Monday, January 7, 2013

Susie Q., the INTERVIEW!

UPDATE! Susan has just released the book trailer for Open Minds (link), which is 99 cents right now so get it (link)!

Anyway, the trailer was professionally shot at a high school in Manhattan, and it is superkewl. Check it out:

Everybody knows Dr. Susan Kaye Quinn (link), right? I met Sue after reading her young adult romance Life, Liberty, & Pursuit (link), which I loved!

Our heroine, Sue
At the time, we were sort-of secondary bloggy friends, but I asked if I could interview her about LL&P and she said sure!

Fast-forward to today, and Sue is on fire! She's just released Free Souls (link), the third and final book in her Mindjack series. I got to beta read it, and it is fantastic.

So I invited her to come back for a real interview this time. She said sure again! Y'all ready? Here we geaux~

LTM: Everyone knows you're a rocket scientist (because I tell them). In my mind that makes you the female MacGyver. Just how many things can be fixed with a paper clip and a piece of chewing gum wrapper?

The nemesis, MacGyver
SKQ: No idea. I can turn a wrench with the best of them, and sign me up if you’re actually blowing something up, lighting it on fire, or stress testing it until it explodes, but as far as working with found items…

You’d be better off with my 11 year old son (Wormburner), who not only can assemble furniture from IKEA (unassisted) but he can dual-boot your computer into Ubuntu (which sounds like Voodoo but is actually an operating system). He’s the one I want by my side when the lights go out in the apocalypse.

(She's trying to distract us with fake words like Ubuntu, but she really has MacGyver in her basement--locked in a trunk made entirely of rubber bands and gator clips.)

LTM: It's pure, disgusting brilliance how in the Mindjack books, when Kira jacks into people's minds, their brains are like jello and she detects a "mind scent." (Ew! ...and so creative!) I would say your mindscent is a mixture of peppermint, pinot noir, and Beryllium. Am I right? What's my mind scent?

SKQ: Beryllium! How did you know? And it’s merlot, not pinot noir, but I can understand the confusion. And wait… peppermint is the mindscent for the demens, people driven mad by the adolescent change into being a mindreader. What are you saying here?? (Uhh... what? *acts very busy*)

The goods (get me)
I asked jacker-revolutionary-leader Julian to dip into your mind and he says that your mindscent reminds him of Southern Sweet Tea mixed with cut grass. It took him a while to decide, so you might want to check and see if you have a sudden urge to do the monkey dance or kiss random strangers. Julian’s been known to mess with people’s heads.

(I don't cut grass or drink sweet tea, so when I start prancing around, kissing people... well, that just sounds like Mardi Gras!)

LTM: We haven't heard much from your son "Dark Omen" lately. I remember he had a big problem with all the kissing in your books. Has that changed? And if so, how do you feel about this?

SKQ: Dark Omen is now 14 years old, and still thinks that romance is a waste of good words in a novel. For which I am grateful, although I’m a little concerned about the prospect of grandchildren. I may have to rely on my 8 year old son, who already knows the secret to a great novel. “Every good story ends with a kiss, Mom.” He charms every female he meets; I’m in trouble with that one.

(D.O. cracks me up, and that little one is my kinda guy. When he goes missing, do not check my house.)

LTM: It's come to my attention you have a huge crush on Hugh Howey (link), the bestselling science-fiction author... 
POP QUIZ: You're having lunch with Hugh, and he drops a ketchup-laden French fry on the front of his white, button-down shirt. You immediately:
A-Order him to take off his shirt! So you can dip it in your ice water. To prevent staining. Yanno.
B-Order him to take off his shirt! you can keep it.
C-Order him to take off his shirt! Then bat your eyes and say, "Another fry, Hughey?"

SKQ: D-Denounce him as not-the-real-Hugh-Howey. Hugh wouldn’t eat a French fry. Have you seen him without his shirt?? Not that I have. I’ve just heard the rumors. *deletesfilesimmediately*

The love interest, Hughey
(I hunted high and low for that shirtless Hugh Howey pict, reader- and writer-friends. I suspect SKQ used her MacGyver skills to hide it from me... And D was not an option. So pop quiz fail.)

