Monday, January 26, 2015

Chill with a Book!: Series-ously--the BackTracker novels

Chill with a Book!: Series-ously--the BackTracker novels: Love for my characters drives my BackTracker series, more than plots and thrills and social comment. I fell in love with my characters wh...

Eileen Schuh,Canadian

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Don't leave me hanging!

Even with a series, don’t leave me hanging! That’s my feeling. 

I expect the dollars, time and emotions I invest in reading a novel to buy a great story that includes a satisfactory ending. Nothing leaves me more disappointed that feeling the book I read was little more than an advertisement for the next in a series.

When I turn that last page or click off the eReader, I want all plots resolved and all characters to be in a comfortable, complete place.

Someone said the first page of a novel must entice people to read your book. The last page (whether in a series or not) must entice them to read your next book. Leaving the reader disappointed is not a good way to accomplish that. 

If cliff hangers aren’t the way to incite further interest, what is? Good writing is, of course. Also, especially for a series, insanely wonderful characters will do the trick.

If I’m intrigued by the way the characters did or did not handle life and circumstance, I’ll want to read more. If their imperfections drove their lives but I loved them anyways, I’ll want to see them through into their next adventures, hoping they’ll change for the better. If their wit or strength or spiritual natures are incredibly inspiring, I’ll crave more of their enlightenment and humour. If their pasts are a little hazy, their motives less than clear, their dreams and aspirations hidden—I’ll demand those secrets eventually be shared with me.

The best books for me contain characters that are so intensely real I fall in love with them. The best series are those where each novel wraps up the plot, consummates the relationships and leaves me wondering, given their strengths and foibles, their current place in life, their pasts and their promise, their tears and fears, how will the characters fare in the future?

When reading a series, I’m invested in the characters just as I was in my own children. I worry about them, hope for them, seek to understand them. I love them to bits. I don’t mind spending time with them, learning more about them, seeing them through trials, sharing their dreams.

And, always, always, always I’m pondering their futures.

Brought to you by THETRAZ Book 1 in the BackTracker Series
“…can't wait to read the sequel...”

“Exciting, powerful, & tragic.”

“I came away wanting more!”

“The first of a series, igniting an appetite for the sequel…”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DISPASSIONATE LIES entered in Crime contest

It might seem a little odd to enter a near-future SciFi in a crime-writing contest, but crime happens in 2035 as readers discover in my latest novella DISPASSIONATE LIES.

From hackers who totally destroy the global internet to the intrigue surrounding the cause of infertility and lack of libido in a generation of women, DISPASSIONATE LIES is full of illicit activities and intrigue. I believe it will hold its own in the 2015 Crime Writers of Canada Author Ellis Awards contest. 

My dispassionate heroine, Ladesque is charged with restoring internet capabilities and lifting the world out of a severe recession brought on by cyber-crime. However, that all takes a back seat when she starts investigating the reason her generation has lost it's sexuality. It may be impossible for her to track down the truth. Not only have hackers compromised all digital data, both government and industry tenaciously use that excuse to thwart her research.

The story becomes even more real when the reader takes in the back pages of the novel where I've posted links to real life headlines about hackers, pharmaceutical pollution, government experiments, espionage, technology-in-waiting and other potential sources of crime.

DISPASSIONATE LIES is a warning about what crime might look like in 2035, or perhaps even next year at the rate we're going.

To view the titles, authors, and publishers of all entries in this year's Crime Writers of Canada awards contest visit

“Such amazing writing...” 
"...has drama, intrigue, and asks some really interesting questions."
"It will surprise, titillate and fascinate you"
"...kidnaps the reader and compels them to
"A story of intrigue, love, and lust" 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Top Five Reasons to Buy DISPASSIONATE LIES

- 1 -
You want to know what the future will be like, and if there will be a future.

- 2 -
You worry about hackers and internet security and the presence of hormones in our food and drinking water and wonder if there’s any hope for us.

- 3 -
You like stories about strong female characters who do great things for the world…and for themselves.

- 4 -
For those who like realistic fiction, there are pages at the back listing links to the research the author used.

- 5 -
This is the sixth book from this author and each one has been better than the one before.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Well...imagine that!

The muses have visited me since I was a child and today their magic still surrounds me. Perhaps the grandchildren have inherited my connection to the mystical--or perhaps I'm instilling in them creative wonder.


Although it was -40C/F last night, I went camping with the six-year old. We set up a tent, went fishing and hunting, built a fire and ate the fruits of our labour.

Look at this dandy! Here is the biggest fish we caught. It was a pike.

Here is the smallest fish we caught.

We caught a medium sized fish as well. I shouldn't say 'we'. The six-year old caught them all.

Then we went hunting and brought down this moose--actually the six-year old shot the moose but I helped carve it up and carry the meat back to camp.

This is our tent.

This is where we went fishing.

This is our fire. The fish are sizzling in that frying pan on top.

Off to the right is the pot we cooked our moose in.

Actually, it wasn't the six-year old that I went camping with--it was CHASE, the detective dog from PAW PATROL. He made a fine camping partner, sniffed out the moose, chased away the coyotes, brought down a bear...

Magic of the Muses...from whence inspiration comes.

Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat

Friday, January 2, 2015

Dark and Stormy Nights...and all that Jazz

Symbolically Speaking... 

Way back when before I was published, many beta readers complained that although I had dialogue and plot down pat, everything was happening in a vacuum—I did not set the scene. I had ‘talking heads’, they said.

In real life I’m intensely aware of my surroundings, often capturing things with my camera that no one else notices. I also like waxing poetic about the interplay of light and shadow and life and death. I love adjectives and adverbs. However, in real life I also get bored quickly when reading lengthy descriptions in a novel—get on with the story, already, I say to myself—skimming over what seems to be irrelevancies.

But I am wise enough to know not to ignore the critics. To pacify them without boring myself and my less literary fans, I decided to make my scenic descriptions relevant in more ways than one. I was going to use powerful adjectives, some with double meanings, some with alliteration, some with rhythm. I was going to make each scenic description a coy contribution to the emotions driving the plot. A dark and stormy night, indeed. I would give my readers green grass poking through the snow when hope was on the way. We’d have icy blizzards foreshadowing death, meteorite showers accenting romance, the stench of diesel announcing danger.

Excerpt from FIREWALLS:
Outside Sergeant Kindle’s window, off to the horizon, a winter storm was brewing. The top sides of the towering clouds were glistening a bright white but the darkness between the fluffy layers held a warning. She watched the building power, reaching higher, growing darker, moving in. “Katrina, you wanted to see me?” The door slammed closed behind her, snapping her back to reality. 
Whether or not readers notice the symbolism and grasp the intent, the descriptions serve to set the scene, the time of year and sometimes the time of day. Hopefully they will also subliminally influence readers’ emotions and draw them deeper into the story.

Symbolism doesn’t have to be relegated to scene setting. Characters’ names, place names and even the book title itself can hold innuendo. Writers often slip symbolism into character descriptions. What kind of man has steel-grey eyes? What do we expect to see from mousy men and women with fiery red hair?

In this excerpt from FATAL ERROR, it’s no coincidence that young Katrina’s distant, cool, metallic guardian is named Mr. Cooper.
Cooper was seated on a couch in Debra's living room. He stood when Katrina entered the room. "I hear you've been a pretty busy lady lately." She knew he was trying to sound gentle, but it didn't work. He was staid and lawyer-ish, always had been
Give symbolism a try—it’s fun to write. And, the next time you read a novel, keep your eyes out for those symbols that the skilled author has covertly used to manipulate your emotions.

Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat