The Proust Questionnaire, popularized by the French essayist and novelist Marcel Proust, is said to reveal a person’s true nature through a series of probing (i.e., nosy) questions. In the hot seat today: Kristin L. Gray author of the MG contemporary, VILLONIA BEEBE TAKES CHARGE (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, March, 2017).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Nowhere to be, with a cup of coffee and a good book.
What is your greatest fear? Overall? Something happening to my family. Daily, background fear? That I won’t nail the next story.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Procrastination, often fueled by anxiety.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Arrogance.
Which living person do you most admire? My husband. I watched him train for more than one marathon, and there’s no way I’d voluntarily put myself through that.
What is your greatest extravagance? Books. The occasional pedicure.
What is your current state of mind? Anxious but hopeful.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Orderliness.
On what occasion do you lie? Around holidays or birthdays, about gifts I’ve bought! Why would I ruin a surprise?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry, but I’m a chronic over-apologizer, even when things aren’t necessarily my fault.
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could draw or paint whatever popped into my mind. A close second would be a mastery of other languages.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? My kids, then writing this book.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A rainbow. Rainbows are cheery, full of hope, and everyone is happy to see one.
What is your most treasured possession? Time with my family and dogs. And my laptop, even though it could technically be replaced. I take it everywhere.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Watching a loved one suffer and not being able to help.
What do you most value in your friends? Their loyalty and ability to make me laugh.
Who are your favorite writers? Rebecca Stead, Kate DiCamillo, Sheila Turnage, Robin Stevens, Jackie Woodson among others.
Who is your hero of fiction? Turtle Wexler or Ramona Quimby. But as a tween, I would have said Nancy Drew.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? So I’m nowhere near as brave as she, but I’ll have to go with Amelia Earhart. She played outdoors as a child like I did, collected all sorts of animals, was one of the first to trade frilly dresses for skorts, climbed trees etc. And ever since I was in grade school, I’ve been completely fascinated with flight and outer space.
What is your motto? “It takes a village.”
KRISTIN L. GRAY drinks coffee (cream, no sugar) and writes books (funny, not sad) from her home in northwest Arkansas. She loves to read, walk her dogs, and eat cake for breakfast. She will also travel any chance she gets. Kristin’s fourth-grade self would never believe she has five children, two dogs, one fish, a bearded dragon, and a shy gecko. To learn more about Kristin, visit her website and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.