First Chapter of Choice

Getting my third novel ready to enter the world! My next young adult novel, Choice, is about Dragon Warriors battling a demon apocalypse. Choice is the heroine, and she’s pretty freaking badass.

Apart from getting Choice prepared for the eBook world, I’m also working on getting Vienna ready for print! (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/496820)

Hope you enjoy the first chapter of Choice (can also be found at http://www.wattpad.com/story/27493111-choice-by-e-l-schoeman)

 

1

The Survivor

 

 

“Everything will be fine,” she told herself. “I will not let you die so easily.”

Her washed-out jeans felt heavy on her legs. The bottoms were soaked from the downpour an hour ago. It wasn’t raining now, but the after-smell reminded her of her father’s advice. ‘Marriage is like a steak dinner,’ he’d said the day he’d come up with a husband for her, a thunderstorm raging on outside. ‘Some people ruin it by adding condiments. Some people overcook it. Some people cook it just right, but add all the wrong sides. And some people throw away everything else and just eat the steak.’

‘What does that have to do with your not giving me a choice? You forgot to add that some people ruin marriage by getting married.’

‘I don’t know what I mean,’ he’d admitted, walking away, as if that settled it. ‘But now I really want a steak.’

She swung her crossbow into her steady hands, knocking open the ratty excuse for a door, and entering through the back of the warehouse. There was a musty, vomit-like, unwashed smell along with the darkness that had to remain darkness because any light would give her away. If the lights went on, things would come out, or things would go running.

Her army-boots were exceptionally silent as she moved, listening for noise above the scurrying of rats. If she was lucky, it wouldn’t be done eating. If she was luckier, it hadn’t started at all, but she wasn’t ever that lucky.

She’d never saved anyone before.

For months she’d been trailing it all over the country. Staying in hotels, buying overpriced gas, sending late night texts to her dad to tell him she’d lived another day. He never responded, not unless she said she was on her way home and he decided he wanted her to pick up something for him. Can you believe that? Not even a, ‘Glad you weren’t eaten, honey. Have a good night.’ All she got was, ‘I’m out of bread. Pick some up on your way through.’

She was trained to move through darkness: to close her eyes and see then what her open eyes missed. Fear wasn’t an option, even when it was there, tasting dry and as if she hadn’t brushed her teeth in days. But there wasn’t room for fear now, listening to the shuffles up ahead as she crept around boxes and shelves, careful with the placement of her feet, the crossbow light in her hands.

It was here.

She fired once before flinging herself to the side, missing its quick attack, her back hitting a light switch. The place lit up, blinding her. Being tackled to the ground sucked. Having the crossbow knocked out of her hands sucked more, but wrestling with the thing on top of her sucked the most. Struggling free, she kicked it in the head, and headed for the crossbow with it laughing behind her.

She turned, ready for the second act.

He looked the same from when she’d seen him last except that his eyes were black with white, upside-down crosses for irises. Blood was running from the sides of his eyes. But he was the same well-set, dark skinned beauty her father set up as her fiancé.

There wasn’t time for horror or shock (because how was she to know her husband-to-be had turned into a crazed monster). There was only time to act and she hoisted another arrow and let it fly. Another, another, and another arrow flew, all avoided by the slightest tips of his head.

“The master of the world commands me to kill.” Her fiancé looked at the limp body of his victim adjacent him. “So I’ll kill.”

“Fate?” He didn’t seem to recognize his name. Was he this mounds-of-crazy when he’d taken her hand, promising he’d protect her, that they would want for nothing? Did it matter? She hadn’t cared then. She didn’t care that she’d have to kill him now. “What’s your master’s name?”

His gaze held her, blood now streaming from the sides of his mouth. “The master,” was his answer.

“How lame,” was hers, and she took the handgun she’d been hiding behind her back and double-tapped him in the chest. He fell back. Scrambling to his feet, he hissed with fury before rushing at her.

“How lame,” was her response, pulling the blade from her belt and cutting off his head, watching as it bounced along the floor until it rolled against the wall. The rest of him twitched to nothing.

