Saturday, 2 April 2011

Eileen Schuh Revisited

To celebrate the upcoming release of her book, SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT, I thought it would be fun to look back at the interview I did with Eileen Schuh about a year ago. How interesting to see how far things have come. Here's how the interview went:

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. 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!


      Clara Gillow Clark said...

      Congratulations on the publication of Schrodinger's Cat, Eileen! I love quantum mechanics, so I'm eager to learn more about your book. Clicking over to your blog site now!

      Thanks for a great re-issued blog post!

      Eileen Schuh: said...

      Thanks, Dorothy and thanks Clara. Interesting that I didn't even mention SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT in this interview. Goes to show that success is sometimes found in the most unlikely of places!
      SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT was a silly little novel that had been floating around in my mind for decades, entertaining me during those hours of folding diapers, driving to soccer, balancing books, etc.
      I decided to put it to paper in order to get it out of my head. It turned out much too short to be a novel so I had to do some specific research to find publishers that accept novellas. I found two and sent off the ms. One publisher rejected me within weeks. Almost 2 years later, having all but forgotten about this novella, I got an acceptance email from WolfSinger Publications.

      Cheryl Tardif said...

      This is a great interview, Dorothy.

      Eileen, I learn a little more about you every day. lol I found this post via a Google Alert set for my name. :-) Thank you for the thank you. You're very welcome.

      I am so happy for you. And I can't wait to celebrate the success of Schrodinger's Cat. Cheers!


      Gina said...

      A great look back Dorothy...and congratulations to you Eileen! Wishing you much success. ^_^

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