Friday, September 22, 2017

Blog Tour! Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World! (Featuring Author Interview, Giveaway, and Superhero Awards!)

Hello, everyone! Guess who gets to participate in a blog tour for the newest release of one of her favorite authors? Yep, this girl! I'm super excited to help spread the word about Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World- and not just because Bryan Davis is awesome, but also because Wanted is pretty great in its own right. First up on this post, I have a pretty fun interview with Mr. Davis, followed by my own thoughts on superheroes. However, since I've already posted about the qualities that make a hero and I'm not sure I can pick my top five favorite superheroes, I instead decided to hold the Superhero Awards, featuring categories suggested by my friends around the internet. But before we get to any of that, a little about the book and author:

About the Book

Eddie Hertz is smart, real smart. He has to be. What other twelve-year-old patrols the streets of Nirvana alone, hoping to foil the schemes of the evil Mephisto? Since Eddie is small for his age, he trusts in his Batman-style gadgets belt and acrobatic skills as well as lots of experience, like knowing how to swing across dark alleys without being seen.

Eddie has a dream, to become like Damocles, Nirvana’s great superhero. To make that dream come true, Eddie invented a device that is supposed to give him superpowers, but using it on himself is dangerous, maybe even fatal. He doesn’t have the nerve to try it.

When Mephisto unleashes an earthquake machine on the city, Eddie gets a surprising teammate — his quirky eight-year-old sister, Samantha, who comes up with an unexpected way to help Eddie in the frantic battle to prevent the biggest earthquake of all.
Since Damocles has lost his ability to help in physical form, Eddie and Samantha are the only hope for Nirvana and the world.

Find the book on: Amazon || Author Store || Goodreads

About the Author

Bryan Davis is the author of several bestselling series, including Dragons in Our Midst and the Reapers Trilogy, speculative fiction for youth and adults. Bryan and his wife, Susie, work together as an author/editor team to create his imaginative tales.

Connect with Bryan Davis on: Website || Store || Blog || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads || Instagram 

Author Interview
Hello, Mr. Davis! Welcome to the blog! To start off, can you tell us a little about yourself? Who you are, hobbies, favorite books (other than your own), anything else you'd like to share?

I am the author of several speculative fiction series, the best known of which is Dragons in our Midst. I have been a fulltime author for fifteen years.

I enjoy hiking, especially in national parks, My three favorite novels are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Joan of Arc by Mark Twain, and Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis.

I am a big fan of broccoli. I am probably in the top one percent for total annual broccoli consumption.

I definitely did not know that last fact. Moving on, Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World is pretty unique from your other books in a lot of ways. What inspired you to write a middle grade superhero novel (and this particular superhero novel in particular)?

My main reason for writing for this age group was simple. I heard from many teachers and parents who said their readers were too young for my books. I needed to fill that age gap with something that younger readers would love. I hope that many will be inspired by this story and then move on to my other novels as they get older.

I'm sure they will! What is your favorite part of the writing process? Your least favorite?

I enjoy writing the first draft and editing it to create the second draft. During these phases, everything seems new and exciting.

The most difficult is the last stage of editing. I usually go through a novel manuscript about eight times, often ten times. Those last couple of edits can quite tedious, but I know they are necessary.

They definitely are, and that's something I think a lot of writers need to be reminded of. Since you just gave us that good advice: what’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve ever received, whether that’s the most useful, the most unusual, or something else?

I learned about motivation/reaction units from a book called Techniques of the Selling Author by Dwight Swain. This advice revolutionized my writing for the better.

It would take too long to explain this concept in an interview format, so I will direct you to a couple of posts on my blog:
Motivation Reaction Units Part One
Motivation Reaction Units Part Two

Interesting. One thing that I almost always find in your novels is some pretty cool technology, and Wanted is no exception. How do you come up with all that tech for this and other stories?

I have always been interested in technology. I was an engineering major in college and a computer professional for twenty years before I became an author. The blend of knowledge of tech with the creativity necessary for writing speculative stories creates a need for fun and imaginative technology. So, the bottom line answer is that I do a lot of imagining.

I can tell! On a related note: along with that technology come some genius characters. Eddie's one of them, obviously, but there’s plenty more, notably Ashley and Daryl (though I can think of more as well). What do you think would happen if all these characters somehow met and ended up working on the same project?

That would be a fantastically fun encounter. First, they would have to decide who was in charge. I think Ashley would be the best leader. Second, they would have to decide on a project to do. One might want to invent a time machine. Another might decide an anti-gravity belt would be more useful. And a third might think a teleportation device would be the best of all.

