Holly, what book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
It’s not a book so much as it’s an experience, I think. Theater nuts should love SPARK. This is truly a book about the magic of the theater. Those who know what it’s like to be transformed as the curtain rises will interact with SPARK in a different way than those who perhaps haven’t had the same experience.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I don’t work well in a public place. I do have a home office, and get a ton of work done there. But my favorite place to work is outside, on my deck. There’s something about being outside—without the constraints of any walls—that allows my mind to roam free. And there’s also the added benefit of being away from the TV, the phone, etc.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
1. Do something writing-related every day. You can’t get 5,000 words down every single day. But always make sure you do something that furthers you: brainstorm, edit, submit, read articles, read a new author…It all counts.
2. Don’t let the negative overwhelm you. No matter what stage you’re at in your career, you get rejection…and less-than-stellar reviews. Or slumpy sales. But there are always, always bright spots: for every bad review, there’s a fantastic one—or better yet, an email from a reader who fell in love with your story. And just when you think a book is going to die a quiet death and never really find its readership, it winds up getting on state reading lists or being picked up by the Scholastic Book Fair (which happened to my MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY).
3. Don’t be afraid to explore ALL your options. I became a hybrid author in ’15. Most writers focus on the financial aspects of independent publishing when they decide to go hybrid. But more than independent publishing has provided an additional source of income, it’s allowing me to explore different areas—short stories, a series, even illustration—at a much quicker pace. It’s an exciting time for me.
ABOUT THE BOOKSpark
by Holly Schindler
The local Avery Theater was just a run-down building to Quin—until her mother told her the tragic love story of Nick and Emma that played out on the theater’s stage all those years ago. Quin is convinced it’s the perfect story to rewrite for her drama class, but when she goes searching for more information, she makes a startling discovery—the Avery is rapidly regaining its former splendor and setting the stage for her classmates Dylan and Cass to relive Nick and Emma’s romance. Quin can see the spark between them, but it’s up to her to make sure her friends—and the Avery—can both be saved this time around.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Holly Schindler’s work has received starred reviews in Booklist and Publishers Weekly, has won silver and gold medals in ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year and the IPPY Awards, respectively, has been featured on Booklist’s Best First Novels for Youth and School Library Journal’s What’s Hot in YA, and has been a PW Pick of the Week. She is owned by a Pekingese named Jake, and can be found working on her next book in her hometown of Springfield, Missouri. She can also be found at hollyschindler.com.
Have you had a chance to read SPARK yet? Do you find it freeing to write outside? Have you considered becoming a hybrid author? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Anisaa, Sam, Erin, Susan, Michelle, Laura, and Kristin