Today, I would like to welcome the fabulous Holly Schindler - author of A Blue So Dark and Playing Hurt - two completely different novels, but both written so beautifully. Thank you so much for stopping by yet again - it is always so wonderful to have you here. (Please check out the bottom of this post for a special offer from Holly - you won't want to miss out). And without further ado...
What Inspired Me to Write Two Totally Different Novels
I had a long journey to publication. A long, winding, scenic, off-the-beaten-path, meandering Sunday drive of a journey to publication. It started when I got my master’s in the spring of ’01, and my mom invited me to spend full-time effort on my writing (my lifelong dream). She said she’d support me while I got my career off the ground.Of course, when I agreed, I thought it’d take a year to write a book, then I’d sell the book (I’d been successful in placing poetry, short fiction and literary critique in journals in college, so I was under the delusion selling a manuscript would be no problem), and in just a couple of years, I’d be off and running.Yeah. Sure. Right.Try seven years. Seven and half, actually. Seven and a half years just to land the first book deal…In that time, I formed a kind of rhythm: I’d draft a book, send it out. As I waited for response, I’d write another. I developed a cycle of writing new work, revising old, and seeking new markets where I could submit.I didn’t know where that first “yes” would come from, so I tried my hand at everything—really. EVERYTHING. Every genre you can imagine, for every age group.Initially, I wrote A BLUE SO DARK for a writing competition. I lost the contest, but got the manuscript back with a note saying the book had potential. I latched onto that note, and decided, at that point, my breakthrough novel would be BLUE. I spent the next two years rewriting and resubmitting that novel (I was submitting others, too, but I was working BLUE the hardest.)And sell it first I did: to Flux, in early ’09. Once I sold BLUE, I felt PLAYING HURT was the closest of all my manuscripts in my floor-to-ceiling stack to being in publishable shape, so I put my nose to the grindstone on that book, and really polished it up, invented a sports subplot, gave what had previously been a fairly light romance more character development and depth.In those seven years, I really did learn to develop a what-if kind of brain. I’m always imagining new possibilities for novels…no genre is out of the question…and I have those seven and a half years to thank for it…
Star 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?
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura’s dad left them. Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.
Holly has graciously donated a swag pack for one lucky winner. The swag pack includes one signed bookplate, one signed bookmark, and one PLAYING HURT pinback button! How awesome is that?!? Contest is open to US/CANADA only. It will run until July 31st. One winner will be randomly drawn and announced on August 1st. Thank you so much Holly for such an awesome prize pack.
To enter please fill out this FORM
To learn more about Holly or here books you can find her all over the place:
Other places Holly hangs out and writes for: