Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with Kira Vermond

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Kira Vermond

Whether it's "the dog ate my homework" or "I'm already on my way there!" we all have been guilty of a few white lies in our lives, and perhaps a few untruthful moments that go well beyond harmless fib status. In Half–Truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying (Owl Kids Books), Kira Vermond explores the role lying plays in our lives — socially, emotionally and more. Is lying always bad? Why do we lie anyway? What kinds of lies exist and how are they different from one another? Charting the history of lying from forgery to plagiarism to placebos, Half-Truths and Brazen Lies is a funny, illustrated exploration of one of humanity's bad habits.

Today we welcome Kira to Open Book as part of our Dirty Dozen series, where we challenge authors to share twelve unexpected facts about themselves. Kira delivers, telling us about why she's an easy dinner guest, her very, very first book and the typo in her name. Though of course, after reading her book, we have to wonder if there isn't a tall tale slipped in somewhere!

  1. Last summer I had the window down in my car while on the highway. A bee stung me in the eyeball. Seriously. Not the eyelid. The eyeball. My husband had to reach over and steer us off the road.

  2. My body is so inflexible. Always has been. I like to joke that I’m the cheap drunk of the yoga world. I only have to move a little to feel the stretch.

  3. I adore cilantro.

  4. Most people think I’m a total extrovert because I can get up in front of 500 people and make a fool out of myself. But really, I’m a partial closeted introvert. Even though I really enjoy meeting people, it takes me a day to recover after any kind of speaking, teaching or reading gig.

  5. Both of my kids have reads parts of Growing Up, Inside and Out, my puberty book. Bless them.

  6. I’m possibly the least picky eater on the planet. The only thing I’ve ever found that I don’t like? Dried shrimp.

  7. As a teen, I moved from Little Britain, a small village of 300 people, to Toronto. It took me a week to figure out that, in a city, you don’t say hello to everyone you pass on the street.

  8. I’ve always had boy best friends. I eventually married one.

  9. The first book I ever wrote was a 16-page non-fiction picture book about dinosaurs. I was in grade two and I still have it.

  10. I have a small wicker basket on a shelf in my office where I stash article and book ideas written down on scraps of paper. Every few months I go through it and see if there’s anything I’d like to work on next. Some of the ideas are great; others are terrible. I once found a piece of paper in there with one word written on it: “BOOM!” I have no idea what that was supposed to be about.

  11. When I was 25 I quit my job as a magazine editor to go freelance. I only had $1,200 in my bank account and a $20,000 student loan to pay off. Some people might find that brave, but I think I have a reckless gene.

  12. My middle name is Milicent. That’s not a mistake. It really does have only one “L.” I’m named for my kind and wonderful Aunt Millie who lives in New Mexico. It’s my understanding that her father didn’t know how to spell Millicent and he got it wrong on her birth certificate. Although I didn’t much like my middle name when I was a kid — my sister used to call me Maleficent, the evil witch from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty — I love it now. I’m a terrible speller so I think it’s entirely appropriate that my own name contains a typo.


Kira Vermond is an award-winning writer with over 1,000 articles to her name. She is a frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent and is the author of Why We Live Where We Live and The Secret Life of Money: A Kid’s Guide to Cash. She lives in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

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