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, soul-searching questions. In the hot seat today: Lisa Schmid, author of OLLIE OXLEY AND THE GHOST: The Search for Lost Gold (Jolly Fish Press, June 18).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? A happy and healthy family. A day at the beach. A good book.
What is your greatest fear? Where to begin? I am a bit of a scaredy-cat. But I think my greatest fear is someone I love getting sick or hurt. My son rolls his eyes at me whenever I tick off a list of things to look out for as he heads out the door to play.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I am a worry wart. It’s wired into my DNA. Right now, I am worried about my answers to your questions.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Bigotry, hate, entitlement. I know that’s three, but they are all connected.
Which living person do you most admire? Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is a trailblazer, a role model, and quite simply, a living legend. The world is a better place because of her.
What is your greatest extravagance? Books. I buy lots and lots of books. They are stacked all over my house. I love that so many of the authors are my friends.
What is your current state of mind? I have a ton of nervous energy. So much is happening this year with the release of my debut novel.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Humility. Sometimes it’s okay to toot your own horn, especially if you’ve worked really hard.
On what occasion do you lie? When I tell myself I’m starting a diet the next day. I have good intentions until I see a potato chip, then it’s adios calorie counting… hello crispy, salty goodness.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Whaaaaat?!” I recently caught myself saying this several times during a lunch conversation with two fellow debut authors. I decided right then and there to knock it off. So annoying. I hear my son say it when he’s playing XBOX. I’m not sure if I picked it up from him or vice versa. Either way, no bueno.
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? I’d love to play the drums. When I’m driving, and I hear a song I like, I always start playing the air drums.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? My son, Oliver. He is sweet and kind. I am so proud of him. Just the other day, the yard-duty lady pulled me aside to tell me how kind Ollie is to other kids. That’s my boy!
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A person. Someone cool, who could play the drums and eat tons of potato chips without gaining a pound.
What is your most treasured possession? It may sound hokey, but I love my son’s artwork. I have it displayed all around my house.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? A life without friends and family.
What do you most value in your friends? Kindness. If you are not kind, hit the road. I don’t want you in my life.
Who are your favorite writers? C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Roald Dahl, L. Frank Baum, and Jonathan Stroud. I am a kidlit fangirl at heart.
Who is your hero of fiction? Lucy from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I love her spunky personality and courage. Also, it’s pretty cool she’s a queen of Narnia. When I was a kid, I so wanted to be her. (I secretly still do.)
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Rosa Parks. I admire her conviction and courage. I try and teach my son by example to stand up for what’s right, even if there are those who vehemently oppose you.
What is your motto? “Never give up. Never surrender.”
LISA SCHMID is an author, a stay-at-home mom, and a pug wrangler. When she’s not scaring up ghostly adventures, she’s most likely scaring up fun with her husband and son. She lives in Folsom, California, home of the 1849 Gold Rush. Learn more about Lisa on her website and follow her on Twitter.