The Proust Questionnaire — a parlor game 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: Candace Ganger, author of the YA Contemporary, THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE + BASH (St. Martin’s Press, Spring/Summer 2017).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? An entire day near the ocean, where I’m not focused on my anxiety; I’m just listening to my children’s laughter and petting a fluffy cat!
What is your greatest fear? Oh, man. How much time do we have? I am known for my great and many fears that range from death to farm machinery to plastic cups.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Self-deprecation. It’s incredibly easy to hold an insanely high standard, knowing I may fail and then get down on myself. I seem to thrive on it.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? The ability to shake things off easily. I’m so envious!
Which living person do you most admire? I would say my Gram, but she passed last year. She was…is…everything. Now? Susie Stein, a local businesswoman who showed me the epitome of hard work and perseverance and was a fundamental part in fostering my creative drive. Oh, and my 16-year-old cat who will probably live forever, much to our chagrin.
What is your greatest extravagance? My daily latte. It’s not much, but very necessary!
What is your current state of mind? Utterly exhausted from ten days of family vacation. (I need a vacation to recover!)
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Honor. Who’s to say what’s honorable and what’s not? To you, honor may be someone fighting for you name, while to me it’s fighting for the last doughnut.
On what occasion do you lie? I have two kids. I lie a lot: “If you don’t go to bed now, kittens get sent to space forever.”
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Seriously,” “I feel like…” and “That’s what she said.”
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? The ability to lead. I’m 95 percent quiet mouse so my voice usually sinks into the background. Oh, and I wish I could rap battle. I’ve watched 8 Mile too many times.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Having my two babies, even though my body fought me; running a 50K; selling books; not dying.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? I’m an old soul. I’m tired. I don’t want to come back after this.
What is your most treasured possession? My biological father’s wedding ring. He died in 2004, before we could reconnect. It’s all I have of him.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Losing someone you love.
What do you most value in your friends? Their acceptance of me—all of me.
Who are your favorite writers? John Green, Sarah Dessen, Gayle Foreman, Jandy Nelson. Also, my 9-year-old daughter who writes the best teen sagas with cliffhanger endings that make little sense.
Who is your hero of fiction? Jason Bourne. No one else can save the world that many times. Or Noah from The Notebook because… swoon.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Koko the Gorilla. Does that count?
What is your motto? “Don’t waste my time unless it involves cats or Ryan Gosling.”
An obsessive marathoner with a doughnut and latte addiction, CANDACE GANGER is a contributing writer for Hello Giggles, a site co-founded by Zooey Deschanel with over 1 million Facebook followers. In addition to past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and world’s worst vacuum sales rep, Candace has ghostwritten hundreds of award-winning fiction and nonfiction projects. She’s also totally awkward in person. Find Candace on her website, Facebook, and Twitter and Goodreads.