Last night the brilliant Sean Penn won a well deserved Oscar for his work in Milk and he said something like "no disrespect to my fellow nominees but god bless Mickey Rourke". This is kind of how I feel about Saundra Mitchell, the latest guest on the Debs Blog Tour. Saundra Mitchell's debut novel Shadowed Summer is out this month. It is a carefully crafted, lovely, haunting, thrilling novel about ghosts, the boundaries of friendships and family secrets. Saundra is a filmmaker, a super mom, and perhaps most importantly, she has the biggest heart in the publishing world. She is a cheerleader for her fellow writers. She is unfailingly supportive, unbelievably generous, boundlessly kind and just straight up hilarious. You should read her book for all of these reasons but mostly because it is just plain good. Suspense. Sensual detail. Truth. For Saundra Mitchell, "my brother" on this debut novel journey, 'the same five questions we always ask'.
1. What is your preferred writing brain food?
I just need cocola! Everything else is negotiable.
2. What is the soundtrack to your debut novel?
You can actually listen to my entire soundtrack for Shadowed Summer for free on my website! It includes songs by k's choice, Kelly Clarkson, Beausoleil, Fountains of Wayne, and more!
3. Describe your perfect writing space.
I'm pretty sure that ideally, what I need is a 10X10 box with no windows, no doors, and no Internet access. That would be perfect to actually, you know, get some writing done.
4. Tell us about one of the secondary characters in your debut novel. How did he/she come to life?
In the beginning, Ben Duvall was there, but he was extraneous. He had a purpose to serve, he served it, and that was that! After lots of revision, I still had a line in the book that said, "That's all there is to Ben."
My editor left a particularly exclamatory note there pointing out it was WAY too true. It wasn't until late drafts- probably the very last one, that Ben got to be an entire person.
5. What did/will you do on your launch day?
I gave away Extremely Haunted, Somewhat Haunted, and Slightly Possessed Gift Bags on my website to celebrate my debut!
Learn all about Saundra here... and, even more importantly, buy Shadowed Summer here.