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An Interview With Susan Kaye Quinn

Today, I get to interview the wonderful Susan Kaye Quinn. She’s someone I get to gush over fun science stuff with – like scientists freeze light – and, I’ve been able to read a couple of her books (I’ll provide links throughout and at the end).Susan Kaye Quinn 300 pix

R.w.Foster: What is your process for getting in the mood to write?

Susan Kaye Quinn: Belting out “Let It Go!” at the top of my lungs, scaring the cats as well as all my fears away.

R.w.F: In my opinion, the greatest enemy of a writer is Procrastination. How do you defeat this dreaded beast?

SKQ: By openly attacking my fears with a steak knife and some creative action; as well as actively immersing myself in my work once I start. These two have greatly cut down on my procrastination activities.

R.w.F: Do you have any advice for those who want to start writing?

SKQ: Write a lot. Write some more. Don’t endlessly fiddle. The dichotomy between writing fast and writing well is a false one – the more you write, the better you’ll get.

R.w.F.: What do you label yourself as?

SKQ: I don’t like labels – for me or anyone else.

R.w.F: What were you doing at midnight last night?

SKQ: Wishing I was asleep.

R.w.F.: Name one movie that made you cry.

SKQ: If it’s well done, almost any movie can make me cry.

R.w.F: If you were a type of tree, what would you be?

SKQ: Weeping Willow

R.w.F.: If you were a color, what one would you be?

SKQ: Polka Dot

R.w.F.: When was the last time you laughed so hard your stomach hurt?

SKQ: I don’t know, but it was certain to be something my kids did.

R.w.F.: Would you rather be immortal, but dependent on blood, or age 1000 times slower than everyone else?

SKQ: I’d rather have nanites in my brain that will enhance my intelligence, make me independent of my wetware, and give me an immortal robotic body. It’s possible I’ve written a story about this.

R.w.F.: Would you tell us about your latest (or an upcoming) release?

SKQ: I’m deep into writing my YA SF Singularity series – about a future where most of the world has ascended into hyper-intelligent human-robot hybrids, except for the Legacy Humans left behind, preserved for their biodiversity like the rainforest. The first novel of the series, The Legacy Human, tells the story of Eli, a Legacy Human boy who wants to be an ascender… until he finds out he’s something altogether different than he thinks. I’m working on the second novel, The Duality Bridge, which should release in August. Along with the novels, I’m writing a series of companion short stories, the Stories of Singularity, that explore all the dark corners of the Singularity universe that I can’t get to with the novels. The first of those is out— Restore, a story about a med bot ruled by unconditional love, rather than the three laws of robotics.

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the Singularity Series, the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology, the Telepath Chronicles, the AI Chronicles, and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Former rocket scientist, now she invents mind powers, dabbles in steampunk, and dreams of the Singularity. Mostly she sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.

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More about Sue:
http://smarturl.it/SKQwebsite
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Holy Shit. People Have Actually Scared Me for the First Time.

On 12/12/2013, I had my eyes opened to something horrifying. A Facebook friend liked a status update about getting raw milk. For those few of you who might not know, raw milk is unpasteurized. I freely admitted, I started things off with some inflammatory snark.

Lunaticrantings3

Okay. That was a pretty reasonable response. You know, asking me to be nicer. However, pay close attention to the other stuff (which I admit, I missed until now): Non-government mandated life 9i.e. food, drugs, vaccinations, ect. Holy shit.

Little did I realize, this was the beginning of the horror show. This is my response:

responsetolunacy

Wait for it: Lunaticrantings2

See more of the crazy coming out? It’s in the post script: You have more chance of getting sick and dying from vegetables in the produce department or meats in the meat department, not to mention all the pharmaceutical drugs that have been approved as “safe…”

Wow. Here’s my response (note: I still hadn’t noticed the pharmaceutical line & some of the other commenters decided to fling names my way): responsetolunacy2

If you want to follow my link: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/consumers/ucm079516.htm Now, I’m thinking, “Okay, I gave them science based evidence. That should persuade them.” Ha-ha-ha-ha. Yeah. Right. Lunaticrantings

To quote my RageMaster 5000, “What the actual fuckity-fuck-fuck?!” (deep breath) This is my well-reasoned, and logical response: myrepsonses to lunaticrantings

Okay. Maybe not so reasoned, or logical. Certainly not emotion free. That last post from the owner of that page scared the fuck out of me. This is the 21st century. The Information Age. With all the access to science websites, blogs, FaceBook pages, and Twitter feeds, how the Hell can that shit exist? Seriously?

Not trusting the government is one thing, especially with shit like Senators tweeting pics of their junk, and bailing out Wall Street, and stuff like that, but this is science. Real science can’t lie. It can be skewed like everything else, but someone, somewhere will reveal it to be bullshit if so. I don’t mind that these people do this stuff, as I mentioned in my first post, “Darwinism works.” No, what really bothers me about this, is that these fools most likely have children who will suffer. I hate that. So, I reported the page. This is my first time doing so.

