Author Interview with Holly Schindler

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Holly Schindler is an MA graduate in English from Missouri (Ma-zur-AH) State University. She has released her first novel- A Blue So Dark and is super-excited about her second- Playing Hurt,which is out on March 8,2011. She LOVES caffeine and is a literature addict! 

Here is some more on her and writing...
 Why schizophrenia?

I knew that I wanted to write about the possible connection between creativity and madness.  And I was drawn to writing about schizophrenia in part because one of the symptoms is the presence of hallucinations.  Really, the vision an artist has of their end product, that’s a little like a hallucination, too, isn’t it?  In both instances, only one person can see it.  It’s easy to wonder if schizophrenia isn’t really just an overactive imagination. 

 Is Aura based on someone you know or is she a character straight from you head?

All of my characters are completely fictional.  Aura is a figment of my imagination.
           
 How did you come up with the title?

The book was acquired under a different title (THE OCEAN FLOOR).  My editor was lukewarm about it, and encouraged me to troll through the manuscript in search of a phrase that would make a good alternate title.  My mom (who’s also my first reader) and I both re-read the manuscript several times, in search of a title.  I shot my editor several; he immediately fell in love with A BLUE SO DARK.  He was so ecstatic about it that I breathed a sigh of relief—the title and cover, I think, are more important on your first book than any other.  With no one familiar with your work, your name certainly isn’t going to entice anyone to buy…I have to admit, though, the title came from my mom’s list of phrases…She’s actually officially titled all of my books so far…

 Who is on the cover—Aura or Grace?

What an intuitive question!  I love this…Actually, every time I look at it, there’s something about that long skirt that makes me think of the portrait as I imagined it on Grace’s wall—the one Aura paints toward the end of the novel of the three-headed mermaid.  When I look at it, I think of all three of the generations—Aura, Grace, Nell.

 What made you decide to write a book?

Writing has been a lifelong dream.  I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be a writer.  I was writing stories on my own early in elementary school—I was sitting at my childhood roll-top desk penning stories by the time I was in first grade.

 Do you pursue arts in your free time (apart from writing and music)?

I really ate up art classes in high school.  I couldn’t take enough.  Lately, though, my painting has been left to the walls of my house. I’ve been involved in home renovations, which require both a practical mind and an artistic eye…

About PLAYING HURT:

Playing Hurt

 Why the jump from schizophrenia to a love story?

I love being able to move from one genre to another.  I completely appreciate the fact that Flux has allowed me to do a second book that’s in many ways so different from my debut.  I hope this is really just the beginning of writing in multiple genres.

About you:

 Your favorite color?

I’m not sure I have one color I like above all others…Can I pick plaid?
           
 Have you ever met a person in real life who had or cared for a person with schizophrenia?

I actually have no personal experience with schizophrenia.  My depiction of schizophrenia is based on research rather than personal experience—I know in school, it’s really easy to think of research or writing term papers as the boring part of an English class.  But good research skills help with creative work as well.

 The craziest thing you have ever done?

Probably forgoing a full-time job in favor of pursuing my writing.  It wasn’t easy—took seven and a half years of full-time effort before I finally got that first contract signed!
           
 Do you write poetry? (The ones in the book are beautiful!)

On occasion.  The poems in the book were lifted from notebooks I kept in high school.  (The poems were tweaked a bit to fit the goings-on of the novel.) 




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