“It is my heart book, one that I was emotionally involved with.” She says her sci-fi novels are among her favourites, but does not give the same social impact as The Traz.
Voice K: What inspired you to write The Traz?
Schuh: I wanted to write something that with a social impact. It upsets me when I hear about accidents on the news involving teens, especially if it could’ve been prevented so I wanted to create awareness to young people that making right choices and actions are important. The Traz contains messages about drugs, grief and family.
Voice K: What is your favourite part of the book?
Schuh: That is a tough question, but if I had to choose, it would be the beginning. It delivers a strong and powerful base for the rest of the story. The part is not very long, but is critically important to the plot.
Voice K: Can you explain the process of creating this book?
Schuh: Of course. The Traz wasn’t initially intended to be published, but it was in the end. Writing the book itself was fairly quick. I felt it was dictated to me. Publishing it took much longer--about three to four years. I had to do research on various topics, sent my work to various people and editors for their opinions. I even volunteered in a RCMP workshop to learn how to write a crime mystery. It wasn’t easy to become a published author. I had to rewrite some parts many times to get it right, and I always had to make sure the plot was real and made sense.
While writing The Traz, I had to take on many other part time jobs to support myself.
Voice K: Can you give us some hints of what will happen in the next book?
Schuh: In the next book, all the characters will face the consequences of their actions from The Traz and their experiences in the past, present and future will also affect their choices. The protagonist, Katrina, will have to deal with her role in witnessing a murder, recover from trauma, and ultimately, start living her life as a teen. Forgiveness is also a big issue in the book. The gang is entangled in a big mess, on the brink of everything getting out of hand. However, it is not going to be the last book, in fact I even drafted to the point of Katrina becoming a grandmother!
Voice K: What does writing mean to you?
Schuh: Writing was always like a calling, something I was meant to do. I want to make a difference, an impact with my writing. I live to write, and write to live.
Voice K: What advice do you have for all the young writers out there?
Schuh: I really encourage them to become writers, and really, it’s about the passion. I think joining writing groups such as Voice K is excellent. Be sure to look at all possible writing careers, since you don’t have to be a novelist to write. Also, reading will help improve your writing. For me, I took journalism for many years while planning out my stories. Keep writing, and have fun!