Thursday, July 2, 2015

CONTEST! Summer Sizzles with Imajin Books.

Criminal Minds at Work: Imajin Books: 'Share the Imajin Books Buzz' contes...:  

Imajin Books: 'Share the Imajin Books Buzz' contest : July 1-31, 2015: Share our events on Twitter and Facebook, and share pics of our books on ereaders or you holding one, and receive
entries into our Summer Sizzles Giveaway!

Grand prize winner: 12 free ebooks (winner’s choice). Plus 10 winners of single ebooks. Open to anyone 18+. Void where prohibited. Draw willtake place the first week of August. Be sure to share it with your friends.

 Also join our facebook party!

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

Friday, May 15, 2015

Chill with a Book!: International kudos for BackTracker series

Chill with a Book!: International kudos for BackTracker series: International kudos for BackTracker series   Author, Eileen Schuh I delight in hearing from my readers! The international appeal ...

Eileen Schuh,Canadian

Thursday, May 14, 2015

She hears voices...

She hears voices...

"I listen to many, many voices when I’m editing..." ~ Elaine Denning, Freelance Editor

Editing: It's not an easy task and is often a thankless one. 

Whether hired by an author or a publisher, a good editor works hard to incorporate the author's voice, publisher's mandate, grammar rules and readers' needs into a book that reads well and sells well.

Freelance editor, Elaine Denning, was kind enough to share some background secrets about  that tough life. Thanks, Elaine!

Elaine Denning - Freelance Editor
Is editing a viable business? Explain some of what you have done to establish and sustain your editing services business.
It’s certainly viable, but if the idea of having a fluctuating income fills you with dread then perhaps working in-house (with a regular salary), rather than freelancing, would be a better choice. 

When my business was in the early stages and I had just a handful of clients, editing took up about 25% of my time. The rest was spent slogging away as a freelance copywriter (in order to pay the bills) and marketing my editing business. There were many sleepless nights and Twitter and Facebook were a godsend - sites where I could try to get my name out there without any financial outlay.

My most effective marketing strategy was to offer authors a free ten page edit of their manuscripts. That’s when things really started to take off and within a few months I was able to give up copywriting and edit full time. These days, word of mouth brings in the majority of my clients and, of course, I have many returning clients, too.

Can you speak a bit about preserving the voice of an author while editing?
It’s a crucial part of the job; authors don't want to get their manuscripts back from the editor and not recognise it as their own work.  Authors’ voices are so strong that if I were sent a manuscript anonymously from someone I had previously worked with, I’m confident I could tell you who wrote it.

The first thing I always do is read a manuscript right through to the end before I edit a single word, to give me a feel for the author’s rhythm and style. Some authors write long, detailed, and complicated sentences and love, really love, using lots of punctuation and, on occasion, it can become a little, shall we say, tedious, to say the least. Other authors write short sentences. Snappy sentences. They get to the point. Quickly.  Even if I had a preference it would be wrong of me to change what is intrinsically their ‘voice’, their trademark. Therefore, if the structure of a sentence or a paragraph needs editing I will always mimic the author’s voice, even if I’m not fond of their particular style of writing. After all, there’s a huge difference between what is grammatically incorrect and what is just not to my liking.

Sometimes the author’s voice will slip into a character’s voice, or a character will say something that I know he or she would never say. So, in a nutshell, I listen to many, many voices when I’m editing and my aim is to stay true to them all.

Comment on why some ‘rules’ of writing (*shouldn’t* *don’t* *never*) seem to attain extreme notoriety for a while and then fade away (such as the uproars over the cursed Oxford comma, the alienated adverb, the prohibited prologue, the forbidden first-person…). What is your suggestion on how authors should treat such writing ‘rules’ and fads?
Nice alliteration! (Thanks! lol!)

There is always somebody, somewhere on the internet, writing about something to stir up a debate. It keeps the cogs turning and keeps us clicking, sharing, and arguing. Most blog writers strive for traffic on their sites and there’s no better way of attaining it than by writing about something controversial.

 As is the case with most arguments, they gain momentum, get rather heated, and then fizzle out. But let’s face it, if these so called ‘rules’ were set in stone they wouldn’t be up for debate in the first place.

I’d suggest that you use your creative license and write in a way that feels right for you. Bear in mind that most editors are pedantic and may well put a red strike right through your much-loved adverb or insert your missing Oxford comma, but I’d urge you to challenge their ‘correction’ if you’re not happy with it.  Any editor worth their salt would welcome your feedback and would be more than happy to explain why something has been altered. In my opinion, editors should always advise and never dictate.

What has been your most devastating editing experience?
I’d completed a free ten page edit of an author’s manuscript and we mutually decided to work together. But, about a quarter of the way through the book, it became apparent that incest, abuse, and the worst kind of humiliation were being written about under the guise of ‘erotica’.  Let’s just say it didn’t sit too well with me and I felt unable to continue, which prompted an onslaught of online harassment from the author that lasted for about three months. Not the happiest of times! I’m glad to say that every other author I have worked with has been (absolutely) lovely.

If you were hired to edit a classic, which one would you want it to be and what would be the first thing you’d change?
I think I’d like to edit ‘Of Mice and Men’ and give Lennie a deep aversion to stroking things.

On a serious note, I have mixed feelings about reworking classics. Yes, I understand that contemporary reinterpretations bring what would be an otherwise dusty, unread book to the attention of a modern day audience, but at what cost?  The joy I get from reading any book comes from plunging myself into the world the author has created. To tamper with the prose, the setting, and the era in which it was written (along with the fashions, language, and trends of that time) would leave nothing behind but a plot. It may be a good plot, but the author’s intent and the backbone of the book, in my mind, would be lost. So, if I were offered the chance to edit a classic I would feel deeply honoured but would recommend someone who would be far less inclined to get emotional at the deletion of some wonderfully written words and worlds.

Elaine Denning is an experienced freelance editor based in Devon, UK.  She edits fiction and non-fiction and works with both traditionally published and independent authors. 


Interview by: