Friday, October 15, 2010

Author Spotlight: Holly Schindler & Giveaway!

Please welcome Holly Schindler
Author of A Blue So Dark!

1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Holly: I’m a lifelong literature nut. A junkie for short stories, poems, novels…In fact, after receiving my master’s degree, I chucked the idea of full-time employment in favor of full-time pursuit of a writing career. Wasn’t easy—took seven and a half years to ink the first contract. But I wouldn’t trade the years I spent in the trenches for anything…

2) What was the inspiration for writing A BLUE SO DARK?

Holly: As A BLUE SO DARK opens, fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose struggles to hide a secret. Her mother, a talented 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.

I’ve just always been interested in creativity—I've always wondered why some people BREATHE creative ideas, while others could never, in their entire lives, ever get inspired to pick up a paintbrush. A BLUE SO DARK allowed me to explore one possible source of creativity—the idea that madness and creativity are somehow linked.

4) Was Aura’s character based on anyone or was she a purely made up character?

Holly: She’s made up. In a lot of respects, her voice sounds an awful lot like my own—her humor, her observations…it all sounds like the voice running through my head.

…I’ve gotten this question a lot lately…I think that once readers have invested in a book and followed a character for several hundred pages, they really want to know that the character exists in some way out in the real world. (Bloggers have even wanted to know if I grew up with a schizophrenic mother—I didn’t, but Mom and I both get a kick out of the question, because she was a psych major in college!) Honestly, though, my characters are all fictional. None of them are out there walking around in the real world—not Aura, and not any of the minor characters, either. They only place they’ve ever walked around is in my mind.

5) Do you plan on having A BLUE SO DARK as a stand alone novel or part of a series?

Holly: The ending isn’t really one of those tied-up-in-a-bow, everything’s resolved kind of endings…buuuut…when I wrote it, I did intend for it to stand on its own.

6) What was your inspiration for the cover of A BLUE SO DARK?

Holly: Actually, Flux took care of the cover...I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. Since the book was acquired under the title THE OCEAN FLOOR, one thing I've always really loved about the cover is the way the title and my name are positioned down lower...sort of looks like the lettering's settled to the ocean floor, doesn't it?

7) Do you like to write to music? What kind?

Holly: Writing to music's tough for me...I'm a music FANATIC, and have loved everything from metal to bluegrass...I can't really listen to music passively. As soon as the radio's on, I start giving all my attention to what I'm listening to, rather than what I'm writing. Even if I've heard a song three million times, and know all the words and chord progressions by heart. When music's playing, I'm singing instead of working!

8) What do you plan on doing in the future?

Holly: My first YA romance is set to release on March 1, 2011! PLAYING HURT centers on two former athletes: Chelsea Keyes, a basketball star whose promising career has been catastrophically snipped short by a horrific accident on the court, and Clint Morgan, an ex-hockey player who gave up his much-loved sport following his own game-related tragedy.

Chelsea meets Clint (who’s working as a resort fishing guide) soon after arriving with her family for a summer vacation in Lake of the Woods , Minnesota . Sparks fly, igniting the pages, even though Chelsea has a boyfriend back home in Missouri…and even though Clint has sworn never to put himself in the position to be hurt emotionally again.

9) Who are you reading right now?

Holly: I usually have a hundred books-in-progress stacked beside the couch. As far as YA goes, right now I’m reading Dessen’s LOCK AND KEY, some Maggie Stiefvater, Suzanne Collins…

10) Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Holly: My tastes run the absolute gamut…romance, YA, adventure, horror, mystery…as a former literature major, I also love the classics (adore Jane Austen). As a Missouri-based author, I have a fondness for Twain and Laura Ingalls Wilder. But narrowing it down to all-time favorites is absolutely impossible…I have NEW favorites every time I leave the library or bookstore…

11) Anything you want to add?
Holly: I  want to invite readers over to my blog: One of the best parts of having a book on store shelves is that it's allowed me to meet fellow bloggers and book fanatics! I’m also constantly posting updates and writing news on my blog…and I’m now featuring a flash fiction challenge that will run through December. One lucky winner will receive a prize in time for the holidays

Want to win a copy of  A Blue So Dark and a signed bookmark?

Enter HERE!

Open International!
giveaway open until 10/22

Edit: Contest Closed!


Holly Schindler said...

Thanks for posting such a fantastic interview, Stephanie...and for hosting the giveaway!

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I love that you have this huge stack of YA next to your couch. I always have a ton of books going at once, so I can relate. And, I love to hear that you are reading books by my favorite YA authors!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Bidisha said...

Such an insightful interview. I loved reading it.
A Blue So Dark was called, The Ocean Floor? Wow. The cover really captures that.
Also Playing Hurt has sent my curiosity genes rolling.

Fi-chan said...

Oh, Playing Hurt sounds interesting. I can't study / read that well with music playing too, so distracting LOL.

Beverly said...

Great interview - thanks for hosting!

Misha said...

I loved the interview! The cover is really pretty. I want to read the book even more now.

Precious said...

Great interview! Playing Hurt sounds great! Looking forward to reading a teaser of it.

Kai Agito said...

Great interview! Playing Hurt's in my 2011 list of books to buy! Looking forward to reading it as well as A blue so dark. The premise is really good, looks like a very interesting read for me ;)

Theresa said...

Great interview! Seems like Schindler has some good taste in books if she's reading Dessen, Stiefvater, and Collins! Her next YA book, Playing Hurt, sounds good! I'll have to keep my eyes out for that one!

Reading Lassie said...

That's a great interview! Playing hurt is one of my most anticipated book next year!

Julie said...

Thanks for taking the time for the interview. The books sounds interesting.

Marcie said...

This is a great interview and the book looks great. Thanks.

Mary Grace said...

What a lovely cover! :) pretty in fact. And great interview btw.

Kathryn said...

I was first intrigued by the cover !
now that I've read the interview, I'll definitely check out the book !

Diana Orgain said...

The book sounds great!

Jennifer said...

Great interview. Old follower. The cover is fantastic.

Amber said...

Thanks for the interview and the contest! I love the question about whether this is a stand alone book or meant to be a series.

Sugar and Snark said...

Thanks so much for a brilliant giveaway!!

Anonymous said...

Her next book Playing Hurt sounds great. The cover is really pretty. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

Lora1967 said...

What a great interview. I learned some things. Thanks for sharing

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