Thursday, June 9, 2011

{Interview} Holly Schindler + Giveaway

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

As promised, I have the amazing Holly Schindler here on the blog, graciously answering some questions for us and I have a copy (albeit, a used one) that we used in the blog tour. Don’t worry it’s in fabulous, like new condition my fellow bloggers and I take good care of books!

With out further ado, here’s the interview with Holly and the giveaway will be at the bottom:

1. Being a Minnesotan, I have to ask—why did you set PLAYING HURT in Northern Minnesota? Had you been there before, does it hold special meaning perhaps or was it just a place you picked off a map?

One of the dominant themes of the book is learning the difference between loving someone (how Chelsea feels about Gabe) and really being truly IN love with someone (how she feels about Clint). I thought that in order for Chelsea to want to explore her relationship with Clint, she had to get away from her hometown high school boyfriend—so I had to get her out of Missouri.

My grandfather was a pretty avid fisherman…and my mom’s an only child. So she went with him on several fishing trips up to Minnesota. I’d heard so much about it over the years that I felt like in some respects, I’d already visited the area…It just really seemed like a natural fit.

2. What is your writing schedule like? Would you say you’re more of a “pantser” or a planner?

I keep really long hours—anywhere from eight to as much as twelve hours a day writing, anHPIM3356d another two to four hours a day promoting work on the shelves.

I used to always say I’m a plotter or planner, since I work from extensive outlines. But more and more, I try to really press myself for time…I go on what I refer to as Crazy-Writes, where I try to get every project drafted as quickly as possible. I’ve found that this really keeps me from overthinking passages or sections of the book—I don’t have time to stop and second-guess everything, if I’m going to meet the day’s deadline. So in that respect, I’m becoming more and more of a pantser…

3. Do you share any traits with any of your characters in PLAYING HURT? Is anyone in the book based wholly or partially on anyone in real life?

None of my characters are ever based on anyone I’ve met—that goes for PLAYING HURT and A BLUE SO DARK both. I generally start with scenarios I want to explore (in A BLUE SO DARK, it was the idea of mental illness and creativity being somehow linked, in PLAYING HURT, the idea of loving someone vs. being passionately IN love), then build characters from there.

I think you actually tend to share pieces of yourself with every protagonist you build. I find myself putting in pieces of my own humor or observations…that’s especially easy when you’re writing in first person. But I even see pieces of myself in secondary characters like Chelsea’s brother, Brandon (I, too, wear super-strong glasses, and love my music to the point of absurdity).

4. How has your life changed since publishing your debut novel A BLUE SO DARK last year?

It hasn’t changed too terribly much, honestly. I still get up in the morning and I dive straight into my work—same as I did every single morning before I’d landed a book deal (took seven and a half years of full time effort to get to that deal, too).

The thing about writing is that it’s not really like winning the lottery. It’s a slow build for a lot of authors—there’s always another mountain to climb. First there’s the attempt to find an agent, then to land the first deal, then to snag the second, then to find your readership, then to grow your readership…It’s honestly never-ending. But if you love it, if you’re passionate about it, you don’t really care—if you love it, it’s not really work.

5. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

To keep at it. Every single day. And be prepared for a long journey. Don’t get discouraged if you have a hard time selling your first novel. I had to write a floor-to-ceiling stack of manuscripts before I sold one!

I recently gave a library talk with budding authors, and told them to think about it this way: “You don’t pick up a guitar and play one chord—or one song—and suddenly become a virtuoso. The same is true with writing.” It takes time, and you really do have to write several novels to wrap your mind around what you’re doing. But the journey is absolutely worth it…

Holly, thank you so very much for taking your time to answer these questions. I hope to have you back may times in the future for other books, and just for general fun!

Find Holly:

Want to win a copy of Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler?
US only/Must be 13 to enter/ Contest ends June 18th

Thank you to Holly for this opportunity and for Fiction Folio for hosting the tour and allowing me to be on it!


  1. Great interview! Everyone in Missouri wants to get out eventually lol XD And thanks for the giveaway :)

  2. Great interview Amber and Holly! Thanks for hosting the giveaway :)


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