Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Interview: Holly Schindler

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?


  1. I've actually seen this book on GR and added it to my TBR (as I'm a sucker for those kind of romances), but this review really roped me in. It sounds excellent and I'm always in love with a strong female. Also, I agree, if someone is funny, they've got me wrapped! Great interview Jenny, I've gotta pick this one up!

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  2. It's so interesting to know that the book changed drastically from the early manuscript. I like knowing that authors don't always get books perfect immediately. Makes me less likely to quite early drafts b/c they aren't perfect.

  3. I agree with the author - reading Jane Austen is like taking a relaxing vacation :) I have both of the author's books on my wishlist. I can't wait to read them!

  4. Terrific interview. Your questions really bring out lots of fantastic thoughts. Holly's book also sound lovely and I cannot wait to read it.

  5. Great interview Jenny! I have A Blue So Dark and need to pick it up soon! I love both covers!!

  6. Jen - Funny works for me as well:)

    Alison - It makes me want to read the early version and the finished version together so I can see the differences:)

    Misha - I need to go back and read more Austen now that reading isn't a chore for me anymore:)

    Jan - Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it:)

    Savy - I love both covers too, they're gorgeous!

  7. I can't wait to read this book! I really like when authors talk about how difficult writing is, most of the time, I tend to think they get everything right at the first time. It's very true that writing the book is an experience all of itself much different as the reader's experience. Great interview, Jenny!

  8. Epe! Now I'm so curious about this waterfall scene. Sounds romantic.

    Interesting that instant romances and classics are both brought up, because I didn't realize until now how my thought on them are transforming. With some of my favorite classics, there isn't a lot of instant romance, but with the classics I've read recently, I just can't seem to enjoy them as much, and I think that is largely due to how accustom I've become to reading about instant romances recently. Not a bad thing, just a musing. Gawd, why am I rambling?

    P.S. Great interview! Humor is big with me too.

  9. Great Interview!

    I agree that reading Jane Austen is like a great vacation. I am not sure the long drawn out romance can work as well now as it did in the classics where they sometimes did not even meet for a few chapters. I think instant is sometimes to quick but in a go-go-go society, it really doesn't seem that out of place.

    I am all for the non-team sports too! Golf is perfect for that :)

    Humor will get me every time with a guy!

  10. Rummanah - I can't even imagine trying to write a book, I can barely manage my little reviews:)

    Missie - It's okay, I completely rambled on your blog a minute ago and what you said here was way more appropriate than what I left for you:)

    Felicia - Thanks! You make a really good point, I think when we read in the blurb that there's going to be a romantic element we expect it to happen quickly. I do love tension though, so I like when things a drawn out at least a little:)

  11. Holly is a nice author to work with...;) Im so looking forward to reading A Blue So Dark!!

  12. Fantastic interview!
    I'm similar to Holly--gotta love a man who can make you laugh! :)
    It was interesting to see how Holly modified her story a few years after completing the manuscript. I love those sudden bursts of inspiration! :)

  13. Jenny- I prefer the drawn out too but I think most new readers prefer the instant. I can handle the instant as long as it continues to burn through the whole book :)

  14. OMG I remember reading The Paperbag Princess when I was little. Now that Holly mentioned it I'm going to have to look it up again.

  15. I STILL haven't read this! I soooo need to, everybody is talking about it and everyone loves it and once again I'm the smelly kid at lunch that no one wants to sit by!

    (well, I feel left out is what I'm saying!!!) LOL

  16. I have to check out paper bag princess, I do like what it has to say :)

  17. I read the paper bag princess when I was a kid too.

    I'm very klutzy so I'd go with a team sport. Lol, when I had to play volleyball in gym class, the person beside me usually had to hit the ball back or I'd be like that was coming towards you and you should've gotten it. I'm terrible, I know!

  18. Loved the interview! :) I love Delirium's cover as well! :) And I have to agree with Holly on humor... :)

  19. Awesome interview! My mom used to read the Paper Bag Princess to me-- probably about a billion times. Loved A Blue So Dark, so I'll definitely be checking Playing Hurt out, too. :)

  20. Great interview. I think I'm with the author... if it makes me laugh... it's a hit. I do like classics, but have been enjoying others takes on those classics as well. :)

  21. Tina - I'm really looking forward to reading that one too:)

    Lauren - It's amazing how attractive laughter can be isn't it? I don't know what I'd do if the hubs was serious all the time:)

    Jenny - I don't think I read that one, but now with Holly's and everyone's comments I need to look it up!

    Ashley - I'll sit by you, smelly or no:)

    Blodeuedd - I need to check it out too, I've never heard of it before!

    Zahida - I used to play soccer and would run away from the ball instead of toward it. I wanted to avoid confrontation:) Clearly, I'm awesome at sports.

    Jacinda - I agree on the humor too - I have to have it!

    Kat - Thanks:) Glad to know you enjoyed A Blue So Dark, I'm looking forward to reading that one.

    Melissa - I'm loving all the Pride and Prejudice variations lately, every day I'm finding new ones and you can really never have enough of Mr. Darcy!

  22. Great interview, Jenny! You asked some interesting questions! I especially liked learning more about Holly's perspective on required reading for English class. I love her comment about classics being like a vacation...if only my students could hear that! :) Thanks for sharing this!

  23. Fabulous interview...I swear you ask the world's best questions! I love how she discussed the birth of the subplot through initial margin cool! :)