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Sonia Gensler

In brief:

Sonia Gensler is the author of The Revenant (Oklahoma Book Award, Parent's Choice Silver Award, Sequoyah Intermediate Master list), The Dark Between (Oklahoma Book Award finalist), and the forthcoming Ghostlight, all from Random House/Alfred A. Knopf. A former high school English teacher, she now writes full time in Oklahoma.

In more detail:

Sonia Gensler is the author of The Revenant (Knopf '11), winner of the Oklahoma Book Award and a Parents' Choice Silver Award, praised as "a compelling ghost and love story" by Booklist, "eerie and suspenseful" by Publishers Weekly, and "stunningly taut and entirely compelling" by The Bulletin. Her follow-up, The Dark Between (Knopf '13), was deemed a "lively Victorian mystery" by Kirkus and "vivid and intriguing" by School Library Journal, while Examiner.com noted its "engaging, page-turning plot." Sonia's middle grade debut, Ghostlight, releases from Knopf in fall 2015.

As a child growing up in rural Tennessee, Sonia dreamed of teleporting to medieval Europe to experience firsthand the bygone days of chivalry and romance. When international time travel proved impractical, she compensated by devouring books and making up soap operas with her friends. Countless recess periods were devoted to swapping stories, most of which featured epic romances with favorite celebrities. This tradition continued through high school.

As an adult Sonia experimented with an assortment of professions suitable for a dreamy bookworm—museum interpreter, historic home director, bookseller, perpetual graduate student—before finally deciding to share her passion for stories through teaching. She taught literature and writing to young adults for ten years, and she still thinks fondly of her days in the classroom now that she writes full time. Sonia currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and cat.

Watch this video to learn more about Sonia and her books
Learn more about Oklahoma Children's Writers and Illustrators (OCAI)

Further Odds and Ends...

TRAVEL—I hate flying but love to travel. You'll find many travel photos at my Flickr page. Check back for updates.

TEA—I couldn't live without it, and I'm obsessed with the ritual of afternoon tea. If you're looking for a good tea room in your area, TeaMap or TeaGuide can point you in the right direction. If you want to purchase high quality loose leaf tea online, I highly recommend the Cultured Cup—they carry a wide selection of Mariage Freres teas. You also can't go wrong with Adagio Teas or Harney & Sons. If you'd like to educate yourself further about tea, I'd suggest getting your hands on The New Tea Companion by Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson.

READING—I track my reads at Shelfari and Goodreads. Click here for a list of my all-time favorite books (and check back for updates).

WRITING & PUBLISHING—I'm just a newbie in this industry, but I will say that finishing a manuscript is the first major hurdle on the path to publication. After you finish, you must revise, revise, revise. If you're looking for an agent, it's best to do your research—find the right match at Agent Query or QueryTracker. Study book deals at Publishers Marketplace. Join national and local writers' organizations, attend conferences, and read industry-related discussion boards & blogs. As for the craft of writing, I don't have any magical tidbits of advice because I still have much to learn myself. I can tell you this—those folks who told me to read everything I could find in my genre were right on the money.

Author photos: Eden Wilson Photography