Thursday, January 5, 2012

Deserted Island: Author Holly Schindler!

Weekly Feature here at Snowdrop Dreams of Books where authors and bloggers share what five books and what five other items they would want with them if they were ever stuck on a deserted island and why they chose them. Some posts are serious, some are extremely silly and some are mixture. Check back every week to see what your fave authors and bloggers would pick. 
Today Holly Schindler, author of A Blue So Dark and Playing Hurt,  is stopping by with her list of things and books that she would want with her if ever stuck on a deserted island! 
The truth is, a writing career is a little like living on a deserted island.  Really—ask any full-time author what it’s like, and invariably, they’ll describe all the hours they spend alone with their pages.  So what are the five things that keep me sane on my island?

1). The sounds of my family bustling around in the background.  I have a home office, and it’s quite close to the kitchen and living room.  So I never feel completely alone, with the sounds of everybody moving about, or occasionally poking their head in to say something.

2). My dog, Jake.  He’s usually snoring under the couch in my office, or sitting at my feet, barking for attention.  He always gets a laugh from me—and laughter in the midst of drafting serious work is always welcome.

3). The blogosphere.  I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be an author in earlier, pre-Internet years.  In some ways, feelings of isolation can stem from the fact that being an author isn’t that common of a career.  Few, if any, of the people you meet in your hometown will truly understand the ins and outs, the ups and downs of the writing life.  Now, though, an author has the ability to forge friendships with other authors online.  That community is a godsend…And, being an author today means that I also get to connect directly with my readers on a daily basis; I don’t have to wait for author tours.  My readers are also some of my very best publicists!  How incredible is that?

4). Music.  I’m an enormous music junkie.  Always have been.  Music’s always been my favorite distraction…But I’ve also learned that music doesn’t have to distract—it can also be my “refresh” button!  When I get completely bogged down, a quick music break usually perks me right back up.

5). My work.  Quite simply, I absolutely love writing.  It’s the thing that makes me feel like me.  It’s just always been that way.  Writing’s a hard gig—it takes the same kind of dedication you usually find in an athlete.  And it takes a long time to really get started—I spent seven and a half years just trying to get to the first acceptance.  You’ve got to love it more than life in order to endure the years of rejection and all the waiting.  Seeing my work on the shelves of Barnes & Noble or listed on Amazon makes all the time spent on my “deserted island” well worth it…There’s just nothing quite like seeing hard work begin to pay off.  It’s the most rewarding thing in the world.

…Now, what books keep me sane on my desert island?  I’m going to say something the me of just a few years ago never would have said: it’s my Kindle.  I wasn’t really hip to e-books, not in the beginning.  And I still do love the tactile feel of a finished book—the smell of a cover, the flip of pages.  But I’m an enormous fan of literature, too.  My Kindle (it could be any e-reader, really) gives me instant access to what’s out there.  And I’m always on the lookout for a fresh new voice—there’s nothing more delightful than discovering a fabulous new author!  
Holly has offered up a giveaway today for one lucky winner! One signed bookplate - either for your paperback copy (US/CAN ONLY) OR an ebook bookplate via Kindlegraph (International).  Contest ends January 10th @ midnight EST. To enter please fill out this FORM and leave a comment below stating which of Holly's books you are most looking forward to reading. 

Holly can be found around the web:

A BLUE SO DARK: (Read my review here)
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret.  Her mother, a talent 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.

One of Booklist’s Top 10 Novels for Youth (2010)
Silver Medal, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year (Young Adult Fiction)
Gold Medal, IPPY Awards (Juvenile / Young Adult Fiction)

PLAYING HURT: (Read my review here)
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?


  1. I think a kindle would be fabulous on a deserted island. You'd have to find some way to re-charge it though! I have Playing Hurt on my shelves, which I'm really excited to read. I didn't know about A Blue So Dark before. I'll have to add that to my list because it sounds awesome too. :D

  2. Erika - I loved both of Holly's books! And I'm looking forward to more from her. :) I hope you enjoy them both as much as I did.

  3. I love Holly and I LOVE her books! I own both and they both have a prominent spot on my bookshelf. She's brilliant and has such an amazing writing voice. Always nice to learn more about her too!
    (Not entering, I already have my books with bookplates.)


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