She walked over to the head and took it into her left hand. Collecting her equipment, she started away until the body shifted. Freezing before turning back slowly, the victim she’d thought was dead was trying to push itself up.

It was worse than having the creature resurrect itself.

The victim took in the scene. “Is it dead?”

She raised the head in her hand. “You’re a boy?”

“Yeah.”

Man, he looked like a girl. “But I heard a woman screaming.”

She could make out his blush under the blood and warehouse dirt as he sat there, unsure of what to say.

“Never mind then. It was only you.” She took a few steps back, trying to leave, but unsure how to do so. This was awkward. What was she supposed to say to this guy? “So you’re a doctor, huh?”

“How do you know that?”

Because those creatures are only killing medics . . . “Well . . .” She’d never had a survivor before, ever. She wasn’t trained how to deal with those. She was only trained how to deal with things. “Later.”

“Wait.” He was up and following her. “What’s your name?”

Walking faster, she didn’t turn around. “None of your damn business.”

“Can I call you ‘NYDB’ for short?”

No response.

“I’m Deacon.”

No response.

“You can’t just leave me here!”

“You need a lift or something?”

“I mean, you can’t just expect me to . . .”

“To what?”

“To forget about you, to let you disappear.”

She vaguely looked back at his scrawny form: bony and delicate, with Asian features and wild, frightened eyes. “You look like the type that should be used to it.”

“That’s what I mean. I get the chance to latch on to a crossbow slinging girl like you, I better make sure she’s the one that doesn’t miss out on a guy like me.”

“Not interested in useless luggage.”

“Think about this, really think about it: I’m a medic. You’re badass, don’t get me wrong. But that thing ripped your arm open and you’ve got a bloody lip. I can heal you quicker than you can heal yourself, unless you’ve been to med school . . .”

“I haven’t.”

“Great. I mean, great for me.”

“I know what you meant.”

They were out of the warehouse and he was taking in her lime green hot rod in wonderment. Not that she blamed him. These days it was all horses and horse shit and the roads were a bloody mess.

Tossing the head into the trunk, she got into the car and rolled down the passenger side’s window. He stood on the sidewalk, a blood-soaked forgotten puppy. “What are you waiting for? Get into the fucking car.”

(Choice, first chapter, by E. L. Schoeman. Novel coming soon, 2015!)

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That’s So Me

November 22, Isabel’s birthday and the day of the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards Ceremony. I was there with my purse full of business cards and book stubs. I even had the dress. And I was ready to introduce myself. However, going swimming an hour or so before the ceremony and getting stun by a jellyfish was something I was not prepared for lol I’ll blame the evening on that. But regardless, I felt very shy. I was very shy. I also tripped walking up the stage, but luckily I didn’t fall lol

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Welcoming Vienna

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Vienna is the story of a young princess who is forced to find a husband. Setting a task for her suitors, she declares that whoever brings her the diamond that best suits her will win her hand. Time goes by, and no one can see through her task. Until, one day, a warlock comes to her with something other than a diamond. Leading to curses, ghosts, and the adventure of a lifetime. Vienna learns what love is and what she’s made of.

Vienna is a fast-paced and action-packed young adult novel which I’m hoping will not only tempt eager readers, but also readers that don’t know how awesome books are yet.

When discussing this novel recently with a reader, I said something that was very true. I said that I wrote this book for a ‘nine-year-ago-me.’ When I was young, though books were always a dominate thing in my life, I wasn’t interested in reading. In fact, I didn’t read an entire novel until I was in high school.

Vienna is full of dialogue. It lacks lengthy paragraphs (something I would generally skip when reading in my teens). I won’t deny that this novel is directed toward young females and is full of clear messages driven by Vienna’s independence. Although Vienna is a bit hard-headed, she faces the situations and difficulties within the novel with strength.

To start, more about Vienna can be found here:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/493485

But in about a week or so, it will be available at Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and the works. And in 2015 the story will be available in print, which I’m very excited about. (There’s also a teaser for my third novel, Choice, soon to come in 2015!).