Last thing: If you want to see the original post in all it’s glory (though I hope it’s gone now), https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152008445118820&set=a.433917308819.223593.177240773819&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_reply

Why I Could Never Commit Suicide

I’m writing this because yesterday I was feeling pretty damned depressed, and I posted a message on FaceBook which worried some of my friends. That post read: “If I could go to sleep, and not wake up, that would be great.” They interpreted that as meaning I would commit suicide. Thing is, none of them know that I can’t, and won’t, do so. The following is why.

###

I was twelve when it happened.  I had this really awesome friend, named Scott.  He was ten years older than me, three older than his sister, Lisa. I adored him so much, I occasionally called him, “Dad”.  He taught me how to play baseball, how to get women to notice me without making a fool of myself, how to find humor in just about any situation.  I’d have done anything he asked.  Without question.  As I said, “I idolized him.”  When I grew up, I wanted to be just like him.  There were a great many things he taught me.  Including his final lesson: Life, and love, are infinitely precious.

January 3, 1993.  I was supposed to meet Scott at his house at 1430 to go out and have a snowball fight.  We were going to ambush Lisa.  Even then, I had a crush on her.  He knew it, I’m sure, but he never made fun or even told her.  He simply said to wait until I was older and ask her to be straight with me.  Ten days later, she revealed her love of women to me. (But, that’s a story for another day.)

He’d always said if I was running late, to simply call and let him know.  This time I didn’t.  To this day, I can’t tell you why, or what I’d been doing to make me two hours late.  I used my key to go in, and called out to him as was my usual thing.  I didn’t hear any response.  I went walking through the place, trying to find him.   In the kitchen, I found a note from him.  “Rob, I’m in the bathroom, holler when you get in.  -Scott.  3 Jan 1425”

I went up to the bathroom and knocked on the door.  The door swung open a bit, and I leaned back, expecting him to jump out at me.  He’d been doing this to show me how to control my reactions and expect the unexpected.  Seconds later, there was still no Scott.  I looked in and discovered him.  He was in the tub, both wrists slashed.  They were cut so deeply, I could see the bones of his wrists.  The tub was filled with his blood.  It was so cold in there, that there was a skim of ice around the edges of the water.  For the longest time, I blamed myself.  If I’d not been late, or if I’d called, he might have still been alive.

The next thing I was aware of, was Lisa.  She took me by the hand and took me to her home.  I was completely numb.  (If you ask my folks, they’ll probably tell you that that was the most well-behaved I’d been in a long time.  If, they remember.)  For two days, Lisa talked at me.  I was simply unable to form a coherent thought, much less able to hold an intelligent conversation.  To this day, I don’t remember how she was able to successfully reach me.  All I remember was her telling me his philosophy.  But she put it forth as her own.  “Find the funny in the situation.”

She showed it to me with these words, “You know, for all his talk about his Johnson being unbearably heavy sometimes, he was awfully tiny.”  Her delivery was totally deadpan.  It was as if she’d just mentioned the weather.  It made me laugh until I cried.  It was completely unexpected.

As the days, weeks and months went by, she taught me that not only was it not my fault that he’d died, but there was a reason for it.  I simply had to learn what it was.  She never told me if I was right, or wrong with my conclusion.  Just said that it was mine.  Oddly enough, she didn’t really ever tell me what her feelings were.  Looking back, I now know that she was hurting just as much, if not more than, me.

There it is.  The reason I can’t tolerate suicide.  I don’t want to be a selfish coward.  Dying is the easy part.  The ones you leave behind are the true victims.  If you really love someone, you will live for them.  Even if you feel like your very existence is torture.  You will ask them to help you with your problems, not bottle them up until everything you touch becomes poison.

I’m Running A Contest

As you know, I recently became friends with Laci Paige. I’ve decided to run a contest with the prize being a copy of The Silken Edge. All you have to do is leave a comment below with your name and saying you liked her FaceBook  page. I’ll select a winner next week. In the meantime, to whet your appetite, an excerpt:

