Monday, June 8, 2015

Blog Tour Interview, Giveaway & Review: Deadly Design by Debra Dockter

Today on WinterHaven Books we are participating in the blog tour for Deadly Design by Debra Dockter hosted by PenguinTeen!  We have an awesome interview, giveaway and review to share!
Deadly Design
First up the amazing Debra Dockter!
Welcome Debra!
1.I loved that Deadly Design was from a guy’s POV. What made you decide to write this story from a guys perspective?
Kyle was born before the story was. He was a secondary character from another manuscript I’d written. When the manuscript was done, I decided that I didn’t like it, but I liked Kyle (he was Dylan in the other book). Of course, Kyle didn’t want to be Dylan. He wanted to be his own person, a person worthy of his own story.
I had to come up with a scenario for why he was the way he was – a reclusive teen with so much potential but the inability to see it. Then came the idea of having an older identical twin, which led to research into infertility which led to research into genetics and Kyle’s story began to form.
As a Y/A writer, I love strong teen voices, both male and female. I also love authentic voices and to me, Kyle is the perfect combination of both.

2. This was the first book I think I have read where the villain actually admitted to being the villain up front. Was this something you had always planned?
I like to make discoveries as I write. I always figure that if I don’t know what’s going to happen, the reader won’t either. I met the evil doctor the same time Kyle did. I met him when he revealed himself to both of us on the page as I typed.
The scene where Kyle meets his creator is one of my favorites in part because it creeped me out so much to write it. I think a villain who believes in his cause so much that he doesn’t try to hide his agenda, is the scariest kind. There’s a self-righteousness that can’t be shot or stabbed or poisoned. No amount of therapy or sane logic can remove it. Put that type of self-righteous insanity in the mind of a genius and who knows what can happen?

3.Was it hard writing Conner's character knowing what would ultimately happen?
It was! Sometimes when a writer knows what’s going to happen, they try to protect themselves from knowing or caring about a character too much. Yeah. Yeah. I know it’s only fiction, but just like readers care, so do writers.
During one of my several rewrites, I had to sit down with Connor and force myself to get to know him better. I asked him questions about who he was, what he wanted in life, what he regretted, what he’d change if he could. And suddenly Kyle’s older twin wasn’t just Kyle’s older twin anymore. He became real to me and that helped so much in getting his character right. Before doing that, I think I found Connor to be a little too…perfect, like Kyle did. But then Connor became so much more. He became everything Kyle could aspire for – not just in academic and athletic greatness, but in the type of human being he could be.

4.Who was your favorite character to write?
Other than Kyle, I have two favorites: Jimmy and Dr. Rubenstein. They are both such fun characters. Jimmy’s got a heart of gold and a mind that’s slightly unpredictable, and Dr. Rubenstein is a genius with the attention span of a two year old. What could be more fun, and potentially frightening!

5. Have you always been intrigued by genetics?
Teaching psychology, I’ve always covered the basic of genetics (the very basics). But I’ve always found the field of genetics to be fascinating. Every day it seems like there are new discoveries, new possibilities to both save lives and improve them. But just like the whole Ying and Yang thing, good and evil tend to go hand in hand. If we can keep a baby from getting some horrible disease, that’s great. If we can find out how to predict diseases or even cure them by understanding a person’s chemical make up, that’s awesome!
I think what’s most intriguing about genetics is figuring out where the boundaries will be. What will be considered ethical and legal and what won’t. Could people eventually design their own children? Could we purchase knowledge in the form of an organic chip that can be downloaded into our brain, and if we can, could that lead to mind control? It all sounds like science fiction but so much of science is born in the minds of science fiction writers. And with the discoveries being made today, writers are being inspired in push the boundaries of their imaginations just like scientist are inspired to push the boundaries of what they should or maybe, shouldn’t do.

6. I would love a sequel to Deadly Design, any hope?? *crosses fingers*
All I can say is keep those fingers cross! There is definitely a lot that can still happen with Kyle’s story, and I’d love the chance to work with these characters again.

7. Are you currently working on any future projects?
I love writing so there is always something in the works. The project I’ve been working on also involves some elements of science

Debra, thank you so much for stopping by!!  I am definitely going to keep my fingers crossed!

About the author:
 Debra Dockter
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.

Deadly DesignDeadly Design by Debra Dockter
Publisher:G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound
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.
My Thoughts:
Wow, this turned out to be quite the fascinating read!

Kyle and Connor McAdams are twins, but not in the traditional way. See, they were genetically designed in a medical laboratory. Connor was born first and Kyle two years later. Connor has always been the perfect brother, student and athlete while Kyle is more into the gaming world and while he's proud of his brother accomplishments he's tired of being compared to his 'twin'. But everything changes when Connor dies of a heart attack on the night before his 18th birthday and what's even stranger is that it seems to be happening to others who are dying the exact same way. It's a race against time and Kyle has to find out just what's happening and how to stop it before he suffers the same fate.

I have to give props to Debra Dockter here, this was some pretty solid entertainment. I really enjoyed the concept of genetically engineered, manipulating genes and mutations. Sure, it's a little far fetched and not everything done was exactly believable. But I guess that's the beauty with science fiction stories. It's not always suppose to be possible, it's suppose to be plausible and I think Dockter nailed it. I also really liked the twist and turns and that ending was crazy gripping and fast paced and truthfully it seemed like everything was happening at once, but I enjoyed that last push of suspense and excitement so much I read this in one sitting. I actually ended up really liking Kyle even though he doesn't always have the greatest attitude. But he has a great voice and I liked his humor. It may feel like he doesn't really care about anything besides his games but the reader knows differently. He loved his brother, proud of him, but jealous and tired of living in his shadow but mostly I think he just wished that they could have been born together and wonders what it would have been like.
Even though Connor dies early on into the story, I still feel like I connected with him enough to know he was a good guy who understood his brother better then he thought and it was enough to charge this touching and thought provoking storyline.

I really liked Cami as well, she the perfect kind of girl to give Kyle the encouragement and support he needed to get through all of these deaths and the craziness of his life. She's playful, spunky and I liked her determination. The romance and moments we got were sweet but it did get a little intense at times, but given the...impending situation I can understand why. I didn't care for Kyle's momentary lapse, but it was easy to overlook given the history.

All in all, I had a lot of fun with Deadly Design. The writing is strong, the concept was intriguing and these characters will pull you along right till it's riveting conclusion. A Fun and entertaining escape!

4 snowflakes 

Giveaway time!  
The wonderful people at PenguinTeen  have graciously offered one finished copy of Deadly Design to one lucky follower!  Fill out the form below to enter.
US only
Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. this looks and sounds fantastic! thank you for sharing :)