Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guest Post with Holly Schindler

After obtaining her M.A. in English in 2001, Holly Schindler decided to nix the idea of a full-time job in order to pursue a writing career (her lifelong dream). After wearing out half a dozen or so keyboards drafting too many manuscripts to count, she was thrilled to sell her debut YA novel to Flux! A Blue So Dark released May 1, 2010. A second YA, a romance titled Playing Hurt, is out now!

A big thanks to Holly for taking the time to write a guest post about the topic of bookstores going out of business/closing. It's a topic that's important to me, because I'm pretty attached to my local indie bookstore. On to her post...


When I was little, we had this fantastic little bookstore in my hometown—the place had these giant, heavy doors with lions on them—kind of library-style—and tall shelves, and ladders, and it was just as cozy as a house inside.

I didn’t know it at the time, but it was an indie bookstore. The kind of place that’s becoming extinct.

My own hometown of Springfield, MO doesn’t have a single indie store anymore. Recently, my favorite used store shut down. The Borders Express in the mall’s gone, and our larger Borders (which hosted my first author signing) is also in the process of shutting its doors.

As an author, you’d think I’d HATE the closing of bookstores—100%. In all stark honesty, I’m divided about how I feel about it. I’m 50% sad, and 50% optimistic.

Yep—that’s right. Optimistic.

Of co

urse I’m saddened by the fact that the art of bookstore browsing is dying. There’s nothing quite like the experience I’d once had at my indie bookstore, easing my way up and down aisles, pulling spines off shelves, holding books in my hand, sifting through them, sampling passages, discovering new voices.

But the bottom line is, I know that while bookstore browsing is becoming something of a past-tense, sheer browsing is not. Now, it’s something done online—with the help of online retailers and boo

k bloggers.

As a reader, where have my book recommendations come from? Bloggers. They’ve helped my own books get into the hands of readers who loved them, and have also helped me find new authors I adore. I even occasionally ask, via Twitter, for bloggers to send recommendations my way.

Thing is, bloggers are librarians, they’re literary students, they’re writers trying desperately to break into the publishing world. Bloggers know their stuff. And when they find something they like, they will do ANYTHING they can to promote it—for the love of literature. Out of the desire to have an impact on the literary landscape.

That’s an incredible thing—and why I adore book bloggers so, so much…


Holly's Books:

Playing Hurt

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?

A Blue So Dark

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.


Tales of Whimsy said...

Great post!

Jenny N. said...

So true, quite a few books I probably wouldnt have picked up if it wasn't for blogger recommendations or reviews.

Darlene said...

Great post! I think it's sad that all the smaller bookstores are closing. We used to have a few in my city but mostly now it's the bigger chains. I miss that small, cozy atmosphere of the smaller one I used to go to. And of course I have to agree that book bloggers are the best!

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