Then, after arguing (in a friendly manner, of course) for a few hours, they might end up making a pizza and calling it a day.

Why am I not surprised? Shifting gears now, what are some of the books, movies, or other stories that influenced Wanted?

The recent superhero movies, both Marvel and DC, influenced me in a negative way. A lot of “heroes” in modern culture are lacking in morality and selflessness, Captain America being a notable exception. I hoped to write a story that focuses on sacrificial heroism and inner virtue.

As a casual Marvel fan, I've definitely noticed that. Speaking of other stories: outside of your own books, who's your favorite superhero?

I like Captain America. I always enjoy a hero who is virtuous and sacrificial while still being caring and kind. I also like Batman because he has no real superpowers and has to rely on normal human strength, intelligence, and experience.

Captain America is absolutely the best. Finally: can we expect to see more adventures of Eddie, Sam, and the rest? And if so, can you give us a hint of what to expect?

If you have read the end of the story, you know that this book can easily be made into a series. I hope to do that if this book sells well. That would tell me that readers enjoyed the characters and probably want to hear from them again.

I hope so too! I'd love to read more about these characters! Thanks so much for the interview, Mr. Davis!

And with that, it's time for the second half of this blog post: the superhero awards! Essentially, this is a series of 7 categories chosen by myself and my friends. (Originally, there were going to be 9, but then writer's block happened and I couldn't figure out who to put in some of the categories.) In each category, I'll choose a superhero who best exemplifies those qualities, for good or ill. Ready? Let's get started.

As a note, the following awards may contain minor spoilers for the Marvel movies up through Civil War and C.B. Cook's Twinepathy. Characters from the Reckoners trilogy have been excluded, for the most part, even though they could totally win some of these categories, because I can't say anything about them without major spoilers. So, yeah. Read on with caution, if you care about that sort of thing. 

1. Best Character Development: Thor
 You thought I was going to say Tony Stark, didn't you? And, yeah, Tony does have great development, enough to make him the runner-up in this category- but here's the thing. They've both developed a lot, but Thor has matured more. When we first meet him, he's arrogant, reckless, impulsive, eager to be king, and eager for glory. He's a good guy, but immature in many, many ways. Yet by the end of The Dark World, we see significant change. He's humbler, wiser, more interested in protecting others than simply receiving glory or enacting some kind of revenge or justice. And rather than being eager to rule, he's willing to lay aside his claim to the throne if becoming a great king means going against what he believes is right.

2. Superhero with the Best Superpower: Doctor Strange.
Not just because he has time powers- ok, yes, mostly because he has time powers. But seriously, time manipulation is (or was) an incredibly underused ability in fiction, and I love that he's got it and uses it to such great effect. And, y'know, the rest of his powers are pretty awesome too.

As a runner-up, we have Data from Twinepathy. While her power- the ability to basically "download" information from anyone or anything she touches- isn't as spectacular as Doctor Strange's, it's much more useful and practical, and pretty unusual too!

3. Superhero with the Least Collateral Damage: Ant-Man
Ok, yes, he does sort of implode a building at one point but that's one building and a pretty big difference from other superheroes I can think of whose battles result in much more damage. I mean, it's not entirely their fault; most of them do their best to make sure the people in the area stay whole and unharmed even if the buildings sometimes don't. But Ant-Man still has the best track record . . . which could have something to do with the fact that he spends a lot of time really tiny, but you take what you can get.

Runner-up goes to the IDIA crew as a whole, because I'm pretty sure that's the only superhero series  can think of in which nothing blows up. Good job, guys. Keep it up.

4. Most Realistic/Relatable Superhero: Hawkeye.
So I almost gave this one to Spiderman, since his reactions to life in general in Civil War seemed pretty relatable (and realistic, even if his powers aren't) to me. I mean, if I got the chance to meet Captain America, Iron Man, and company, even if I was fighting half of them, I'd probably be pretty excited and make a little bit of a fool of myself because of it. However, Hawkeye wins this category for a few reasons.

For one thing, he doesn't have powers. No one can claim that he's only special because of science or magic. What Hawkeye has are skills he's worked hard to perfect and choices that he makes in the face of danger.

Hawkeye doesn't always know what's going on. He sometimes struggles to keep up with the others. He gets frustrated by all the craziness that goes on. He has a family and a normal life. But despite that, he goes out and does what he needs to in order to save the world and keep his friends grounded. So, in short, he's the most human of the MCU and therefore wins the award for most realistic and relatable superhero.

