The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY!

What is the elevator pitch of your newest book?
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of a young girl who finds her “shine,” one recycled sculpture at a time.
The longer synopsis:
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.
Do you eat or listen to music while writing?
I’m never without coffee as I write.  I ALWAYS have a cup nearby—on my desk or reheating in the microwave. 
If I’m running through a final draft or doing something nitpicky like copyediting, I do much better with relative silence—I like to get in my office, away from any distracting noises.  But if I’m drafting, I like to sit on the couch in the midst of household comings and goings, or even in front of the TV.  (Favorite shows to write to are the news, a movie (I’m a serious old movie buff), or even classic TV shows I loved as a girl.  Something about chatter can fuel me as I draft.
Music’s tougher.  I’m getting better about listening to music while I work.  I’m a music junkie, though—I can often get so wrapped up in what I’m listening to, it can be a real distraction.  Sometimes, if I’m not careful, I can even start typing lyrics!
What is your favorite food?
Donuts.  Love me some jellies.  And Mexican food.
Do you have pets?
I’ve always had pets.  Growing up, I had two cats and a Maltese I loved desperately.  Right now, I’ve got a completely spoiled Pekingese, Jake.  He’s also always nearby when I’m writing—either at my feet while I’m in my office or next to me on the couch, snoring while I type away.
What’s your favorite season?
I used to really love summer.  But the past few years, our summers here in Missouri have been full of 110-degree days.  That’s just too much!  I’d have to say that I’m a spring girl…tulips are my favorite flower, and I’ve always loved hats—bring on the Easter bonnets!  (If only we wore fascinators in the States…)
What was the book that turned you into a reader?
THE PAIN AND THE GREAT ONE by Judy Blume.  I’m a child of the ‘80s, so I grew up on Blume’s books—I started out with picture books like THE PAIN and graduated to chapter books, then teen novels.  THE PAIN just seemed so perfect when I first read it—I have a brother who’s a year younger than me, and it was the first time in my life when I absolutely identified with a book; the first time I felt as though a book was telling my story.  Once you have that feeling—like somebody else gets it—you’re hooked for the rest of your life…
Are you a night owl or early bird?
I don’t really like to work at night.  I prefer to get up and get to it.  I like to give full attention to my writing.  If I wait until late in the day, I’m not as fresh, and I’m usually thinking about things that happened earlier that day.  Those thoughts kind of compete with my words…
What do you never leave home without?
My dog.  My Kindle.  Something to write bursts of ideas on. 
What piece of advice would you give aspiring writers?
NEVER GIVE UP.  Never, never, never, never.  Not on your first deal, not on a book.  I’ve never had a book that was published quickly or easily.  Though I published short fiction, poetry, and literary critique early on, it took seven and half years of full-time effort to land my first book deal.  THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY actually started out as a picture book back in ’05.  But editors all thought the concept of folk art was too advanced for picture book readers.  So I reinvented it as a middle grade novel.  There’s never a dead-end with a project.  I honestly believe that.
What are your writing goals for 2014?
I’ve got a ton of work to get done.  I have seven books (that are either outlined or drafted) to whip into shape.  I’ll also be making some announcements regarding my next YA, FERAL, which will release with HarperCollins soon!  Keep up with the latest by following along at my author blog:  You can also find the latest at my author site:  

"...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
Twitter: @holly_schindler
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.

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Shari Green said…
Loved the interview! It's always fun to get a peek into another writer's journey. And thanks for the encouraging, never-give-up words, Holly! :)

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