rgz

readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Story Secrets: A BLUE SO DARK by Holly Schindler + Giveaway!

How happy I am to be able to introduce you to my friend and fellow "2K10 Debut Holly," Holly Schindler!

Holly's debut novel, A BLUE SO DARK, releases on May 1st and just garnered a *starred review* from Booklist. Hooray, Holly! So I invited her to visit us to spill some of her story secrets (and A BLUE SO DARK has many of them)...

Welcome, Holly!

*****

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.

And here is Holly's story behind the story:

…I decided to devote myself full-time to my writing as soon as I got my master’s degree back in the spring of ’01. By the winter of ’06, I’d already endured almost (yikes!) five solid unpublished years…To pay my pesky bills, I taught piano and guitar lessons and offered English tutorials out of my home—which turned out to be fabulous YA author training!

Maybe some instructors get annoyed by their students’ interruptions, but my absolute FAVORITE parts of the lessons were the times my students would just TALK to me…tell me funny stories about their days, or blow off steam about a teacher, or let me in on something hurtful that had happened with one of their friends. And it hit me how similar they were to the kids I’d gone to school with. Sure, the cut of the jeans are different now, kids might listen to iPods instead of Walkmans, but so many of our experiences are the same…

Read the rest and enter to win here!

10 comments:

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Oh, I wish Holly the best! I read her manuscript before it went to print, and it's beautiful. Brava!

Christine Fonseca said...

What a great storyline! I can't wait to read it!!!

Milli said...

SOunds great!

mewalker1999 said...

Creativity and madness--love it!

Little Willow said...

Hey hey Holly!

grace crawford said...

I've heard about this book & wanted to read it - but after reading your reviews, you have definitely convinced me! Thank you.
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Marlene Detierro said...

Though there are many heavy aspects of this novel, there were lighter, brighter parts as well, like Aura's crush on a cute skater boy. This was a huge part of the novel, as expected, her mother's illness occupied much of Aura's time and energy, but I was grateful for the romantic reprieves.


Marlene
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