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: ABBY COOPER, author of FRIEND OR FICTION (Charlesbridge, October 8, 2019), her third MG novel.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Husband + poodle + book + coffee + cupcakes.
What is your greatest fear? Losing a loved one.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I overthink EVERYTHING.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? I wouldn’t say “deplore,” but it really bothers me when people are late. I value your time; value mine too, please!
Which living person do you most admire? Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I’ve been reading a lot about her lately. She’s done so many incredible things with all kinds of odds stacked against her. Also, she can probably do more push-ups than me!
What is your greatest extravagance? I have a hard time saying no to Starbucks, especially during pumpkin spice latte season.
What is your current state of mind? In a happy daze. I just got married, and everything has felt like a big blur since then. It went by so fast! And now I’m … MARRIED? I have a husband? What??
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Patience. I guess it comes in handy for some things, but sometimes you need to stop waiting and take action.
On what occasion do you lie? If I’m attempting to play a prank on someone. (Though my guilty smile often gives it away.)
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Awesome.” What can I say? It’s just an awesome word.
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? I’d love to be able to sing and play the piano. Ideally at the same time.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? That I’ve figured out who I am and am happy to be that person. Being a published author is pretty awesome too.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? I think it’d be nice to be a small, fluffy dog. I’d probably get bored after a day or two, but a life where you get scratched and snuggled constantly (between naps) sounds pretty darn good.
What is your most treasured possession? My wedding ring. One of my husband’s best friends actually made it (he’s a jeweler), so it has extra sentimental value.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Somehow, ending up inside a tube slide. Those things are my worst nightmare.
What do you most value in your friends? The fact that we’re there for one another no matter what, in good times and in bad.
Who are your favorite writers? I have a million of them, but anything written by Megan McCafferty, Jaclyn Moriarty, or Sophie Kinsella is an auto-buy for me.
Who is your hero of fiction? Jessica Darling. While she may not be considered a typical literary hero, she helped me get through high school and to love to read. What’s more heroic than that?
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Ruth Graves Wakefield, the wonderful woman who invented the chocolate-chip cookie. She ran out of the specific chocolate she needed for baking, but did she give up? NO. She used PIECES of OTHER CHOCOLATE. I like to think that I share this determination. Also, I really love cookies.
What is your motto? “Eat dessert first.”
ABBY COOPER lives in Minnesota with her husband, her miniature poodle, and a whole bunch of books. A former teacher and school librarian, her favorite things in the world (besides writing) are getting and giving book recommendations and sharing her love of reading with others. In her spare time, she likes eating cupcakes, running along the Mississippi River, and watching a lot of bad reality TV. Learn more about Abby on her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.