###

Kristy jumped at the sound of Steven’s bedroom door slamming shut, and she took a deep relaxing breath.
“Are you frightened?” Sherry’s green eyes were wide peeking out from her auburn bangs.
“No. That was fuckin’ hot.” She fanned herself with her hand. “I’ve never seen that side of him before. So in charge. So demanding.” Her insides clenched in need. Must be the wine.
Sherry narrowed her eyes at her long time friend, and then they popped open. “I knew it. You’re submissive!”
“Oh, cut it with that crap. I don’t want to hear any more about how you and your Dom are forever happy with your arrangement. It’s too weird for me.” She averted her gaze and focused on her wine glass, swirling the liquid around inside. “Nice collar by the way.”
She looked up just in time to see Sherry flinch at the mention and reach up and stroke the petite choker around her neck. “H-how did you know?”
“I’m not stupid. When you and Dan got serious in all this BDSM crap, I went online and read about the lifestyle. So that’s how I know it’s not for me.” She offered her friend a warm smile. “But if you’re happy, then I’m happy for the both of you.”
Sherry reached out and hugged her. “Thank you. I’m glad. Your blessing means everything to me.”
“He’s a good man for you or I wouldn’t have stood up for you at your wedding.”
Sherry tapped her fingers against her choker. “I’m sorry I forgot I was wearing it when I rushed out with you. You know this lifestyle is only for the bedroom, and the club, right? That’s our arrangement, and we’re both content with it. Aside from being his submissive during those times, I’m in charge of everyday life.”
She shook her head. “I know, but let’s stop talking about this before I get too many visuals of you in ropes, nipple clamps, and butt plugs.” She clenched her eyes tight and faked a shiver.
“Okay, moving on…So how about the gym?” Sherry asked, with a glint in her eye.
“What about it? I’ll be going every night after work to avoid Steven.” Kristy didn’t like where the conversation was heading.
“And for no other reason?” Sherry waggled her eyebrows.
“Oh come on. Jake’s a baby. I could be his mother.”

###
Bio:
lpprofliepic


 Above all else, Laci enjoys spending time with her family. She and her husband support their children on the soccer pitch and off. Laci enjoys the outdoors, and of course reading and writing (and chocolate). Their family lives in Hampton Roads with one lazy, elderly cat.

Lichgates Review!

I must admit: Lichgates is not my usual type of read. However, I made a commitment to read and review because I want to get the word out about new writers. I don’t think we can have too many new authors. That being said, I’m glad I made the commitment. Ms. Boyce has created a wonderful world that is rich, and vibrant. Ourea is a world I’d love to explore and learn the more of the history of. Kara is a strong character without being too strong, a Mary Sue, if you will. That happens a lot, unfortunately in indy novels. Heck, it’s something I’m trying to avoid in my own novels.
I like the character of Deirdre. I think she may even be my favorite. I kind of like bad girls, what can I say. I do have one nit pick with the beginning of the novel, though: I couldn’t figure out for the life of me, why Kara would go off the trail, and onto the path that lead her to Ourea. When I read that, I was thinking, ‘What the hell is wrong with you, girl? Don’t you think?’ Then again, that may have been the exact reaction Ms. Boyce was going for. Dude.
If you like epic fantasies, do yourself a favor, and go buy this book. It’s on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. You won’t regret it. Especially as it’s free. Probably for a limited time.

Lichgates is FREE

Download your copy now!

Praise for Lichgates

Wow, the world building on this one was breathtaking. The world of Ourea is just full of so many things. Surprises are around every corner.

~Alexia P.

From the first few pages into this story, it was obvious that Boyce has a way with words.

~Author Becca Campbell

Author S.M. Boyce

International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.

S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.

Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

Contact

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/25/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tomorrow, I Will Post My Review of This New Book. Stay Tuned.

Tour Schedule

Lichgates

Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things–Ourea.

Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict–a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

Lichgates is FREE

Download your copy now!

Praise for Lichgates

Wow, the world building on this one was breathtaking. The world of Ourea is just full of so many things. Surprises are around every corner.

~Alexia P.

From the first few pages into this story, it was obvious that Boyce has a way with words.

~Author Becca Campbell

Author S.M. Boyce

International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.

S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.

Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

Contact

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/25/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

An Author Interview

Kevin Rau, Superhero Author.
Kevin Rau, Superhero Author.
Today I’m going an interview with the great author Kevin Rau. He’s the author of the phenomenal H.E.R.O: Metamorphoses, and H.E.R.O: New Markets. He’s also written others in the series, but I’ve not read them, so I can’t judge them. However, I look forward to reading the others.

1. Would you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a software developer/manager at a small company by day, by night I put on my mask and write novels. (It only seems silly if I see myself in the mirror.) I’ve been a superhero, fantasy and sci-fi fan since I was a child, and I’m also a long-time gamer (both computer games and role-playing games). I collected comics for many years, although I stopped nearly a decade ago when I was married.

2. Would you be willing to give us a brief rundown about your fantastic H.E.R.O. novels?

In a nutshell, I wanted comic-book action in book form, with all the extras that novels can bring over comics, such as dialog, minor plots, and depth given by many thousands of words. I chose a low-to-mid power level for my supers to “keep it real,” and to avoid dealing with ultra-powerful supers that deal with worldly events, as the series is focused on one (huge) city in my super world. I started the series off with a very in-depth walkthrough from three new heroes’ viewpoints, and then after a few books expanded into a larger set of heroes active in Metrocity. Each novel has a self-contained story, so the core plotlines will be wrapped up in that story. However, there are also plots that continue through the books, much like a television series. It’s grown quite a bit so far, to 12 books (9 novels, 2 short stories and 1 illustrated guide), and over a million words. (For general information, an average published book tends to be about 100,000 words, and most comic books have 1,500 to 2,500 words.)

