This is the third installment of the young writer interview series. Everyone, meet Liesl Brunner!
Liesl Brunner is a young Christian author of heartfelt contemporary fiction. When she’s not writing, she likes to make useless Spotify playlists and dream about the day she gets to live in a castle. She lives in Michigan with her family and beloved cat.
What genre do you write in and why?
It took me a while to figure out what genre I wrote in! When I first started out, I mainly focused on speculative fiction—fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian. For 2020’s NaNoWriMo, I tried to write a fantasy novel, and it flopped spectacularly.
I started to wonder, Do I really like to write fantasy, or am I just doing it because everybody else is? Turns out the latter was true, and I turned my attention elsewhere. Now I write contemporary, usually with some romance. I’m also working on a historical fiction novella.
What genre do you read in and why?
Mostly contemporary, though I’ll really read anything that catches my fancy in the library. Magical realism, historical fiction (depending on the time period—medieval fiction is really not my thing), and some nonfiction—I’ve discovered that I like to read memoirs lately, which is not something younger me would have ever expected. I also really like romance. Like, kicking-my-heels-up-and-
Who or what inspired you to write?
It wasn’t so much an I was inspired thing…more like I was forced to write a short story for school thing. I’d always written little stories in my journals, usually about horses or Minecraft (or Minecraft horses), but back then it was just a byproduct of my overactive imagination that came from me devouring books. In eighth grade, one of our assignments was to write an original short story. I found that I loved it and discovered the Young Writer’s Workshop the same year, and I’ve been writing ever since.
What is the biggest thing you've learned through your writing journey?
One thing I never really thought about before becoming a writer is seasons of life. Not just, you know, spring, summer, fall, and winter, but the up-and-down periods that everyone goes through. Sometimes you have a really productive writing season, where you’re writing every day and just slamming out the words and you feel great. That’s a wonderful thing, and you wish it’ll last forever.
But then sometimes you have weeks or months where you stare at the cursor blinking and finally close out the document, trying not to cry. And that’s okay, because everything comes in seasons, like Ecclesiastes 3:1 says. It’s natural, and it’s how everything in life is supposed to be—work, mental health, physical health, relationships.
How has being a Christian affected the way you write vs. the way you used to or probably would otherwise?
I write about a lot of controversial and sensitive topics (such as LGBTQ, mental health, and abuse), and both Christianity and my personal political standpoint have impacted the way I write about them so much. Without Christianity, I wouldn’t be able to handle these topics in a loving way. If I wasn’t a Christian, I’m not sure how I would be writing about these things, but I would probably be hurting people.
What do you want to accomplish with your writing?
I could go a thousand different ways with this answer, but I’ll give you some of my personal goals:
First and foremost, I want to glorify God. I want to point others to Him and have them find Him in every theme of my stories.
Second, I want to help others. My writing is constructed for everyone around me. I want to help others through the things I’ve struggled with so they don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.
Third, I want it to be my job, and I want to have fun. I started writing because I enjoyed it. I want to keep that enjoyment and use it to make a career that can sustain me in a job where I don’t just work, I play.
(I guess that these goals really reflect who I am. It seems that with me, everything is God first, others second, and me third.)
How do you define success, and do you think you've reached it yet?
Again, I could go several ways here, but I think that in general, success is being happy with where you are, whatever you may be doing. Success is contentment with your life and being able to change the things that you need changed to sustain that contentment.
As for if I’ve reached it yet…I really don’t know. Well, I take that back. If my answer is “I don’t know,” then it’s really “no.” I don’t think I’ve reached my personal definition of success yet, but I’m working towards it every day, bettering the Liesl now for the Liesl in the future.
What is one thing you want to tell other young writers?
You are worth it. You’re more than the sum of your successes and failures. You deserve happiness even if you haven’t written a single word in the last day or week or month. Don’t beat yourself up over what did or didn’t happen and just continue to write. Just keep going. I promise you that picking yourself up after you fall down over and over and over again will be the most rewarding thing you do. It may not seem like that in the moment, but just wait until you land that book deal or hold your published book in your hands for the first time. You’ll be able to think, Look at that. I kept going. And now I’m here.
So keep at it. You’ve got this. You are worth it.
That’s the end of the interview. If you want to check out the interview Liesl did for me (it’s a different set of questions), check it out on her website.
My interview: https://lieslbrunnerauthor.wordpress.com/blog/
Liesl’s website: https://lieslbrunnerauthor.wordpress.com/
I hope you all enjoyed this interview. Don’t forget to comment down below and subscribe if you haven’t already. Liesl posts every Wednesday on her blog, so go check it out. She has some really good content!
Next week, I’ll be going over the inspiration behind the Fire Trials trilogy, so get ready.
One Reply to “Young Writer Interview: Liesl Brunner”
This was so fun!! Thanks for having me!