I am so psyched to welcome Susan Kaye Quinn for my first-ever guest post!
Susan runs her eponymous blog (link), and she's just released her brand new book Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy). Right now the Kindle version is only $2.99 on Amazon (link). Run get it!
You might remember Dr. Q from when I reviewed her young-adult romance Life, Liberty and Pursuit last year (link). It was so great, I could not wait to get Open Minds the minute it came out last week. I'll post my new review ASAP.
But now for the guest post. Take it away, Susan!
* * *I’ve written stories about wormhole-traveling clones a thousand years in the future, dimension-traveling fairies, and sailors going through boot camp (if you can find the common thread there, please let me know).
Mindjack Trilogy) is no exception.
Bob Mayer says the special forces unit he was a part of lived by the saying, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying hard enough.” That saying really speaks to my creative urge to break the rules and do things differently.
(Note: I’m not in favor of cheating on tests, etc. You’re only cheating yourself when you do that.)
When I research, I cheat. I don’t have time to roam the earth and experience first hand the many settings, buildings, deserts, and national monuments where I place my stories.
That’s why God invented Google Earth.
(Did you know that if you type “Earth” into Google Maps, it gives you Earth, TX, population 1,109. Who knew the world was so small?)
I’ve walked around the small town of Rock Point, Ariz. (in Open Minds), strolled the streets of Amesbury, England (in The Faery Swap), and figured out the best route to break into the Great Lakes Naval Air Station (in Open Minds).
I actually drove up to the guard shack at Great Lakes one time, but only because we happened to be driving by and I couldn’t resist. Turns out the guard was working on a mystery novel. He still wouldn’t let me in.
I troll for images on the Internet to find people who have visited places that I want to set my story. I should no longer be amazed at what can be found online, but people post pictures of vacations, business trips, and their hometowns, conveniently labeled with titles and descriptions.
I’ve even used blogs written by other people (a naval cadet in boot camp, a fashionista attenting a fashion show) to get the voice and slang-usage right for a particular character.
If that’s cheating, I think there should be a class to teach kids how to do it. And I seriously wonder how writers did their thing before the advent of the Internet.
Then again, the flip side of the access to all this information is that everyone else has access to it to. And in a global world, you’re guaranteed to have someone read your story who actually HAS been there and done that. I had several (not one but SEVERAL) people who had actually gone through boot camp read my teen love story Life, Liberty, and Pursuit.
I sighed with relief when they were amazed at how realistic the gas mask training scene was. #thankyouSailorBloggerBoy
Sometimes you have to straight make stuff up. Even then, I find inspiration in Science magazine or Through the Wormhole, just a tidbit or two to get my creative engine humming.
And you’d be amazed what “Lightbulbs of the Future” will bring up on Google.
* * *
Awesome. Thanks again, Susan! Those are great links and information to make our research easier. I'll post the book information below again, and in the meantime, have a great week, reader- and writer-friends! Til Thursday~ <3
When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.
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).