Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mind Games (Mindjack Origins)

I'm excited to announce the re-release of my short story Mind Games as a single!

Raf, a regular mindreader, is in love with Kira, the only girl in school who can't read minds. Raf struggles to keep his thoughts about her private, but secrets are something that only zeros like Kira can keep. As he works up the nerve to ask Kira to the mindware Games, his friends have other games in mind for him. 

(Mind Games is a short story prequel to my novel Open Minds. It was previously released as part of the In His Eyes Anthology with sixteen fellow Indelibles.

"I loved Kira in Open Minds ... but getting Raf's POV in Mind Games was a real treat." -TwiMom101 Book Blogger

“Raf is perfectly drool worthy, but shows kindness and loyalty to his friend, the girl of his dreams ... this is a tantalizing tidbit that makes the reader want more! And more is what you can have ... read more of Raf and Kira’s trials and victories in Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn.” - Indie Writers Review

Available for $0.99 at Amazon and Barnes and Noble or FREE at Smashwords (which has formats for all e-readers).

Mind Games is the first in a series of five planned shorts, called Mindjack Origins: stories that look at characters in the Mindjack Trilogy universe before they make their debut in the series. Raf's story takes place a few months before Open Minds begins. The other four short stories will explore the origins of characters from the upcoming Closed Hearts novel, and will take place between Open Minds and Closed Hearts. I'll be writing these shorts in between drafts of Free Souls and releasing them throughout the year. Tentative titles...

Mindjack Origins
Mind Games
The Handler
The Scribe
The Puppeteer
The Viewer

Why am I writing and publishing these short stories?
For fun, mostly. I also like the creative challenge and believe Ira Glass when he says that the best way for artists/writers to advance their craft is to do a large volume of work. Short stories allow you write a complete story arc, again and again, without taking months (years?) to do it.

One of the great things about indie publishing is that overhead is low and freedom is huge: you can write for fun, throw it out there, and see if anyone wants to buy it. Companion novels, short stories, and anthologies are proliferating as the indie movement gains steam, and they are seeing a lot of success. The Indelibles anthology has consistently ranked in the top 10 Romance Anthologies, and Mind Games started selling as soon as I published it (May 2nd), even though I hadn't announced it. 

There are other reasons to write shorts: more titles means more visibility, more opportunities for people to "discover" my work. Supplementary work will hopefully appeal to fans of the series, and tide them over between books. Mostly, I like the idea of experimenting: it's part of what got me started in self-publishing in the first place.

Most of all, I hope you enjoy reading Raf's POV
as much as I enjoyed writing it!

A little over a week until Closed Hearts releases! (that sound? My heart pounding. Just ignore that). But it's not too late to sign up for the Virtual Party!


  1. Terrific! There are so many benefits to writing short stories like you said. For me the biggest benefit has been more completely understanding the different characters!

    1. And that too! I ended up using something I dreamed up in Closed Hearts in Mind Games and will use something from Mind Games in Free Souls. It's awesome. :)

  2. How cool!! I wish I could write short stories. I never know how long I can make a short story with out having it be considered... well... LONG. Still haven't gotten around to reading Open Minds, but I promise it will be soon!

    And, I was just wondering... did you indie publish Open Minds or go traditional? Just curious :)

    Have a wonderful day!

    1. Thanks Jess! Open Minds is indie published (self-published), after being pulled from an agent search (full story here). And, 6 mos later, I could not be happier with my decision. :)

  3. Nice to see what Raf looks like here. Good luck with the short story, Susan!

    1. Thanks Theresa! You don’t want to know how long I had to search for just the right picture. Stock photographers of the world: please shoot more pictures of teen boys (with their shirts on)!

  4. Very true about writing short stories. It does exercise every aspect of writing, but in a smaller space and time. That's one reason I so enjoy writing PBs. It challenges me.

    Congrats, Susan!

  5. PBs are definitely a challenge - one I haven't undertaken yet! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. These shorts (singles) are a great idea, Sue! There's a whole Mind Games universe you're creating.

  7. This is cool. It demonstrates the depth of the world you created, that you can shift to other characters and other times to expand the story.

  8. I love the cover of the single. That guy captures Raf's personality, for sure! I enjoyed his story and I think it's uber cool that you'll be writing four more shorts. You are one lean, mean, awesome writing machine! It's so much fun watching your journey!

  9. I also think short stories are a cool way to get a fix of an author you like while waiting for another full book! Love the cover!

  10. I've been a bit in need of some inspiration regarding another project that has stalled for several months now. I think reading today's post has helped me better understand what to do. I better get to a Post It note and start jotting ideas.

    And so glad you've got a chance to get these stories out!

  11. This is awesome!!! I'm so excited to read Closed Hearts, and my family is too. I'm sorry I've been unblogworthy lately - it's hard for me to keep up.

    I love reading about your experiences in Indie publishing! It gives me hope for my novel(s).

    One thing I would love to know - and maybe you've posted on this subject before - do you get your work professionally edited?

    1. Thank you for being excited, Tyrean! I am too. :)

      Yes, I get my novels professionally edited. I use (lots of) critic partners for the developmental editing (we do in-kind swaps, so I'm not paying for that, but it's incredibly valuable) then I pay a professional editor to copyedit at the end. I highly recommend that self-publishers get a professional copyedit (at the minimum) and consider what their other editing needs might be. (Anne of Victory Editing does my copyediting.)

  12. I'm not a fan of shorts, so I'll have to wait until Open Hearts for my Raf fix. :D

  13. Open Hearts is actually out - if you buy it on Kindle from Amazon. We're (my family and I) already starting to read it!
    Plus, I gave you a small shout out for RAOK today.


Erudite comments from thoughtful readers