Tabs open on your screen right now:
Uh, I’m a hoarder, but here are a few:
NAMES FOR GOD (Wikipedia); various social media; various horoscopes for Cancers; The Guardian’s review of Alejandro Zambra’s Multiple-Choice; Google searches for “parts of chicken ribs,” “Supra Societies High-Tops,” “spider bite on foot itch.”

If you had to brag about yourself:
I can pick a pretty good roster, and I have kept these six plants alive for weeks!!

Your writer crush:
At the moment, Diego Zúñiga, Jenny Erpenbeck, Yiyun Li.  Forever, Marquez.

Favorite lyric:
Coming for the king that’s a far cry
I come alive in the fall time, I

The Weeknd, “Starboy”

Any place in the world:
A fire or the ocean, same feeling.

Best breakfast:
Biscuits!  With jam.

Favorite online places right now:
IDK, where should I be looking?

Sweetest thing:
My wifee.

Your rituals (writing or not):
Making chai from scratch…grinding up the spices, warming the milk, steeping the tea, crushing the jaggery.

Showering, unless it’s Sunday.

Sharpening my pencils, i.e. tapping the eraser on the mechanical pencils.
Logging every hour I write both in a journal and in a color-coded calendar.

Least impressive thing about you:
I am 4’11”

Favorite space to write:
In front of a window at a square surface.

What should we know:
My neighbor’s window is directly across from mine, and sometimes we lock eyes when I’m writing, and one time she screamed at me “I hate you!” but didn’t realize that I could hear her since we are basically separated by thin sheets of glass and five feet of space in these Philly row homes.  I don’t hate her, but I am thinking of hanging some cured meats in the window.

Guilty literary pleasure:
Harry Potter, but I’m not really feeling guilty about it.

Best book nobody talks about:
Jackie Kay’s Trumpet.

Character (TV, book, movie) you most identify with:
Raphael of The Ninja Turtles.

Last time you lied:
All the time.

The lie:
I have kept these six plants alive for weeks!!

Question you secretly want to be asked:
What am I most proud of.

The answer:
Putting myself through college. And I’ve kept these six plants alive for weeks!!


ANNIE LIONTAS‘ debut novel, Let Me Explain You (Scribner), was featured in The New York Times Book Review as Editor’s Choice and was selected by the ABA as a 2015 Indies Introduce Debut and Indies Next title. She is the co-editor of the anthology A Manner of Being: Writers on their Mentors and was the 2016 Visiting Writer at UCDavis. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, BOMB, Guernica, Ninth Letter and Lit. Since 2003, she has been dedicated to urban education, working with teachers and youth in Newark and Philadelphia. Annie lives across the street from the best pizza jawn with her wife and cat. Follow her @aliontas.