Coming 11-1-11 ….
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 being forced to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.
I am so excited to launch this book!
I catch myself gazing at the cover in wonder of D. Robert Pease’s artistry (my cover designer). He spoiled me by making the interior design just as pretty. If you are in need of design services, make sure you check out his Walking Stick Books site! I’ll be talking about my decision to self-publish in a separate post, later this week, but if you want a sneak peek at some of the process, you can check out my new Mindjack Trilogy website.
An Intolerant World
I love this story for a number of reasons, one being a theme that’s close to my heart: intolerance.
In Kira’s future world, everyone goes through “the change” around age 12 and becomes a mindreader. Her disability – being unable to read minds or have her thoughts read by others – means she is branded as untrustworthy. The disenfranchisement of a “zero” goes beyond an inability to communicate telepathically: society has evolved an elaborate trust system based on knowing the truth of a person’s thoughts and memories. Zeros are feared because they can keep their thoughts secret, which makes Kira the definitive “other” in a society where every thought can be known … except hers. The intolerance of Kira’s world and her isolation in it drives a lot of her choices, and in the end … well, you’ll have to read the book for that part. 🙂
The idea of tolerance (or the lack of it) is a compelling one for me. The human brain is wired to distrust the “other” – to be wary or outright hate those who are different. This is the wolf of hate, that Rick Hanson spoke of so eloquently. It takes conscious acts of courage and open mindedness to overcome this natural tendency to fear people who are different, to feed our wolf of love instead of the wolf of hate. While racial intolerance has a tremendous impact on the world, I think of tolerance as a broader issue that affects interactions between all kinds of people. Even small acts of open mindedness can have a huge impact on the people both giving and receiving.
- Open minds treat you with respect, instead of snubbing you for being too strange or too new or too foreign or too shy.
- Open minds are compassionate, giving you a hand up when you are down, instead of pretending they don’t see your pain or piling on when the pack attacks.
- Open minds accept you, treating you like the flawed, unique, wonderful person that you are, instead of judging you by your looks, skin color, or accent.
A Small Story About Keeping an Open Mind
When I moved from California to the Midwest, I brought my mini-skirts and boots with me (hey, it was the 80’s). I quickly learned that standard California fashion would gather looks that had nothing to do with measuring my IQ, so I camouflaged my origins with khaki pants and collared shirts. But my independent thinking ways were a little harder to hide (also: I didn’t try). When I met my future husband, he soon brought me deep into small-town Wisconsin to meet his beloved grandmother, who had lived her entire life on a farm and working in a factory. Never mind that I was adept at the camouflage at this point, that savvy grandma saw straight through as I talked about my plans to become an astronaut, possibly getting a Ph.D. along the way. I waited for the sideways look, the slight frown, and possibly a comment about a woman’s place being in the kitchen, where she had spent a lot of her life, raising five boys and making ends meet.
Instead, she held my hand in her weathered one and said, “You knock ’em dead, girl.”
I loved that wonderful eighty-year-old woman fiercely from then until the day she passed away at ninety-three, still strong and fiesty to the end. Many years after that day, she told me that she wished she had a chance to do some of the things I had done (go to college, pursue my dreams). But I already knew something more important from her gift of open mindedness that day: that she hadn’t judged me, and even more importantly, that I had misjudged her.
I vowed to keep a more open mind from then on.
On November 1st, I’m throwing a Virtual Launch Party and I’m inviting everyone to come! I want to celebrate tolerance and open mindedness and how they make the world a better place.
Here’s How to Join the Party (pick one!):
1) Write your own post about #keepingOPENMINDS
Share a story like the one above about someone who showed you a small act of tolerance. Someone who kept an open mind about who you were, who didn’t judge you, who could easily have been a wolf of hate, but chose to be a wolf of love instead. In an age when scandals blow across the interwebs like tornadoes, sweeping up all the attention in their path, I hope these posts will brighten the blogosphere for a day, celebrating people who make the world a better place by #keepingOPENMINDS.
2) Post a review of Open Minds
Oh, and there’s this cool badge.
Do you see how awesome Dale’s artwork is?
You can right-click on the badge to download it,
or copy and paste this HTML code into a widget for your sidebar:
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