LTM: Try this hypothetical: You're on an airplane with MacGyver, (shirtless) Hugh Howey, and the pope with three parachutes and one backpack. Who do you "accidentally" give the backpack?

SKQ: Easy. I keep the backpack and cling to (shirtless) Hugh Howey for dear life. Poor me.

(I'll give you an A for creativity and for pretending MacGyver has escaped your underground lair.)

LTM: You've become the Steve Jobs of indie authors with your blog--"I have a post for that!" When you started writing your crazy-awesome advice and how-to posts, Jobs was still with us. He's now in hiding on that island in the south Pacific with Jim Morrison and Tupac. How does it feel to wield so much power?

The target, Jobs
SKQ: I think of Steve Jobs as a modern-day Nikola Tesla, without the crazy hair and love of pigeons, so any comparison there turns me into a giggling fangirl. Which is not very intimidating. Clearly, I need to develop an evil laugh so I can wield this power with appropriate style.

(You notice she side-stepped my question... more scientific subterfuge.)

LTM: Finally, you're working on a steampunk novel. Whenever I hear steampunk, I think of Sid Vicious with gas... (Okay, that's a lie. But it's funny.) I saw the Facebook picture of you wearing goggles. Have you also adopted a cockney accent? Do you fetch your groceries in the dirigible, love?

SKQ: Yes. I also throw knives, fight with swords, and tinker with steam-powered technology in my basement that will leave you with a hook for a hand, if you’re not careful. And I keep a corset stashed in my steamer trunk, just in case, but I prefer a good trenchcoat and jackboots. Easier to climb the dirigible with.

Our heroine, plotting...
(Which begs the question, is MacGyver wearing the corset?)

LTM: Seriously, what can we expect in this new book? Is it a series? Do you wear a really short plaid skirt while you write it?

SKQ: I would never wear a really short plaid skirt, unless it was at my husband’s request, in which case, we’re not leaving the house.

Third Daughter is an east-Indian-flavored steampunk fantasy romance. Besides a mouthful of genres, you can expect lots of lush costuming (Indian and steampunk) combined with high stakes adventuring, all twisted around a royal romance. I’ve pitched it as Leviathan goes to Bollywood, but here’s the one-liner:

The Third Daughter of the Queen wants to marry the charming courtesan she loves, but rumors of a new flying weapon force Aniri into accepting a peace-brokering marriage proposal from a barbarian prince—which she uses as a subterfuge to spy on him, find the weapon, and hopefully avoid both war and an arranged marriage to a man she does not love.

The getaway vehicle (don't
grab the backpack).
I didn’t start out thinking Third Daughter would be a series, but I’m enjoying it enough that I could easily see this being my “romancy and retro tech” series of books. I’ll leave it to the readers to decide: if it’s popular, I’ll be happy to write more steampunk.

(Leviathan goes to Bollywood??? Sue is going to make me read steampunk. And I will love it...)

LTM: Finally (finally), an Analogy: steampunk is to short plaid skirts as Hugh Howey is to itchy sweaters. Discuss.

SKQ: Well, clearly, if they itch he should take them off. It’s only sensible. I’ll avert my eyes, I promise. I’m sorry, what was the question?

(It's okay. Just keep the dirigible in the air.)

Thanks so much for stopping in, Sue! And in case you've missed all the awesome this past year, here's your catch up:

Susan Kaye Quinn (link) is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Series (link), which includes three novels, three novellas, and a trailer. She's currently writing a steampunk fantasy romance, just for kicks. When that's out of her system, she has ambitious plans to embark on a series about the Singularity (the time when computers become more intelligent than humans) that should appeal to fans of the Mindjack novels. Or possibly play on Facebook all day. Could go either way.

Have a great week, reader- and writer-friends~ <3


Laura Pauling said...

Fun, fun, fun! :) If you find that shirtless pictures - let me know!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Leigh, I just love your interviews!
And Sue -- great comebacks!

Funny, my 15 year old daughter/epic fantasy writer feels kind of the same way about romance in books. Although I do think she allowed two of her characters to have a small crush. Mostly just blushes and glancing away awkwardly from each other. They're too busy fighting things for swords for much else.

