Thursday, May 12, 2011

Interview with K.M. Ruiz and Giveaway - May 12, 2011

Due to the Blogger outage this interview has been reposted and the date for giveaway entries extended for 1 day. If you have already entered, please note that I have your comment, but you are welcome to comment again.

Please welcome K.M. Ruiz to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

K.M.:  Thank you for letting me stop by! As for a quirk, I guess you could say I have a habit of writing in layers. I’ll write bare-bones stories, then go back and fill in more details. I assume the reader doesn’t need or want every last nitty gritty word in my head, so I’ll write ten words when I should really be using more. Then I’ll print it out in hard copy and continue adding stuff. It’s a weird process.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

K.M.:  Melanie Rawn, C. J. Cherryh, David Weber, Karin Lowachee to name a few. I fell in love with Melanie Rawn’s Exiles series as a kid. C. J. Cherry’s Foreigner series is amazing. She writes really strong character focused stories that are just brilliant. I learned a lot by just reading her.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

K.M.:  I’m kind of a mix. I’m a plotter, in the sense that I’ve got an overall idea for a series and I usually know how a book will end before I figure out the beginning and middle. I’ll have a few major events that I know have to happen and I’ll write my way to them, which is where the punster part comes in. The mixture gives me a little more freedom. I find a chapter by chapter outline to be restricting, at least for me, but for the most part I do know the major things that need to happen before I start writing, I just have to get there.

TQ:  Describe Mind Storm in 140 characters or less.

K.M.:  Post-apocalyptic tale where human and psion survivors of nuclear war fight for their future but the best answer isn’t always the right one.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Mind Storm?

K.M.:  I loved comics growing up as a kid. Even though I haven’t been into them for quite a few years now, comics are still a big inspiration. I liked how a lot of the big plot arc questions in comics were never answered until the very end of the story (if then), but I also liked how there wasn’t always a clear-cut answer. Comics are great when it comes to the morally gray area and I tried to emulate that here.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the Strykers Syndicate novels ?

K.M.:  Actually, quite a bit now that I think of it. I did some research on certain incurable diseases and how the body changes because of it to help differentiate psions from humans in the story. I’ve always been really into the sciences dealing with the human body, though I’m not an expert by any means. I wanted to try to ground psion powers as much as possible within the confines of the human body and digging through medical possibilities helped me with that. As much as I love comics, I wanted the story to be less fantastical in some ways.

I also did some research on the aftereffects of nuclear fallout, how it shows up as disease even generations down the line and how those same people are treated, both medically and culturally. In light of what happened recently in Japan, I won’t delve too deep. I will say that the tragedy in Chernobyl and a photo essay book called Chernobyl Legacy done by photographer Paul Fusco helped me form some ideas for the segregated society in Mind Storm. Even today people discard others who don’t fit their vision of normal and I wanted to bring that into the story.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Mind Storm?

K.M.:  Some of my favorite scenes would give away too much, so I’ll skip those! I like the scene between Lucas and Matron (a human scavenger), where they’re sitting in an abandoned weather station right before everything goes to hell. I like how it shows their motivations and how far they’ve come, that a psion and a discarded human can actually work together.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

K.M.:  Lucas was the hardest character for me to write because I never got into his head. He’s very much a driving force of the plot, but I unintentionally wrote him with having a distance from the reader that was frustrating at times. And then I had to keep writing him like that for both books. Talk about wanting to strangle a character! Threnody was the easiest because I knew what motivated her, but I never got deep into her head either. She’s a soldier and soldiers are supposed to obey without question in this story and I wanted to showcase that attitude by not delving too much into her emotions. Threnody does learn to start questioning the status quo and that’s what made her easier to write than pretty much everyone else.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

K.M.:  Two books are planned so far. The second book is coming out sometime next year. I don’t know when yet, but I’m hoping spring.

TQ:  What's next?

K.M.:  I’m working on the second book, though I don’t know what title we’re going to use. A lot of the questions I purposefully left unanswered in Mind Storm get addressed in book two, I promise! I’m also working on a proposal for something else that I don’t want to say too much about since I’m still in the planning stages of it. It’s something I’m really excited about though.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

K.M.:  Thanks so much for having me!

About K.M.'s Books

Mind Storm
Strykers Syndicate 1
(May 10, 2011)
After the world was nearly wiped out by a nuclear war 250 years ago, what’s left of society fights over the scraps of the Earth as the rich and powerful plan to secretly ascend to another planet. But the deadly new breed of humanity that the rulers have enslaved to protect their interests is about to change everything.

This is the story of Threnody Corwin, a psion with the ability to channel electricity like lightning through anything she touches. As a soldier-slave for the human government, Threnody is recruited by an unknown enemy: the son of Earth’s most powerful human family.

But Lucas Serca is far from human and he intends to make Threnody and her fellow psions meet their destiny, no matter how many people he has to kill to do it. Mind Storm chronicles the fight for survival by the psions and other gene-trash humans, before they’re killed by a corrupt world government or left to die on a crumbling Earth.

Strykers Syndicate 2 will be released in 2012.

About K.M. Ruiz

K.M. Ruiz lives in California with a cat or two for company and the occasional earthquake. She earned a B.A. in English (concentration in Creative Writing) and a minor in American Indian Studies from San Francisco State University. She likes her movies loud, her music louder, and when not writing, can be found traveling, looking for new ideas.

K.M.'s Links


The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a hardcover copy of Mind Storm generously provided by K.M. Ruiz.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Science Fiction, science fact, or both?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, May 20, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. Both since more and more science fiction is becoming science fact. Yes I am willing to argue zombie do exist.

    Twitter follower.

  2. I just want to giggle at how mean KM looks in her photo muaahahah She looks ready to cut a biatch, no wonder I like her ;)

  3. I will go with both!!

  4. Sci-fi, definitely! Science fascinates me, but I am terrible at keeping it in my head. :)

    +1 follower

    +1 tweet!/LiederMadchen/status/68746298894987264


  5. I prefer more Science Fiction for reading and Science Fact for life.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    artgiote at gmail dot com

  6. I'd say both, it's great to get both sides.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  7. Science fiction - I like to lose myself in lovely made up worlds!
    I am a follower of The Qwillery by email and GFC.
    I am a follower on Twitter as jwitt33.

  8. I think science fiction eventually becomes science fact in most cases so I will go with both. Afterall, 3D t.v.'s used to be science fiction...edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom Thank you so much for doing this interview and giveaway =)

  9. I love Science Fiction a bit more than science fact, but I do read some fascinating articles here and there about cool stuff that has been discovered in space, or a new discovery or bit of technology that has been developed.

    I've always enjoyed stories about the end of the world as we know it, so Mind Storm has got me very interested.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC follower

  10. Science fiction! More fun.

    GFC follower

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  11. Science fiction. Although lately science tends to do things I thought could happen only in fiction!

    GFC follower

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  12. +1 Gfc and Twitter follower
    +1 comment
    +1 tweet:!/michelledluvsu/status/71004857460457472

    I think I like science fiction better, because there's more freedom to the mind:)

    starlightgirl678 at aol dot com