Friday, 14 May 2010

Interview with Eileen Schuh

Happy Friday, everyone!

Sit back and get comfy, because we have another great interview I'm sure you'll enjoy. We're chatting with another possible future best seller, Eileen Schuh.

Welcome, Eileen. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a journalist by training and trade, but currently I’m an aspiring novelist. My dream has always been to publish fiction. Now that my children are grown, and time and money are mine, I’m pursing that dream with a passion.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for half a century. I was 14 years old when my first story was published in Wee Wisdom Magazine—that’s a bit less than 50 years but I was writing for almost a decade before I achieved that milestone.

Do you rely on critique groups or beta readers for your manuscripts?

I have used the Writers Guild of Alberta Reading Service to help me with my manuscripts. Throughout the years, I’ve discovered that my daughter is my most helpful critic. She’s honest but knows how to be gentle. (I have a fragile ego.)

I haven’t joined any critique groups but I’ve tried beta readers. The experiences started out well. We connected on line. However, all three readers vanished before I received feedback. It’s a bit mysterious...

Sounds like a mystery novel in the making, lol. What's the hardest part of writing for you?

Trying to get published is the absolute worst part of writing. It takes so much time and energy. Repeated rejections can devastate self-esteem. I’d rather be writing. However, if I want people to read what I’ve written, I must persist.

Out of the books you've written so far, which one are you currently pitching?

My pre-teen novel, Aerdrie, placed second in the 2009 Bookland Press Literary Award Contest. I’d love to see this timely novel published.

I’m also marketing my adult novel, NORAEBANG. It’s a crime novel that explores Stockholm Syndrome (the tendency for captives to bond with captors) and abusive relationships. An earlier version of this novel also placed well in the Bookland Press contest (in 2007).

Let's hear your pitches.

Aerdrie pitch: Aerdrie is my literary response to law enforcement’s recent pleas for community help in keeping youngsters from falling into the clutches of gangs.

Noraebang pitch: NORAEBANG is an irresistible, tightly knit, intriguing story set in an exotic locale and spiced with a few torrid love scenes. The characters’ inner lives drive the action in NORAEBANG. Their pasts, their emotions, their loves, and their fears are intricately intertwined with kidnapping, drug dealing, murder, and betrayal.

How did the ideas of the manuscripts come to you?

The NORAEBANG characters came to me while I was vacationing in South Korea. They were a bit of an annoyance—downright intrusive at times. It’s challenging to enjoy a gimbap with friends while an imaginary biker gang one table over is chugging Soju and plotting to import cocaine.

Wow! You've piqued my interest. So what's the best tip you can share with other aspiring writers?

Don’t do anything, listen to anybody, or make any decisions that lessen your desire to write. Be strong and persistent and always accept that you have much yet to learn. Above all else—enjoy.

Great advice. Who are your inspirations?

People inspire me. I’m a ‘people watcher’. Always have been. People do the most interesting, unexpected, and totally random things. Strangers as well

Hehehe. Good point. Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three things about yourself people may not know?

    1.  I volunteer for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
    2.  “Eileen” is Irish and means “Goddess of Light”. In Cantonese, it means “lovely lotus.”
    3.  I love yoga. I can do the Tree Pose.

      Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

      Many and much thanks to hubby for bringing home the bacon while I pursue my dream. Thanks to my daughter, Renita, for her careful and considered critiques, her enthusiasm, and her encouragement. Thanks, as well to my other daughter, Tracy, and my son, Chris, for their ongoing support. My family, my friends, everyone in my community—wonderful fans who are proving to be as persistent as I am. I can’t forget to thank Cheryl K Tardif, my cyberspace pal and my book marketing coach.

      And finally, where can people find you online?

      My website is I have several interesting features on my website. Aside from the usual (my bio, excerpts from my novels, etc.), I have the popular “Did you know...” page. As well, I get lots of traffic to my article “I met a man with empty eyes...”

      I invite everyone to visit my blog for a light-hearted and quick read. I update it often. I’ve written on topics as diverse as my Quest to Quit Smoking, writing tips, and interviews with authors. I’ve also posted some great guest blogs.

      As well, people can find me and the opening chapters to my Adult crime/romance novel FIREWALLS on the Harper Collins Authonomy website. Drop by for a free read. Leave a comment. Vote for me if you like.

      Eileen, thank you so much for letting us chat with you. It's been great getting to know you, and I wish you much success with your books!


      Gina said...

      It sounds like you have two interesting WIPs there...and I love the non-bookish tidbits about you. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police...really? That's great! Best of luck on your road to publication!

      Dorothy...another great interview of course...and by the way, you have an award over at my site! Have a great weekend....and happy reading!

      Dorothy Dreyer said...

      Wow, an award for me? Cool, thank you! *excited giggle*

      And I agree, Eileen's stories sound interesting!

      Cheryl Tardif said...

      Dorothy, this is an excellent interview! Kudos.

      Eileen, I loved your answers, especially the one where you name me...hehe...just joking.

      Ok, truthfully, I enjoyed your humor, which manages to shine through even during self-promotion opportunities. Great job answering Dorothy's questions. And such great advice to others pursuing this same dream. Don't give up, don't quit.

      Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
      bestselling author and book marketing coach

      Shelli said...

      I love your picture! Very fun with the umbrella. Your novels sound interesting. I hope Aerdrie gets published, too. And FYI -- I, too, can do the Tree Pose. Is that a writer thing, do you think?

      Eileen Schuh: said...

      Hey, Shelli, right on. I can just hear all those writers going, "Tree pose?" (I wonder how many times that phrase got googled, lately?)

      And yes,GMR, I volunteer for the cops. I diligently solve many crimes that would not have been committed had I not been helping out...

      Thanks, people, for all the nice compliments. Dorothy has made me look chipper, crisp, and witty. She's very good at what she does!

      Eileen Schuh
      Canadian Author

      Dorothy Dreyer said...

      Aw, you're sweet, Eileen. Thank you. And many thanks, once again, for letting me interview you. :)

      kanishk said...

      agree, Eileen's stories sound interesting!
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