March 17th, 2009

Shadowed Summer

Today on the debut author blog tour I have the pleasure of interviewing Saundra Mitchell, author of Shadowed Summer.


About Shadowed Summer

Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisiana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared. His mother knew he ascended to heaven, the police believed he ran away, and his girlfriend thought he was murdered.

Decades later, certain she saw his ghost in the town cemetery, fourteen-year-old Iris Rhame is determined to find out the truth behind "The Incident With the Landry Boy."

Enlisting the help of her best friend Collette, and forced to endure the company of Collette's latest crush, Ben, Iris spends a summer digging into the past and stirring old ghosts, in search of a boy she never knew.

What she doesn't realize is that in a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret.

About Saundra Mitchell

A screenwriter and author, Saundra Mitchell penned the screenplays for the Fresh Films and Girls in the Director's Chair short film series. Her short story "Ready to Wear" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her first feature film, Revenge Ends, debuted on the festival circuit in 2008. In her free time, she enjoys ghost hunting, papermaking, and spending time with her husband and her two children.

Me: Welcome, Saundra! Congratulations on your debut!  Thanks for coming to my interview.  First question:
What competes for your time and how do you manage to give writing the appropriate amount of time it requires?

Saundra: I don't manage my time; I neglect the right things at the right time. My family understands that when I'm writing, they need to do their own laundry or live with the consequences. But I have to remind myself when I'm not writing, I need to be playing with my family instead of the book! 

Me: What a great compromise.  What is your writing routine? Do you outline or write as you go? Do you fully sketch and develop your main character initially, or get to know him/her as you write?

Saundra: Characters show up first, and then I write as I go. They're usually pretty vocal if I'm screwing them up, so I don't worry too much about where the story is heading. 

Me: You have two children and vocal characters, too! must be loud around your house.  What do you particularly love about the setting you portray in your book?

Saundra: The sweltering heat of it. Admittedly, that kind of sucked when my editor and I were trying to edit all that heat in the dead of summer, but it makes it a pleasure to read over now in the heart of winter!

Me: What actor or actress do you imagine playing your main character in a movie or T.V. version of your book?

Saundra: Emily Osment from Hannah Montana. I think she's ready for a serious role, don't you?

Me: That's the first request from Hannah Montana I've heard!  Thanks for stopping in to chat!

Author Web site:,