YA and MG Novels by Holly Schindler

YA and MG Novels by Holly Schindler

Friday, April 18, 2014

BOOK RECS

For those of you who are looking forward to a quiet, leisurely Easter weekend filled with some great reads:

Barrett's love of the classics shines through in KING OF ITHAKA.  As I read this, I kept thinking how great it would have been to have this as supplemental reading in my Latin and humanities courses in high school.  Great adventure novel. 


Hurwitz's MG novel THE SUMMER I SAVED THE WORLD...IN 65 DAYS released earlier this month; I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC some time ago.  In this era of the "princessification" of young girls, it's refreshing to see a girl more interested in what she does than how she looks.  A lovely contemporary read.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

WHEN I'M NOT WRITING

One of my favorite ways to clear the ol' head in-between rounds of drafting and revising is to go on buying trips with my full-time antiques-and-collectibles-selling brother (he can be found on Etsy under Wisdom Lane). 

Last week, we happened upon a collection of vintage jumpsuits (which are again back in style).  These things are so fun; the black ensemble pictured here is definitely from the 80s (tapered legs, shoulder pads), but the others we snagged are older 70s-era jumpsuits, bell-bottoms and all.

I had to post for my teen readers, since I actually think any one of these jumpsuits would make an incredibly fun prom outfitespecially for the girl who's into the retro look (some platform heels, a funky bag and vintage jewelry, and you're set...and I guarantee no one else will have the same outfit)!

You can check out the black jumpsuit here; he's also selling a yellow ruffled-sleeve number with bell-bottoms, a pink jumpsuit with pretty sheer sleeves, and a navy floral jumpsuit (which I think is the least formal but most modern-looking of the bunch).

*Update: These things are going fast.  The yellow ruffled-sleeve jumpsuit has already sold. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

WRITING PROCESS BLOG HOP



I was invited to participate in the “Writing Process Blog Tour” by YA author Amy Nichols, who blogs with me over at YA Outside the Lines.  

The writing process, I’m realizing, is both elusive and universal, all at the same time.  As a professional writer, it’s fascinating to me that I still find the same parts of writing (the sluggish middle, for example) every bit as tough as the fifth-grade students I Skype with!  The only difference is that I’ve been at it long enough to have a few tricks up my sleeve that help me work through it. 

This tour asks…

1.      What am I working on?

Right now, I’m gearing up for the release of my third YA (and first mystery / thriller), FERAL.  I’m also in the midst of writing my next MG.

2.      How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Much of my previously-published work has really hinged on voice and character.  I’d say what separates my YA from others is that each work has actually been in a different subgenre.  A BLUE SO DARK was a literary problem novel.  PLAYING HURT was a romance.  FERAL is a thriller. 

3.      Why do I write what I do?

Writing is an innate part of who I am.  But I’m also a reader.  And I’m as interested in as many subgenres of writing as I am in subgenres of reading.  I never know where my heart’s going to lead me next.  Not only am I meeting new characters and heading to new settings, I’m also exploring new subgenres.  And that makes writing the most exciting thing in the world. 

4.      How does my writing process work?

I really dislike the first draft.  I do my best to get through that part as quickly as possible.  I give myself crazy word-count goals each day: sometimes as many as 5,000 words.  The first draft is a scene-by-scene fleshing out of my loose outline.  It gives me a chance to figure out the what of a novel.  My favorite part is revision—that’s when I can figure out the how I say it of a novel.  I get to write pretty passages, new metaphors, flesh out my characters.  Of course, I don’t just revise once.  My published books have been revised more times than I can count.  It’s funny—I get to know my books the same way we all meet new people in our lives—a little at a time.  Each day, I discover something new, get a little closer to my characters…

Be sure to travel to the next stops on the tour:

Tracy Barrett - the author of numerous books and magazine articles for young readers. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with honors in Classics-Archaeology from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Italian Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Her scholarly interests in the ancient and medieval worlds overlap in her fiction and nonfiction works.

Ann Haywood Leal - wrote her first novel in the sixth grade.  It was handwritten (mostly on colored notebook paper) and was called MISCHIEVOUS MARTHA.  Her later books,  A FINDERS-KEEPERS PLACE and ALSO KNOWN AS HARPER were published by Henry Holt.


Naomi Kinsman - the author of the From Sadie’s Sketchbook Series (Zondervan) and Spilled Ink, the award winning Inklings Writers’ Notebook. Drawing upon her background in improvisational theatre and arts education, Naomi developed Writerly Play  a methodology that breaks the writing process into parts and inspires creativity through interactive games. Naomi is the founder of Society of Young Inklings,  an organization that empowers young authors ages 6-16 and Regional Advisor of the San Francisco South chapter of SCBWI. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Seattle Pacific University and a MFA in Writing for Children and Adults from Hamline University.

