Wednesday, February 12, 2014

BLOG TOUR: The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler


ABOUT THE BOOK

“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.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

In all honesty, the US.  I’d absolutely love to do a kind of TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY—just get in the car and drive across the country, really get a chance to see the entirety of it close up.  (Of course, in my case, it’d have to be referred to as TRAVELS WITH JAKE, the name of my own pup.)  I bet I’d get ideas for a good dozen books or so.

What do you enjoy the most / least about middle grade and / or YA fiction.
What I like most about both of them is that we’re dealing with characters who are completely new to their situations. They’re all dealing with tough decisions and experiences—just like adults do—but they’ve never had to figure out how to maneuver through them before. In both genres, we’re dealing with characters who are really kind of entering the world on their own for the first time, and that in itself makes it an exciting genre to write for.

The tough part about both is that you have to remember you might actually be introducing adult concepts to your readership through your work—especially MG readers. (In THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, we deal with the definition of “art,” even eminent domain, which are pretty advanced issues…) It’s tricky, because you have to introduce those concepts to them in a setting or through situations that are most like their own world. There are times, as an author, that you find yourself wanting to complicate matters for your MG characters; you keep thinking of new ways to amp up the tension in your plot—but you have to remind yourself that’s unnecessary for young readers. The new concept itself can be tension.

What’s your writing process?  Do you have a special place you like to read / write?

I’m a full-time author, so I have the luxury of devoting eight (or more!) hours a day to my work. First drafts are my least favorite part of the process, so I try to get through those as quickly as possible, throwing down an average of 5,000 words a day. Revision is my favorite part—most of my published books have been revised globally at least ten times. I have an office full of funky writing-related collectibles where I do quite a bit of work (it’s fantastic when I’m under a hard deadline and need to concentrate with no outside distractions), but I also love to write on the couch next to my dog, or on the back porch (weather permitting).

What do you like to read?

My reading tastes are all over the place. Poetry, fiction, classics, contemporaries, juvenile work, adult, romances, fantasies…I was a lit major in college, so I think that really helped me to appreciate a wide array of writing styles and genres.

Actually, when I read, I try to find each author’s single best attribute. The skill that shines brighter than any other—and every author has at least one quality to admire: realistic dialogue, action, description, humor, etc. No matter what the genre is, I try to learn something about writing from every book I read.

ADDITIONAL INFO/LINKS + GIVEAWAY 

Reviews:

"...a heartwarming and uplifting story...[that] shines...with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve." – Kirkus Reviews

"Axioms like 'One man's trash is another man's treasure' and 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' come gracefully to life in Schindler's tale about the value of hard work and the power of community…Auggie's enthusiasm and unbridled creativity are infectious, and likeminded readers will envy her creative partnership with [her grandfather] Gus." – Publishers Weekly

Links:


Site for young readers: Holly Schindler’s Middles -  

I’m especially excited about this site. I adored getting to interact with the YA readership online—usually through Twitter or FB. But I had to create a site where I could interact with the MG readership. I’m devoting a page on the site to reviews from young readers themselves! Be sure to send your young reader’s review through the Contact Me page.

Group Author Blogs: YA Outside the Lines for YA authors and Smack Dab in the Middle for MG authors.

REVIEW

There's an old saying that one man's junk is another man's treasure. That is definitely true in this story about Auggie, a fifth-grader, who desperately wants to find something about herself that's 'special.' With a grandfather who salvages and sells old junk it's natural then for Auggie to see that junk differently than most people.  When her beloved neighborhood is threatened with destruction, she's determined to prove it's value. A thoughtful and profound look at the power of perspective and finding beauty in even the most challenging of circumstances. Recommended.

BOOK TRAILER




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