Writer Wednesday – Susan Kaye Quinn

Today I bring you Author Susan Kaye Quinn, whose Open Minds YA paranormal has received some awesome reviews. I can’t wait to read it!

About Susan Kaye Quinn

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.

About Open Minds
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 world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.
So let’s get to know Susan better!

Tell us about you in 10 words.
Ex-rocket-scientist who loves kids, books, and shiny tech gadgets.
Um, okay, wow. I don’t think I’ve ever had a rocket scientist here before. I suddenly feel like my IQ dropped 20 points. So, uh, what are we doing? Oh yeah, interview. If you tweeted about your latest release, what would it say (140 characters or less)?
What if you had to mind control everyone you loved? Open Minds $2.99 #kindle http://amzn.to/BuyOM #paranormal #sciencefiction #yalit
Simon – Yeah, I could stare into those eyes for a while, too.

Lots of punch in so few characters. Nice job! If you could spend the day with any of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?

Probably Simon, the mindjacker who helps Kira discover her powers. I’d like to dive into his head, figure out what made him go down the path of joining a nefarious underground group of mindjackers like Molloy’s Clan. Or possibly just gaze into his dark eyes for a while.
Heheh. The truth comes out… So what’s your favorite part of being a writer?
That I get to invent future technology, without having to make it actually work? Or that I get to write aching love stories about really cute fictional men? Hmm… I think my favorite part is creating whole new worlds that readers actually want to read and experience and live with me. #SoCool
Very cool. What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
Not having enough time to write. I need a 28 hour day.
I feel ya! Completely. What do you wish you would have known before you became a writer?
That it would be so creatively fulfilling. I would have started sooner.
Yes, I imagine you could have used that outlet while doing all that fancy scientific stuff. What made you decide to go indie?
I knew that I wouldn’t shelve Open Minds:  I loved the story and wanted to share it too much for that.  I tried querying agents,  and had lots of positive response, but the process was way too slow. I quickly realized that it would take years to get Open Minds on the shelves. I was dying to write the rest of the trilogy, and with indie publishing I didn’t have to wonder whether it would be published
Plus, indie publishing is a shiny new gadget. I have a hard time resisting those.
From what I’ve heard about Open Minds, readers are very happy you didn’t resist. What do you like most about being indie?
The fact that I control it end-to-end: editing, cover, timetable. Even the launch party, giveaways, and review requests are at a pace and flavor that suits my style, and it’s really nice to be able to bring that kind of cohesion to my work.
If a writer came to you asking advice about going indie, what’s the most important thing you would tell them?
Well, I actually have Seven Questions You Should Ask Before Going Indie. But if I had to pick just one, it would be this: make sure you know what your goals are for this book before you launch it. Is it a business or a hobby for you? Because if you know what you want to get out of it, you’re much more likely to be happy in the end.
Excellent advice. You really can’t be in-between or aimless, otherwise you’ll get frustrated. So let’s talk about your own reading. What’s the last book you read and what’s next?
Just finished A Million Suns by the amazing Beth Revis (So.Good.Buy.It!), and now I’m reading Goliath, the last book of the Leviathanseries by Scott Westerfeld-who is so awesome I really can’t fangirl enough about him. After that I have a bunch of indie titles on my TBR, including The Veil by Cory Putnam and Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper. My indie list is growing fast and is responsible for the groaning sound that comes from my Goodreads TBR list.
Excellent list! What book or author can you read over and over again?
Scott and Beth (above); also Holly Black (I have a crush on Cassel).
Hmm…I started White Cat and couldn’t get into it. Maybe I need to give it more of a chance? So what do you think – ebooks or Dead Tree Books? Why?
Depends. Generally ebooks, because they’re cheaper and I love my ereader gadgets. But I’ll spring for hardcovers at author signings, or paperbacks for writing books.
Finally, where can we connect with you?
If you’re interested in what’s going on with my books, you can subscribe to my author newsletter! Or you can find me on Twitter way too often, or Facebook, or my blog, where I talk about all kinds of writerly and tech things, including indie publishing. I love to hear from readers and connect with other writers, so I hope you’ll stop by!
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5 Responses to Writer Wednesday – Susan Kaye Quinn

  1. Thanks so much for having me, Kristie!

  2. Heather says:

    I LOVED Open Minds so much! It blew me away in every aspect. Great writing, great world building, and great characters. Susan has a fan for life in me now.

  3. Yes, you tempted me over here with that comment about Simon’s eyes. Open Minds was wonderful!!! And I loved your comment about how creatively fulfilling writing is and that you would have started sooner.

    “What if you had to mind control everyone you loved?” – the best 10 word hook I’ve EVER heard.

    I’m planning to read Tangled Tides too, the teaser anthology the Indelibles just releases really hooked me!

    • I’m chomping to read Tangled Tides! I have so many Indie/Indelibles titles on my TBR, as soon as I kick out this draft I’m working on, I’m rewarding myself with some more reading.

      (And thank you for your sweet words!)

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