Jen Cervantes - the author of TORTILLA SUN, claims, "If I wasn't a storyteller, sports writing for the NFL would have been my game, (or some other job where I got paid to watch football games). Maybe someday I'll write a book about football.  I am inspired by my daughters Alex, Bella, and Jules, their silly friends, amazing stories, and real issues concerning kids who need hope and a place to call home."


Monday, March 31, 2014

FERAL - ONLINE TOUR + TRAILER PARTY

Exciting news for my next YA (and first mystery / thriller), FERAL.  The book went live on Edelweiss last week; bloggers can grab an e-galley now:

The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.

But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….


Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

To celebrate the galleys hitting the world,  I'm holding a trailer party...and you're invited!  To attend, share the trailer (below) anywhere you can: your own blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.



I'm also in the earliest stages of organizing the online tour: vlogs, sneak peeks, giveaways, and more!  To participate,  sign up using the form below.  If you have trouble viewing the form, email me at writehollyschindler (at) yahoo (dot) com.


Friday, March 28, 2014

FREE SKYPE VISITS

I've had the most fun Skyping with classrooms lately.  Before the release of  THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, I'd Skyped with bookstores and discussion groups, but not classrooms.  Let's face it: A BLUE SO DARK and PLAYING HURT aren't exactly classroom-friendly. 

Because it's been such a success, I'm Skyping for FREE with classrooms that have read, are currently reading, or are planning to read THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, so please do pass along the word to your own 4th- or 5th-grade teachers. I can be reached at writehollyschindler (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Me and Jill the O.W.L. (@justkeepreading)'s 5th-grade class:


Me and Mrs. Dee's class (@210BIS):


Monday, March 24, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN KATCHER, AUTHOR OF EVERYONE DIES IN THE END

I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Katcher a few summers ago at a Teen Author event here in Springfield.  His latest book released earlier this month, and I snatched it up as soon as it came out.  What a wild ride, indeed.  It's an absolutely cinematic book, filled with history, mystery, adventure, and humor.  This will snag any reluctant readers in your life--especially boys.

As a MO girl, I love the fact that this takes place in my home state.  Is it easier to write about a place you’re familiar with, or harder?  (Do you know too much?  Have too many details you can include?)

It's almost cheating, it's so easy. I grew up in Missouri and went to college in Columbia. It takes no effort to set a book where you live. That's why my editor insisted I set my next book in Seattle. I'm getting lazy, writing everything about Missouri.

What is the inspiration behind EVERYONE DIES IN THE END?

When I was in college, I was determined to have a supernatural adventure. I would have loved it if some mysterious cult had marked me for death.

Is it based on any of your own experiences?  (Were you in a scholars program?)

Sadly, no one ever tried to assassinate me in college. I did, however, attend Mizzou as an undergraduate. In fact, Sherman, the main character in EVERYONE DIES, started out as a college senior, until it was suggested he'd be more believable as a teen.

This is a departure in style from your previously published YAs—more fantasy, less realism.  Why the switch-up?

Maybe I wanted to challenge myself. Maybe the voices in my head told me to do it. I now have one contemporary YA book, one LGBT YA book, and one YA horror. At least I'm not typecasting myself.

What are your reading tastes, movie tastes?  What influenced the book?

This is heavily influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, the great 1920s author who pioneered the 'aliens keeping a guy's brain alive in a jar' story.'

This book has quite a few action scenes—are they hard to write?  Or do they flow easily?  Why do you think that is?

I came up with the car chase/train wreck scene years ago. I'm glad I was finally able to stick it in a book. I wrote the World War I battle scene once when I was alone at my mom's house in the middle of the night and ended up scaring myself. I wouldn't say these gruesome scenes are easy to write...but 
they sure are fun.
This book has plenty of Katcher humor.  Is it hard to balance humor and action?

Humor comes easy for me. It's hard for me to pitch PLAYING WITH MATCHES to people: It's about a girl with a badly disfigured face...and it's funny!  Everything else, however, is more difficult for me to write. I hope EVERYONE DIES gives the audience a few belly laughs as they turn all the lights on and check under the bed.

Is it harder to develop a character in an action-driven story?  How do you deal with that?

I didn't want to make my hero the stereotypical action movie macho man. Instead, I made him a boring twerp who's suddenly fighting for his life (and hooking up with a cute redhead).

