|Rocket Scientist and Author|
Where Ideas Come From: A Mind Reading World
by Susan Kaye Quinn
My new YA novel Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) is set in a world where everyone reads minds. That one aspect of the world changes everything from the architecture of houses to the social interactions of people to the political systems around the world. But I didn't know any of that when I started.
In the beginning I had a simple image in my mind, born of the desire to write a rockin' paragraph for the great Nathan Bransford's 1st paragraph contest.
I knew that none of my current novels had a hooky first paragraph, and for the record, I don't believe novels live and die on their first paragraph. There has to be a whole lot more to a story than those first 100 words. But I wanted to have a good showing in the contest, so I decided to make up a paragraph for a novel that didn't exist.
I had previously toyed with an idea about a boy who was a touch empath - he could feel everything that another person felt or thought by touching them, which led him to become a recluse. His guidance counselor at school had discovered what he could do, and helped him deal with his hidden power. But I hadn't done much with the idea, just a few notes and scribblings. I wasn't even sure it was strong enough to support a novel.
But maybe it could support a first paragraph.
I mulled ways to write that story into a paragraph while drifting off to sleep one night. Then a completely different story popped into my head. It was encapsulated in a single image: a girl in a high school classroom of the future where everyone could read minds but her. Her isolation was utter and complete, as everyone around her learned, talked, and gossiped via mind link. She was trapped in a silent bubble of exclusion.
I jumped out of bed, ran downstairs, and wrote that first paragraph.
I didn't win the contest, but I didn't care. I had a story idea that I loved, and that image haunted me for about a month before I decided I had to write this girl's story.
So, in this case, the idea came to me at bedtime. But all the other ideas for the novel came to my chair every morning as I puzzled through, fabricated, and pounded out this future world where everyone read minds except one girl. The original paragraph (highly modified) is still buried somewhere in chapter one. And that empath boy who could feel everyone else's feelings and thoughts? He became the model for the normal mindreaders in Kira's world - a society where simply touching someone was an intimate act of sharing thoughts and feelings. An act that Kira would never experience.
Where do ideas come from? Everywhere, nowhere, contests, bedtime, and that fertile place we call imagination. I believe creativity is a muscle that gets stronger every time we use it.
Right now I'm writing Closed Hearts, the sequel to Open Minds, and I keep finding more and more ideas springing from that first brain spark. Kira's story has just begun. :)
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 in e-book (Amazon US (also UK, France and Germany), Barnes & Noble, Smashwords) and print (Amazon, Createspace, also autographed copies available from the author).
Thanks so much to Susan for bringing us Chapter 1 in this Launch Party. Like any good party, that was just the start. Check it out...there's more.
|YAY for prizes!|
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!
But don't stop here. Check out the additional links for more :-)
The Story of Open Minds (linked posts)
Epilogue: Finding Time to Write the Sequel