“Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisisana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared,” is the opening line of the book. But the summer fourteen-year-old Iris and her best friend Collette decide to call up a ghost, too much happens in Ondine. Buried secrets come to light, old wounds are reopened, and a persistent ghost will not leave Iris in peace.
This is not just a ghost story. It is a novel full of treasures – glinting humor, shimmering descriptions, and a beautifully realized exploration of that aching time in the lives of girls, when they are poised between childhood and adolescence.
On a personal note, becoming friends with Saundra has been one of the best things about joining the Feast of Awesome. She’s not only a brilliant writer, but hysterically funny and quick. She also seems to know how to do, oh, everything. Any time I’m sitting in front of my laptop giggling, my husband is pretty sure I’m chatting online with Saundra. Want a sample of her wit? Check out her response to my request for a spam subject line. Best ever.
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.
Thai food or Chinese?
Chinese, although I am a sad, ugly American because I only like Beef with Broccoli or Beef with Chinese Vegetables. Heavy on the beef, light on the rice. For shame.
Advice for writers in 5 words or less.
Shut up and write.
What are you reading right now?
The Devil's Paintbox by Victoria McKernan; Take the Reins by Jessica Burkhart.
In writing, are you a plotter or a plunger?
Plunger. I have a vague idea of my destination; it's always exciting to find out how I arrive there.
What’s the last song you listened to?
I Am Stretched Out On Your Grave by Kate Rusby.
If you couldn’t write in your current genre, what would you write?
Horror, I reckon.
Dogs or cats?
Cats, please. They don't feel the need to lick my ankles, ever.
Favorite movie snack?
Junior Mints. I like to put them on my tongue and let all the chocolate melt off.
What’s your cure for the blues?
I'm supposed to cure that?
Camping or four-star hotel?
I used to really love camping, but my asthma prevents it now. I'd rather a ceiling of trees than plaster.
Where did you go on your first date?
I've never been on a date.
Ocean or lake?
I don't know; I've only seen the ocean once. But nearby water, yes please.
Do you speak a foreign language?
Yes, but not well anymore.
Working the steam table at the local military base.
Spring or fall?
Which celebrity shares your birthday?
Charlie Sheen. :P
Last book you gave as a gift.
Scat by Carl Hiaasen, to my son for his birthday.
Pick three words to go on your tombstone.
I once was.
Five things you would do with $100,000.
Pay off my bills and buy a house. I don't think there's much left after that.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Early bird or night owl?
Rain or sun?
In theory, yes. But I have yet to come up with a design that I think I'll enjoy both now and when I'm 80, so in practice, no.
Chocolate chip cookies or snickerdoodles?
Snickerdoodles, but only if you properly put cream of tartar in the dough.
Write a spam subject line for us.
S@tisfy H3r W1th 1nTrus1on!
Beach or mountains?
Who do you wish you could meet, living or dead?
Sarah Cross. And if she were a zombie, that might make it that much cooler.
Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Saundra!