Sonia Gensler: The Revenant Q&A Part 2

It’s time now for part 2 of our three-part interview with The Revenant author Sonia Gensler. Be sure to check out part 1 before continuing below:

How did being a teacher yourself influence THE REVENANT? Any real-life teaching stories make their way into the book?

I think every teacher has had that gut-twisting moment when the students seem to have checked out, when no one is raising a hand to answer a question and the awkward silence is building. (These moments can be painful for students, too.)

Suddenly, like a beacon in the gloom, a hand shoots up in the air. A miracle! A brave soul is finally stepping up to offer their perspective on the question! There is hope!

But no . . . that student just wants to know if last week’s exams/essays/quizzes are graded yet. Or they need to use the restroom. It’s a very disheartening moment for a new teacher, and I just had to make Willie suffer that pain and disappointment. 😉

A Ouija board becomes a significant part of THE REVENANT, but most of us these days remember them from sleepover parties as kids. Do you have any good Ouija stories?

My friends and I did have a creepy encounter with a Ouija board when we were kids. One friend invited a group of us for a sleepover. I’m not sure who brought the board, but we used it in the basement during the dark of night. The board spelled out many strange things and ended up calling my friend (our host) a nasty name. This particular name wasn’t your standard bit of profanity – rather, it was a very strange word that she found demeaning and rather freaky. She couldn’t go down to the basement alone for a long time after that. I think she’s still traumatized by the experience to this day, and I haven’t used a Ouija board since then.

You see someone looking at THE REVENANT in a book store. What do you say to them to convince them to buy it?

I’m terrible at this sort of thing. I find it so hard to hawk my own book. My husband, on the other hand, has no qualms, so I punted this question to him. Here’s what he said:

“Though it may seem counterintuitive, the unique historical setting of THE REVENANT gives the paranormal and romance elements a fresh and exciting feel.”

Can you tell he’s a lawyer? 😉

What’s next for you on the writing front?

Another gothic mystery with a paranormal twist, if all goes as planned! My next book from Knopf should be coming out the first part of 2013.

Thanks again, Sonia — part 3 tomorrow includes our flash questions!

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