20 questions and a selfie: A day in the life of children’s book and YA author Lira Brannon

For this installment of “20 Questions and a Selfie,” we catch up with Lira Brannon, a children’s picture book and young adult fiction author.

An award-winning writer, Lira is president of Northeast Texas Writers Organization and editor of the group’s newsletter, With Pen in Hand. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and belongs to a number of critique groups. Lira’s children’s picture books, There’s a Lump in My Bed and Forests for the Children, are available on the iPad through Flyingbooks.me with a third, Move it! Move it!, in production. When Lira is not writing, you may find her riding horses in the Texas backcountry.

You can connect with Lira on Twitter @lislann and on her website, lirabrannon.com.

Our 20 questions with Lira start now:

1) What is your full name (middle name optional)?

Lira Brannon

2) What is your professional job title?


3) Describe your organization.

I write a little bit of everything—short stories, picture books, novels, YA, Christian, sci-fi, fantasy, I just can’t focus on one.

4) Describe your surroundings right now.

At a desk in a log cabin on a hill in Texas. Besides work related stuff, I have dogs at my feet, a cat on the desk, and kids doing school.

5) What was your first paid writing gig?

$100 first place prize for the short story ‘A Walk in the Park with Death and Winter’

6) What was the last thing you wrote?

Chapter seven in my new novel, Steel Heart Song

7) What is the next thing you plan to write?

Chapter Eight

8) Finish this sentence: The ideal way to start my day is …

Quiet time

9) Besides your computer, what is sitting on your desk right now?

Tape measure, Sunkist, flash drive, bills, a wood sign “I’d rather be riding”, pens, a cat—so much more. I have a big desk.

10) So-called writer’s block is no match for you! What is your antidote?

Go outside and work on a project. Building, painting, riding, anything that gets my hands off the keyboard.

11) Finish this sentence: I hate it when I read …

A book that ends with me wanting more and the next one doesn’t come out FOR A YEAR!

12) What are the most important tools, programs and systems you use for your work?

OpenOffice, Alpha smart Neo 2. Paper. Lots and lots of paper. Pens.

13) First book that comes to mind? Go!

A Winter’s Tale.

14) What are your favorite smartphone apps and why?

Pinterest for the inspiring pictures.

15) What have you always wanted to write?

Something that changes lives, even if it is only mine.

16) What is your advice for aspiring professional writers?

Read a lot, but also get out and do.

17) First famous writer who comes to mind? Go!

Jane Austen

18) Finish this sentence: My favorite thing about being a writer is …

Having an excuse to talk back to the voices in my head. Working when I want to.

19) Pencil versus pen—who wins and why?

Pen—there are so many colors!

20) Finish this sentence: One word or phrase people will never read in my writing is …

I can’t write it, because then I would have done it, and my world as I know it would end. Sorry

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