Q&A with debut children’s author A.L. Sonnichsen

Moontrug is excited to announce the next debut children’s author taking part in the bi-monthly Q&As. Think ogres, dragons, unicorns, embarrassing moments and random historical events. Here goes for middle-grade author, A.L. Sonnichsen, whose debut, RED BUTTERFLY, is out on February 3rd…



1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?
I’d choose Peter Pevensie from the Narnia books, because he learns to be brave and he has a big enough sword to kill an ogre.


2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?
Definitely a unicorn. It would feel like riding a horse, but better. I love riding horses when I get the chance. A dragon might be faster, but dragons also increase the risk of burn injury. Not worth it, in my opinion.


3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 
I grew up in Hong Kong and we took public transport everywhere. We didn’t have a car. One Sunday coming home from church, I really had to go to the bathroom. I ran into a McDonalds, but their bathroom was out of order and there was nowhere else to go. Our apartment was still half an hour away by bus. While waiting for the bus, I became so desperate I peed my pants right there on the street … and cried all the way home! It was awful. My sister wouldn’t even sit next to me on the bus (though I can’t really blame her).


4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?
It’s not exactly an event, but I’m researching 1920s southern China (for a new book!) and I’d love to explore the streets of old Canton for a few days. That would be fascinating.


5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
Kara is left alone in China when her American foster mother is forced to leave.



Front Cover - Red Butterfly

A young orphaned girl in modern-day China discovers the meaning of family in this inspiring story told in verse, in the tradition of Inside Out and Back Again and Sold. Kara never met her birth mother. Abandoned as an infant, she was taken in by an American woman living in China. Now eleven, Kara spends most of her time in their apartment, wondering why she and Mama cannot leave the city of Tianjin and go live with Daddy in Montana. Mama tells Kara to be content with what she has…but what if Kara secretly wants more? Told in lyrical, moving verse, Red Butterfly is the story of a girl learning to trust her own voice, discovering that love and family are limitless, and finding the wings she needs to reach new heights.




Raised in Hong Kong, A.L. Sonnichsen grew up attending British school and riding double decker buses. As an adult, she spent eight years in Mainland China where she learned that not all baozi is created equal. She also learned some Mandarin, which doesn’t do her much good in the small Eastern Washington town where she now lives with her rather large family. Find out more at http://alsonnichsen.blogspot.com. Twitter: @alsonnichsen. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorALSonnichsen


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