN by Debra Docktor! Today I have a fantastic guest post by the author to share with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win your own copy! Check out the other stops on the tour too - there's a schedule at the bottom of the post!

Deadly Design
Author: Debra Docktor
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Thriller
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers


The emotional power of If I Stay meets the survival story of Maze Runner

Genetically engineered identical twins Kyle and Connor McAdams were born two years apart. Their parents figured it was safer that way, to increase their odds of survival. Connor was born first, paving an impossibly perfect path for Kyle to follow. He was the best at everything—valedictorian, star quarterback etc. Kyle never thought he’d be able to live up, so he didn’t even try.

But when Connor, 18, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, and Kyle learns of other genetically modified kids who’ve also died on their eighteenth birthdays, he’s suddenly motivated—to save his own life. Like Connor and all the rest, Kyle was conceived at the Genesis Innovations Laboratory, where the mysterious Dr. Mueller conducted experiments on them. The clock’s ticking as Kyle searches for answers: who was Dr. Mueller really, and what did he do to cause their hearts to stop at eighteen? He must unravel the clues quickly, before, he too, becomes another perfect, blue-eyed corpse.


Rise of the Male Protagonist!

From Frodo to Harry Potter to Percy Jackson, where would we be without the male protagonist?

My daughter and I have read every Percy Jackson book. We’ve also read Thomas’s fast-paced ordeals in The Maze Runner, and Jacob’s quest to solve his grandfather’s mystery in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. When we pick up a book, like most readers, it’s not the protagonist’s gender that keeps the book in our hands – it’s the story.

Okay, we may not want to admit this, but most readers are female. Yes, there are males who read. Lots of them. This past semester, I had two male students who constantly had their heads buried in books of fiction instead of their riveting psychology texts. But typically speaking, females read more and according to popular theory, females prefer to read about female characters.

Sure, we like to view the world through our protagonist’s eyes, and if the protagonist just happens to be a different gender, it might be a little tougher to relate. But where would Hazel Grace Lancaster be without Augustus Waters? Where would Katniss be without Peeta? Yes, these males aren’t the protagonists in their stories, but they are critically important characters and as readers (whether we’re male or female) we can relate to them.

If a person looks at the variety of young adult fiction coming out this year, they will see several covers with female characters. But wait! There are also a number of titles coming out with males not only on the covers, but as the main characters.

So what does this mean?

Could it be that more males are becoming fans of the YA genre? Could it mean that guys love a great story as much as females do? Yes, that’s part of it. I think another part is that we’re a very diversified society, a society where females can pull for male characters and relate to them, as much as they can pull for and relate to the Haze Graces of the world.

As a writer, I think of characters. Recently I tried to change a male protagonist into a female one because, to be honest, that would make the book more marketable. But it wouldn’t work. When I tried to turn Will into Willow, Will threw a fit and not surprisingly so.

For Deadly Design, Kyle was always a male. He just was. Could the story have happened with a female main character? Absolutely. Would female readers like it more? That, I don’t know.

I do know that readers today are very sophisticated and that minds love to be expanded and entertained. I hope that Kyle’s story of genetic manipulations and survival is one that will appeal to male and female readers and that most of all, they’ll find it entertaining and enlightening. 
Debra Dockter currently teaches behavioral science at Cowley College and resides in Haysville, Kansas with her husband and three children. Deadly Design is her debut novel.

Giveaway: (1) Hardcover copy of Deadly Design - Open to US only!

* I want to send a huge thank you to the awesome people at Penguin Teen for allowing me to be a part of the tour & for hosting the giveaway! *


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