Today I am so excited to have author, and my good friend, Holly Schindler talking with me about her amazing books! Keep reading to find out how much I love her and her books, hint, hint, I wrote blurbs for both!
GC: Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
HS: I see bits of myself in all of my main characters. When you write using “I,” bits of yourself—your humor, your observations, just naturally leak through.
GC: What was your first “job” in high school?
HS: I did a VERY small bit of modeling in high school…My favorite gig was at a floral show. Everyone involved got one formal—a dress or tux—but what we were really modeling were bouquets. We had some really wild stuff—feathers, branches, etc. It was the closest to “couture” I ever got.
GC: What is your perfect career? Feel free to make one up.
HS: I honestly always wanted to write—from the time I was a little girl! But if I had to be something outside of the literary world, I’d love to be an A & R rep, going out and trying to find bands to sign to recording contracts. I think that’d be a blast, actually…
GC: If you could eat any food and not ever have to worry about calories, what would it be?
HS: I’m a huge pastry / bread eater—donuts, croissants, danish…
GC: Favorite Halloween costume ever?
HS: I was Cyndi Lauper in the first grade.
GC: How did you come up with Aura’s name?
HS: The definition of “Aura” is “a distinctive but intangible quality”… That seemed to me to be a loose definition or both hallucinations and creativity—which really fit the storyline of A BLUE SO DARK…
GC: A BLUE SO DARK seems like an easy sell, but what was the process like?
HS: It wasn’t easy at all. I actually drafted it late in ’06. I wrote it quickly—in about two months. I shipped it off to a writing contest—which I lost—but the manuscript was returned with a note telling me the book had promise. I had to rework the book globally about four times before it finally sold to Flux.
GC: Was A BLUE SO DARK the first manuscript you ever attempted to publish?
HS: Nooooo. I began writing full-time in ’01, right after getting my master’s; a few months into my hunt for a publishing contract, I found myself in a constant cycle of submitting manuscripts, drafting new work, and revising rejected work. I actually lost track of the number of books I wrote before I drafted A BLUE SO DARK.
GC: How many agents rejected A BLUE SO DARK?
HS: The book was rejected by editors and agents more than 80 times before it sold. That’s not a typo. 80.
GC: What has amazed you most about the blogging community?
HS: The incredible support. Bloggers have championed my work like no one else. My hometown has recently lost quite a few bookstores: my favorite used store shut down, as did the Borders Express in the mall. The larger Borders is also in the process of closing up shop.
But my hometown isn’t alone in losing bookstores. As a result, bloggers are replacing booksellers. You guys are incredible! I know that my books have found their audience because of bloggers. I get a little choked up when I think of everything bloggers have done to spread word of my work…
GC: So what can you tell us about your new project, Smack Dab in the Middle?
HS: Smack Dab in the Middle is a brand new blog I started with some fantastic fellow middle grade authors. Each month, we'll be blogging about a specific topic, each of us bringing our own unique set of experiences to the topic at hand. April's our first month, so we're all blogging about how we specifically became MG authors...my own debut MG is due out in '12, and I'll be posting plenty of updates on Smack Dab, as I solidify a title and get cover art. You can follow us here. (Just Click the Link!)
GC: Have you met an author through the publishing process who really impacted your writing?
HS: Catherine Ryan Hyde, who blurbed [Click the Link HERE to check out my blurbs for both ABSD and PH!] A BLUE SO DARK, has been incredible to me. And I mean—incredible. She’s honestly one of the absolute most approachable authors out there—if you haven’t gotten in touch yet, do so pronto.
GC: What do you hope your readers will take from PLAYING HURT?
HS: I hope readers will take away the idea of continuing on despite hardship.