Thursday, April 28, 2016

LIKE COME DECEMBER? MAYDAY...IS LIVE, FREE, AND FEATURES NATALIE AND THE MYSTERIOUS GEORGE

 

A new story in the FOREVER FINLEY SHORT STORY CYCLE has just gone live--and is a free read!

So far, the FOREVER FINLEY SHORT STORY CYCLE has introduced you to new characters each month. Starting in May, I'm beginning to tie some threads together--which means we'll be hearing from old characters again. This month, it was a delight to catch up with Natalie and Damien:

MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY 

A short story that explores how holiday magic can carry forward into the rest of the year, featuring Natalie and the mysterious George from “Come December.”

Engagement should be a happy time in a young woman’s life, but for Natalie, it’s plagued with doubts. She’d only known Damien four months when she accepted his proposal, and now, when the two are together, she hears a distinct Mayday distress call. Where is the voice coming from? Does it have anything to do with the enigmatic figure she encountered in the cemetery last winter? Or is Natalie finding a way to tell herself she thinks she’s about to go down in flames?

Mayday Mayday Mayday is part of the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle, a series of stand-alone short stories releasing once a month throughout 2016 and culminating to paint a full picture of the mystical small town of Finley.

Available now:
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
B&N

Thursday, April 21, 2016

LOCAL COLOR AND SPARK

I love the fact that teachers have been using THE JUNCTION for classroom assignments--so much so, I wanted to get the ball rolling on some ideas for how to use SPARK in the classroom as well (the book is clean and lends itself to some great literary discussions; it's great for middle school readers on up). I put together a short local color vid in which I show young readers how I used my own surroundings as inspiration, and also challenge them to do a local color piece of their own:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

TRAILER: SPARK (YA / HARPERCOLLINS)

Yesterday, I revealed a more traditional so-what's-it-about trailer. Today, I'm revealing a more thematic trailer for my forthcoming YA, SPARK:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

SPARK - BOOKLIST REVIEW AND TRAILER

I received a really lovely review from Booklist just as I was putting together my trailer for my forthcoming YA, SPARK.

In part, Booklist said, "Rooted in magic realism, this sweet story faintly echoes Romeo and Juliet as it explores what it means to be a survivor, a bystander, and a member of a small community. Schindler's story casts a shimmering spell that links tragic historic and contemporary events in a small Missouri town."

More on the "shimmering spell" below:

Spark - Holly Schindler from Holly Schindler on Vimeo.

Friday, April 8, 2016

FREE NOVELETTE - PRINCESS LEFTOVER

Those of you who have read FIFTH AVENUE FIDOS know that it’s really two books in one—Mable, the main character, has an incredibly active imagination. And in her own mind, she’s a princess. Not a flawless princess—not even close. The princess Mable is in her fantasy life is every bit as imperfect as Mable. She bumbles along in a magical metropolitan kingdom that's a mirror image of Mable’s New York City. Readers have loved Princess Rosy (Mable’s fairy tale alter ego). So much so, I’ve taken the Princess Rosy sections and compiled them into a standalone novelette, available as a free read:
 

Princess Leftover: A Comedy of Errors, Luckless Disasters, and Fairy Tale Mishaps

A novelette that insists we grab the starring roles—become the princesses of our own fairy tales.

Princess Leftover is a bumbler, constantly screwing up despite her magical surroundings. She descends her father’s tower to make her way in the Frog District of her metropolitan kingdom, only to join forces with the Prince of Klutz and his brachycephalic dragon. Can such a hodgepodge, clumsy trio ever expect to ride happily into the sunset?

Available now:
Amazon
Kobo
Barnes and Noble

Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

THREE THINGS INDIE (SELF-PUBLISHED) AUTHORS WISH STOCK PHOTOGRAPHERS WOULD DO



      Traditional and independent publishers alike often turn to stock photography when designing book covers. If you’re a stock photographer, you can increase your chances of seeing your work on the cover of a book by following a few simple suggestions: 
   
       Orient your photos vertically. A book is itself a vertical object; it needs a vertically-oriented picture for the cover. Even if it’s an e-book, an author or publisher will most likely choose an image that’s oriented in this fashion (horizontal images don’t make attractive thumbnails on Amazon pages, and stacking or blending multiple horizontal images to make a vertical cover can get clunky fast). When doing my own image searches at stock image sites, I immediately filter out any horizontal pics. 

       Don’t center your pictures. Publishers need space on the photos to insert titles and author names. Place your subject to the side, top, or bottom, leaving plenty of (sky, walls, road, etc.) to function as blank space where a publisher can insert text. Remember, too, text needs to be instantly readable—so think about what kind of texture your “blank space” has—brickwork, too many clouds, etc. can sometimes be too busy for any text to be incorporated in a legible way. 

       Add emotion or drama. When looking for stock images for my own cover, I’m not interested in perfection—I’m interested in a cover that will make a potential reader say, “What’s that all about?” The cover needs to draw them close enough to read the jacket copy. I need a picture, then, that promises my book will be an emotionally satisfying experience. Think about photographing imperfect objects (a torn wedding dress in the mud conveys far more drama than a pretty wedding dress hanging on a closet door). Think about taking photos during inclement weather. Think about photographing people when they’re not smiling. 

       (Also, as a side-note, think about taking headless photos. Headless photos on books are so prevalent, they really seem cliché. But there’s a reason they get picked: you wouldn’t believe how many times I find an image I love but can’t pick because the subject has a different hair color than my main character.)

