Y is for Yes You Can!

Y is for yes you can!

My CampNaNo and ROW80 goals are not being met.

But at any moment, I have to remember this:

Must get back to work! Hope everyone's making progress.

And in other news... Guest post from Susan Kaye Quinn as part of her blitz for the Debt Collector series!

One lucky commenter will be entered to win an ebook of the first Debt Collector episode, Delirium. Extra entry to all who sign up for Susan's newsletter!

Also enter the a grand prize Rafflecopter giveaway!

And now, here's Susan herself:

Future-Noir or Why Retro Science Fiction is Awesome
by Susan Kaye Quinn author of the future-noir serial Debt Collector

Apparently, I write strange science fiction.

This comes up whenever I try to classify my stories to readers, bloggers, the lady at the checkout stand, my mother, or Amazon (who insists that I need a "category" in which to place my books; I insist I need about five). Apparently I write novels that mash together all kinds of genres in an indiscriminate cross-pollenation that would have Isaac Asimov turning in his grave... if he hadn't done the same sort of thing himself as a young man (winking at you, Isaac!).

Seriously, if you want to see a good bar brawl among literary types, just ask them what's the genre of Hunger Games or Time Traveler's Wife or any Nicolas Sparks novel, and watch the rhetoric fly! I personally have a very laizzez-faire approach toward genre definitions, which is sure to infuriate genre-disciplinarians. (I don't mention my east-indian-influenced steampunk fantasy romance to genre-afficianados. I don't want them to rupture something.)

I figure the story comes first; people can decide what genre it is after it's written. So no one was more surprised than me when I ended up writing a future-noir.

On a long car ride, just me and my Muse...

Muse: The Debt Collector.
Me: Er, what? Who are you?
Muse: When people's debts exceed their future potential contributions to society, he cashes them out.
Me: Whoa. Tell me more.
Muse: He extracts their life energy and transfers it to a "high potential" - someone who can use it to make greater contributions to the world.
Me: Holy... that's a great idea.
Muse: He's a good man with bad power. And it's future-noir.
Me: Future-noir! Cool! Uh, what is that exactly?

Muse: Dark. Gritty. Futuristic but retro at the same time.

Me: Oh... like Blade Runner... Holy cats, this is awesome.
Muse: You're welcome.

I ran (well, okay, drove) home and wrote the first episode. It was dark, gritty. Lots of low light, shady characters, set in a futuristic LA where the smog pooled at the impoverished feet of the city and the wealthy high-potentials lived above it all in the clean, clear air, taking their life-energy-hits courtesy of the titular Debt Collectors. The fashion was retro-sexy. The feel was future-dystopian. Did I mention it's gritty? And dark?

I send it off to my critique partner...

My Crit Partner: Hey, your new Debt Collector story reminds me of Looper!

Me: Well, it is future noir. *acts like I know what I'm talking about*
My Crit Partner: Seriously. I totally see Lirium as a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt! And it totally reads like noir. You know, like Double Indemnity!
Me: Double what? That's not one of those old black-n-white films, is it?
My Crit Partner: All those noir films were black-n-white.
Me: Right! I knew that. (Sure.) Anyway, I think of Lirium more as James McAvoy in a trenchcoat.
My Crit Parnter: I can work with that.

*we both drool on the picture*

Wait, what was I saying?

Right. Future-noir. Gritty retro feel - where the men wear trenchcoats and slick suits and the women wear bright red lipstick and carry a mini-revolver under their skirts - only it's a futuristic story with time-travel (Looper) or berzerker androids (Blade Runner) or life-energy transfers (Debt Collector) that change the landscape.
It's raw. It's sexy. It's awesome.

It looks something like this.

Nice Blogger Lady: What genre is that?
Me: Future-noir.
NBL: What's future-noir?
Me: It's a science fictiony, mystery type of story. Sort of a mix between urban fantasy and noir, with a thriller twist. There could be romance in there too. Like Blade Runner. Or Looper!
NBL: I'll just call it science fiction.
Me: Works for me. :)

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling YA SF Mindjack series. Her new Debt Collector serial is her more grown-up SF that she likes to call future-noir. Her steampunk fantasy romance is temporarily on hold while she madly writes episodes to keep Lirium (the titular Debt Collector) happy. Plus she needs to leave time to play on Facebook. Susan has a lot of degrees in engineering, which come in handy when dreaming up dangerous mind powers, future dystopias, and slightly plausible steampunk inventions. Mostly she sits around in her pajamas in awe that she gets make stuff up full-time. You can find her at www.susankayequinn.com

What's your life worth on the open market? A debt collector can tell you precisely. Delirium (Debt Collector 1) is now available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords

Episodes 1-3 (Delirium, Agony, Ecstasy) of the Debt Collector serial are collectively the length of a short novel, or 152 pages. These are the first three of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. Episode 4, Broken, releases 4/17/13.

Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trenchcoat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He's just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the people who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of life energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one of Madam Anastazja's sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane... until he collects again. But when his recovery ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn't what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal hit for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle alone--a dark pit he's not sure he'll be able to climb out of again.

See the Debt Collector website to check all the latest episode releases and goings on in the Debt Collector world. Find Susan on her 
Website and at: Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Congratulations, Susan and thanks for being on the blog today!


Thanks so much for having me!
Old Kitty said…
Oh wow!! Future-noir is sexier than plain ol Sci-fi!! LOL!! Love it!! p.s. may I borrow your super awesome muse, Ms Quinn!??! LOL!! All the best with the fabulous looking Debt Collector series!!

Hello Deniz!! Keep writing!! Yay! take care
Carol Riggs said…
Future noir! Hadn't heard of that. I enjoyed reading Susan's thought processes and conversation with her muse, etc. Best wishes for these books!! Good luck getting back to work too, Deniz. :)
Unknown said…
Future noir, eh? I like it! :)
J.L. Murphey said…
Future-noir the neew sub genre of science fiction. I love it.
Nas said…
I like! Future-noir sounds exotic genre!

Thanks for sharing!
Matthew MacNish said…
Susan's series is so awesome!
S.P. Bowers said…
Future-noir is a great descriptor.

(I used Yes as my 'y' also)
Zan Marie said…
Good category--Future Noir! Let's keep it. ; )
Val said…
Susan Kaye Quinn writes with such fantastic imagination! I loved The Mindjack Trilogy and The Debt Collector is doing a stellar job at keeping my futuristic noir imagination spinning. Keep it up Susan!
Thanks, Val! And thank you to everyone for your sweet comments!
Silvia Writes said…
Ohhh, scary what a debt collector can do. Great story here, and very well written.

Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks everyone! Yay for Susan!
Unknown said…
Deniz - thanks so much for your visit and your comment
hope that A to Z was a challenge for you as a writer. Hope the months ahead are inspired...
Unknown said…
Congrats on finishing the challenge, Deniz. And congrat Susan on your newest release. :D
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Leslie and Stina!
Deniz Bevan said…
Woo hoo! Random.org has spat out a winner: Matthew, come on down!