Home Interviews Holly Schindler for Lost in Young Adults

Holly Schindler for Lost in Young Adults

by Louisa Klein

1. Why YA books? Did you choose this genre or were you chosen by it?
When I got my master’s in ’01, I decided to take my mom up
on her offer to feed me while I got my writing career off the ground. I completed
an adult manuscript and was in
the midst of submitting it when I decided to start teaching piano and guitar
lessons out of the house. I thought it
would allow me the best of both worlds—I could write all morning and early
afternoon, then start teaching lessons when kids got out of school. It wouldn’t
bring in a ton of cash, but I
could contribute to the finances of my household.
When I started teaching, I was shocked by how familiar the
kids seemed—the technology had changed, and the fashion was different, but
their experiences were so similar to my own. The longer my lessons went on, the
more the kids started talking to
me—about school, their friends…and the more I started to think about writing
YA.
It’s funny—I thought those lessons would help bring in some
money for bills. I didn’t know I’d wind
up with a new career direction!
 
2. Is there a children’s / YA author, living or dead, who inspired you particularly?
I had books I loved as a kid, of course. Laura Ingalls Wilder, Cleary, Blume—I went
through a period of really loving Christopher Pike books. I even had a Sweet Valley
High phase! But when I started writing kids’ books, I had
to hit the library and the bookstore again. I had to get reacquainted with
children’s literature. If you think you can write children’s books
based on what you remember of what you read growing up, I’d guarantee that your
rejection slips would indicate that the editor found your book to be a bit
“old-fashioned.”
 
3. Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
I’ve published two young adult novels:
A BLUE SO DARK:
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talent artist
and art teacher,
is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker
ever since Aura’s dad left them. Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns
her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the
darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward
the depths of her imagination. Just as
desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and
family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.
PLAYING HURT:
Star basketball player Chelsea
“Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s
admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year,
when she took a horrible fall during a
game. Now a metal plate holds her
together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
As a graduation present, Chelsea’s
dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake
resort. There, she’s immediately drawn
to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by
his own traumatic past. As they grow
close, Chelsea
is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend
back home. Will an unexpected romance
just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their
heartbreak?
The next book to release will be a middle grade: THE
JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY. Be sure
to become a follower on my author blog: hollyschindler.blogspot.com or on
Twitter: @holly_schindler for the latest!
 
4. How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get
published?
It’s tough for everybody, I think. I’d been lucky enough to publish some shorter
pieces in journals while I was still in college, and was under the grand
delusion that selling a novel would be easy…the reality was that it took seven
and a half years. I lost count of the
exact number of books I drafted during that time. I do know that the number of
rejections was
well over a thousand. I sold my first two books myself, without the help of an
agent. I did sign with an agent, though
(an agent is a part of every professional author’s life), and she later sold my
debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, to Dial.
 
5. What’s your opinion about this E-book revolution? Would you consider the indie
route?
E-books are here to stay. I’ve read quite a bit of “indie,” or self-published work
on my own
Kindle. The thing about a having lived
through the development process, though, is that it makes you hyper-aware of the
fact that a book is a collective effort. A book goes through global revisions once
it’s in development—more than
once, actually! Plus, there’s a book’s
overall design, the cover art. And
marketing, and publicity…So many people go into a book’s production. I love the
idea of indie publishing, and am
always delighted by stories of indie authors who break into the big-time. I also
think an author has to keep his or her
mind open to all possibilities…still, there’s a definite advantage if an
author’s not going it alone.
 
6. Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use social media a lot to
promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only,
without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
I actually love social media. It gives me the opportunity to interact with
my readers. At a bookstore signing, I
say hello, sign a book, and hand it over. In social media, though, I get a chance
to interact repeatedly with my
readers, over time. And that’s how you
get a chance to know someone—over time…
 
Info about the author: 
To know more about Holly, please visit her stunning website: http://hollyschindler.
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below:

 

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