5. Most Tech-Genius Superhero:  Tie Between Tony Stark and Eddie Hertz
 So, my first impulse here is to say Tony Stark, for pretty obvious reasons. I mean, there's the Iron Man suits, of course, and it's implied that a considerable amount of other tech in the MCU is connected to Stark Industries. And if you look at the MCU Wiki, you'll see that Tony has a pretty impressive track record for technical genius even before the whole Iron Man business. So he's definitely a winner here . . .

But he does have to share the prize with Eddie, the hero of this whole blog tour. 'Cause, let's be honest: a kid who's smart enough to build a computer, a working virtual reality system, a hologram projector, and a storming superhero generator all by the age of 12 has to have tech-smarts at least as high as Tony's, if not higher. There's no doubt: Eddie's going places.

6. Superhero Most in Need of a Hug: The Winter Soldier
Bucky Barnes doesn't just need a hug. He needs to be wrapped in a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and someone to protect and defend him and let him know that he's loved and things can be ok again. And maybe that's an overly simplistic take, but at least it's a start.
As a runner-up, we have Anvil from Twinepathy. It's been a while since I read the book so I don't know how much y'all have found out, but I know a bit about his backstory from beta reading Lightporter, plus I have more info from a roleplay that C.B. ran a couple years back, so . . . yeah. While his story isn't Winter Soldier-level, it's not a happy tale, and he definitely needs a hug and a(nother) friend.

7. Super-est Superhero: Captain America 
I don't think this choice will come as a surprise to anyone. Steve Rodgers might not be the Perfect Paragon of Purity that some people make him out to be, but he's still one of the best superheroes the MCU (or a lot of other superhero universes) have to offer. Yes, he's only human- enhanced human, but still human. Yes, he struggles, yes, he makes mistakes, and yes, he has a darker side. But he's one of the MCU heroes with the clearest values, who spends the least time in shades of grey, who's the least likely to accept wrong just because everyone else is ok with it. And so, while Captain America might not be perfect, I'd still say he's the most super of superheroes.

I'm not picking a runner-up for this category, because honestly, there's too many good options. Some of them have already received awards here; some of them haven't even been mentioned. But despite the amount of darkness that creeps into superhero universes these days, there's a lot of great heroes still out there.

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the blog tour and that you'll pick up a copy of Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World for yourself! As a note, Bryan Davis is is running two giveaways. One is a fairly standard Rafflecopter giveaway in which you can win a copy of any of his books, along with a t-shirt and bookmark. The other is the grand prize giveaway, which requires a little bit more effort, but will get you everything from the first giveaway plus a $50 Amazon gift card. So definitely check those out, and if you want to win the grand prize, don't forget to visit the rest of the tour stops (list below).

Thanks again for reading! Please tell me in the comments: are you excited for Wanted? And who would you have picked for the superhero awards?
Have a great day!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Tour Schedule

Wednesday, September 20th
Tour Kickoff @ The Author’s Chair
Book Spotlight @ Backing Books
Book review and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Zerina Blossom’s Books
Book Spotlight and Review @ The Spooky Bookshelf
Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Scattered Scribblings
Book Review and Character Interview @ Light and Shadows

Thursday, September 21st
Book Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Red Lettering
Spotlight and Author Interview @ The Reader Addict
Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ target verified
Book Review and Character Interview @ Hidden Doorways
Book Review @ Ashley Bogner
Book Review @ The Page Dreamer


Friday, September 22nd
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Story of Fire
Book Review @ Inkwell
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Liv K. Fisher
Book Review @ writinganyone
Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Superheroes @ Dreams and Dragons – you are here
Author Interview and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ March to a Different Drum
Book Spotlight @ Author Jaye L. Knight

Saturday, September 23rd
Author Interview @ Jessi L. Roberts, author
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Book Lovers Life
Book Review and Character Interview @ Verbosity Reviews
Book Spotlight, Author Interview and YOU WRITE: Superheroes @ Creature of Graphite
Character Interview @ Wanderer’s Pen
Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Adventure Awaits

5 comments:

  1. Sarah, thanks for the post and the review. I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for giving me the chance to read and participate!

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  2. OH man I loved your post on this (I'm a few days late but at least I still get to read some epic stuff!).

    Broccoli eh? I know a guy at my work who eats broccoli and cauliflower like carrots... it's kind of gross, in my opinion, but my opinion is highly influenced by my strong dislike for those items :P

    Great post though :) I very much enjoyed it!

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  3. Nice interview! It would be amazing if all the genius kids from Mr. Davis' novels met up, lol. That would just be incredible.

    Oooh, I love your superhero awards! Hawkeye has always been one of my favorites, and yes, Thor changed so much. I rewatched his first movie over the weekend and his character development was just amazing.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

    ReplyDelete