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Author Spotlight: Susan Kaye Quinn talks ‘Debt Collector’

   The Debt Collector series is a gritty, violent future noir about a society that balances a person’s potential against their debt. When someone comes up short – for example, a terminally ill patient who has racked up medical bills and does not have the potential to earn their way free – a debt collector pays them a visit. Much like a grim reaper figure, the debt collector sucks away their remaining life energy – the few weeks or months they have remaining – and pays it out to someone worthy, usually a wealthy CEO or an innovative inventor who can use the additional time to benefit society.

      Here is what Susan had to say about her premise:

    “Debt Collector touches on live-wire issues like health care and the debt crisis, but takes those into a grim, gritty future-noire where we look at the dark underside of those issues. …There’s something seriously wrong with this world – how could we be so callous as to cash people’s lives out for their debts? – so it’s natural that the characters in the story will struggle with the wrongness of it, each finding their way in their own fashion. The question of how much we go along with the wrongness of a society and how much we’re willing to sacrifice to fight that wrongness is a question that fascinates me… and shows up in a lot of my stories.”

The story focuses on Lirium, a young debt collector who is already feeling the weight of cashing out lives and finding it difficult to look in the mirror. He relies on liquor and sex workers to distract him from his grim purpose, until he meets a sex worker who convinces him to donate a life “hit” to her dying sister.  The series follows Lirium through a journey of balancing good vs. evil, debt vs. life energy. Lirium is torn between doing what’s right and protecting his own life – and ultimately, he’ll have to make a choice – either be used, like a tool, or risk his life to do some good in the world.

  “The main debt collector character fascinated me almost instantly,” Quinn said. “He was a good man with a bad power in a frightening world. The possibilities were many and intriguing – I literally pulled over to the side of the road and had to start writing immediately. I was in the middle of writing other books, with no intention of starting something new, so I told myself I would just write a novella with this concept and leave it at that. Right! The concept wouldn’t let go, and I knew I had to write more about this world.”

    The Debt Collector series comes in 9 parts, which you can buy separately or as a bundle. That is just Season 1. Quinn is planning a second season of the series – to focus on a different main character – for 2014. It is a serial, meaning it’s written in episodes, and seasons, rather than novels.

     “Season Two will be told from a different point of view – a female vigilante debt collector – and will encompass not only her personal story arc, but further the broader story arc of the larger debt collector world. In fact, my plan is to have four seasons, each with a different debt collector as the central character, then a final fifth season where they all come together,” Quinn said.

     Although the serial is self-published, the quality of the writing is superb. Quinn is a published author, who previously wrote the Mindjack triology, a series of books about a society in which the characters could read each other’s minds, and some could even control other minds.

      “I debated writing [The Debt Collector] as a novel instead of a serial, but the story was very well suited to episodic storytelling – strong character-driven premise – so I decided to try it as a serial,” Quinn said.

     To learn more about the Debt Collector series or Quinn’s previously published Mindjack books, you can find information in the following ways:

      ·Subscribe to her Debt Collector Newsletter  for updates on new episode releases (she also has a Debt Collector Facebook Page). Subscribe to her Author Newsletter (and Facebook Page) for all other book release news.

·         Check out the Debt Collector Trailer and the Mindjack Trailer to see if those stories might interest you.

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