Sunday, March 25, 2018

FIRST ACT OF WRITERLY KINDNESS (HOLLY SCHINDLER)

It was 2009, and I had just sold my first book. (!!!!) And my publisher wanted me to get blurbs. (Gulp.)

I had no real connections in the writing world. A few acquaintances maybe. And now I needed a blurb?

I took the plunge, contacting a few of my favorite YA authors, those who wrote contemporary, realistic stories (the genre of A BLUE SO DARK). I got all the fair warnings. Writers are busy, after all. Each one I contacted said they might not have the time to read. Or they might read and decide not to blurb.

But all I could ask for was a shot. So I printed out manuscripts (I didn't have ARCs to share), and I gave each of them a good-luck squeeze before shipping them off.

And I crossed my fingers. As long as I got one, I thought. Just one. A couple of nice words. Maybe. Hopefully.

This is what came in:

"Raw, compelling and eloquent...Schindler's voice is brilliant and true." --Carrie Jones

"A Blue So Dark is one of those rare books: It never shies away from the darkness yet still manages to find the light. A truly real, emotional, and honest read." --Catherine Ryan Hyde

"Schindler's lyrical debut explores the nightmare of mental illness in a voice that is sharp and funny and all her own. This is as real as teen fiction gets. A must-read." --Crissa-Jean Chappell

To me, those those blurbs meant the world. It was my first book, after all. The first time around, every experience is magnified.

Anytime I'm faced with the opportunity to extend a bit of writerly kindness, I think of those first few blurbs. I remember how much they meant to me. And even though I've been publishing now for (double gulp) nearly ten years, those first-time-around memories keep me from feeling like those opportunities are in any way just business as usual.


2 comments:

  1. Love this post Holly. The old adage...nothing ventures, nothing gai8ned...applies. If you ask and get a no, what have you lost? Nothing really. And when you get that unexpected YES, so sweet. After sharing the fact that my grandmother met TR at a reception at the WH in 1908, I asked Kermit Roosevelt, the GG grandson of TR, If he would read and provide a blurb for WHEELS OF CHANGE: He graciously did: "A moving and quietly beautiful story whose simple surface hides deep lessons". I also met him in person to give him a signed copy of the book. Kindness among authors resonates beyond one act.

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