Monday, March 31, 2014


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


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


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 a science fiction convention! 

Be sure to keep up with all things Katcher at!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


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


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.
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