An interview with Lois Sepahban



Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

The first stories I loved were fairy tales—Snow White and Rose Red, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella. I loved reading stories of magic. Stories of triumph over terrible odds. I was a (bossy) big sister, and I loved making up stories for my siblings. Our favorite stories were about pirates. We’d draw maps and I’d send the younger ones out with shovels to dig holes all over the place, searching for buried treasures.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I love the idea of meta-themes—themes that come up over and over in my work. Readers will see Family and Social Justice in everything I write.

What was the hardest part of writing Paper Wishes? 

Writing Paper Wishes was an emotional experience for me—sadness often interrupted my work. I took long walks along the river that borders my farm. I crocheted in the barn, my goats playing around me. After my breaks, I came back to Manami and her family, clear-headed and focused on Manami’s eventual triumph.

Who are your favorite authors?

Patricia MacLachlan, Eloise McGraw, Deborah Wiles

What is your favorite thing to do when not writing?

I love baking for my kids. Bread, cookies, brownies. They’re both in school now and busy with after-school activities, so I miss them. On the weekends, I like to get up before them and have fresh, warm bread and jam ready for them when they get up.

What are you working on right now?

Middle grade historical fiction. I wish I could say more! Soon, I hope.

What did you drink while writing Paper Wishes?

I’m a tea drinker, and I’m picky about my tea. There’s a fabulous tea shop nearby Elmwood Inn Fine Teas ( and they make my favorite blend—Cup of Serenity.

How do you prefer readers get in touch with you?

My website is a great place to start ( But I’m also on Twitter (more writerly) and Facebook (more personal).

RETURN to Best MG of 2016 list