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Newsletter Header titled, Kidlit, Coffee & Cats from Author Sonja Thomas, along with her photo and images of books, a cup of steaming coffee, and two cats.


Welcome to my first author newsletter. I'm so excited that you're here! 

In these quarterly emails, I plan on sharing book updates, a sneak peek at my writing journey, and fun chitchat about everything kidlit, coffee, and cats. There may be the occasional in-between email about big announcements or upcoming events (but I promise only if it's super, super amazing).


Book News

Most of you probably know that my debut middle grade novel Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence will be out next year on March 15, 2022. For those not on social media, here is the amazing cover:
Book cover of Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence by Sonja Thomas, with a girl riding her bike and her cat in the front basket.

The talented artist, Brittney Bond, did an incredible job capturing twelve-year-old Mira Williams and her chonky cat, Sir Fig Newton. I love, love, love everything about this cover. From Mira's determined expression to Fig's white-tipped tail. And of course, all the purr-fect accents, including the science doodles, the Florida palm tree shadow, and the bike-a-thon flyer. 

I cannot wait for biracial Black girls to see themselves on the cover and in this book. My inner child is over the moon. I hope you love it as much as I do!

And for those of you who've just groaned because you've already seen the cover (again & again), I got something new for you too! Check out this awesome chapter header art!!!
Photo of Chapter 5 State of Emergency with various doodles, including a science beaker and shuttle.

I figured there would be a cat doodle or something sciency or space related, but not all of the above. And I never imagined it would be this fun and adorable! My favorite is for the adults of my generation: the cassette with the tape spilling out.

And more fun news, ARCs (advanced reading copies) are officially here! So stay tuned for an unboxing video coming your way in the next newsletter.
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And in other book news...

2020 was a lot of things, but the theme most prevalent for me was identity.

I am mixed (my father's a Black American and my mother's a white German). Often considered as “other”—I've never felt fully accepted within the white or Black communities. I'm also aware of the privilege afforded me thanks to my light brown skin. When the Black Lives Matter movement surged again last year, I'd struggled with where I fit in and what was my responsibility.

When I saw the July 2020 announcement that Rebel Girls was looking for Black women writers for their upcoming project, I immediately got excited. Then I quickly filled with doubt. First, because of my writing ability. Then I doubted if I was Black enough. For so long, I had allowed others to define my identity.

After learning one of the writing samples had to be on Meghan Markle, I released a sigh of relief. (For those not in the know, the Duchess of Sussex is mixed, half Black and half white.) Now I felt confident that I was Black enough, at least for this project. Fast forward a month later, and I received an offer! I'm a contributing author to Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic.

But that's when the real work began. Researching the histories of 33 Black women and girls from around the world—past and present, legendary and little-known—filled me with so many emotions. From being inspired to completely numb. But especially when I read the autobiography of Erika "Ika" Hügel-Marshall, who also happened to be the daughter of a Black American soldier and white German mother. Only she was born right after WWII. Her life, because of her skin color, was filled with so much fear, hate, and pain, yet she somehow persevered and eventually found a community where she was accepted as herself. Empowered, she declared her own identity.

Although I'm still on my healing journey, thanks to Ika and so many other powerful stories on passion and determination, I, too, feel empowered. I am Black. I am German. I am a biracial Black woman. I am an author. I am a daughter, sister, and friend. I am awesome. I am.
Book cover of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic with illustrations of Aretha Franklin, Naomi Osaka, Shirley Chisolm, and Jeanette Epps.

My hope is that Black and multiracial Black children will also feel empowered when reading this wonderful book, seeing that their stories matter and that they are never alone.

Buy your copy today and inspire girls everywhere to unlock the magic that lives within them!

Coffee Talk

Pretty much every writer exists on coffee (or tea or dare I even say wine). My first drink of choice? Latte with oat milk. The funny thing, I was absolutely disgusted with the taste of coffee the first time I tried it. It always smelled so good whenever my parents enjoyed it. But when I was little and snuck a sip from my mom's cup... YUCK.

In college, I found myself addicted to flavored instant coffee like Swiss Mocha or Café Vienna, while my best friend was making espresso shots. Then I graduated to burnt coffee from the office kitchen at my first accounting job at a local music zine. It was just as gross as that first taste many years before, but was necessary to function that early in the morning.

I'm not even sure when I crossed over to actually loving the taste of coffee. There was even a year I only drank it black. The one thing I realized shortly after moving to DC from Florida, was that coffee helped heal my home sickness. Enjoying a cup, alone or with new friends, always reconnected me to my loved ones, especially my mom and best friend.

Food and drink are powerful: the taste, the smell, and the warm feelings and memories they invoke, like being in Paris with my bestie or early morning chats with my mom. I now have my own (almost) daily solo ritual, either writing or reading while savoring a warm cup of joe.

What's your favorite drink of choice? And what memories and feelings does it bring up for you?


Woman sitting in a café, holding up a coffee cup.

(pictured above: my beautiful, amazing mother)


Fluffy black cat hiding in a paper bag.
PEEK-A-BOO!!! Truman wishes you a spectacularly spooky fall season filled with many delicious treats, especially chin scritches, chocolate, and meat tubes. And more chocolate. There can never be too much chocolate.

Upcoming Events

October 29, 2021 at 6pm EST: Don't Quit Your Daydream
Interview on Instagram Live with author Charity Alyse

Currently I'm... 

READING: Elvis and the World As It Stands by #21ders debut author, Lisa Frenkel Riddiough. From the POV of a newly adopted kitten named Elvis, this fact alone captured my attention. As you can see below, Gabbie Lu's excited, maybe even a bit jealous, to see a calico cat on the cover!
Calico cat sitting next to a book.
LISTENING TO: Basic Pitches podcast offering angst, tips, and laughter for your writing journey with Anna Mercier and Emily Thiede (fellow #22Debuts author of the YA fantasy This Vicious Grace). 
Basic Pitches podcast logo, bringing writing back to basics. Cartoon image of two women on the pages of a book, holding coffee cups and high-fiving.

Until next time

Thank you for joining me on this writing journey. Please feel free to reply with any questions, comments, or just to say hello. I'd love to hear from you. Have a wonderful fall season and see you again in winter! 

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Author photo. Woman smiling, standing outside by trees and bushes.
Kidlit, Coffee & Cats is a free newsletter by author Sonja Thomas. She writes stories for kids of all ages, often featuring brave, everyday girls doing extraordinary things. Raised in Central Florida (the wonderful world of Disney, humidity, and hurricanes) and a Washington, DC transplant for 11 years (go Nats!), she's now “keeping it weird” in the Pacific Northwest.
Copyright © 2021 Sonja Thomas, All rights reserved.

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Sonja Thomas's Author Newsletter · PO Box · Vancouver, WA 98661 · USA

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