Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Playing Hurt Blog Tour

YA Book Nuts is proud to be a part of Holly Schindler's Playing Hurt Blog Tour.  Holly is the author of both Playing Hurt and A Blue So Dark.  We really appreciated being able to interview Holly and ask her questions about her books and what she has planned.  We had a lot of fun thinking about what we wanted to ask her and she has been incredibly kind, compassionate, and helpful.  Thanks Holly for writing such amazing books and just being YOU!

Holly Schindler Interview

1.  What inspired you to write a story about two damaged people finding each other?

Actually, my initial inspiration was to write a story about learning the difference between loving someone (how Chelsea feels for Gabe) and truly being IN love with someone (how she feels for Clint).  The sports subplot came about roughly five years later, during the final rewrite—when I realized what was missing for both Chelsea AND Clint: backstory!

2.  The basketball scenes were amazing and we were surprised to learn (from the back of the book) that you were not a basketball player... so how did you write such realistic scenes?

What an incredible compliment!  Of all the team sports, I’d say I probably know the most about basketball…I played some driveway basketball (pitifully), and remember fondly when the Lady Bears went to the Final Four when I was in college…

3.  What did you think about how Chelsea treated Gabe?  Were there ever times when you felt a little bad for Gabe?

I really do believe that if the tables were turned, and Clint had come to Chelsea’s neck of the woods—say, decided to go to college inMissouriChelsea would have broken things off with Gabe before getting involved with Clint.  But she’s on vacation—she’s never going to break up with someone long distance in order to explore a relationship with Clint.  That’s just not realistic.  And I think she truly had to explore the relationship with Clint, rather than ignore her feelings.  In many ways, that relationship is the most meaningful of her life: she learns what passion is, finds new direction, rediscovers the light in her life.  But I do believe we all get our own Clint—what I mean, is I think Gabe will also have a woman in his life who affects him the way Clint affects Chelsea.

4.  For someone's first time, Chelsea seemed to handle it a lot better than some girls might.  Is there a reason that you write it this way?

If it’s right, it’s right—and that takes the fear, worry, etc. out of the situation.  She doesn’t handle the Carlyle quite as well.  She’s reduced to tears during that scene, actually.  Because being with Gabe isn’t right—and she knows it.

5.  Is the boot camp from your story based on an actual place?

It’s not, actually—completely made up.

6.  Your first book, A BLUE SO DARK,  was significantly different from this book, and we were wondering which book was harder for you to write?

BLUE just poured out—I drafted, edited and began to submit it in just two months!  PLAYING HURT took longer to draft (in all honestly, I drafted it before BLUE), but I don’t really look back on one as being easier than the other.  Both required several rounds of global rewrites before they sold.

7.  What are you currently working on and do you have something coming out soon?

My debut MG will be released by Dial in 2012.  And as for new material, I’m working on an adult novel…I have three more books outlined (and new ideas pop all the time)…

8.  Is the town you live in similar to the towns in the story?

I live in Springfield, the setting for A BLUE SO DARK.  I did take plenty of liberties with that setting—Crestview High and Zellers Photography are figments of my imagination, for example.  Fair Grove (Chelsea’s hometown in PLAYING HURT) is a short drive from Springfield—similar liberties were taken with that setting…

I did film a short virtual tour, though, of the places that show up in my books:

[Here’s the link to the YouTube page: http://youtu.be/KVrpSJr9T_M

9.  With all of the paranormal stories out there, have you ever considered writing in that genre or do you prefer the genre of realistic fiction?

I’ve already genre-hopped a tad in my books: BLUE is a literary novel, PLAYING HURT is a romance.  I’d never count out any genre, where I’m concerned!

10.  What authors and/or books do you recommend to teenagers?

There are SOOO many great authors out there…Bloggers are fantastic about always trying to seek out new authors…And that’s really the best thing I can recommend: The next time you hit a bookstore or library, you should intentionally pick up a book by an author you’ve NEVER read before, to discover a brand new voice!

11.  Will we see more in the Chelsea and Clint story?

I’d love to hang out with Chelsea and Clint again!  Right now, there’s nothing on the table, in terms of a deal for a sequel.

12.  How do you figure out what your characters are going to be named?

The names have all come to me in different ways.  After a while, you find yourself going out to pick up a burger and think, while you’re standing in line, “That guy looks like a Matt.”  It’s funny how name-picking just becomes an innate part of a writer…

13.  Which character from the book do you most identify with and why?

It’s funny—when you write in first person, you wind up identifying, to some extent, with all of your protagonists.  I think every time you use the word “I,” bits of yourself—your observations, your humor—just naturally leak through.

Thanks to Holly Schindler for allowing us to be a part of her book tour.  You can follow Holly on Twitter: @holly_schindler.  Holly also blogs with other fellow YA authors at YA Outside the Lines:  http://yaoutsidethelines.blogspot.com/ and has just started a group blog for middle grade authors at Smack Dab in the Middle:  http://smack-dab-in-the-middle.blogspot.com/.

She will also be doing a USTREAM chat with ReachOut on May 18th, 5 pm PST.  Here's the link if you would like to check it out:  http://us.reachout.com/reachoutreads.

Review: Playing Hurt

Title:  Playing Hurt
Author:  Holly Schindler

     From GoodReads, "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?"

     Chelsea, one of the main characters of this story, is not your typical high school female character.  She is not a cheerleader or boy-crazy. She isn't student council president or a slacker.  She is flawed.  She was once the star player of her high school basketball team when an unfortunate accident changed her basketball career and her life.  There are a lot of things that I like about this book including the way that Holly Schindler writes so realistically that you actually believe that she probably did most of the things that she is describing, later to find out that she didn't.  But my favorite thing about this book is that the two main characters, Chelsea and Clint are written as flawed characters.  There lives are far from perfect and I believe because of this many readers will be able to identify with them in some way.
     I also really like that Holly Schindler explores the difference between having love for a person and being in love.  The differences between the relationships that Chelsea has with Gabe, her boyfriend back home and Clint, her trainer at summer camp are significant and remarkable.  It was easy to see how Chelsea could be drawn to both boys in very different ways.  I found myself really feeling bad for Gabe because he is such a nice guy, but being drawn to Clint's ruggedness and sensitivity... much the same as Chelsea.  The chemistry between Clint and Chelsea was undeniable and many of the scenes between them were hot, hot, hot!

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