Friday, December 2, 2011

Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn

Open Minds is the first book in a planned trilogy (Mindjack Trilogy) and is about a future world where everyone reads minds except one girl.

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.

What inspired Open Minds?
It started as an idea for an online 1st paragraph contest. My then-current projects didn’t have snazzy first paragraphs, so I decided to make one for a story that hadn’t been written. I’d been playing around with a story idea of a boy who was a touch empath (could feel emotions by touch, and thus was very isolated), but that wasn’t going anywhere. When I was mulling over how to turn that into a 1st paragraph, the image of a girl sitting in a classroom filled with mindreaders popped into my head. She was painfully isolated, because she couldn’t read minds and was not only unable to communicate, but terribly ostracized as well. I dashed off the first paragraph, but the image and idea of this girl wouldn’t let go. The story grew from there.

Why Science Fiction, how did you come up with the idea of MindJacking (which is super awesome)?
The story started out being about mindreaders, but about a quarter of the way into my rough draft (which was completely pantsed, no outline, nothing), I realized that my MC had this power to control minds. The term mindjacking actually didn’t come until much later. For a long time (several drafts), the jackers were called pushers. Then someone pointed out that term was awfully close to the movie Push, so I spent about an hour working on other terms, finally coming up with mindjacker. I wanted something that had an edgy feel to it, that gave the sense of the physicality that jackers experienced when they controlled another person’s mind. And of course it’s reminiscent of hijacking, which is really what mindjackers do.

What are some of your favorite SF/Fantasy writers/books and why?
I grew up on SF with books by Asimov and Frederik Pohl – they transported me to worlds I could never dream up on my own! My current author crushes are on writers like Scott Westerfeld (Uglies, Leviathan), Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games) and Holly Black (White Cat) – they’ve taken SF&F and made it all new and exciting again!

Tell us a bit about your next book in the series, progress, release date estimate (I'm already excited for it!)
Thanks for being excited about Closed Hearts! If you’ve read Open Minds, you know that Kira’s story is far from over. I’m about half way through the first draft of Closed Hearts (which I did for NaNo this year), and hope to have the second half done by Christmas. Then it will be revisions, revisions, crit partners, more revisions. I’m hoping for a May 2012 release, but I won’t release the book until it’s ready. It is very exciting to have people already anticipating the book! You can follow the progress here on my Mindjack Trilogy website.
Thank you so much for joining us today Sue!  I can't wait for book #2!

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

$2.99 E-Book
Amazon (US)
Amazon (UK, France, Germany)
Request a Kindlegraph


  1. So excited to be on Writer's Lens! Thanks for having me. :)

  2. I agree - always better to wait if you have to in order to have a better book! Can't wait for book two!

  3. This sounds like an intriguing read. I will have to check this book out. Thanks for interviewing!

  4. I loved this book. My favorite read of the year and that's saying a lot. :) I can't wait for the next book. Thanks for visiting us today Susan!

  5. Here's another one for my Must Read list. I love the concept of mindjackers. That's about the scariest thing ever, really. Isn't it?