The Indie 400: Susan Kaye Quinn

Welcome to another Indie 400! This week, it’s Susan Kaye Quinn with her YA paranormal/science fiction novel, OPEN MINDS.

What drives you as a writer, Susan?

I want to create stories that make people think. Does that make me a complete geek? I suppose so, but the stories that move me are the ones that engage my mind, grab my heart, and capture my imagination. If I can have that kind of impact on minds young and old, I’m one happy author.

Okay, Susan. Good luck today. Here’s the green flag and the 400 begins:

It was after lunch, and no one had died yet, so I took that as a good sign.

Raf was absent from Mr. Chance’s class, but he would be back soon. With Mama Santos clucking over him, he wouldn’t stay home any longer than necessary. His scrit from the hospital verified he would live: Head as thick as it seems. Doing ok.

It was just as well he wasn’t in school. I didn’t need to worry about him while I was concentrating on not knocking out people with my scary mind powers.

My teachers whispered through the new mini-mics that came with my hearing aid, which eased the ringing silence of school. Some could barely whisper and think at the same time, but Mr. Barkley was completely mesh about it in math. He took the mic patch and stuck it smoothly on the back of his ear in one quick motion. Maybe he had another zero in a previous class.

We tried it out as the other students drifted in and took their seats.

“Testing… testing…,” he whispered as he stood by the board a dozen feet away. I smiled to show that it worked fine. “I’m glad you got this, Kira.” His lips barely moved, and I only heard him through the mic. “I expect you to do even better on the exams this year.” The other students were all in range to hear his thoughts, even if they couldn’t hear his whisper. My cheeks ran hot, but if Mr. Barkley whispered everything he was thinking during class, I would finally have an equal footing and might actually pass his class.

The glow of Mr. Barkley’s praise carried me down the aisle. The class had filled, and the only open seat was directly in front of Simon Zagan. His brooding eyes captured me in their tractor beams again. Think good thoughts. Simon didn’t deserve to be the next victim of my uncontrollable brain surges, even if he and Shark Boy could start a Creep Club together.

As I willed my legs to move toward him, his face pinched in. He probably wondered why I wasn’t returning his glare. When I dropped into my seat, his stare burned a hot spot on the back of my head.

Mr. Barkley’s voice whispered in my ear, and once the class got under way, I forgot about the looming force of antagonism behind me.

Susan! You’ve got the best score yet! 401! Here’s your trophy! (The goal is to come as close to 400 as possible. Authors who come within 5 words under or over take the trophy).

What car would you like to take for a spin out of the Indie Garage today?

A red Mazda Miata – I don’t know if they even make them anymore, but I had a crush on that car when I was in college and never managed to get one for myself.

Where to find OPEN MINDS:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes

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