Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Magical Realism & Breathing Life into Settings--Guest Post by Holly Schindler

Once more I am thrilled to host Holly Schindler on my blog. Holly is the fearless leader of YA Outside the Lines, the author of multiple books for young adults, and my lovely, long time writer friend.--Jody

And here's Holly:

My work has run the gamut in terms of age categories and genres: I’ve tackled YAs, MGs, adult fiction, contemporary realism, romance, psychological thrillers, humor…and in ’16, two of my releases delve into magical realism.

One thing both of my magical realism releases have in common is that the “magical” elements of both allow the settings to literally come to life.

Actually, I’ve long been a fan of works that depict settings with such detail and vibrancy that the setting itself feels like a main character (think: Elin Hilderbrand’s BLUE BISTRO—a story that made me mourn for the loss of a restaurant the same way I would mourn for the tragic end to a character I’d grown to know and love), but the magical realism element allows me to take this to an entirely new level:

SPARK, my fourth YA (HarperTeen), focuses on the dilapidated Avery Theater—the site of a ‘40s-era tragedy. In order to depict the revival of the old theater, I depicted it as a living, breathing entity. When the MC, Quin, and her two friends come to the Avery, the theater comes back to life; its heart begins to beat again: 


My independently-released FOREVER FINLEY is using magical realism in order to bring the small town of Finley to life. In my indie work, I wanted to experiment with formats that most publishers don’t often explore—specifically, this time around, I really wanted to get back to shorter fiction (a format I love but hadn’t written in much since my days as a master’s student). “Come December” was initially going to be a stand-alone short story. But I was so surprised by the response (I moved 19K copies during the holiday season) that I wanted to propel the story forward.

FOREVER FINLEY is a short story cycle, meaning each story is a stand-alone and can be read in any order; on their own, each story creates one picture of the town of Finley—when read together, they create another. People find themselves drawn to Finley for reasons they can’t explain; meanwhile, legends regarding the Hargroves, Finley’s founding family, swirl through the town. I don’t want to give too much away, because the tale is still ongoing! Once a month, I release a new short story—each titled for the month of its release. And I’ve got a big finale planned for this December!


Holly Schindler Bio: I’m a hybrid author of critically concession acclaimed traditionally published and Amazon bestselling independently published works for readers of all ages. My previous YAs (A BLUE SO DARK, PLAYING HURT, and FERAL) have received starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, won silver and gold medals from ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year and the IPPY Awards, respectively, been featured on Booklist’s First Novels for Youth, School Library Journal’s “What’s Hot in YA,” and been selected as a PW Pick. Kirkus praised by latest YA, SPARK, for “crisp prose [that] flows easily between the past and present,” and Booklist claimed the novel casts “a shimmering spell.”

Readers can get in touch at
Twitter @Holly_Schindler

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