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Author Q&A ft @szdavies | Ordinary Book Tour and $20 Amazon GC #Giveaway | #YA #SciFi #Dystopian

Ordinary (Ordinary Series Book 1) by Starr Z. Davies is on virtual book tour. The young adult sci-fi dystopian stops at Readerop...



Ordinary (Ordinary Series Book 1) by Starr Z. Davies is on virtual book tour.

The young adult sci-fi dystopian stops at Readeropolis with an author interview.

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for a $20 Amazon GC and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).





HOW DO YOU SELECT THE NAMES OF YOUR CHARACTERS?

Mostly, I let the characters just tell me what their names are. When I was creating Bianca’s character, for example, I asked what her name should be and almost immediately she gave me the answer. Ugene is named after a guy I met years ago, Eugene Powers. I loved the name and thought it had a lot of punch. I wasn’t sure how I would use it until I started planning this book. It seemed like the obvious choice for this character. Ugene isn't anything like the guy I met, though. 


WHERE DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR THIS BOOK? 

One night my husband, step-son, and I were creating a bunch of crazy “what if” scenarios and we would build on them. Ordinary started with the question: “What if a boy lived in a world where everyone had a superpower but him and the only job he could get was delivering flowers by bicycle?” It made us laugh, but it was probably another six years before I realized that there was actually a book hiding in there. Obviously a lot has changed between that first question and the final book, but the basic question remains the same: what if you were the only person without a superpower in a world full of supers? 


HOW DID YOU GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR INNER VILLAIN TO WRITE THIS BOOK? WAS THERE A REAL-LIFE INSPIRATION FOR HER? 

I actually wrote a short story from Dr. Cass’s point of view to get a deeper understanding of her motivations. Readers can download it from my website for free. To me, Cass represents everything wrong with corporate America and the shady practices of big pharma. While I may have taken things a few steps farther than reality, the basis remains the same. Cass is brilliant and she knows it, so she games the system to benefit herself and her research company—even if it means revoking the rights of the lower class citizens for her own gain. Fear-mongering and corporate greed are her primary driving forces. The rich get richer and the poor suffer. I don’t feel like the theme is in-your-face, but the threads are definitely there if you look. 


WHAT DID YOU EDIT OUT OF THIS BOOK? 

A lot! The original version was very different. There was a Blindsight test where the subjects had to survive a test against each other in the dark; a Healing Hands test where Ugene was set in front of a guy with a pipe in his gut and Ugene had to get it out and heal the man before he died—that was probably the most memorable. One of the guys in my writer’s group wasn’t too happy that I cut the scene, but it was out of place in the revised version. 


DO YOU WANT EACH BOOK TO STAND ON ITS OWN, OR ARE YOU TRYING TO BUILD A BODY OF WORK WITH CONNECTIONS BETWEEN EACH BOOK? 

I’m a huge fan of epic sagas. All my favorite fantasy books are epics. Even the superheroes I grew up worshiping are sagas, revised, rebooted, and linked through the multiverse. So yes, I am building a larger body of work. In Ordinary, Ugene lives on Cante Road, which is the surname of the hero in another series I’m planning. If my readers pay attention, they will notice little subtleties linking all my books in a multiverse. However, not all my books will take place on the same world.


WHAT IS THE FIRST BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?

I’m an emotional sponge, so a lot of stories have gotten me going, but the first one I really remember losing control of myself while reading is Robert Jordan’s "A Memory of Light." The ending of that fourteen-book saga ripped at my gut and it took me so much longer than it should have to finish because I had a hard time seeing the pages through my tears. I ugly cried. A lot. But I also learned a lot from that ending. Particularly, how to give your characters a perfect ending even if it’s brutal. 


WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE UNDER-APPRECIATED NOVEL? 

I feel like the "Slated" series, by Teri Terry, is seriously under-appreciated. The world is fantastic, the characters are all rich and unique, and the ending is unexpected – which is a hard thing to pull off as a writer. I would put "Slated" in the higher ranks of YA books alongside "Hunger Games", and definitely above the "Divergent" and "Maze Runner" series. 


WHAT ARE COMMON TRAPS FOR ASPIRING WRITERS? 

That’s a tough question because there are so many. Distractions. Marketing, for sure. But for me, the hardest challenge to overcome was editing while writing. Don’t do it! I find I’m much more efficient when I edit and revise after the first draft is completed because often, something will happen late in the book that could have an affect on the beginning. Aspiring writers need to stop editing themselves to death or their book will never be completed. 


WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PROJECT(S)? 

Right now, the sequel to Ordinary is almost complete and I expect it to be available in June of 2020. After that, I have a massive epic fantasy series to write. I’ve already completed a series of short stories that will be the foundation for the first books. Right now, the plan is a five-book epic series with a follow-up five-book series that takes place 100 years after the first. But we will see how these actually fall into place. I'm also doing research for a historical fantasy based on late 15th Century Mongolia. 


WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED METHOD TO HAVE READERS GET IN TOUCH WITH OR FOLLOW YOU (I.E., WEBSITE, PERSONAL BLOG, FACEBOOK PAGE, GOODREADS, ETC.)? 
Sign up for my newsletter, follow my social media pages. I’m probably the most active on Facebook, so that’s the best place to start. I encourage reviews on GoodReads, BookBub, and Amazon, and I try to respond as much as I can. I also welcome readers to email me directly. I love hearing from them. Links for all of them can be found on my website, starrzdavies.com.



Ordinary 
Ordinary Series Book 1 
by Starr Z. Davies 
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Dystopian 


Fans of Powerless, The Testing, Hunger Games and the Maze Runner will crave this world of iniquitous secrets, intrigue, and desire to find a place in society. 

Divinic. Somatic. Psionic. Naturalist. Who will you be? 

Having a superpower is ordinary. Your Power determines your job, social class, and future success. 

But Ugene doesn’t have a Power. The only thing special about him is that he isn’t special at all. Ugene is Powerless. 

So when the most prominent biomedical research company in the city offers Ugene a solution, he jumps at the possibility to be ordinary. All he has to do is agree to allow them to use him in their research. But the longer he stays at the research facility, the more he realizes something isn't right. 

Friendships are forged. Trust is broken built and broken. And everything Ugene thought he understood and believed is called into question. 

Who can Ugene trust in his search for answers? What is he willing to sacrifice for Powers? 






STARR Z. DAVIES is a Midwesterner at heart, and lives in Wisconsin with her husband and kids. From a young age, Starr has been obsessed with superheroes like Batman and Captain America, which inspired her novel, ORDINARY. If Starr had a superpower, she would be an Empath, because she is an emotional sponge and easily relates to how others feel. 

While pursuing a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, Starr gained a reputation as the “Character Assassin” because she has a habit of utterly destroying her characters both emotionally and physically. 

In her free time, Starr loves watching Doctor Who or anything with superheroes, reading books (duh!), writing about her favorite fantasy stories (Song of Ice and Fire, Mistborn, The Wheel of Time), and staring out the window as she dreams up more stories. Oh, and sometimes she steps out the door. 





Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!




1 comment

  1. Best of luck with the book and book tour! I included the tour in the Sunday, Apr. 12, 2020 edition of The BookTube Your Shelf Daily Reader: https://paper.li/Readeropolis/1517059010#/

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