Friday in the Fort with Saundra Mitchell

Y'all know I love Saundra. When she gave me her answers to The Fort questions back in FEBRUARY, and I knew I had to SIT on them for all these months, I was SO frustrated. Because they are FUNNY. Saundra has lots of lovely things to say about life as well, and she's also a wealth of information when it comes to marketing for authors. Visit her blog here for examples.

I adored SHADOWED SUMMER, a distinctly Southern ghost story with atmosphere the reader can taste. TASTE. Iris is a worthy heroine with depth and pluck. You can pick it up in paperback now, or if you're a blog follower you can comment below to win a signed copy and bookmarks/stickers from Saundra!

About Saundra:
Saundra Mitchell is a longtime screenwriter and author. "Shadowed Summer"- an Edgar Nominee in 2010 for best YA- debuted with Random House's Delacorte Press on February 10th, 2009. In spring 2011, Houghton/Harcourt will publish her next novel for teens, "The Vespertine." She is the Head Writer and an Executive Producer for the Fresh Films short film series, and the instructor for an emerging screenwriters program, Fresh Writers.

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.

Favorite comfort food?
Fried chicken and mashed potatoes. My grandmother took her fried chicken secrets to the grave, so my mom, my aunt and I spend a lot of time making fried chicken, trying desperately to figure out her secrets. I'm starting to think Grandma had a deal with the devil or something because seriously, no fried chicken compares.

Favorite game?
In general, my games trend toward, "How many times can I check my e-mail in ten minutes?" Or, "Let's check to make sure the phone line is working in case someone wants to call." But sometimes I do like to play World of Warcraft, and if forced to, during a technology intervention, I love a good game of Euchre. Which, apparently, no one plays outside of my home state of Indiana. It's an insidious plot to keep me from moving.

Fleece, flannel, chenille or Snuggie?
Toss up between fleece and flannel. I couldn't pull off chenille if I tried. Especially flannel if it's green and blue plaid. I love that combo. *pets the handsome flannel*

If Snuggie, what color?
Fail. Fail-colored Snuggie!

Fluffy socks or slippers?
It has to be socks, because I don't have feet, I have battleships. My uncle used to bring me shoeboxes for my feet at Christmas as a gag gift. I buried him under the porch, but let's keep that between us.

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
Decaf coffee. And I don't want anything in it. I don't want flavors- I want coffee-flavored coffee with coffee and coffee. No cream, no sugar, no whip, no frappe, no half-gainer, nothing. I just want a cup of coffee. Decaf.

Ghost story or Truth or Dare?
Ghost story, no doubt. But I have to have an accomplice. Most of the ghost stories I know require some staging, and without the accomplice, they're just not the same.

Truth? Or dare?
I think I've gotten to a point in my life where I'd just as soon be embarrassed as inconvenienced, so truth.

What singer/musician/band is a must have for The Fort soundtrack?
Oooh, that's hard, I love so many. Melissa Etheridge and lostprophets. Ha, I picked two! Sorry!

What movie would you bring to watch?
Labyrinth. There's never a wrong time for David Bowie in tights and Jennifer Connelly in the MOST! AMAZING! FANTASY! DRESS! EVER!

Who's the ideal male mascot (wow that sounds sexist) for the fort and why?
Yes, well, since you're being sexist, I'm going to ignore you and choose Jane Lynch. Because she's awesome, and I defy you to find a boy who kicks more butt than Jane Lynch. THERE ARE NONE, I ASSURE YOU.

Marshmallows, lightly toasted or burned to a crisp?
The only proper way to have roasted marshmallows is to set them on fire, let them burn a bit, then blow them out when the entire outside is charcoal. THEN, carefully, you slide the burned skin off the now partially melted marshmallow, eat that, and ROAST THE REST OF THE MALLOW AGAIN. This is the light, the truth, and the way. Amen.

Awake all night or first one to sleep?
Awake all night. My insomnia brings all the hallucinations to the yard, that's right, they're unrealler than yours... ooh, not sure that's a word. Russian judge deducts 1.5 points.

If awake all night, practical joke or no (and what kind)?
No, because I get anxious about that kind of thing. I do, I think about the possible reactions, and how someone might be ruined by a hand in cold water or whatnot, and before long, I'm ashamed of myself for something I didn't even do. Thoughtcrime 2010- I'll just be over here pre-punishing myself.

If you could have any YA author visit the fort and tell stories, who would it be and what story would you ask them to tell?
Oh, I'd invite Sarah Rees Brennan. Though I have many lovely and amazing YA author crushes, Sarah Rees Brennan is the only one who would invent entirely new circumstances for the universe, and insist they're true. Then she'd buy me a bodhran player for my birthday. That's just the kind of gal she is.

Thank you muchly for visiting The Fort!!
Thank you muchly for having me!

Don't forget to follow the blog and comment below to win a signed copy of SHADOWED SUMMER, now out in paperback!


  1. And for the record, the coffee-rant is courtesy of Denis Leary.


    (Warning, language. But seriously. COFFEE FLAVORED COFFEE PLEASE!)

  2. Great interview guys! And man, check my email is my fav game too!

  3. so awesome!! i can't wait to get my hands on a copy of her book :D

    she's adorable!

  4. Sandra is so funny. I have sat her for the last couple mins laughing at that interview so hard I think I might get fired in a bit lol. Btw I love Jane Lynch as well :)

  5. Fun interview! :) this is so nice to read! And I've heard wonderful things about her book. I'd love to be entered to win a copy.

  6. Lost Prophets is an awesome band. Love them!

  7. LOVED the interview!! My grandma took her secret fried chicken recipe to her grave as well. Impossible to replicate -- I agree.

    And Labyrinth with that dress?? That song?? *squees* The best-EST ever.

    *snort-laugh* The Russian judge comment?? AHAHAHAHA!!

    Thank you for another incredible FIF!!

  8. Saundra you rock and I loved Shadowed Summer. Just had to get that out of the way. Wow girl, I did not realize you were so serious about your coffee, no creamer?! *shivers* Great interview, thanks for having her Myra! Can't wait for your next book Saundra!

  9. Amen to the gospel of marshmallow eating!! That truly is the only way to go! Great interview.

  10. LOL I love it! Two of our favoritest people (I'm pretty sure that's not a word, but I'm all about making up words). Now we can have our beach party!

    YAY for SS being out in paperback!!!

  11. I've been meaning to read this for a long time, but I just keep putting it off! Now you've really made me want to put it at the top of my list! :)

    Great interview!!

    Andye ReadingTeen1@gmail.com

  12. sounds like a great book leared alot about it nice giveaway thank you please enter me.

  13. AWESOME interview. Love following Saundra on Twitter and the book sounds amazing!

  14. Okay, we totally share the love of the same games. And the guilty conscious. However, I do love me a Snuggie. :P

    Great interview! The book looks awesome :)

  15. Great interview! Shadowed Summer sounds really interesting. Count me in for the giveaway.

    I'm a follower (Lisa M. Basso)

  16. Bwahaha. Love this interview + Saundra!

    I already own a copy of the awesome Shadowed Summer, but I had to stop by to comment on the awesomeness of the author.

  17. Great interview.
    This books sounds great! I'll have to check it out.

  18. Oooh, this books sounds cool ! I'm all for ghosts ! And please enter me in the giveaway ! Thank you !

  19. Loved the interview!! And can't wait to read the book.


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