Did you do any research?  Any truth at all to the “historical” sections?

A bit. The fire at Academic Hall, life in the 1930s, that sort of thing. I'm sure my readers will point out my many historical errors.

~
EVERYONE DIES: An epic story of love, adventure and intrigue...at a science fiction convention! 

Be sure to keep up with all things Katcher at BrianKatcher.com!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

DEAR BLOGGERS - FERAL IS YOURS

Yesterday, I sent my notes on the first-pass pages for FERAL to my editor.  This was my last chance to make any changes to the manuscript. 

I have to admit, I had a funny feeling sending the book along yesterday.  You'll be hearing more about the journey FERAL took from first draft to publication in the next few months, but I initially drafted the book a decade ago, as an MG novel.  Claire, my protagonist, has gone through about a hundred name do-overs and personality revamps; she's changed more than any MC in any of my books, actually. 

Now, though, I have to let her go.  Claire's not mine anymore; she belongs to my readers and bloggers.  There's a slight sadness to letting a project go, but there's also a new excitement to it, too.  Claire's yours; I hope the journey you'll take with Claire as a reader will be every bit as fulfilling as mine was as a writer.

Can't wait to introduce you...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

FEATURED WRITER - MISSOURI CHAPTER OF SCBWI

SCBWI is just a lovely, lovely organization.  And I'm thrilled to be the Featured Writer for the Missouri chapter in March!

Check out my SCBWI interview here.

Friday, February 28, 2014

FOLK ART MUSEUM OP ED IN AM NEW YORK

The inspiration for THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY came from rural farm auctions; I've been going since I was a kid, and these days, I go with my brother (a full-time antiques dealer).  You don't leave a farm auction without discovering repurposed items somewhere: dresses made from feedsack material, stools made of Coke crates, bird feeders made from Ball fruit jars...

The deeper I dove into the manuscript, though, the more I began to learn about folk art environments like the Watts Towers in California, or the Orange Show in Texas, or Vollis Simpson's Whirligig Farm in North Carolina.  I knew I wanted to write about artists who created a work of art they could live inside.


The Watts Towers

Because I'm such a fan of folk art, I had to weigh in on the fate of the former Folk Art Museum, located near MoMA.  The piece runs today in Am New York.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

HOLLYSCHINDLER.COM REDESIGN

After five years, it was seriously time for a website redesign.  The update went live this morning:


Check out the full site here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

FERAL FIRST-PASS PAGES + UPDATED JACKET COPY

I'm now deep in the midst of reading the first-pass pages for FERAL, due out this August.  (Actually, it's first-pass for HarperCollins, but last-pass for me.  This is my last chance to rake my fine-toothed comb through the manuscript.  Copyedits are always such a nerve-wracking and exciting process...)

FERAL also has an updated jacket copy on Goodreads, which is slightly different than the jacket copy released during the FERAL reveal...Gotta say, I love the new copy:

The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.

But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….

Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

Monday, February 17, 2014

FIRST READER REVIEW FOR THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY

I'm ecstatic!  I just got my first reader review (from 7-yr.-old Sophie Katcher) for THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY:

Be sure to read the entirety of sharp Sophie's review here.  Your own young readers can send their reviews here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Happy Valentine's Day!  May your mailboxes overflow with paper hearts and chocolate kisses...


Thursday, February 13, 2014

COVER REVEAL - FERAL

My next YA, FERAL, releases with HarperCollins August 26, 14.  Though it'll be my third YA, it will also be my first thriller, first mystery, as both the cover and jacket copy reveal:




It’s too late for you. You’re dead.


Those words float through Claire Cain’s head as she lies broken and barely alive after a brutal beating. And the words continue to haunt her months later, in the relentless, terrifying nightmares that plague her sleep. So when her father is offered a teaching sabbatical in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out of Chicago, away from the things that remind her of what she went through, will offer a way to start anew.


But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire quickly realizes something is wrong—the town is brimming with hidden dangers and overrun by feral cats. And her fears are confirmed when a popular high school girl, Serena Sims, is suddenly found dead in the icy woods behind the school. While everyone is quick to say Serena died in an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it—for she was the one who found Serena, battered and most certainly dead, surrounded by the town’s feral cats.

Now Claire vows to learn the truth about what happened, but the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to discovering a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley. . . .


With an eerie setting and heart-stopping twists and turns, Holly Schindler weaves a gripping story that will make you question everything you think you know.

~

Be sure to pre-order FERAL or add it to your shelves on Goodreads

 
I can't WAIT for August to get here...
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