It’s my great pleasure to introduce Susan Kaye Quinn as our guest for this week’s Blog Ring of Power interview. I met her through blog posts on The Writers’ Lens and Pots & Pens (she was Ansha Kotyk’s guest). I loved the concept for OPEN MINDS and the book lived up to my expectations–and so did the sequel. Can’t wait for book 3!
Don’t miss the rest of Susan’s BRoP interview:
- Part 2 @ Emily – Friday, Aug. 3
- Part 3 @ Sandra – Monday, Aug. 6
- Part 4 @ Dean – Tuesday, Aug. 7
- Part 5 @ Terri– Wednesday, Aug. 8
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.
PART 1: ABOUT YOU
BRoP: How long have you been writing?
Susan: This December, it will be five years. Which amazes me, because it still feels like I just discovered this new thrill ride called writing.
BRoP: What genre do you write?
Susan: I write young adult and middle grade stories, everything from science fiction to love stories to fantasy – and mixtures of all three.
BRoP: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
Susan: Anything that challenges my readers to think: agonizing moral choices, mind-blowing future possibilities, something that causes the reader to say, what if it was me? What would I do? That’s the kind of story that revs my engine, so that’s the kind that I love to write.
BRoP: What books have most influenced your life?
Susan: I read vast quantities of science fiction as a kid and young adult: the classics like Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land), Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451) and Asimov (Foundation Series, I, Robot), as well as Frederik Pohl (most recently, The Last Theorem) and Ursula K. LeGuin (Left Hand of Darkness). My modern influences, especially since I started reading (and then writing) middle grade and young adult fiction have been authors like Holly Black (White Cat), Scott Westerfeld (Uglies, Leviathan), Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief), and Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games). I love their crisp, evocative styles and their amazing imaginations—someday I hope to write books half as good as theirs!
BRoP: When did you first consider yourself a professional writer?
Susan: I suppose when my first novel (Life, Liberty, and Pursuit, a love story) was published by a small press. And while that was an amazing feeling, I honestly can say it was even more of a revelation to me when I realized I was a writer at all (which, oddly, occurred when picking up a printed manuscript, and the Staples guy asked, “Oh, are you a writer?” Yes, yes I am). You see, I had spent my entire adult life thinking of myself as an engineer and scientist (I have a Ph.D. in environmental engineering, so I was somewhat serious about believing this to be true). Then a funny thing happened – I stopped working for a while to stay home with my kids, started reading their books, and rediscovered my childhood love of writing stories. I wrote all the time when I was a kid, then left that frivolity behind when I became a serious adult, pursuing engineering degrees and work experience. But once the writing bug bit me again, I quickly realized this was what I wanted to do full-time (which I now am lucky enough to do).
BRoP: What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?
Susan: Print and ebook.
BRoP: Please let us know where your readers can stalk you:
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/susankayequinnauthor
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4094557.Susan_Kaye_Quinn
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.
Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown–a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash–Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.