Today the wonderful Debra Dockter joins me at The Hiding Spot to talk about her debut, Deadly Design, the story behind her favorite word (awwww!), why she feels punk rock is an escape, and more!
Your debut novel, Deadly Design, is, to me, a mystery with a scifi twist. Was there a specific experience or idea that inspired the plot or characters in your novel?
To be honest, I had the main character in my head before I had the story. Kyle was a secondary character in another novel that I didn’t feel that strongly about. I was able to let go of the manuscript but not Kyle. I was thinking about what kind of person Kyle was (sarcastic, a little immature, but so full of untapped potential) and then the idea came to me – what if he was an identical twin, only his brother was born two years before him and just happened to be perfect in every way that society sees valuable. I started doing some research and discovered that not only was this possible, but that it has actually been done before.Tell me a little bit about your writing process: Do you outline? Start at the beginning? The middle? The end?
I like starting with an idea and then discovering where it will go. I don’t do outlines and I rarely know how it’s going to end. I figure that if I’m making discoveries as I’m writing, the reader hopefully won’t be able to predict what’s going to happen. Plus, it’s a fun way to write, and anyone who’s ever seen my closet (or my car) knows that I’m not very organized so outlines, at least right now, aren’t my style.What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing or provided inspiration?
This is such a fun question! Like many people, I’ve worked behind a fast food counter. I was also fortunate enough to dance for a professional ballet company, work as a professional nanny and get chained up and sawed in half by a magician on weekends. I think working as a behavioral science teacher and a psychologist definitely helped shape and inspire my writing. The things that people go through and survive are so inspiring. Doing therapy with children and adults with various histories really helps a person believe in the human spirit, and nothing is more inspiring than that.If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?
This is so easy for me. My favorite word is “Mommy”. I know that sounds kind of corny, but it’s true. As the youngest of five children and the only girl, my mom and I are very close. Then when I was twenty-three, I decided to become a single foster parent. A policeman brought a three-month-old little girl to my apartment door, and I was so privileged to have her call me “Mommy” for the first year of her life. Now I have three children of my own and there’s no word I love hearing more. I also really like the word risqué just because it’s fun to say.My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality?
Writing, reading, and music are my favorite places to escape. Writing gives you the ability to create your own world to escape into which is wonderful. Books provide the same escape and lately, I’ve really gotten into punk rock – yep – I said punk rock. I love the feeling that music creates when the melody or the lyrics connect to you somehow.What can readers look forward to next?
I’m working on a couple of different projects right now, trying to decide which would be best to put forth next. One is a psychologist thriller (involving a ballet dancer so I’ve had the chance to utilize those experiences). One is a sci-fi thriller and one is a quirky story that takes place in Oklahoma. We’ll have to see which one makes it out of the gate next!
About the Author
About the BookWhen my parents told me I could be anything I wanted when I grew up, I took it to heart. Even being a Kansas girl, I managed to become a ballerina (performing Swan Lake 28 times), worked as a magician's assistant (worst job ever!), became a child psychologist, and currently work as a college professor and a young adult author. I currently live in Kansas with my husband, our three children, one dog, one bird, nine fish and if my youngest gets her way, some sort of rodent. My young adult novel, "Deadly Design" is due out June of 2015 from Putnam/Penguin. I'm represented by the wonderful Ayesha Pande Literary Agency. Follow me on Twitter @debdockterYA
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.