And having had a sneak peek at the first chapter of Third Daughter, I can say I'm anxious to see more!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

fighting things *with* swords.
I haven't finished my coffee yet, obviously.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Fun interview. Susan, you'd better watch your son as he reaches his teenage years.

Your new book sounds fantastic. Looking forward to reading it.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

...The female MacGyver...that is perfect! Gosh Susan, I can't wait for this steampunk! It sounds so amazing. Thanks Leigh for hosting Susan.

Creepy Query Girl said...

lol! Hilarious interview you two! I can imagine you'll do great things with steampunk susan!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Thanks so much for having me over Leigh! Sorry to dodge all your questions - keeping that dirigible aloft is some serious bizness. :) *loveya*

Unknown said...

Sounds wonderful, oh to be young again. :0)

Matthew MacNish said...

Hahaha! Two of my favorite people. So hilarious. Well done, ladies.

Crystal Collier said...

Oh my. You two are silly. Third Daughter sounds awesome!

Pat Hatt said...

lol quite the fun interview and Macgyver fights aliens too, so he'd really come in handy.

Unknown said...

Haha, this is a great interview!!!

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles* Oh, you ladies were on today... from McGuyver in a corset to removing itchy sweaters, it was my kind of interview! Susan, I'm so impressed with your stuff!

Barbara Watson said...

Such a fun interview! I hope the time does NOT arrive when computers are smarter than humans, but a book about it sounds intriguing.

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

What a fun interview! Thanks for sharing. Loved it.

Jennie Bailey said...

You write the best interviews! I have the Mindjack series on my TBR list and I'm thiiiis close to being there. Can't wait to crack them open!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Fun and wonderful interview!!!!
Loved the whole Mindjack series and now I'm looking forward to the new series! What shall I do until the first book comes out? Wait, I know. I'll reread the Mindjack trilogy.

Margo Berendsen said...

Oh yes your youngest boy sounds adorable and imminently kidnappable (don't my check my house either).

The other day on deviant Art I saw a depiction of ANCIENT EGYPTIAN STEAMPUNK. My first thought was of you. My next thought was: "wait, she's doing east-Indian. I should Ancient Egyptian."

You've infected me!!! Your Leviathan-goes-Bollywood tagline is absolutely fantastic, as well as the longer version.

Kelly Polark said...

Fabulously fun interview, ladies!!
I just started reading Open Minds! So good!
You need to keep looking for that shirtless pic, yo.

Coleen Patrick said...

MacGyver and steampunk, you all are seriously super cool. And I'm still thinking about the sweet tea and fresh cut grass. You woke my mind up (it was starting to coast thru blog land) with this fun interview. :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, LB, Hi Sue,

Terrific interview ladies... Sounds like a VERY intriguing read. I must put it on my list.

Great to know more about your writing Sue....



Unknown said...

I can't believe I missed this! You guys are both soooo funny!!

Theresa Milstein said...

This is an insanely clever post! I can't take it! I'm looking even more forward to reading Susan's 3rd book.

LTM said...

@Crystal--yes, I am a firm believer in the power of silly... :D <3

@Laura--Thanks, girl! Susan's a hoot~ <3

@Rebecca--Thank you for stopping by! Susan's books are great. Check one out! <3

Bish Denham said...

Who could resist a MacGyver of the female persuasion? Sounds like fun.

M Pax said...

Congrats to Susan!

Leigh, I imagine your brainscent somewhat like those cookies in your header.

Stina said...

This is one of the best interviews that I've read.

I've been dying to see this trailer. But unfortunately it will have to wait until tomorrow. It's bed time for me.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Thanks for popping the trailer in there, Leigh! #yourock!!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Very fun! I love that she has an 11yr/old MacGyver in the house!

Janet Johnson said...

Your interviews are so crazy, NTM! I'm amazed by all Sue has accomplished. The macgyver thin alone . . . ;)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Ha, fun interview! And I really like that trailer.

PK HREZO said...

Fun questions! "Sid Vicious with gas" LOL... love it! The new steampunk sounds all sorts of awesome!!!

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