Friday, April 10, 2015

Drop Everything!

Drop Everything and Read event!

Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) is an international event designed to stimulate the love of books and all things literary.

This weekend The Fantasy and SciFi Network is participating by promoting the wonderful worlds of SciFi and Fantasy with its online D.E.A.R. event. Promotions and special pricing on a plethora of fine novels are rocketing through cyberspace from Friday, April 10th through Sunday, April 12th, 2015.

DISPASSIONATE LIES and SCHRODINGER'S CAT are just two of the tantalizing tales coming at you for only 99 cents.
DISPASSIONATE LIES  The year is 2035 and the world is emerging from a devastating economic collapse. Computer guru, Ladesque, finds her task of restoring the world’s internet capabilities, dull until...

She’s approached by Paul, an attractive FBI agent intent on recruiting her to an ultra-secret project. There’s only one problem—the asexuality she was born with thirty-five years ago, vanishes sending her on a quest to uncovering the secrets of her past--not an easy task when all things digital have been compromised...but her future depends on it.
SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT   In one of her worlds, Chorie’s young daughter is dying—a drama that quickly contaminates her other, much rosier, reality. Before long, the emotional burden of dealing with two separate lives spawns heated legal battles, endangers her role as mother and wife, and causes people in both universes to judge her insane. As her lives begin to crumble, so does Chorie’s soul.

For more information on the D.E.A.R. event, visit the SciFi Network's facebook page, Twitter account, or search the #DEAR hashtag.

For more information on DISPASSIONATE LIES, SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT and other books by author Eileen Schuh, visit her Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

You're going to die!

“You’re going to die!”

Although that sounds like a line from a thriller, it’s just a basic truth that applies to every one of us—barring some miracle of science or the discovery of the Fountain of Youth. Despite its universal truth, death tends to terrify us. Although that terror serves a purpose in keeping us safe, financing roller coasters, and enriching authors such as Stephen King, it can also immobilize us, cause depression and anxiety, and ruin our lives.

I imagine myself being interviewed at age, say 102, and being asked to what I credit my longevity. I’d reply, “My terror of death.” I believe it is terror that has kept me safe from many harms throughout my six or so decades of living, including self-harm—someone terrified of death simply can’t seriously contemplate suicide, no matter how depressing life might seem. I also could never bungee jump, drive at an excessive speed, take the quad up a steep hill, or inject heroine.

Years ago, I wrote a non-fiction book about the science of death, cataloguing my research into the rational aspects of birth, death, reincarnation, alternate universe, cloning, stem cells, the nature of time, etc. It was never published, but remains a source of inspiration.

Now, I want to write a fictional account of mortality. My hope is that my characters can somehow uncover the true nature of life and death, a truth that has always eluded me. I’ve started the book, but have been hung up for some time. Just as in real life, once I needed definitive answers about death, the words quit coming.

The premise of my story is that immortal beings arrive on earth to study man’s mortality only to come to the terrifying realization that they, too, are now mortal. 

“You are going to die!” some cloaked figure cackles from the darkness. “You are going to die.”
“Age-related atrophy…” the medical report reads.
“Pre-arranged funerals!” the ads scream.
“Senior discount?” the teller asks.
“Nana! Nana!” the grandson shouts.
“When I die, I want you to…” the husband says.

Yup. I definitely need to finish that book.

Eileen Schuh, Author


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Criminal Minds at Work: Behind the uniform...

Criminal Minds at Work: Behind the uniform...:  Legalities and illegalities play big roles in all my novels. The BackTracker Series centers around the lives of a group of officers ...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Writing powerfully with adverbs

Empowering your writing with adverbs

Ensuring every word counts toward something important in the story results in powerful writing. If a word can serve more than one purpose, such as enhance characterization AND move the plot forward, that powerful writing becomes even better.

Modern writing, especially in the non-literary genres, tends to be less flowery than the classic literature of bygone years, perhaps indicative of our busy lifestyles. Getting lost in action and adventure is more entertaining to today's reader than getting lost in scenic venues and wonderful phrases.

Eileen Schuh, Author
One way for writers to ensure they are catering to this preference for brevity is to delete adverbs in favour of more powerful verbs. Thus, rather than having your heroine speak quietly, have her whisper and instead of the villain running quickly have him speed or race. And by all means, for more reasons than one, avoid redundant adverbs such as "shouting loudly" or "weeping sadly".

That said, adverbs have many roles outside of modifying our action words.  Properly used, they can even tighten writing. Among other purposes, adverbs are used to supply a time dimension (firstly, lastly, finally, abruptly), link ideas within sentences and between sentences (simply), and relay nuance and innuendo (purportedly, definitely, supposedly).

They can double up duties. With a single word, an adverb can add detail to a verb as well as deepen characterization. For example, what do we learn about the hero who gently kisses the maiden or the villain who roughly kisses her? A manuscript devoid of adverbs would be sterile indeed.

Properly placed adverbs provide other services as well, such as improve the rhythm of a story. They link phrases and ideas, and reveal connections between actions.

“Fearing he’s standing because he read my mind and found my musings offensive, I straighten and lever myself to where I ought to have been seated. It is soon apparent, however, he's simply surveying the trail ahead.” 

The adverb 'simply' links his act of standing in the first sentence to his act of surveying  in the second. Without the word simply,  we would know he stood and know he surveyed, but have no way of knowing the two actions are linked. Without this link, the two sentences are disjointed and the question of whether or not he stood because he read her mind is not answered. 

Let's take a look at the beginning of my work in progress. I've introduced two characters, but have explained little about them. I want my readers to know that Peter is a gentleman, someone to cheer for, and that she is strong, agile, and independent. I also want to get some electricity crackling between them, some touching perhaps. The adverb 'lightly' helps me accomplish that.

“I’m Peter,” he said, offering his arm to help her down from the machine. 
She rested her hand lightly on his elbow and jumped to the ground. “You drive fast,” she said.

Without the adverb lightly, all we would know about the girl is that she dismounted. Although that would advance the plot, it would do little to characterize her. With 'lightly' readers can surmise she is agile and independent but polite enough to at least make a show of accepting his help.

Consider the sentence, "He’d been told she was surviving alone in the wilderness, but the fact she was amazingly clean and well kempt had him questioning that." I want to drive the story forward, make my readers curious. I want them to wonder who told Peter about her and if there's a reason he's been misled. I want them to keep reading in order to find out if this woman truly is living alone in the wild. The most concise way to do all that is to rewrite the sentence using the adverb "purportedly".  

For someone who was purportedly surviving alone in the wilderness, she was amazingly clean and well kempt.

That one adverb replaces seven words and performs many roles.

Happy writing!

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for more information about me and my books

Eileen Schuh, Author


Schrödinger's Cat