Monday, June 15, 2015

You are invited... Summer Sizzles

 You are invited...

Oh, yeah! It's that time of year again and Imajin Books (publisher of THE TRAZ, THE TRAZ School Edition and FATAL ERROR)  is gearing up for its annual Summer Sizzles promotion.

Things really heat up with the Summer Sizzles facebook party on Sunday, July 12 from 4 - 8 pm PDT (7 - 11 pm Eastern).

Here's the link for all the info.
You are invited to attend so visit the event page and click the join button so we know to expect you!

Who will all be there?

Almost the entire Imajin Books crew will participate, from publisher to editors to authors to cover designers, formatters....

Fans of Imajin Books' authors will be there, eager to ask their fave writers questions and offer support and compliments.

Aspiring writers will be there, schmoozing with those in the industry, asking questions, giving answers.

Other authors will be there.

Family and friends will stop by.

People who like winning things will be there--there are always lots of giveaways.

Those who love drinking virtual margaritas on virtual sunny beaches will drop by. Don't worry, there will be free virtual taxi service for those who overimbibe! HA HA!

Come on over, join in the fun! If you've never attended a facebook party, this is the one to change that!

Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Passion... What do I do when I'm not writing or promoting my writing? Although writing has always been my number one passion, I've learned that being passionately involved in all aspects of life and living is vitally important.

Writing novels is a bumpy profession, full of rejections, poor sales, lost competitions, bad reviews and no reviews, and embarrassing missteps on the social media networks. Pinning one's self-confidence and self-worth solely on succeeding on the world stage in this profession or any other, is dangerous and can be depressing.

When I'm not writing I'm passionately engaged in personal relationships with friends, family and grandkids, partaking in sports like cross country skiing and curling, engaging in community volunteering, and traveling the world.
Travel with friends heightens the senses and deepens the bonds
I also enjoy other creative outlets like crocheting and painting. I garden, fish, hunt, and camp. I care for my pets. 

 My life is full and over-brimming with the good stuff. When the agent rejects, the Pomeranian cuddles. When royalties cease, the skis whistle against the white. When the reviewer doesn't like the ending, the police welcome my help in patrolling the nighttime alleys.

Community volunteering adds depth to one's life

When words won't come, the grandbaby giggles.

What do I do when I'm not writing? I fret, worry, hug, cry and enjoy. I create memories, characters, plots, settings... I learn about heartache, and heartbreak and poverty and politics. I taste the sea and smell the jasmine and do the tree pose on a Caribbean beach. I learn about the dark side...and the tropical sunny side. I connect with others. I live, I laugh, I love.

Eileen Schuh, Author


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What do I do now?

Oh, no! What do I do?

Faced with the unexpected, how do you react?

We're all creatures of habit. Being able to perform complicated actions with little or no thought allows us to free up our brain for creative thinking. There are likely many amazing ideas that owe their existence to the morning rituals of teeth-brushing and hair-combing.

However, as with all great evolutionary adaptations, there are downsides to this fabulous ability of ours. Getting stuck in routines which are no longer useful, is one.

Being unable to to deal with new circumstances is another. We become so used to doing things the way things have always been done, stepping out of our usual behaviour to meet the unexpected can be very discomforting.

This happened to me recently when I received a reply from a publishing house to my question about whether or not they'd care to have a look at my manuscript.

Eileen Schuh, author
Now, submission guidelines are a problem for both publishers and writers, both parties complain bitterly about them. Publishers complain writers don't abide by them and writers complain that every publisher wants something different these days, the guidelines are confusing, extensive, and at times impossible to follow.

Both parties' complaints are valid. Submission procedures used to be standardized--I know, I've been submitting manuscripts for thirty years. You used to double space on 8.5" x 11" white paper, use Times New Roman font, indent paragraphs five spaces, have one inch margins all around, and include your name, the title, and page number on each page following the first one. There used to be two spaces between sentences. On page one, you listed the word count, your address and phone number, and the rights you were offering (usually first North American serial rights). You submitted by mailing the entire manuscript from the post office and including a self-addressed-stamped envelop for reply and/or return of the manuscript.