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Vienna is E. L. Schoeman’s second novel. My debut novel, Isabel, is an award winning Historical Romance. All in all, I would say I write for a young adult audience. Apart from writing, I am an equestrian, a daydreamer, an avid reader, and a work-a-holic. When I’m not working, I’m spending my time with my very own prince charming.

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Isabel

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“Once upon a time, there was an irresistible girl who stole all our hearts…”

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Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Isabel

1. I wanted to write about a girl that was completely and utterly destroyed.

2. All the chapter titles connect.

(First) Prologue Hands of Fate
(Last) Chapter Fifty-Nine His Hands of Fate
Chapter One The Beginning of
Chapter Fifty-Eight The Beginning of
Chapter Two Their Hearts
Chapter Fifty-Seven Their Hearts

3. The first draft of Isabel was selected for publication with the promise that I ‘turn down the flare.’ (I like long, flowery, poetic sentences and paragraphs . . .)

4. The villain was meant to live. The very last chapter was never supposed to exist. The novel was meant to end at Isabel’s hanging.

5. When first imagined, Alex was just a boy instead of the agent of fate, knower of all, and demonic presence that he turned out to be.

6. Mathew and Jacob were based on real people

7. There’s more than one supernatural character in the book

8. IUniverse was determined that I should change the ending completely. I didn’t obey.

9. I wrote ‘meetings’ with my characters in my journals throughout writing the end chapters of the book because I didn’t want the story to end – I didn’t want it to end how it needed to end.

10. The novel’s birthday is November 22!

No Tabs

When new to learning how to format eBooks properly, my advice is to take it one day at a time else you will go insane. Myself, I am learning this. I never would have imaged how much work is involved. Can’t I just write it, upload it, and BOOM it’s an eBook?

The answer is no.

One of the things that’s tricky when formatting eBooks is saying no to tabs. I love the tab button. I use it every day, all the time. Now I learn that I have to get rid of all my tabs in order to format my eBook.

WHAT?

Luckily for me, Vienna isn’t overly lengthy (but it’s still long enough). So how to get rid of all those tabs without it taking forever?

My new best friend: I press the Ctrl key and H key together.

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In the ‘Find What’ type ^t (for tabs) and leave the ‘Replace With’ blank. I click on ‘Replace All’ with my mouse, and BOOM no more tabs. (Although, do a quick check over your manuscript to make sure all the tabs got the boot)

Next I am going to select the entire text (or what I want indented).

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‘Page Layout’
‘Paragraph’
‘Special’
‘First Line’ 1.27cm (However, I indented 1.25cm for Vienna)

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And behold, it’s like your tabs never left! (If this way doesn’t work for you, don’t worry, there’s more than one way to get rid of tabs).

Manga With A ‘Writing’ Setting

An afternoon at Chapters usually means I’m ending up in the manga section. This particular afternoon I left with UTSUBORA The Story of a Novelist by Asumiko Nakamura, complete in one volume. I was intrigued by the idea of reading about a novelist and tried to think of any other manga I’d read that involved some-kind-of publishing setting.

I couldn’t think of any.

True, Death Note kind of fits and Lucy in Fairy Tail is a writer. But that’s not exactly what I was looking for.

UTSUBORA The Story of a Novelist is about a writer that submits to plagiarism. It’s dark and it’s seductive and it’s rich, and yet it’s also fragile: capturing an author’s greatest fears and darkest moments.

And I wanted more.

I wanted more about writers and artists and editors and publishers. So began the search.

The first manga recommended to me on the subject were Junjo Romantica and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi by Nakamura Shungiku. The first is the story of a writer, the second is the story of editors, and so long as you like your Yaoi, you’re going to find the boys lovable.

I also found:
1. The comedy, The Comic Artist and His Assistants by Hiroyuki
2. The Shoujo, Library Wars by Arikawa Hiro and Yumi Kiiro
3. The Shoujo, Fall In Love Like A Comic by Yagami Chitose
4. The Shoujo Ai, Read or Die by Yamada Shutaro and Kurata Hideyuki
5. Bakuman by Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi
6. Book Club by Cho Ju Hee and Seo Yoon Young (Horror, Mystery, Shoujo)
7. Book Girl by Nomura Mizuki, Kousaka Rito, and Takeoka Miho (Mystery, Drama, Psychological) (Bungaku Shoujo to Shi ni Tagari no Douke Manga)
8. Inugami by Hokazono Masaya (his dream is to become a poet)
9. Bronze No Tenshi by Saitou Chiho (everyone loves a poet)
10. Yuri, Indigo Blue by Yamaji Ebine
11. Also, A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

“That fear – of your pen coming to a halt
The moment you harbour doubt.”
UTSUBORA The Story of a Novelist, published by Vertical, Printed in Canada

“But writing is what living means for an author. You write because you’re alive. You’re alive because you write. Because the author is an author. An author who can’t write isn’t an author. An author who can’t write might as well be dead.”
UTSUBORA The Story of a Novelist, published by Vertical, Printed in Canada

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“Still, does living really require anything to put on a scale against itself? We simply live. We live because we’re alive. Me, I’m good with that. Because I am not an author.”
UTSUBORA The Story of a Novelist, published by Vertical, Printed in Canada

Asumiko Nakamura is a Japanese manga artist and has been called one of Japan’s ‘hidden gems.’ She is a talent, and is best known for her Yaoi. After reading UTSUBORA The Story of a Novelist, I will furiously continue to consume her works. UTSUBORA is certainly a masterpiece.

Looking for a good place to read some manga? Try:
http://mangafox.me/
http://www.mangareader.net/
http://www.mangahere.co/
http://www.mangapanda.com/

International Award Winning Author Wayne Clark

he and sheInterview with International Award Winning Author Wayne Clark by Ellen Schoeman

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, journalist (reporter, editor, and freelancer) Wayne Clark calls Montreal home. The first time author shares with us challenges both indie and traditionally published authors are facing today, and his experiences and views on indie-publishing.

“I spent about seven months trying very hard to find a publisher or agent,” Clark told me. “I got only one bite from a Canadian agent, but that was probably because I knew somebody who knew somebody. Because my book is literary fiction and also includes some elements of BDSM I knew it wouldn’t be a fit with many publishers, based on their catalogues, but I contacted just about everyone else. Several agents elsewhere showed various degrees of interest. A publisher wanted to read the manuscript, but after four months they hadn’t gotten to it, so I withdrew it. It was then that I decided to self-publish. In my case it was impatience with the process (of traditional publishing). I knew from reading about the experiences of even acclaimed authors what that process was like before diving in, but like many older authors and readers, I confess to having felt at the time that traditional publishing offered more of an imprimatur than indie-publishing. That is no longer my view.”

Mark Edwards said in an interview with the Guardian: “I spent 15 years trying to get a deal before self-publishing. When I finally got a deal it was a disappointment so I returned to self-publishing, which rescued my writing career. Lots of writers are seeing other writers having success via self-publishing and deciding to try it themselves. I would encourage any mid-list author to try it. A lot of writers who’ve got back the rights to their novels are now self-publishing them and having a lot of fun in the process.” His self-published thriller landed a deal with HarperCollins. (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jul/11/traditional-publishing-fair-sustainable-society-of-authors)

“This may be a stretch,” Clark continued, “but I see the opportunities provided by indie- publishing as something democratic in the same way I think smart phones enabled ordinary people all over the world to shoot videos of their reality and communicate that reality to the world. I’m thinking of things like scenes of police brutality or military suppression of civil rights, injustices that they could never have proved prior to the existence of those phones. The fact that anyone can publish these days is good in itself. I think it’s great that somebody’s grandmother can tell the story of her family in a self-published book that generations of her family will be able to enjoy. A lot of people are publishing their stories without the expectation that the general public will be interested.

“A woman in the U.S. wrote me to tell me she used self-publishing to teach her little step son to write. She started illustrating his first efforts, which were just scenes, not full stories. In time the boy was writing little stories and she continued to illustrate them. Eventually she self-published them and the boy now has a passion for writing. Can you imagine the boy’s reaction to seeing his books on Amazon? That was a private experience, not intended to make money. I was quite touched by that.

