Operative, the fifth installment of the Ganzfield series, finds Maddie and her friends on a reconnaissance mission in Europe. One may ask why teenagers are being used and trusted in such a highly classified, dangerous mission. If you are familiar with the Ganzfield (and if you are not, why not?) series, you know that these kids are not just your everyday average joes. They are G-positives and have abilities that most of us can only dream of having.
This book finds itself on my list for this year because of the detail that Kate Kaynak goes into to make this story come alive. While reading it, I was just amazed at how much research and accuracy had gone into even the minutest of details. I can tell just how much Kaynak loves this series, and how dedicated she is to making it the best story she can. In the past, she has pulled no punches, and this book is no different. No one is safe. Including the reader. And as I have had no hand in the editing process of this book, I can not be held responsible for anything that happens.
And for more insight into the woman who has created this amazing world, may I introduce to you the one and only Kate Kaynak:
1. BCM: You have a PhD in psychology and have been a teacher/professor in psychology at a college. How do you go from that to running a small press publishing company and writing YA paranormal-type books?
KK: I had three kids in a year, so I took a "breeding sabbatical" from teaching. However, I found that being home with a horde of small children all day turned my brain to mush. I started writing to have an excuse to use complete sentences. I completed my first novel in 2008 and my first *good* novel in 2009. Spencer Hill Press grew out of a conversation at Backspace Writing Conference, in which several aspiring authors discussed their dream publisher. It was like we created an e-harmony ad for the perfect publishing company. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and so I started researching what we'd need to do to make a company that worked the way we wanted it to, an author-centric press that would discover and grow the careers of talented new authors. I never hit the stumbling block that said, "we can't do it," do we did it.
2. BCM: How did you come up with the idea for the Ganzfield series? And how did you pick the “powers” that the G positives have?
KK: The idea of Minder evolved after I'd read Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse. In both series, the telepathic characters can only fall in love with people whose thoughts they can't read. But what if that wasn't an option? Who could a telepath fall in love with? What kind of person would be okay with having someone know their every thought? The story started with the romance and expanded. I chose the special abilities because they are actually in the parapsychology literature or research. For example, Project Star Gate (the US government's psychic spy program during the Cold War) focused on remote viewing.
3. BCM: One thing I have noticed when reading these books, is the detail involved. I can tell you have put a lot of time and effort into the accuracy of everything. How much research did you have to do to ensure everything was as accurate as possible?
KK: I'm a stickler for having logically consistent world-building any book I write or edit. However, I've always been fascinated with parapsychology, so I didn't have to do much additional research into the abilities themselves. I did a bunch on the real-life people involved in the back stories, though, like William Underwood, the first person who claimed to be pyrokinetic.
4. BCM: With this series winding down, as you are currently working on the final book in the series (with one more possibly – hopefully – from Seth’s POV), what are your plans for when it is finished? Do you have another book/series in mind? And can you give us a peek of any kind into Soulmate?
KK: I originally planned three books for the series, and then expanded the story arcs to another three books. Most of the loose ends will be wrapped up in Soulmate. The "wider world" experience that Maddie is having in Operative continues, but things are changing back at Ganzfield, too--and NOT for the better. However, my part-time editing job has turned more full-time in the past year, mostly because Jennifer L. Armentrout's books have burst on the scene, so I haven't had the time to finish writing it!
5. BCM: Speaking of future endeavors, since I have started at SHP, it has exploded in the book industry. There are so many exciting things going on, would you like to tell us what is happening behind closed doors at SHP, and what your readers can look forward to?
KK: We have 24 books coming out in 2013, and we're spinning off two new imprints, as well: Spence City for urban fantasy and Spencer Hill Contemporary for YA and NA contemp novels. We have some incredible books in the pipeline, and I think some of our authors will be household names before we're through.
6. BCM: Before we go, is there anything else you would like to tell us about, well, anything?
KK: Just that, when you put your energy into doing something that builds people up, amazing things happen. I'm thrilled with everything we've been able to do for our authors and editing staff, and I hope that we'll be able to scale up our efforts… and that I'll be able to get some writing time in for Soulmate and Solitary, since Seth has an AMAZING adventure ahead of him.
Thanks so much, Kate, for being a part of Best I've Read!
Kate Kaynak: Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Pintrest
Ganzfield Series: Website / Facebook
Spencer Hill Press: Website / Facebook / Twitter
And as an added bonus, Kate is giving away a signed copy of both Minder and Adversary(book 1 and 2) to one lucky winner, in their newly minted updated covers.
Just fill out the Rafflecopter below, and good luck!
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