Sonia (soniag) wrote in 2011debuts,

Introducing 2011 Debut Author: Sonia Gensler

Name: Sonia Gensler
Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: Spring or Summer 2011

THE REVENANT synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Willemina Hammond thinks it'll be simple to assume a new identity far away in Oklahoma Territory. Anything would be better than laboring on her mother's failing farm in Tennessee. "Borrowing" the credentials of a local schoolteacher, she secures a position at the Cherokee Female Seminary and eagerly sets out toward an easier life in the summer of 1896.

But the Seminary is not what Willie expected. It's more like a castle than a school, and it houses refined young ladies who couldn't be less like the rustic natives she imagined. Divided by prejudice, the school community still reels from the recent murder of a mixed-blood student by a spurned full-blood suitor. Spooky noises, cold spots, and violent accidents have convinced the students that the dead girl haunts them. All this makes for an uphill battle as Willie struggles to establish control over her high-strung pupils.

To make matters worse, the ghost seems to be reaching out to her, and its communications are growing more frequent and intense. Willie determines to learn more about the girl's death, thinking it the only way to quiet the angry spirit. But the more she learns, the more difficult it is to maintain her secret identity. And the closer she gets to unraveling the secrets behind the murder, the closer she is to becoming a victim herself.

What made you decide to become a writer?

Like others, I've always been writing in some form or another. Stories, journals, poems. Several unfinished novels. But it took me a long time to learn how to work hard and stick with something even when it seemed to be going terribly. After ten years of teaching I decided to finish a novel because I wanted to tell a story my way.

Favorite Books/Authors?

Authors/Poets/Playwrights: Sherman Alexie, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Agatha Christie, Emily Dickinson, Madeleine L'Engle, C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Linda Newbery, Philip Pullman, Dorothy Sayers, Shakespeare, Tom Stoppard, Sarah Waters. I love historicals, mysteries, and anything gothic. Here's a list of my all-time favorite reads (which probably needs updating).

Morning person or night owl?

I used to be most productive in the mornings, but now I seem to be a late afternoon person.

PC or Mac

MAC! *loves*

What did you have for dinner today yesterday?

This is embarrassing -- a frozen pasta dish from Weight Watchers. I never learned to cook.

Quick! Share 11 random things about yourself.

- I love hot tea. In fact, I'm obsessed with it. (You should see my tea cabinet.) And I love going to afternoon tea with friends and family.
- I really don't care for iced tea, however.
- I've been married to my college sweetheart for 18 years. (But I'm still in my twenties, of course. HA!)
- I so enjoy Sci-Fi TV and films, but never actually read science fiction and could never imagine myself writing it.
- I taught high school English for 8 years (with 2 years of teaching college freshmen before that). I miss the kids but not the grading.
- I met Prince Charles once -- not that he would remember.
- I have a talent for recognizing the faces of obscure actors in their various film, TV and stage appearances. Why isn't this talent marketable?
- I wish I could live in England. Perfect climate for me.
- I love to explore ruins, moors and forests.
- I don't have kids, but I positively dote on my darling kitty.
- I'm currently in agonies over my edits. I used to think revision was my favorite part of the process, but this is scary.
Tags: bio

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