Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Virtual Launch Party!!! OPEN MINDS!

Author Susan Kaye Quinn's concept for her new YA novel, OPEN MINDS, is fantastic. I read her initial query/blurb months ago over on YAlitchat and was totally blown away. I'm ecstatic to finally get my hands on it! Being a part of her Launch Party is icing on the cake!

I'm blessed to be Chapter 3 of her guest posting segment. She's doing a series, taking you on a journey of how Open Minds came to be. For the whole story, visit the other guest posts listed below. 

Now, here's Susan!

I’m finished! Oh wait. Maybe not.
by Susan Kaye Quinn

My new paranormal/SF novel Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) started as a NaNo novel (National Novel Writing Month). Actually it started as a paragraph, then turned into a voice tutorial, but at the end of NaNo, I had 53,829 words and had typed the words THE END.

I was finished!
Um, no.

I had a great setting (a mind-reading world), a fantastic character (a girl who couldn’t read thoughts, but could mindjack into other people’s heads) and a conflict (keeping her ability hidden while trying to pass for a mindreader). Somewhere half-way through pantsing those 50+ thousand words, I had discovered my theme: intolerance. I was all set, right?

Sure I could pad those 53k words a bit and come up with a decent wordcount for my YA novel (80-90k). After all, it was just a first draft, and a hastily crafted NaNo one at that.

About three weeks later, one day in the shower, I realized I had only written about half the novel.
This was partly due to my tragic inability to write a decent ending the first time around. Every novel I’ve pantsed my way through has required multiple (like 7) drafts before I could get the ending right. Apparently I was so wide of the mark on Open Minds that I’d completely forgotten to write the second half of the novel.


I erased “THE END” and spent another month writing an additional 30k words.

This was actually the turning point that changed me from a pantser to the hyper-plotter that I am today. You would think that being an engineer-type-person, my Logic Brain would want to plot everything out and know exactly where my story was headed before I opened the Word document. But for me, writing was Creative Brain at the wheel, driving madly over the landscape, shouting, "Check this out! How cool is this?? We are WRITING!!"

Which is fabulous fun, but also lands us all in the ditch eventually, bruised and wondering who exactly put Creative Brain in charge.

Properly chastened, my Creative Brain allowed as how, perhaps, maybe, there might be something to this plotting thing, and possibly we could spend some time checking it out.

I know many writers who very successfully write novels via pantsing and many others who swear by their plotting techniques. In the end, what matters is that the story is compelling. I had a fantastic start to Open Minds, but I was nowhere near done. And I think it’s important for any writer to realize that THE END is really just the beginning.
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.

Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) by Susan Kaye Quinn is available for $2.99 in e-book (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords) and $9.99 in print (Amazon, Createspace).
The Story of Open Minds (linked posts)
Susan Kaye Quinn is giving away an Open Books/Open Minds t-shirt, mug, and some fun wristbands to celebrate the Virtual Launch Party of Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)! (Check out the prizes here.)
Three ways to enter (you can have multiple entries):
1)      Leave a comment here or at the Virtual Launch Party post
2)      Tweet (with tag #keepingOPENMINDS)
Example: When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. #keepingOPENMINDS @susankayequinn #SF #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/psX1Hh
Example: Celebrate the launch of OPEN MINDS by @susankayequinn #keepingOPENMINDS #SciFi #paranormal #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/SKQOpenMinds
3)     Facebook (tag @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn)
Example: Celebrate the launch of paranormal/SF novel OPEN MINDS by @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn for a chance to win Open Books/Open Minds prizes!


  1. How awesome you started this at NaNo. So excited for you Susan. Good luck with your book.

  2. Congratulations, Susan! You're a complete inspiration! (Not just a NaNo one ;o) xoox

  3. Yay! Reading all these posts and not having read the book yet is driving me crazy! Soon, very soon!

  4. LOL! I've been in that position before, thinking I'd gotten to The End. Yeah. :-)

    So happy for you and that you were able to make it to the true The End for Open Minds and are now able to share Kira's story with the world.

  5. I am so with you on that note, Laura! It's driving me nuts! Can't wait to read for myself.

  6. Sherie, thanks so much for being a Party Host! :) (I can't wait for you to read it too!)

  7. Hmmm...I'm a hyper-outliner, but I'd pretty much decided to trying pantsing my next novel to see how that works for me. But when Susan says she might go through 7 drafts of a novel, I'm not so sure I'm up for that!

  8. Ha - I get all of my best ideas & revelations in the shower too. :)
    I bought my copy and can't wait to dive in!

  9. I'm really enjoying learning more about your process and how Open Minds came to be. Can't wait to get my copy.

  10. I love these 'chapters' you've written for today, Susan. Mmm this one is particularly challenging!

  11. The end is just the beginning -- pretty much every time, whether we're writing or accomplishing something else :)

  12. Not entering to win (buying my copy) but you've given further proof that NaNo novels can rock!
    (And my upcoming book was also written during NaNo.)

  13. Yay! We're so excited for Susan! It's such a great story concept. I'm sure it will do awesomely. :)

  14. Are you kidding! A nanowrimo novel that's awesome! Also, a great ebook bargain my daughter couldn't refuse with her ebook spending allowance. The cover rocks.

  15. Dropped in from seeing you at PiBoIdMo and found this fun launch party! LOVE these kinds of psychological stories--wait, I wrote a paranormal, psychological story during Nano, 2009.

    It's a small, mind-jacking world. :-)

  16. Sue, you make me laugh. We should take our creative brains on a tour of Europe sometime and let them ramble us over the countryside.

  17. This book is on my list--sounds FAB. And I just want to say that I like how Susan is promoting her book. It's smart and professional. *takes notes*

  18. I'm so excited for Susan. I read an eBook version and LOVED it but I can't wait to get my hands on a printed copy. What can I say, I'm a print book kind of gal. Best of luck to her with this one!

  19. Everywhere I visit today I see Susan's book! Fabulous. What a great launch.

  20. Ah, Heather, I totally understand liking the feel of print in your hands! I did, however, purchase an e-copy yesterday!!

  21. I've had those moments in the shower too - that "a ha!" moment followed by "oh crap. That's going to mean a LOT more work." But it's always worth it!

  22. You know what I love about these blog tours? Its not the book itself (I was sold on that the very first post), but its how we really get to know the author and how they work. Great stuff!! :)

  23. Great stuff here, Sheri and Sue! I love that Open minds is being launched during Nano... Very cool!

  24. That is so exciting that its a NaNo novel!!!

  25. Great premise for a novel. Who knew Nano was such a cauldron of creativity. I'm not a writer, but maybe I'll try next year.
    ***New Follower***

  26. oh, yeah, that happens to me all the time. Usually I have some great beta or critter or JRM who'll say, "You're not done here," and then I'll start thinking about it, and whamo! :D I'm more of a plotter now, too. Oh! And it seems I read somewhere that the best ideas come in the shower. Something about relaxing... <3

  27. Thanks for the fabulous comment and follow, Maurice!

    LTM - :)

  28. This story sounds so fun! Thanks you two!


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