I'm thrilled to welcome Holly Schindler to Supernatural Snark today, she was kind enough to answer a few questions about her newest young adult release, Playing Hurt, which is available now!
Instant attraction is a pretty prominent theme in young adult literature at the moment; what would it take, either physically or personality-wise, for someone to grab your immediate romantic attention?
Humor’s big with me. If I’m laughing, you’re an instant hit.
You are a big fan of taking notes and scribbling in margins; can you share with us one of the notes scribbled during the writing of PLAYING HURT?
I initially drafted PLAYING HURT in about ’04 or ’05. And in ’09, I re-read the manuscript…At the time, Chelsea was a girl who went on vacation and fell in love with one of the resort guides in a way she’d NEVER fallen for her boyfriend back home (and she learned, during that vacation, the true difference between loving someone and being IN love with someone). But I knew something was missing. As I re-read, I remember circling things like fishing, hiking…And I remember writing at the top of one of the pages, “Chelsea=ATHLETE.” A few pages later, I wrote, “Chelsea WAS athlete.”
At that point, the sports subplot was born!
If you could excel at any one sport as Chelsea does at basketball, what sport would you choose to show off your mad skills?
I think I’d probably be better off with an individual sport, rather than a team sport…I’d really like to play golf, I think…
If Clint were asked to describe his favorite moment in PLAYING HURT, what might he say?
I think he’d initially think of the waterfall scene…But then I also think he’d remember the first time he saw Chelsea, the first time he kissed Chelsea, and I think he’d remember buying those hockey skates…
Both PLAYING HURT and A BLUE SO DARK have beautiful, well-designed covers. If you could pick one book cover (other than yours) that you wish your name was on for purely aesthetic reasons, which book would it be and why?
Man, this is tough. There are just so many great covers out there. At this point, I love anything that sticks out, that’s different—so one cover I actually like is Lauren Oliver’s DELIRIUM. Just blue, with the title on it. That cover also shows the power of Lauren Oliver’s name, just two books into the game, which is really impressive. That publisher doesn’t need fancy cover art—just the Oliver name. That’s really incredible, when you think about it…
Favorite moment: writing the first sentence of a book or the last?
I FAR prefer revision to drafting. (Revision is really when a book stops feeling like a bunch of typed pages and begins to feel like a cohesive NOVEL.) There is an excitement with the first sentence—and also a slight twinge of fear, as you wonder how you’re going to pull the whole thing off. AND, there’s an enormous feeling of success, but also a slight twinge of sadness, associated with the last sentence.
Say you’re having a bad day—what’s the one book you can pull off the shelf to read and instantly feel better?
I rarely re-read books…BUT one book I just love and have often pulled off the shelf to look at again is THE PAPER BAG PRINCES…It’s a picture book I discovered in my children’s lit course in college…And it introduces young girls to the idea that sometimes, the happy ending DOESN’T involve a prince.
I know for me personally, reading books for school was always more of a chore than an enjoyable activity, and I had absolutely no interest in what happened other than remembering key facts for test purposes. I think if I were to read them again outside of a classroom context, I would have a very different reaction to them. Is there one book in particular you can remember not caring for in school but really enjoy now?
I’m an old lit major, so I actually did enjoy reading for school. I do remember that when I was in high school, there were certain works—the poetry of Emily Dickinson, or THE SCARLET LETTER, for example—that I was a little ho-hum about…But by the time I go t to college, and re-read them, I absolutely fell in love with them!
…These days, I spend so much time reading new releases, it would actually be a bit like a vacation to read a classic…a little Jane Austen, maybe…
Thanks so much for stopping by Holly! For more information on Holly and her books you can find her here:
YA Outside the Lines (a blog Holly writes along with some other fabulous young adult authors, be sure and check it out!)
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?