Thursday, August 23, 2012

Susan Kaye Quinn Interview

Today I'm excited to interview another awesome young adult author from the Chicago area, Susan Kaye Quinn. Her series the Mindjack Triology is a must read. The characters are true and compelling and the theme of the book is extremely timely (I won't say more, you just have to read it for yourself!).

The second book in the series was released last spring, shortly before her first book, Open Minds was chosen as a finalist in the Kindle Book Reviews Best of Indie Books, 2012.  And, in the next weeks or two she's releasing two novellas, The Handler and The Scribe.

Here's a little bit about the first book in the triology, Open Minds and my interview with her:

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can't read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can't be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf's mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she's dragged deep into a hidden underworld of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

What inspired you to write the Mindjack Triology?
The idea for the story came to me as I was dozing off to sleep, thinking up an idea for a 1st paragraph contest. The image of a girl sitting in a classroom filled with mindreaders popped into my head, only the girl couldn’t read minds and was painfully isolated. I was compelled to write her story.
How did you decide to write a series?
Once Open Minds was finished, I knew that it had to be a series – Kira’s story wasn’t finished. By the time she gets through Closed Hearts and Free Souls, however, I believe that most of her story will have been told.

Who or what inspired the main character and theme of the series?
My very first image (the girl in the classroom) was Kira (the main character) and her theme of isolation carries through the entire trilogy.

What advice can you give to young aspiring writers?
The most important thing is to write. A LOT. (Thinking about writing, talking about writing, attending classes on writing – these don’t count. You have to do the actual writing itself.) The second most important thing is to network with other writers so that you can be continually seeking out new critique partners to give you feedback on your work. Offer to critique in exchange – that will teach you as much as critiques of your own work, and help you improve. Most of all, remember this is a long journey, and you have to take it one step at a time.

You grew up in California and now live in the Chicago area.  I must ask, do you miss the beach?
Yes. J I was a serious beach bunny as a teen, probably caught way too may UVA/UVB rays. But I love living in the Midwest – it’s the friendliest place I’ve ever put down roots.

Next California question (got to ask):  Do you surf?
Unless you count body surfing and doing face-plants into the sand, the answer to that would be “no.” J

It is so cool you are a Rocket Scientist.  Do you love saying to people, "It's not rocket science, you know."
It kinda cracks me up. Because there are many things that are just as complicated as rocket science, maybe even more so today, with advancements in science and technology: the study of genetics, the origin of the universe, dark matter, multi-dimensional string theory. I think we should start a new-for-the-times saying: “It’s not string theory, you know.” Except no one would know what you’re talking about. J

One last question:  What do you love the most about your main character, Kira?
That she has an almost unconscious goodness about her. She instinctively chooses the right thing, even when she’s not sure what she should do (and she has a lot of hard choices).

Susan Kaye Quinn, Author

Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. She pursued a bunch of engineering degrees and worked a lot of geeky jobs, including turns at GE Aircraft Engines, NASA, and NCAR. Now that she writes novels, her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" and she doesn't have to sneak her notes anymore. All that engineering comes in handy when dreaming up paranormal powers in future worlds or mixing science with fantasy to conjure slightly plausible inventions. Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as much as she can handle.

You can find Susan on her blog, facebook, and twitter and if you'd like to know about any future releases of hers, subscribe to her newsletter.

Where to find Susan's Books: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and iTunes.

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