Not one of those things is standard procedure anymore, making submissions time-consuming and confusing and resulting in many submission errors. For each submission, one must first research the submission guidelines, which are often hidden in unexpected places on publishers' websites. One must carefully, point-by-point go through each requirement and make the necessary changes to one's document and remember to remove the formatting done to meet the previous publishers' guidelines. One must find where and how to send the manuscript (email or snail mail), locate the name of the contact person if at all possible (to personalize your submission and give it a better chance of being seriously reviewed), and so on.

I've become used to doing all that, and getting better at making fewer errors. So when I received an email reply to my submission question from a large Canadian publisher yesterday--well, I'm still re-reading it. Unable to accept it as fact. Not knowing what to do next.

"Our Canadian Division," the email says, "reviews any material submitted by Canadian writers...There are no special editing or guidelines required..."

Huh? No guidelines? No...special font? No margins, page numbers, brief synopsis or lengthy author bio required? No marketing plan?  Would it help if I send them anyways? Will it annoy you if I do? If I don't? Do you want me to send you the entire manuscript? The first chapter? The first fifty pages?

The only protocol authors are advised to follow is to snail mail their submissions, no emails.

Having the ability to submit whatever I want should leave me feeling yeehaw liberated. However, I'm feeling quite unsettled. I simply don't trust my ability to decide what is needed to impress a publisher.

Out of habit, perhaps, I want to revert back to the submission standards of yesteryear. But will that make me look old-fashioned and count against me? Sending the entire manuscript these days costs a fortune in postage and since most publishers asking for print submissions want only the first few pages or chapters, is that the better way to go?

I do want to brag about my past accomplishments to further entice the acquisitions editor to take my submission seriously. Should I list  my publishing credits in a short and sweet cover letter or include an entire bio? How much of the story should I reveal up front? Just a blurb like one reads on the back cover of a paperback, or a chapter-by-chapter analysis--to encourage that editor to read right to the end (which is always the best part of a book).

I have to laugh at myself. Here I am, given all this freedom and all I can think is, "Oh, no! What do I do now?"

"What do I do now?" is brought to you by:

"…it will surprise, titillate and fascinate you"

"…kidnaps the reader and compels them to read more.”

"A story of intrigue, love, and lust"

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What's in a name?

Where do I come up with my characters' names?

Katrina - THE TRAZ
KATRINA - protagonist of my BackTracker series. When I started writing this series, Hurricane Katrina was ripping apart the southern U.S.A. Young Katrina seemed to stir up trouble wherever she went, so the name just naturally became hers.

SHRUG – the undercover cop who recruited Katrina to the biker gang in The Traz. I was looking for a short name because I had to type it so often. At the time, I was very shy about my writing and every name I came up with belonged to someone I knew, which I found embarrassing. As Shrug was a less-than-stellar constable, I wanted to make doubly sure no cop would think I was writing about a real officer!  I figured no one in the tangible world would be named Shrug. The explanation in the story about how he acquired his nickname is a tad more exciting.

KINDLE – Sergeant Kindle, the wise senior office in the BackTracker series, was named long before eReaders were invented. He’s probably a little shocked that Amazon would name theirs after him! I chose Kindle as, again, I was looking for a name that couldn’t possibly belong to someone in real life. I was at the cabin taking a break from writing, contemplating a campfire and looking for kindling…
Chordelia -

CHORDELIA – also known as “Chorie” in Schrödinger’s Cat. I have no idea where her name came from. I must have channeled it from another universe.

LADESQUE – the female heroine in my latest release, Dispassionate Lies. Again, a made up name. I wouldn’t want any of my friends, family, fans or acquaintances to think I believe them to be asexual, or hypersexual as sometimes seems the case in this near-future novella.


For more information about me and my novels, and for purchase links visit my Amazon author page