Wednesday, September 19, 2012

FATAL ERROR...the Next Best Thing

I am participating in The Next Best Thing challenge, because I think FATAL ERROR is going to be THE NEXT BIG THING.

This challenge, that is making its way around cyberspace, consists of 10 questions about an author's work-in-progress.  Here are those questions and my honest answers:

What is the working title of your book?
Originally entitled “BackTracker I”, FATAL ERROR was written as the first book in my BackTracker series. It opens with young Katrina being rescued from THE TRAZ biker gang compound and follows her struggle to deal with the legal, social, and emotionally fallout of her year with the gang. 

After writing this book and the follow up one, I found I was insatiably curious about what actually happened during the year  that Katrina, Shrug and Chad were with The Traz. I was so curious that I couldn’t help but pen the prequel—which ended up THE TRAZ and Book I of my series. This meant “BackTracker I” was no longer an appropriate title for the second book. It took some doing and figuring and collaborating with my publisher before we settled on FATAL ERROR.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The characters dictated their BackTracker stories to me during a very low and lonely time in my life. I truly don’t feel I authored this novel, but since I’ve spent so many hours editing it and promoting it, I don’t feel too guilty about putting my name on the cover.

What genre does your book fall under?
The protagonist, Katrina, was 13-years old in THE TRAZ and I marketed that book to adolescents, at-risk youngsters, and the adults in their lives as an Action/Adventure with Social Issues.




THE TRAZ reg. edition

   Only $2.99 ON AMAZON!



However, little Katrina grows up in FATAL ERROR and the adult characters that were introduced in The Traz play increasingly important roles. Therefore, I’ll market this novel as an Adult/YA  Action/Adventure/Thriller. It qualifies as Crime Fiction as well.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I have to pass on this question. In my head and heart the characters are so real, I can’t imagine them being portrayed by anyone but themselves. Besides, I’m not all that familiar with things Hollywood.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Just one mistake, and someone dies.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I was so lucky with this book. I sold the publishing rights to FATAL ERROR before I’d even finished writing it! Imajin Books, who bought the eRights to THE TRAZ and who also released THE TRAZ School Edition in both ebook and print formats, obviously liked my writing. They offered me a contract for the sequel at the same time as I signed on with them for THE TRAZ. My goodness, this does not happen often! Am I blessed, or what?

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote almost 24 hours a day back then when the characters were dictating their stories to me. The first draft of FATAL ERROR was completed and the next book in the series started in under than a month.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
People often compared this series to The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. Both are series that involve a young girl engaged with the criminal element.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I wrote a blog about this, called She was afraid…” Here’s the opening:

It was a dark and lonely time in my life when she came to me…a tiny girl on a ridge, lying on her belly, watching danger unfold in the valley below. Listening.

Grasped tightly in her fingers were autumn grasses.

Her anticipation was so intense it hurt my lungs. She was barely breathing. Afraid to move.
I saw her there whenever I closed my eyes. She was waiting…

Each night, night after night, as I lay down to sleep, she came to me. Afraid. Excited. Alone. Always on her belly on an autumn ridge. One night I felt the  thump, thump, thump of an approaching helicopter shaking the ground beneath her belly. Once I heard the scream of sirens.

There came a night when I could stand it no longer; I needed to know who that young girl was. Why was she on that ridge? What was happening in the valley below? I flicked on the lights and made my way to my laptop.

The complete article can be found here She was afraid...

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The one complaint I got  amidst all the 4- and 5-star reviews of THE TRAZ is that the story ended too soon. Well, my fans don't have to wait much longer to find out what happened next. FATAL ERROR will be released by Imajin Books within the next few weeks.

Thank you to Chris Longmuir for inviting me to join the Challenge. Visit her blog to uncover her answers to these questions.

I've conned Luke Murphy, Author of DEAD MAN'S HAND into accepting this challenge. Be sure to visit his blog next Wednesday, 26 September 2012 to discover his secret "Next Best Thing". Thanks, Luke, for being a good sport.

Also thanks to Robin Winter for agreeing to participate. Check her blog on Wednesday, 26 September 2012 as well. Robin's novel, NIGHT MUST WAIT, will be published later this year by Imajin Books.

Eileen Schuh, Author
Schrödinger's Cat

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tweeting THE TRAZ for free

 I have a very special guest blogger today, Katrina Buckhold. Perhaps that name rings a bell? 
Katrina as she appears on the cover of THE TRAZ

 Katrina is the young protagonist in THE TRAZ. Although she is immature and abrasive and isn't perhaps all that reliable, I did agree to let her open her own Twitter account (

Although I had to do a lot censoring and censuring for the first while, she seems to be growing up somewhat. 


3 days only
Monday, 10th September 2012
Wednesday 12th September 2012 inclusive

In celebration of this week's special promo, she's pulled together some of her fave quotes from THE TRAZ and here they are in 140 characters or less: 
Perhaps he had some use for her genius.The thought that he wanted her for something when no one else did...> #Free THE TRAZ

THE TRAZ She tucked one of her dad's shirts around her face so she could catch the scent of what once was. FREE today

#FREE today: She was cold when she got home, despite the heat of the August sun. She listened to the silence calling to her. THE TRAZ

"Please?" She tilted her head and searched his face, as she knew he liked her to do.>THE TRAZ Free today 

The cool moonlight was sparking off eyes that, in the sun, shone blue and bright. She stood on her toes and... Free today >THE TRAZ

The day started not all that badly—a warm June morning. By seven o'clock the summer sun was already high... THE TRAZ Free 

She thought of electrons & photons, the intertwining of space, speed & time. In 2 weeks she'd be a teenager > THE TRAZ Free today!

 Colours & numbers could be digitized. Someday the human mind would be etched on a silicon chip >THE TRAZ Free

Katrina felt faint and distant and dizzy. Words swirled about her. Someone said, "Dead. Everybody dead. Dead." THE TRAZ  Free

"You're 13, running around 'til the wee hours of the morning & coming home drunk. I won't put up with it." THE TRAZ  Free

Katrina slipped from her chair and grabbed his arm. "Grandpa! Grandpa! Are you sleeping or are you dying?" THE TRAZ  Free

The parts of her that were cold began stirring, moving, pulsating, synchronizing with the beat of the pistons  >THE TRAZ  Free

THE TRAZ  "How far do you want to ride?" Shrug's voice broke into her reverie. "Forever," Katrina answered.  Free

THE TRAZ "...The man dropped to the ground. His eyes slid closed. The remnants of a smile still twisted his lips..." FREE today

Eileen Schuh, Canadian writer