Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Traz By Eileen Schuh



Today we welcome Uncommon YA author Eileen Schuh. Schuh lives in Canada’s northern boreal forest and draws her inspiration from the wilderness, her family and friends, and her adopted community of St. Paul, Alberta.
What's your book about?
THE TRAZ is my debut novel and I’m very proud that it is on the shelves of Canada’s northern young offenders facilities as well as the St. Paul Alternate Education Centre and its outreach libraries.

THE TRAZ is about Katrina, a thirteen-year old girl—wealthy, intelligent, grieving and vulnerable—who falls in with The Traz, North America’s most powerful and violent biker gang.

The Teaching/Discussion Guide in the School Edition ensures youngsters understand the dangers behind a seemingly-exciting and powerful lifestyle. For those wanting help with, or more information about the social issues touched on in the novel such as gangs, drugs, addictions, and suicide there is an International Resource List at the back of all editions of THE TRAZ. The Teaching Guides for both THE TRAZ and FATAL ERROR are available to download for free from my website.

What inspired you to write it?
Although written long ago, THE TRAZ was just recently published and is my literary response to law enforcement’s appeal for community help in keeping violent gangs from increasingly recruiting adolescents, some as young as nine and ten. It is written for both youngsters and the adults in their lives.

Who's your publisher? Tell us your story-- how'd you come to be a published author?

I originally self-published THE TRAZ as I waited for my adult Sci Fi Schrodinger’s Cat (my first publishing contract) to be brought to market by WolfSinger Publications. I released THE TRAZ first in eFormat and then in paperback. As I was readying the second book in the series for publications, Imajin Books, a small upstart Canadian publisher contacted me, offering me a contract for the eRights to THE TRAZ. Imajin Books went on to also publish THE TRAZ in a School Edition (paperback and eBook) and purchased both the eRights and paperback rights to FATAL ERROR, the sequel to THE TRAZ. After decades of trying to get published, became the author of four published books between 2011 and 2012!  I’m happy to report that I have several more novels in the works!

Do you write from an outline or are you a "pantser"?
Although some of my novels had been planned and plotted, the novels in my BackTracker series (including the first two THE TRAZ and FATAL ERROR) were dictated to me by the characters during a very low and lonely time of my life. I had no idea why things were happening or what was going to happen next—I just typed the scenes and dialogue appearing in my mind. I wish the characters had been more concerned about quality writing as it took me years of revisions to make their intriguing stories publishable!

Who's your favorite author?

Although I write Crime Fiction, I read true crime and Ann Rule is my favourite crime writer. Perhaps because she focuses on the people in the story, both the victims and the perpetrators. Some of that rubbed off in my storytelling—it is my strong characters who drive the plot! THE TRAZ and FATAL ERROR are often marketing as psychological thrillers because much of the action happens in the characters’ heads, hearts and relationships.

Are you a full-time writer or do you have a "day job"?
I’ve wanted to write novels since I learned to read at age three. Over half a century of living intervened, but following marriage, three kids, a family business, and many careers I finally made it happen.

I now write full-time (between grandparenting, fishing, camping, travelling and enjoying life.) Many of my past careers involved writing; I was a journalist and then editor for a weekly newspaper, I produced a quarterly newsletter for the Northern Alberta Brain Injury Society, and I wrote advertising copy, business plans, brochures and correspondence for the family business. Some of my careers weren’t directly related to writing but are a continuing source of information—like my years spent in the Psychiatric Nursing profession.

Where can we learn more?


  1. Thank you for featuring my Uncommon YA interview. I'm so proud of THE TRAZ and the other books in the BackTracker Series. It's a warm feeling to know I'm making a positive difference to the lives of young people.

    1. It's a pleasure Eileen. Best of luck with it!