by Gregory Eaves
SCHISM is an atmospheric journey back in time to the year 1970, when drugs and anti-war protests dominated the headlines. This psychological suspense mystery follows the life of a middle-aged college professor, Jackson Boone, as he tries to unravel the truth about his girlfriend. He is in danger of losing his job, and perhaps his life, when he takes on a violent radical group in the process. Haunted by a past mistake, Boone tries to do the right thing in a world of increasingly ambiguous moral shadings.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~Enter to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Like falling down a hole or a shaft of darkness, Boone was sucked back to his bedroom by a drastic change of music coming from the library, and he sat up. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring reverberated through the house, its sudden, exciting blasts from the horn section conjuring up prehistoric imagery instead of the usual pagan dances. He held his head on both sides because it seemed to release a pressure that had built up. He realized he was no longer human, that he was the first amphibian crawling out of the Paleozoic mud. He could feel his gills, not quite lungs, but almost, pulsating with life as he breathed air for the first time. There were no thoughts to form, no emotions to feel, just pure existence. A light seemed to be coming into his head from above, as if he were underwater and the sun was shining on the surface.
Again, he was sucked back to the bedroom, to solid form, and this time he felt like himself. He didn’t know how much time had passed – it could have been eons, or it could have been a few minutes or an hour or two. He was strangely detached from his thoughts; in fact he wasn’t thinking much at all. Boone took his socks off and stood up. Clothing seemed so unnecessary. He was an ancient human now, with strong, callused feet impervious to rough terrain. His feet were alive, as if he had been cut off from that part of his body, existing only as an ego that abused and ignored them. Boone walked over to the window and looked out with a sense of wonder and awe, marveling at the exquisite texture, shape, and color of the shrubs and flowers he saw. It was like he had never seen plant life before and he was viewing it for the first time, as a visitor from outer space would.
Click on the banner to follow the tour
An Author’s Journey Through Reading to Writing
1. When did you start reading?
I don’t know the exact age I first started reading, but I think I was in the fourth grade when I really started reading a lot for my own enjoyment.
2. What was the first book you remember reading?
What was the first book that had a real ‘wow’ factor for you? The Dr. Seuss books were early ones I liked. A little later I read the entire Hardy Boys series – I was really addicted to them. In seventh grade, I read one of my first books that felt like an “adult” book, and it had that “wow” factor – Mysterious Island, by Jules Verne. There were others, but that one was huge – 800 or 1200 pages or something – and I really got into it. The cover was fantastic.
3. What attracted you to or got you started reading?
I was kind of shy and didn’t make friends easily, and I wasn’t into sports, so reading was a natural activity to turn to. I read a lot as a kid, and never lost that fascination with books.
4. What genres (topics) have you read? Was there any progression to the genres you’ve read over the years? Did you start in one genre and then discover others the older you got? i.e. scifi and then romance, then paranormal, then espionage….
I have always loved mysteries. In grade school and high school I read adventure stories a lot, Jack London and that sort of thing. I liked science fiction a bit when I was in college, although most of what I read in college tended to be nonfiction. I have enjoyed some historical mysteries and spy novels. I haven’t read much in the horror genre, but I read one by Dean Koontz that I liked, and a couple by Stephen King that were great. But mystery is the genre I love the best, and which I’m the most familiar with.
5. Who are your favorite authors today? What types of books do you like to read today?
Graham Greene and Patricia Highsmith are at the top of my list of favorites. I also like Alan Furst, Michael Crichton, Ross Macdonald, John LeCarre, and Raymond Chandler. I like to read books that have mystery and suspense in them, or that have an adventure that the characters have to go through, as in some of the Michael Crichton stories.
6. What do you like in a story? What does it have to have to grab you?
First and foremost, a mystery has to underpin the story. Something unknown that is haunting the characters, and that creates an atmosphere of foreboding. Then, the voice of the narrator has to have a certain quality. I know immediately if I like it or not. If the voice doesn’t sound right, I won’t continue reading. And there has to be a narrator. I don’t like books that are all dialogue.
7. What got you started with writing? And how long have you been writing?
I first started writing poetry after the breakup of a romantic relationship. It felt therapeutic at the time, and I learned a lot about how words sound when spoken or read. That was in the early nineties. I tried writing a few songs, since I play guitar and sing sometimes. It wasn’t until 2008 that I started writing fiction. I had just finished a master’s degree in library science, but there weren’t any jobs for librarians where I lived, so I had all this free time. I just thought, why not try my hand at writing fiction? I started with short stories and found out I loved writing fiction.
8. What do you like to write about?
I like writing mysteries that have interesting settings. It’s fun to research the culture and geography of a place, and then include lots of factual information in a story to make it a little educational. As a reader, I like to be able to learn something new even though it’s fiction.
9. What are you currently working on?
I am working on a novella set in China, and at the same time I’m planning for a novel that will have at least one of the main characters from the novella in it. I originally started working on the novel, but realized it was going to take so much research that it was just too big a project for me right now, hence, the novella. I have a background in Oriental Medicine, so I want to work in the use of Chinese herbs into the plot. It will be a mystery, of course, and will recount a private eye’s first case.
10. What inspired the plot for your current novel?
The novel I just published, Schism, was inspired by my own experiences in college during the late sixties. Although it’s not really autobiographical, I used my own experience to inform the fictional account, so many of the details concerning people and places are factual. The plots for my upcoming novella and novel were inspired by my love of eastern culture and Oriental Medicine. I studied acupuncture and herbs formally at a college in Orlando, Florida. A lot of research will go into creating that novel – it’s a little daunting, but I’m up for it!
11. Anything else you’d like to share?
Just that I hope my stories are entertaining and worthwhile reading for folks. I don’t want to write entirely for myself – I try to think of the reader, to have them in mind when I’m writing so it’s fun for them to read.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Gregory Eaves was born October 18, 1950, in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended Speedway High School and Indiana University. In his twenties, he traveled extensively throughout the United States, with an eight year stay in San Diego, California, where he studied and practiced meditation.
Gregory moved to Florida and completed a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida.
Library school rekindled his interest in reading, which had been his favorite activity as a child growing up. Mysteries had been his first love, and he devoured his first mystery books with singular passion and zeal. Nothing else seemed to hit the sweet spot like reading The Hardy Boys, Sherlock Holmes, and Poirot. He later enjoyed authors like Raymond Chandler, John D. McDonald, Graham Greene, Patricia Highsmith, and others.
SCHISM is Gregory’s first novel. His prior experience with writing included poetry and short stories. One of his short-shorts won runner-up in a contest in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.
He now lives on the east coast of Florida, and when he isn’t writing, he enjoys playing guitar and collecting vintage stereo gear and vinyl records. He is a member of American Mensa.
Enter to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway