Sunday, February 16, 2014

Author Interview: Holly Schindler (Author of The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky) + Giveaway

Guys, I am so excited to be welcoming Holly Schindler, author of The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky, to the blog and to be part of her blog tour for her debut middle grade book.

About the author:
I can’t remember the last time I left the house without a spiral notebook or some pages folded up in a back pocket. And I don’t think I’ve ever returned without fresh ideas, titles, opening lines, or poetry fragments climbing every one of those pages, racing up the margins, crisscrossing in as many different directions as the highways and interstates on a road map of Missouri (my home state).

I’ve spent my life making those notes in the margins—even as a little girl, my favorite activity was to write books bound by strips of red ribbon…and to scrawl comments next to my paragraphs like the most critical of editors. Lessons learned from this childhood pastime served me well, especially in college—I received a BA and MA in English, and while I was a student, I wrote piles of poetry, literary critique, short fiction, and even attempted my first novel. (read more about the author here)

You can haunt Holly Schindler at-
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Blog | FB |


1. Could you tell us a little about THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY’s main character, Auggie, and her story?

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.

Auggie Jones lives with her grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town.  So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.”  But Auggie is determined to prove that there’s more to her—and to her house—than meets the eye.
What starts out as a home renovation project quickly becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time.
Holly Schindler’s feel-good story about the power one voice can have will inspire readers to speak from their hearts.

2. Since Auggie is your first middle grade character, what is it you enjoyed most about writing about her? Why do you think readers will enjoy reading her story?

Auggie may very well be my favorite character of all time!  Her sweetness and positive attitude are addictive.  She’s also got an incredibly poetic view of the world.  That view allows her to sprinkle metaphors and similes throughout her narration.  Auggie’s voice is actually my favorite part of the novel:


3. What was the biggest difference for you between writing YA and MG?

To some extent, it’s similar.  Both hinge on knowing your main character inside and out…

But the main character in an MG has different abilities, different resources, and a different thought process as he or she attempts to get out of their sticky situation.  Even moving around through town is different for an MG character (teens can drive, but MG characters have their bikes—I’m not even quite sure it’s really all that believable to put an MG character on public transportation all alone anymore, at least not on a regular basis). 

While MG characters can come to grips with serious issues (in THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, we tackle poverty, eminent domain, and the definition of “art” and “beautiful”), they have to approach and deal with that issue in their own world.

4. Holly, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY is your debut middle grade novel. Could you tell us why you decided / wanted to write something for a younger crowd?

When I got out of grad school, I dove headfirst into my pursuit of publication.  While I didn’t have to have a full-time job (thanks to family support), I did teach music lessons out of my house, in order to pay my bills.  Teaching music lessons gave me an insider’s view into just how similar today’s kids are to the kids I knew when I was in junior high and high school.  When I started teaching lessons, I was only writing adult work; those kids and teens were so familiar, though, I decided to try my hand at YA and MG!  (I actually tried my hand at MG at the same time I tried my hand at YA; as I learned to write for the juvenile market, I was learning at both the MG and YA levels.)

5. Last book you read that you thought everyone should read and why?

I’m the administrator of a couple of group author blogs: YA Outside the Lines ( for YA authors and Smack Dab in the Middle ( for MG authors.  What I love about those sites is the wide array of different authors and books; there’s just so much great work out there!  You can’t go wrong with any of those authors.

6. What is one thing you never leave home without?

Usually my dog, Jake.  (If he can’t go, I don’t go.  My idea of eating out is now grabbing takeout and heading to the park.)  I also usually have my Kindle with me, and something to write burst of new ideas on.

7. Let’s have a little fun with readers and see who can deduce the facts from fiction. Two truths and one lie about yourself? Readers—see if you can spot the lie.

1.      I’m a total music fanatic; one of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils taught me to play guitar.
2.      I did some work as a model when I was younger—my favorite gigs were floral shows (I modeled bouquets instead of different outfits).
3.      While I love fiction, I also write nonfiction as well; I have also written regularly for my local paper, THE SPRINGFIELD NEWS-LEADER.

8. The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine / hero can possible save the day, who do you choose?

It seems it would take a machine to conquer other machines, save the weaker humans…maybe HAL from Clarke’s SPACE ODESSY series.

9. Care to tell us about your writing cave (include pictures if you want)?

My brother’s an antiques dealer, and I go with him on buying trips…So my office is just brimming with quirky little items and tchotchkes. 

10. Any upcoming projects that you can share with us?

FERAL is set to be my next YA; it’ll release with HarperCollins later this year!  I’m going to be setting up a fun blog tour for that book as well.  Check in on my website: for the latest, and contact me directly to be part of the tour: writehollyschindler (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Holly, thank you so much for stopping by and telling us about Auggie and her story in The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky.
  Readers' did y'all spot the lie in Holly's answer to question 7. Let me know which one y'all think is the lie in the comments.

Don't forget, y'all there's a giveaway at the end of the post; also be sure to visit the next stop on the tour tomorrow on:

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler, February 6, 2014. Published by Dial.
August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” Auggie is determined to prove that she is not as run-down as the outside of her house might suggest. Using the kind of items Gus usually hauls to the scrap heap, a broken toaster becomes a flower; church windows turn into a rainbow walkway; and an old car gets new life as spinning whirligigs. What starts out as a home renovation project becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time. Auggie’s talent for creating found art will remind readers that one girl’s trash really is another girl’s treasure.

You can buy The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky at Amazon and add it to your Goodreads shelf.

Enter to win a signed bookplate and bookmark. There will be two winners.
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