“One of the downsides to indie-publishing is that brilliant books (such as yours and mine) end up buried in a pile of millions of books, many, and perhaps most, being to some degree poorly written, poorly edited, or poorly conceived. I had no idea how big a task it would be to try to capture attention for my book. I don’t have money to buy that attention through ads in major publications, or pay a PR company. As far as the indie-publishing options being offered by some traditional publishers, I’ve read horror stories about how they end up making indie authors pay a small fortune for their services and the authors get next to nothing in return. As a writer proud of his work, you think, “It will be wonderful to have Random House behind me.” But they’re not behind you. They don’t do much, if anything, for you that you can’t do yourself.”

Q “Can you tell us about your book?”

A “My protagonist, a middle-aged man, finds himself increasingly bogged down in the quicksand of aging, which he compounds by drinking far too much. Relationships have become few and far between. He has only one friend left. What haunts him most is realizing he could never make love to a woman again. Nothing about being alive excites him anymore, work, playing his sax, even eating. What scares him more is that he is not yet truly old. If life was this pointless now, how awful will the remaining years be? By chance, while aimlessly roaming the internet one night, his eyes fall on an exquisitely beautiful young woman. Only later does he notice the words at the bottom of the screen indicating she is a dominatrix. Regardless, a voice tells him he must meet her, even if it means abandoning the life he has known. He senses this might be the last chance he’ll ever get to feel truly alive one more time.”

“The story builds upon itself aggressively, never veering away from the gritty conclusion that barrels ahead as the final pages come to an end. All in all, this is a delectable novel about a man exploring his unknown sexual fantasies at the price of possibly losing his true self along the way.” –Red City Review

“Clark’s perceptive descriptions of New York and Montreal and jazz and nightclub cultures, as well as his nonjudgmental view of BDSM, make he & She intellectually engaging throughout.” –Blueink Review

For those of us, perhaps, a little unfamiliar with the term BDSM, the initials stand for ‘Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism.’ And hey, as it turns out:

“People who are into kinky sex may be psychologically healthier than those who are not, says a new study. Researchers found that people who were involved in BDSM — bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism — scored better on certain indicators of mental health than those who did not bring kink into the bedroom, reported LiveScience.” (The Huffington Post 2013)

Q “Do you have any advice for fellow self-publishers out there, or those thinking about self-publishing?”

A “Absolutely essential: hire a professional editor and make sure that person has experience editing books, especially if your book is fiction. You might be wise as well to hire a professional proof-reader once your book has been edited. If you can publish an error-free book with a professional-looking cover you stand a chance of having your work taken seriously. Consider your genre categories carefully and drill as deep as you can for sub-categories because each one puts you in a list that may be much smaller than the main category, therefore making your book that much easier for potential readers to find. In a small category, it might not take many sales to make you a best-seller there.”

Q “What would you say is the biggest disadvantage of self-publishing?”

A “Trying to get your book noticed when you are an unknown. At least with traditional publishing you have the initial advantage of being associated with a known entity, one that professional reviewers are comfortable dealing with. If you’re planning a series of novels, for example, a mystery series involving a returning character, get busy writing your second book despite the time you have to spend promoting your first. A second book becomes great leverage. By doing things such as promoting it in advance you can point potential readers to the first book in the series, which you can heavily discount or giveaway free to gain new readers. If they like it they jump on your upcoming book.”

For more information on Wayne Clark’s International Award Winning Novel, check out:
http://www.wayne-clark.com
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/he-she-mr-wayne-clark/1117349074?ean=9780992120207

About the Author

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Ellen Schoeman (pen name E. L. Schoeman) is the author of the award winning YA Historical Romance novel, Isabel. All in all I’m a YA writer. My second novel, Vienna, will be released in EBook November 2014. Apart from writing, I love to travel, ride horses, read too many books, and meet interesting people with interesting stories.