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An Interview with Amy Laundrie, Author of Stranded on Castaway Island


Amy Laundrie is a retired teacher, author of twelve books, and a columnist. You can learn more on her website at

You can buy Stranded on Castaway Island here.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I love storytelling and being able to develop characters that are often based on students I’ve taught. The main character in Stranded on Castaway Island, Annie, has her faults—such as bossiness—but the way she struggles to help her orphaned brothers and her lonely father, and then later saves Mirra’s life, makes her a hero. She’s gone through so much—losing her mom and being hurt by Mirra, her best friend. And now, she also needs to survive!

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I’m a retired teacher, a black belt, and a pickleball enthusiast.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The story is about two ex-best friends struggling to survive on an island they think is deserted except for wild horses. Then they discover warm embers and strange footprints. So I considered the title Annie, Mirra, and the Watcher, but settled on Stranded on Castaway Island.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

This book’s soundtrack would feature Cher’s “I Believe.”

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

My favorite quote from the book is “As the raft rocked like a baby’s cradle, I longed to have my father’s strong arms around me. But I didn’t have his arms. I only had mine.” It’s empowering, especially for girls or those who feel powerless.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

I started Stranded on Castaway Island over thirty years ago. Years went by and after countless revisions and rejections, I set it aside. Then, in 2021, I revised the story one more time and sent it off. I received a contract in return! A year later, I got to hold a printed copy of the story in my hand.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m currently working on a graphic novel, my first.

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