Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Author Interview: Joni Sensel

Joni Sensel is the author of several books for young readers and is currently co-Regional Advisor for SCBWI Western Washington. She lives in the foothills of Mt. Rainier with two goofy dogs.

I'm a fan of Joni's books and think everyone should read them, of course. But I also appreciate the enthusiasm and hard work she (alongside the lovely, Laurie Thompson) puts into making SCBWI Western Washington a fabulous chapter to be a part of. Thank you, Joni.

On Writing:

Favorite thing about writing a first draft:

I love falling into a story and letting it sweep me along like a river, with little idea what’s around the next bend, and that’s what most first drafts are like for me. Revisions are much more like swimming upstream!

Best thing about writing for kids/teen:

You know, I realize this is not a very PC attitude, but I write for readers. I don’t care how old they are, and I don’t think it matters overly. The opportunity to write a book that somebody might remember for years, or that in some way guides a life, as a few books have guided mine, is exciting and humbling. That opportunity is probably still more open for more young readers than older ones, but I don’t think it’s exclusive to them. It IS fun, though, that younger readers are still willing to fall hopelessly in love with and be possessed by a story in a way that fewer adults do. I’m aiming for that.

Favorite word?:

Something the earth whispers to me when I’m outside. It’s loudest in the desert, but it’s also clear at the ocean, alongside the river, in the woods, and in the wind. It’s hard to translate to English, but I think it’s something like “eternal.”

Or scuttlebutt. I like scuttlebutt, too. ;)

One word that describes your path to publication:


If I could have two careers, I'd be an author and a:

Sorry, I can’t stop at two. The minimum list is Cirque du Soleil acrobat and theoretical physicist

On Life:

If I could snap my fingers and solve one of the problems here on earth, it would be:

The mistreatment and devaluation of women around the world

Best thing about being a child:

Everything is an exploration

Worst thing about being a child:

Lack of control

A quote I live by:

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” From Hamlet by W. Shakespeare

My dream vacation:

I’ve already had a couple of them in Africa and Europe; I don’t want to be greedy. But if we’re dreaming anyway: a flight into space.

In My Perfect World…

Everyone would get a new book and time with a puppy or kitten at least once a week.  

There would be an abundance of green spaces and amiable intellectual discussions.

No one would be deprived of respect and physical well-being.

Every child would have boundaries to push, and someone who would enforce those that needed enforcing and pick them up when they broke through and fell.

No one would ever watch mindless TV.

International travel would be free for everyone.

To learn more about Joni and her books: www.jonisensel.com


  1. What a fun interview! I love the idea of free international travel :) Thanks.

  2. I love the Shakespeare quote! Good one. I love how it kind of matches Joni's books, too.


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