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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PLAYING HURT Blog Tour Interview

The big day is here! The Things Liz Loves stop on Holly Schindler's Playing Hurt blog tour! Today we have an interview with Holly all about Playing Hurt, and it's an awesome interview! Check it out after the jump!
1. PLAYING HURT is your second novel. How does this one differ from A BLUE SO DARK? Did you have a different process for writing this one?

Playing HurtPLAYING HURT is quite a bit lighter than A BLUE SO DARK, dealing with matters of the heart rather than the possible link between mental illness and creativity. 
The process of writing went much faster for A BLUE SO DARK—I drafted, edited, and began to submit that book in just about two months! PLAYING HURT wrote much slower. Both books did require multiple revisions, but the rewrites for BLUE went much faster, too…Still, I really enjoyed getting a chance to slowly peel back the layers of PLAYING HURT, learning more and more about my characters with each new rewrite.

2. How many projects do you have going right now?
A what-if brain can be a bit of a curse, because you get halfway through one project and want to start something new—I’ve also tried to split my time writing multiple books at once, but it really doesn’t work as well. You really do need to write one book at a time. You make much better headway.

I do have one book in development at Dial—my first middle grade! And as far as new work goes, I’m drafting an adult book right now—and have three additional books outlined to write one after another: a new middle grade, a YA, an adult.
A Blue So Dark
3. What is your favorite part of the publishing process?
Finalizing the title and seeing the cover art or “skin” are both really, really exciting. I love getting to reveal those tidbits online…

4. If you could be any of your characters for a week, who would you be and why?
I’d either be Nell (from A BLUE SO DARK) or Brandon (from PLAYING HURT), for the same reason: they just are who they are, no reservations, no holding back. I love the way Brandon dances exuberantly, love the way Nell says everything on her mind.

5. PLAYING HURT gets optioned for a movie. Who is your dream cast?
Honestly, for Chelsea ? I want to travel back in time and get the ALMOST FAMOUS-era Kate Hudson. And for Clint? I’ve always really loved the chemistry between Hudson and McConaughey…but I’d need to time-travel to get a younger McConaughey, too.

(What do you guys think? Any present-day late-teen, early-twenty-something actors you think would be perfect for the parts?)

Note from Liz: I totally saw Chase Crawford in my mind for Clint. And my Chelsea was Alexandria Daddario from Percy Jackson...except blonde. Like she should have been for Percy Jackson. But I digress.

Reader Questions:
1. From Stacy: I would be interested to know about your writing techniques—how extensively you outline / plan out your books and what your writing schedule is like.

I outline quite a bit—I also repeatedly retype my manuscripts when I’m faced with global revisions.

I did film a short post on a drafting technique that some of my readers have found to be really helpful:

2. From Cici: Do you feel any deep personal connection to any of your characters? If so, what connects you to the character?

I’ve consistently written books about characters whose experiences are completely unlike my own: a girl with a schizophrenic mother, a couple of athletes. My empathy level has to be really high, in order to write stories about experiences unlike my own. In some ways, I feel like I really have walked a mile in another’s shoes by the time I get through with my books, and have a really strong connection to all my protagonists.

3. From Jacque: Are you planning on staying in the YA genre or branch out into the adult list?
My next book will actually be a middle grade, due out from Dial in 2012. And, yes, right now, I’m drafting an adult novel.

4. From Vivien: Did you have to do any research for your books?

I did for both of my books: I read everything I could on schizophrenia before drafting A BLUE SO DARK, even all the non-fiction books I could find in the YA section of my library (I wanted to know how the illness had been presented to the YA readership in a factual way). I also had to do some research on what would be the most logical injury to have destroyed Chelsea ’s basketball career.

Bestest. Ramadan. Ever.But in both cases, I have to put the research aside the minute I start writing—I want the characters to drive the novels, rather than a bunch of dry facts.

Quick Picks:
1. Book you’re most looking forward to?
BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. by Medeia Sharif, and WITH OR WITHOUT YOU by Brian Farrey.

2. Best movie you’ve seen this year?
I did enjoy the MILDRED PIERCE mini-series on HBO.

3. Favorite place you’ve traveled to recently?
My traveling’s pretty limited right now…I actually haven’t taken a vacation—a get-in-the-car-and-leave-town vacation since the summer of ’99. I work all the time. Every day. So a day off might be nice—even if it’s just to go down to Lake Springfield for an afternoon.

4. Best new food you’ve tried?
I’m pretty big on Mexican food—if it came off a Mexican menu, I’m always sure I’ll like it, even if I haven’t tried it before…

5. Last thing you made with your hands? (Besides the books you’ve written of course!)
A birthday card for my mom.

6. Biggest risk you’ve taken this year?
I can’t say too much about it yet, only that it involves a new genre of writing…(Stay tuned!)

Where to find Holly:
Thanks so much to Holly for the amazing interview! If you haven't yet, check out the Things Liz Loves review of PLAYING HURT and pick up both of Holly's books from the TLL Amazon store using the links below!

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?

Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura’s dad left them. Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.

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