Thursday, April 28, 2016



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:


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:

Thursday, April 21, 2016


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


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


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


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:
Barnes and Noble


Tuesday, April 5, 2016


      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!
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