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Writer Interview: Lis Anna-Langston

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on indie author Lis Anna-Langston!

Down here in the South, when we say that someone is “something else,” the phrase can either be a compliment or passive aggressive reproach. In the case of Lis Anna-Langston, this award-winning author is something else in the best and most curious of ways.

Lis Anna is a storyteller, alright. Every single answer to her interview is a short story that shines a big light on her creative spirit, setting it right up on the front porch for everyone to enjoy. I know I enjoyed Lis Anna-Langston’s interview; she is every bit as charming and nuanced as a well-written character.

I hope she won’t mind me sharing this with you, but in Lis Anna-Langston’s interview, she said I am “beautiful, vibrant, honest, fabulous and a great writer.” Well, I think these very same things about her, but don’t take my word for it, follow her on Instagram @lis.anna.langston and check out her website at

A quick note:

During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!

Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.

Lis Anna-Langston was raised along the winding current of the Mississippi River on a steady diet of dog-eared books. She attended a Creative and Performing Arts School from middle school until graduation and went on to study Literature at Webster University. Her two novels, Gobbledy and Tupelo Honey have won the Parents’ Choice Gold, Moonbeam Book Award, Independent Press Award, Benjamin Franklin Book Award, and NYC Big Book Awards. A three-time Pushcart award nominee and Finalist in the Brighthorse Book Prize, William Faulkner Fiction Contest, and Thomas Wolfe Fiction Award, her work has been published in The Literary Review, Emerson Review, The Merrimack Review, Emrys Journal, The MacGuffin, Sand Hill Review, and dozens of other literary journals.

She draws badly, sings loudly, loves ketchup, starry skies, and stories with happy aliens.

You can find Lis Anna in the wilds of South Carolina plucking stories out of thin air.

About Maya Loop

Get ready to meet the brave blue haired girl from Baltimore who saves the world!!

Following maps her grandmother drew before she disappeared, Maya Loop, the brave, blue-haired girl from Baltimore, has to depend on her wits and bravery to face the alien race of Landions who have taken her grandmother and best friends to an underground world of creatures living beyond the limits of time. The Landions are not only trying to end the human race but erase them completely. A delightfully fast-paced story crackling with energy, Maya Loop meets young readers in the wide-open world of being a kid where everything feels like magic.

Lis Anna’s book Maya Loop is available now!

And now, the interview:

Lis Anna, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was five years old. I knew I wanted to be the one to put the words in the books but wasn’t quite sure how that was done.

Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.

An Assassin Bug I found and spent the winter with and a girl I kept writing scenes about who was afraid of the dark and wouldn’t go into a field.

What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?

I love weird things, bizarre stories, yet simple. Stories about strange people or strange choices. Misfits and outlaws and people who can’t be confined to convenient little boxes. I love a good moral quandary. I like highly commercial fiction and obscure literary fiction. With that said, it isn’t often that I find a book I add to the love pile but when I do I am overjoyed.

Do you have a furry familiar? Tell us about them!

Chinchillas are my spirit animal and I have four that live in my office. They are shifty little things and will tell you they whisper stories to me from their dreamscape.

Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.

Schedule? Every day. Seriously. Like. Every. Single. Day. I also like to write without overthinking it. Write a lot and return to it a few days later. I handwrite everything.

Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?

At the most basic level I would say it’s because I am a storyteller. If you ask me how to get anywhere, I am the one who says, “Go down to the four tall Oaks and turn right and go out until you see the old barn and go left at the split. You’ll see a bunch of geese that hang out at the pond in winter. Take your next driveway on the right.”

City/Country makes no difference to me. It’s the details of life that interest me. The How? and the Why? The stakes. What is worth fighting for? What gets you truly excited? Everything forms as a story, a scene, a moment of magic.

Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?

I would walk down that gravel driveway in Mississippi, drop my sunglasses to the tip of my nose, look that little six-year-old girl in the eye and say, “Hey, I am from the future. Remember this moment. You got this, babe” and saunter off down the drive while she stared at me wide-eyed.

What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?

Get excited. There is so much focus on negatives in our culture, but the trick to staying truly engaged is growing as a person and a writer, and that is going to have friction, but it is also going to have a ton of electricity.

How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?

Intuitive is not the word I use. Trust would be the word. Which goes a long way to illustrate how personal this all is. All art is trust. All trust is releasing attachment to outcome. Whew, boy. Not the easiest to implement but great stuff comes when you can.

All art is trust. All trust is releasing attachment to outcome.

Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.

Oh my gosh. You want the whole list? [laughs]

  • My long-term goals include developing and publishing my middle grade/YA titles.

  • I also love short-form fiction and flash. I love supporting literary journals.

  • I am branching out into Vella and Substack.

  • I’d also love to get more photography involved in my writing.

For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?

My family. My husband and daughter are the most amazing people I’ve ever met. My fur babies. Great books. Amazing writers. A great cup of coffee on a brisk winter day. I’m easy to please.

Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?

My hobby is gourmet cooking so I love to whip up a batch of homemade crackers or beef wellington when I can. I love travel and strange things, so a trip that incorporates both is awesome. I like people, meeting them, talking, learning about them. I love playing board games and card games. Puzzles are a lifelong obsession in any form. Art shows and museums definitely find me wandering the aisles. I read a lot of poetry and plays in my spare time and during the season you can always find me at the farmer’s market. I love a walk on a cool clear day that feels like we’re all on the verge of something magnificent if we can just keep up the pace.

Which book are you reading right now?

Nine Below Zero, by Kevin Canty

What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?

The Inheritance Games, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Fill in the blank: Magic is...

Magic is that place where meaning and miracles intersect.

Stay connected with Lis Anna! Here’s where you can find her:

Next up, I’m finishing my Tarot Stories series with the final card of the Major Arcana: The World is a Full Circle.

In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.

Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.

When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative or on Facebook at @haintbluebooks.

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