Really, though, maybe the best thing you can do as a stock photographer is to regularly visit your local bookstore or library in order to keep up with the latest trends. Be sure to check out several different genres—they really do follow their own conventions (romance covers and mystery covers can be completely different animals). Best of luck—and on behalf of independently published authors, thanks for the hard work you do; you provide the “face” for our own body of work!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

HAPPY EASTER - FREE READ

I'm celebrating Easter weekend with a free read!


A short story of long-distance relationships—the sort in which “distance” refers not to the miles that stretch between you, but the miles you’ve traveled together.

Patricia has participated in the April’s Promise Couples Race every year of her three-decades-long marriage with her husband Timothy. This year, though, they find themselves facing a slew of new challenges that steal their second winds and force them to question whether they’ll make it past the finish line.

April’s Promise is part of the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle, a series of stand-alone short stories releasing once a month throughout 2016.

Available from:
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo

Coming soon from:
B&N

Wishing you all a lovely weekend full of family, pretty bonnets, and tasty brunches!

Friday, March 18, 2016

FREE READ + COMEDY SALE

My latest piece in the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle, "Dearest March..." is currently free. This one's a perfect fit for fans of classic lit (especially Pride and Prejudice).

 Download from:
Amazon
iBooks
B&N
Kobo












Also, my comedy FIFTH AVENUE FIDOS is currently $.99. FIFTH AVENUE FIDOS is truly a romantic comedy in the cinematic sense--meaning that while there is plenty of romance, it's not the entire focus. My characters are truly interested in finding their own ways in the world. It's also an awkward romance--a story in which the main characters are far from perfect (which is actually becoming my favorite romance subgenre, actually).

 FIFTH AVENUE FIDOS is available from:
Amazon
Kobo
B&N

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

RECOMMENDED READS FOR WRITERS

Need some new direction for a WIP? I highly recommend WIRED FOR STORY by Lisa Cron. A great book that'll have you thinking about the purpose and structure of your stories in a new way. Get out your pen before you open this one up--I guarantee you'll be writing in the margins from the get-go.

If you're looking for strategies to better your word count, I also recommend 2K TO 10 K by Rachel Aaron. This one will have you instantly thinking about how you can break your WIP into far more manageable chunks.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

KIRKUS REVIEW FOR SPARK (YA / HARPERCOLLINS / MAY 2016)

I'm utterly delighted to share this review from Kirkus for SPARK, my forthcoming YA (the best review I've ever received from Kirkus):


Quin hopes her drama-class senior project can save a local theater and change the course of history. "At Verona High, drama is for the shy." Quin and her classmates in Advanced Drama are "senior nobodies" who would prefer to blend into the scenery. But their teacher (who happens to be Quin's mom) wants to use their senior project to save the Avery, a local theater in their small town that was shuttered 70 years ago after a pair of star-crossed lovers, Emma and Nick, died on its stage. Reluctantly, the class begins to work on the project—a production of Anything Goes—with Quin as the director. At the same time, Quin learns that the Avery is somehow beginning to revive itself. She also discovers that her classmates Cass and Dylan are reliving the doomed romance of Emma and Nick. In Quin, Schindler has crafted a quick-witted, white protagonist who draws readers into her search for answers about her family's past as well as the Avery's. Scenes set in the past are rich with authentic voices and period detail, and Schindler's crisp prose flows easily between the past and the present. Even when it seems impossible for the show to go on, Schindler's imaginative story will have readers rooting for Quin and her classmates to "break a leg." A tale of love, family, and friendship, tailor-made for readers who believe in the mystery and magic of the theater. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

MILES LEFT YET: ON SENIOR LIT, HAPPY ENDINGS, AND BEGINNING AGAIN FROM EXPERIENCE

I got on a bit of a video kick this weekend--and I'm delighted to share my thoughts about both senior lit and my latest full-length novel, MILES LEFT YET:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

FREE READ: THE NEXT FOREVER FINLEY SHORT STORY: DEAREST MARCH...


The next installment in the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle is now available!

...One of the coolest parts of a short story cycle is that the stories all stand alone and can be read in any order (unlike the chapters in a novel). Even if you haven't read the three previous releases in the Forever Finley Cycle, you can jump right into "Dearest March..."
 

A short story that asks if literary heroes ever do walk straight off the page into modern life.

At fifty-five, Jo, the proprietor of Jo March Books: Depository for the New & Used, still clings to the idea of finding her very own Mr. Darcy, the star of her beloved Pride and Prejudice. When her ex-husband returns to town (at the same time gifts begin to appear from a “secret admirer,” no less), she begins to wonder if she had wrongly pegged him as her adversary…

Dearest March... is currently free and available at:
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
B&N

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

HOLLY SCHINDLER MERCHANDISE

I'm getting ready to jump headfirst into drafting my next YA...before I get started, though, I've opened a merch store. I'm planning on listing products featuring reader-favorite quotes (and some fresh artwork). To get started, I've listed a few products for fans of THE JUNCTION. Readers and teachers have connected strongly with Auggie's search to find her "shine," or the thing that makes her special or unique...so of course I started with a few original "shine" products.

 Check out the initial assortment of products by clicking the image below:



Got a quote you'd like to see featured on a product? Feel free to get in touch: hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com, or leave a comment!

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