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: Melanie Sumrow, author of the THE PROPHET CALLS (Yellow Jacket, 2018) and the upcoming INSIDE BATTLE (November 5, 2019).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being on vacation with my family, and that moment when everyone is laughing. There’s nothing quite like the relaxed laughter of loved ones.
What is your greatest fear? Failure.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Impatience, and that’s a really bad trait to have in the publishing industry!
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Intolerance. And yes, this is a recurring theme in my books.
Which living person do you most admire? I have a great deal of admiration for my husband. He believed I could become a writer from the beginning and wouldn’t let me give up even when it seemed like the most prudent thing to do. He leads by quiet example and is definitely a vital part of my support system.
What is your greatest extravagance? I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but I love books. I have eclectic taste and very little will power when I see a title that interests me. Thank goodness for libraries!
What is your current state of mind? Jumbled. I’m working on multiple projects (some writing-related, some not) and trying to find my rhythm again.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Can I say patience? 🙂
On what occasion do you lie? I would tell a white lie in order to preserve someone else’s feelings, though I’m not a very good liar and probably wouldn’t get away with it.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Thank goodness for my copyeditor! He told me I used “quick” far too many times in my latest manuscript. Apparently, writing “quick” doesn’t actually pick up the pace in the writing. Thankfully, I’ve cleared out most instances (at least in this book).
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? I’d love to become fluent in another language.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? For now, I’d say my transition from lawyer to author. It has definitely been a struggle, but I’m really proud I stuck with it and continue to work on something I love.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? My dog. She lives her best life EVERY DAY.
What is your most treasured possession? I’m not really a “things” person, but I guess I’d say old family photos that can’t be replaced.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? That horrible feeling of complete lack of control.
What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty.
Who are your favorite writers? Ooo, that’s tough. I have so many. The ones that instantly come to mind are Walter Dean Myers, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Jason Reynolds.
Who is your hero of fiction? My fictional hero usually has an inner strength that manifests in the story.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Hmmm, I can’t name anyone specifically, but I would say I do identify with any woman who sought to break a mold, who wanted to be heard, and demanded to be valued.
What is your motto? “Never, never, never give up.”
MELANIE SUMROW received her undergraduate degree in Religious Studies and has maintained a long-term interest in studying social issues. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a lawyer for more than 16 years, with many of her cases involving children and teens. Melanie lives in Dallas with her husband, her daughter and one very spoiled dog. Learn more about Melanie on her website and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.