3. How do you prepare to write? Are you an outliner, or a seat-of-your-pants style writer?

I select the core batch of plotlines that will be handled in that book, and then write up a large list of ongoing “issues” that need to be addressed for different characters, often due to plotlines that have crossed books. I very roughly outline the first 6-12 chapters, and then go by the pants. I often have no clue where the twists of a story will take it when I begin, as the personalities of the characters dictate what they’ll do when I happen to write a scene, and strange things sometimes occur.

4. Your H.E.R.O.s are grouped into three categories (that I’ve seen so far): Blaster, Mutant and Brick. Are there any combinations, or will there be?

The categories are (officially) Blaster, Brick, Mutant, Psychic, and Elemental, with both Mutants and Blasters serving as somewhat broad categories for those with unusual physical abilities, or energy-based abilities, respectively. There are indeed combinations. Example characters include Spartan (Brick with some blaster abilities to absorb fire), Zonk (Brick with rubber body and fireworks blast), and Lady Celeste (Mutant with psychic powers).

5. If you were to change, and could choose, would you be a Blaster, Brick, or Mutant?

That’s a tough decision, and would depend upon if I was the only hero around. In our real world, I’d probably choose a Brick, for very little could hurt one here. I wouldn’t mind being a mutant, so long as I didn’t look extremely non-human. I doubt I’d want to be a blaster, unless I could choose the energy type. Disintegration would be extremely useful, but there aren’t a lot of good uses for fire blasters…

6. What’s the hardest part about writing your novels?

These days, it’s focus. I have a tough time working a full day, going home, and then sitting at a desk and writing all night. Writing is a very intense mental activity, so it can wear a person out after enough time, day after day, and week after week.

7. Your cover art is pretty amazing. Do you do it yourself, or did you hire it out?

Really awesome. Just finished reading it. Click to buy it.
Really awesome. Just finished reading it. Click to buy it.

I make my own cover art. Having said that, I buy the 3D art assets (such as the base male and female figures), change them, and tweak or create my own materials (the colors on skin/clothes/etc.). So I guess it’s fair to say that it’s a mix of my art, based on separate art items made by other people.

8. What tools did you use for the cover art?

I use Poser to create the 3D characters, put in lights, change the camera angle, and render it. Paint.NET is my tool for materials, background, etc. I’ve got a few more, such as for 3D object manipulation, but those two handle 95% of my art time.

9. Do you write full-time, or part-time?

I write full-time in the evenings and weekends, and work as an I.T. Manager full-time during “regular business hours.”

10. I’m sure you get this a lot, but: Why superheroes?

I love superheroes. As I mentioned above, I was a collector of comic books for a long time, but wanted more story and dialog. I watch just about every (somewhat) major superhero movie that comes out. There’s something about being able to do more than a normal human, and being able to save the day would be great.

11. You are the only writer I’ve read that uses the story-telling method of getting each of your MC’s perspectives with a dash of third person perspective. What do you call it?

I’m not sure there is an official term. I suppose I would call it “shifting first-person,” although a friend of mine calls it “multi-personality writing mode.”

12. What made you decide to use that style?

I wanted readers to see what the character saw, to feel the experience through them. I shift the viewpoints to let the reader see each of the primary heroes in the story (or villain, in some cases). Sticking with a single first-person mode wouldn’t allow for that, and third-person felt too distant. (Not that I don’t write in that mode, the novel I’m just finishing up is a fantasy novel, and uses third-person.)

13. Where can we find your novels?

The e-Books of them can be found on all major e-retailers, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords. I’ll include links to the first book for those below (the first full novel is free, by the way), since that’s the normal place to start. You can also find all the links on my website, on the book’s page at: http://www.kevinrau.com/books.asp
Paperback copies can be found through Amazon or Createspace, and links to them are also at http://www.kevinrau.com/books.asp

From left to right: Pystar, Spartan, and Black Tiger.Click the image to get it for Kindle.
From left to right: Pystar, Spartan, and Black Tiger.
Click the image to get it for Kindle.
H.E.R.O. – Metamorphosis can be found free at (also on international sites of them, search for the book name, or by Kevin Rau):

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo Books
itunes
Smash Words
Drive Thru Fiction

I also post information on my author Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/herobooks

Robert – thanks much for having me here!

Kevin Rau

Kevin's Books.
Kevin’s Books.
http://www.kevinrau.com

Thank you for being here, Kevin. If anyone clicks the images, they’ll be taken to purchase pages, or Kevin’s website.