Today I am lucky enough to have Susan Kaye Quinn, the author of Open Minds, here on the blog for an interview. Check back later this afternoon for my review of the book if you are curious about it before entering the giveaway.
KBB: Why did you decide to write a novel for young adults?
SKQ: I have three boys, ages 8, 10, and 13, and two nieces who are teens, so I could say that I write for them. And it is true that I fell in love with middle grade and young adult books because I was reading them with my kids and sharing them with my nieces. But I hadn’t written any fiction since I was a teenager myself, scribbling notes to my friends in class. When I was drawn back to writing fiction as an adult, only a few years ago, I think my teenaged writer self just picked up where she left off. 🙂
KBB: What do you think makes your book stand out in today’s market?
SKQ: People seem to be drawn to the cover (many thanks to my awesome cover designer) and to the concept (a world where everyone reads minds, except one girl). Paranormal and science fiction novels for YA are very hot right now, but Open Minds blends the two genres, and turns some of the tropes upside down. Many paranormal novels have mindreaders, but not a world where everyone reads minds. A lot of dystopias (which I love) have taken dire looks at the future, but don’t often blend in paranormal elements. Overall, the feedback so far seems to be that people find it unique. And it makes them think, which I like best of all. 🙂
KBB: Do you have any must-haves while you are writing?
SKQ: Tea. Black. No sugar or cream or any of that sissy stuff. In fact I have a lovely pot of tea in front of me right now! #happiness
KBB: What kind of books do you read in your spare time? Do you read the same genre that you write?
SKQ: I do read a lot of middle grade and young adult (since I write both, and because I love the stories). I don’t read a lot of adult fiction anymore – the pacing of young adult novels has ruined me for slower paced adult novels! And I read books on writing, but that’s all business.
KBB: Can you tell us anything about what you are currently working on?
SKQ: Right now, I’m drafting Closed Hearts, the sequel to Open Minds. I have a couple middle grade projects in the works (one science fiction, one fantasy), but those are on the back burner while I get Closed Hearts under way. It’s exciting to be writing the second book while people are reading and reviewing the first!
KBB: What is one young adult book that you would recommend?
SKQ: Only one? Ack. Ok … I’m going with White Cat (and Red Glove, the sequel, wait, that’s two!) by Holly Black. I adore her writing style, and I couldn’t love Cassel (the main character) anymore if I was a seventeen year old again myself.
KBB: Thanks so much for taking time to answer a few of my questions! I can’t wait to read Closed Hearts!