Saturday, April 16, 2011

Interview: Holly Schindler

Holly Schindler is the writer of two successful YA novels, Playing Hurt and A Blue So Dark. In Playing Hurt, atar basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

As a graduation present, Chelsea’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak?

We are lucky to have Holly Schindler here to visit us!

1. What are some key factors to remember in developing romantic relationships?

Let’s face it—the story of two people who meet, date, fall in love, and ride into the sunset with no hiccups whatsoever is just…dull. You need some drama—some reason the two can’t get together, something that tears the two apart.

But you know, in all honesty, developing the drama for my romance wasn’t really all that different than developing the drama for my debut, a literary novel—I mean, a literary novel is character-driven…But so is a romance novel, to a great extent.

2. Chelsea goes through a tragedy that stops her from following her dream or living to the fullest. What advice do you have for other people in that same situation?

Wow—what a question! I think that the worst thing you can do is continue to focus on the tragedy. That’s not to say you shouldn’t mourn the loss of something you loved. But you’ve also got to keep moving forward, too…

I never had a life-altering injury, but along the way, as I sought a publishing deal, I had all these, “This is it!” moments, where an agent or editor would express interest in one of my manuscripts, and I’d feel certain that I was finally going to break in…Only to have the deal completely fall apart last-minute.

It can be devastating to go through a near-miss like that. But you really do have to dust yourself off and take another step forward. You’ve got to figure out how to reinvent what you’ve got and keep going. That’s what Chelsea realized she had to do at the end of PLAYING HURT—figure out how to reinvent her life, keeping sports in it.

3. First a literary novel, now a romance novel. Is there any other genre you’d like to try? What genres would you stay away from?

I’m always working on a new novel—and, yes, I’ve written other work in other genres that I’m actively trying to place. There’s probably no genre I’d count out. In that respect, I’m constantly surprising myself. If you’d told me a few years ago that I’d write a novel about a couple of athletes, I’d had said you were crazy. I’m NO athlete—I’m a complete klutz.

4. What other projects are you working on now? Can we expect more novels from you anytime soon?

The sooner the better, I say! Yes—my next novel will be released in 2012, with Dial. And—how’s this for yet another new genre?—it’ll be my first middle grade novel.

Thanks Holly for stopping by. I have to say, one of my friends is currently reading both of your books and I can't wait until she gets back to me on what she thinks! Here's a list of links you can use to find and contact her:
Twitter @holly_schindler

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