Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Schism by Gregory Eaves: Interview with Excerpt



What inspired your current release?

Well, I have fond memories etched deeply into my soul from my time in college in the sixties. I had a desire to visit that time again and say something about it. The experience of writing this novel wasn’t as therapeutic as I thought it might be from an emotional standpoint, because it was not autobiographical, and the need to create a good fictional story took precedence. I also wanted to depict realistic scenes of psychedelic drug use, because there is a definite lack of that in literature, and I think I was successful in that. Those scenes were based on my own experience.

How do you describe your writing style?

My aim is to write in a clear, concise, and spacious style, but relaxed and conversational at the same time. I don’t want to be too wordy. I like space – Ernest Hemingway once said something like, “the space between and behind the words is most important”, and I try to follow that. It’s that “feeling space” behind the words that I’m after. It’s a little elusive and I can’t always find it.

What do you think makes a good story?

For me, there has to be mystery, adventure, the unknown, and a narrative voice that is likable and reliable. The plot doesn’t have to be twisted and complex, but there has to be one. Some novels don’t have much of a plot. The characters have to come to life as you read, for a story to be a good one.

What are your favorite TV shows?

I love the PBS Mysteries that have been on TV for years. I never get tired of them. Some of my favorites are Foyle’s War, Poirot, George Gently, and Inspector Lewis. The sumptuous photography, idyllic settings, and well-written stories make these hard to resist.

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I came to writing fairly late in life. I was 58, I guess, when I first started writing for publication. Of course, I had been writing essays and term papers for college classes for many years, and always liked expressing myself that way. Library school was all about writing papers – no multiple-choice tests were given. It’s never too late to start. I think Grandma Moses was in her eighties when she started painting.

Who are your books published with?
I have elected to self-publish, up to this point. I think self-publishing offers new authors the best deal, even though some people are still living in the past and look down on self-publishing. Unless you have a famous last name, the traditional print publishers don’t do much to promote your book, and their royalties are very small in comparison to Amazon. That is if you are lucky enough to win the lottery and get them to publish your book. Self-publishing is a lot more work, but it’s worth it. I have to do my own editing and proofreading, and I have to hire a professional editor to bounce ideas off of, and to get his opinion on my writing. Then I have to hire a graphic artist, and a formatter. I work closely with them to produce the book I want. It’s all the same things that traditional publishers do in-house. So I’m just cutting out the middle man. 


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.



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.



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.








Gregory will be awarding $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and the Review Only Tour. A $15 Amazon GC will be awarded to a randomly drawn host also between this tour and the Review Only tour.

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