Saturday, September 23, 2017

Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World by Bryan Davis // spotlight, interview, giveaways

As promised, I'm coming to you today with a super special post--and yes, it's related to superheroes! Bryan Davis, one of my favorite authors ever, has just released his new middle-grade novel called Wanted--A Superhero to Save the World. I'm excited to get my hands on this fun-looking tale in the near future. In the meantime, I have the privilege of participating in the blog tour! Read on for a peek at the book, an interview with Bryan himself, and details about two super (ahem, pun intended) giveaways.

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.

(Available on Amazon)

Interview with Bryan Davis

Tracey: Most of your books are Young Adult. Did you encounter any challenges while venturing into Middle Grade territory?

Bryan: The biggest issue for me was reader targeting. I looked over some current middle-grade offerings and found that they spanned quite a range with regard to simplicity versus complexity in both story and vocabulary, also in the level of seriousness versus silliness.

Because of this wide range, I decided to imagine my characters and write what felt right based on my own experiences with seven children. The story includes a blend of seriousness and quirkiness, and the vocabulary will stretch some readers, though I hope the context will allow them to figure out the words.

Tracey: What might attract some of your YA readers to Wanted, despite the fact it’s labelled below their age group?

Bryan: My YA readers will recognize my usual desire to portray sacrificial heroism and the growth of relationships. There are enough situations and dynamics that only older readers will truly understand, which makes it an intriguing read for YA as well as middle-grade readers. I think older readers will also enjoy the humor.

Tracey: I've been hearing great reviews from YA friends already! Considering this is a superhero story, I have to ask: do you prefer Marvel or DC?

Bryan: Frankly, I don’t like either superhero universe, with the exception of Captain America, though I have heard they are trying to take even him to the dark side.

Tracey: Who is your favorite superhero in your preferred franchise?

Bryan: As I mentioned above, I like Captain America. I always enjoy a hero who is virtuous and sacrificial while still being caring and kind.

Tracey: Amen to that. What’s the best novel you’ve read this year?

Bryan: I read Till We Have Faces for the fifth time. I have a hard time finding recent novels that I enjoy, so I often go back and reread novels I know I will like.

Tracey: As a writer, where do you get your inspiration?

Bryan: I get inspiration from dreams, my children, everyday life, and other stories. Several of my novels had their origin in dreams, including Raising Dragons, I Know Why the Angels Dance, and Let the Ghosts Speak. Regarding other stories, whenever someone else’s story really hits me hard, I analyze it to see what creates the impact. I don’t want to copy the story at all. I just want to know what gives it that punch in the gut. What aspect reaches the heart? When I figure it out, I try to do the same in my story without copying the other story’s device.

Tracey: Writing being a form of self-expression, many authors put parts of their own personality, quirks, or struggles into their characters. You may or may not have done this, but regardless—which of your characters is the most like you?

Bryan: From Dragons in our Midst, Professor Hamilton reflects my analytical side, Jared Bannister reveals my fatherly side, and a trio of females, Bonnie Silver, Sapphira, and Acacia display my spiritual ideals. Last but not least, from Tales of Starlight, Adrian Masters lives out my chivalry principles.

Tracey: Ah, SIX of my favorite characters! What’s one mistake you see young writers consistently make, and could you share some advice on how to avoid/correct it?

Bryan: The most common mistake I see is in how they develop the characters and story world early on. Some jump right into the intense action before developing the characters and story world, which disconnects readers since they don’t know the characters well enough to care about them during the action.

Some young writers dump loads of information about the back story without progressing the main story at all. I see that problem most often with dialogue dumping, that is, having two or more characters talking for several paragraphs, thereby revealing past events. Yet, nothing really happens except for dialogue and maybe a smattering of interior monologue.

The best approach is to give the main character something to do, a goal to achieve no matter how small, then have that character go about the business of getting it done while giving readers clues regarding the back story and the story-world’s environment in a natural way.

Tracey: What was the most enjoyable part of writing Wanted?

Bryan: I enjoyed the blend of seriousness and quirkiness. There are many light-hearted moments to provide comic relief. At the same time our heroes have to suffer through quite a few dangerous sequences while growing in their relationship to each other. The combination of fun and thought-provoking events was a pleasure to write.

Tracey: I can't wait to read it! What are you working on next?

Bryan: I am working on a young adult space adventure tentatively entitled Search for the Astral Dragon. It’s about Megan Willis, a 12-year-old girl who, through a series of strange events, becomes a military space cruiser’s mechanic. Her parents were arrested for space piracy, and Megan was allowed freedom as long as she served under the military ship’s captain. This captain takes her on a mission to find his kidnapped son. She learns later that this captain had ulterior motives for bringing her along, to become bait to draw the kidnappers out from hiding. Yet, the deeper she digs into the secrets, the more she learns how dark the motivations of both the captain and the kidnappers are.

I am also trying to find a publisher for Let the Ghosts Speak, an adult novel that is a combination of historical thriller and supernatural intrigue.

Tracey: I'm definitely looking forward to both of those. Thanks for the great interview!

About the Author

Bryan Davis is the author of the Dragons in Our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Children of the Bard, the Reapers Trilogy, Dragons of Starlight, Tales of Starlight, and the Time Echoes Trilogy, fantasy/science fiction/dystopian novels for youth and adults. His first novel, Raising Dragons, was released in July of 2004, and several books in that series have hit various bestseller lists, including Eye of the Oracle, which hit number one on the CBA Young Adult best-seller list in January of 2007.

Bryan was born in 1958 and grew up in the eastern U.S. From the time he taught himself how to read before school age, through his seminary years and beyond, he has demonstrated a passion for the written word, reading and writing in many disciplines and genres, including theology, fiction, devotionals, poetry, and humor.

Bryan is a graduate of the University of Florida (B.S. in Industrial Engineering). In high school, he was valedictorian of his class and won various academic awards. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and voted Most Likely to Succeed.

Bryan and his wife, Susie, work together as an author/editor team to create his imaginative tales.

Here are some places you'll find this superhero-in-disguise lurking about. Go stalk him and say hello!


By now you must be chomping at the bit to get a copy of Wanted, am I right? Right! The generous author is hosting not one, but TWO giveaways/contests!


Prize: Winner's choice of any Bryan Davis book, plus a Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World t-shirt and bookmark.

How to enter: It's a simple Rafflecopter drawing. a Rafflecopter giveaway


Grand Prize: All the items from #1, PLUS a complete Bryan Davis series of the winner's choice OR a $50 Amazon gift card.

How to enter: This one requires your involvement! Every participating blog has hidden a number in their post. So your job, hero, should you choose to accept it, is to read every post, add all the numbers up, and enter that sum into the giveaway form: a Rafflecopter giveaway There's a lot of great bloggers in this tour--you may want to give them a follow as well!

Speaking of which, you'll find the full list of participating blogs at The Author's Chair right HERE.

Are you looking forward to reading Wanted as much as I am? (Or maybe you've read it already!) Who's your favorite superhero? Remember, as soon as you're done here, head on over to the list of blogs and start adding those numbers! :)


  1. Tracey,

    Thank you for the post. I appreciate your support.

    1. My pleasure! I love spreading the word about my favorite authors. :)

  2. Great interview! I really need to get this one, sounds really good.
    Also super excited for the upcoming books.

    1. Thanks! Same here--I can't wait to read about Eddie and Samantha. Yes, the upcoming books look amazing too! (I'm especially intrigued by Let the Ghosts Speak.)

  3. I'm so excited about this book!!! I think it's really fun Mr. Davis is dabbling into MG. I remember when he was first writing this and posted the first bit of it on his blog. It had me HOOKED. So I DEFINITELY need the finished project!

    This interview was so fun! The questions you came up with, Tracey, were spectacular, and I loved reading all the answers! I'm especially excited about this YA space adventure novel in the works. It sounds so gooooood!

    Thank you both so much for sharing! I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

    1. Me toooo! MG is such a fun age group... I actually want to try writing something MG one day too. But SUPERHEROES. FUN. HUMOR. HEART. It sounds perfect!

      Thank you! (I loved reading the answers too. XD) I know, all the upcoming books look fabulous! NEED THEM.

  4. This was so great, Tracey! I loved the interview ;). I'm so, so excited to read Wanted: A Superhero To Save The World. Thanks for sharing this post with us!

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

    1. Thank you, Savannah! I'm super pumped to read it too! :D

  5. I was so happy when I saw you on the blog tour list. ^ ^ Great questions for the interview!

  6. Aww! I was excited to see you on the list too! :D I haven't had a chance to read all the Saturday posts from the tour yet, but hopefully soon.