Today I would love to introduce you all to FERAL by Holly Schindler! FERAL was released back in August, but Holly is holding an awesome tour that is a little different than your usual blog tour. Instead of doing interviews, Holly has decided to answer one question in depth for each person on the tour. I was lucky enough to be a part of this tour, which means Holly has answered my question specifically for my blog (which I am crazy happy about!) So please, welcome Holly and check out FERAL!
When you write, do you get sidetracked and visit other sites? If so, what sites do you visit and why?
Of course! There’s only so much staring you can do at your own words before they start to exhaust you. Every once in a while, I do need to take a break. When I find my words tapering off, I usually head to Twitter. There’s always a conversation going on there that I can jump into—I always love to hear about what people are reading, or learning what my favorite writers are up to. I’m a serious fan of the written word, and I love hearing about sales and releases, too (sometimes, I can wind up adding several new books on my Kindle while I’m at Twitter).
If one of my own books has just released, I often check in at Goodreads. I do read my reviews—I look for patterns in reviews, and that offers me insights into larger publishing issues. (My reviews don’t just illuminate subjects regarding a specific book, but about the process of writing in general: plot, pacing, character development, etc.)
For example: my second YA, PLAYING HURT, is a love story. Two former athletes meet and fall in love during the course of a summer vacation—they’ve both endured tragedy, and have lost their ability to play sports, but through the course of their short-lived and intense love affair, they realize all is definitely not lost. One of the main characters—Chelsea—has a boyfriend back home, though. Some readers took exception to the “cheating” plot point. I realize now what they were saying was that they need to be able to cheer for a main character. And when the character does something they can’t get behind, their own enjoyment of the book diminishes (or disappears). Fascinating stuff.
I also read headlines—whatever pops up. I read articles on the publishing industry, but also read general news articles as well. As I’m reading, one story can lead to another—when I’ve drifted from links leading to current-events articles (the economy, world news, the events in nearby Ferguson, Missouri) to a link that leads to pictures of George Clooney’s vacation, I take that as my signal that it’s officially time to get back to work.
The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.
It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.
But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.
But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley…
Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
Feral and the Psychological Thriller:
FERAL falls squarely into the realm of the classic psychological thriller. While the book features mystery, horror, and paranormal elements, the emphasis is on the “psychological” rather than thriller / action. The novel features a Hitchcockian pace and focus on character development (here, we’re exploring the inner workings of the main character, Claire Cain). Essentially, every aspect of FERAL is used to explore Claire’s inner workings—that even includes the wintry Ozarks setting. The water metaphor is employed frequently in psychological thrillers to represent the subconscious, and here is incorporated in the form of a brutal ice storm (that represents Claire’s “frozen” inner state). The attempt to untangle what is real from what is unreal (another frequently-used aspect of the psychological thriller) also begins to highlight the extent to which Claire was hurt in that Chicago alley. Even the explanation of the odd occurrences in the town of Peculiar offers an exploration into and portrait of Claire’s psyche. Ultimately, FERAL is a book about recovering from violence—that’s not just a lengthy or hard process; it’s a terrifying process, too. The classic psychological thriller allowed me to explore that frightening process in detail.
About the Author:
Holly Schindler is the author of the critically acclaimed A BLUE SO DARK (Booklist starred review, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year silver medal recipient, IPPY Awards gold medal recipient) as well as PLAYING HURT (both YAs).
Her debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, also released in ’14, and became a favorite of teachers and librarians, who used the book as a read-aloud. Kirkus Reviews called THE JUNCTION “…a heartwarming and uplifting story…[that] shines…with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve.”
FERAL is Schindler’s third YA and first psychological thriller. Publishers Weekly gave FERAL a starred review, stating, “Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A BLUE SO DARK…This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking…This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.”
Check out the giveaway for a signed hardcopy of FERAL. Enter here —> a Rafflecopter giveaway