Saundra Mitchell's Ten Ways to Give Fright to Your Romance Novelist Friend's Sight

Today, I'm turning the blog over to my dear friend, Saundra Mitchell, in honor of the release of the paperback version of her debut YA novel, SHADOWED SUMMER, one of the best ghost stories I've ever read...and a book that I promise you won't be able to put down.

Saundra and I met as part of the 2009 Debutantes, and of course, were drawn to each other in the way that only a romance novelist and someone who writes disturbing ghost stories can be.  That is, wholly. And our critiques go something like this: I tell her there should be more kissing amongst the gore.  She tells me there should be more gore amongst the kissing.  Rinse. Repeat.  

But I love her anyway.  

And then she wrote the amazing, upcoming THE VESPERTINE, which, while still scary, is set in Baltimore in the 1890s and reads like Poe and Bronte had a love child and named her Saundra Mitchell.  It's for your TBR pile.  I'm serious. 

Welcome back, Saundra! 

Sometimes I feel guilty. No, correction. Sometimes I should feel guilty, but actually, I don't because I'm too busy finding it funny.

Because poor Sarah has managed to make friends with me- a heathen who prefers the Brontes to Austen, who believes it's not a book until there's a body count- and sometimes I'm less than helpful.

In honor of Sarah's next book, TEN WAYS TO BE ADORED WHEN LANDING A LORD, I'd like to present ten horrifying ways I've tried to do Sarah in the last two years or so.

10. Actual critique note: "Why is she just la la, lovely biscuits, no idea where he is, doodle, doodle, dee?"

9. Repeatedly called one of her books WAL-MART LORD. (Why lie? I still call it that.)

8. Suggested "Tips for Discretion when your Duke Boffs Like a Hessian" as an appropriate title for another book.

7. Recorded an Evil Monologue and e-mailed it to her in 10 parts.

6. Threatened to write dirty stories about her characters and send them to her editor. (Sarah's note: *REALLY* dirty ones)

5. Let my mother write her e-mail detailing which bits of NINE RULES she, ahem, liked best. (Okay, let's be fair- I didn't *let* my mom do anything, but since she's my mother, I feel responsible.)

4. Tried to make her write a ghost story for me.

3. Skyped her first thing in the morning. Before coffee. Before changing out of PJs.

2. Actual advice for Sarah's talk to the Jane Austen Society: "I think Austen and BLOODY GUTS AND DISASTER go badly together."

1. Wrote the book she told me to write, which meant she had to read a book with a body count. And terrible revelations. And a taser. Did I mention the body count? (Sarah's note: It scarred me.  But in a really really good way.  REALLY GOOD.) 

So that's my terrible list. I hope she knows I've done it out of love. The Bronte kind, I'm afraid. But love, nonetheless.

Giveaway time!  Comment below with the thing you like most about ghost stories...and we'll choose one winner on Friday to win a signed copy of Shadowed Summer (and maybe a goodie or two from The Vespertine)! Don't forget your email address so we can contact you!

To read more of Authors Rule(s), please click here!