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: Christna June, author of the YA contemporary novel, IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE (HarperCollins/Blink, May 9, 2017).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being wrapped up in a blanket in front of a roaring fire on a gray winter day, with a cup of tea and a good book.
What is your greatest fear? Something happening to someone I love. Being in a plane crash. Being wrong and that wrongness having terrible consequences.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My superior ability to waste time.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Ignorance combined with lack of compassion.
Which living person do you most admire? Right now, I have a lot of respect for Kate Middleton and her work surrounding children and mental health.
What is your greatest extravagance? See #1 – we don’t currently have a fireplace but I make due with candles for ambiance. Otherwise, filet mignon and traveling.
What is your current state of mind? Annoyed at being in the car and stuck in traffic. Ready to hole up in my introvert blanket fort after a weekend of birthday parties, so I can read.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Industry. I’m all for being more productive, but I think you’re a better person if you take time for rest and relaxation too.
On what occasion do you lie? The best lie I ever told was convincing my daughter that the ice cream truck that visited our neighborhood nightly was really the music truck, bringing joyful music for all to hear. That one lasted a few years.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Dude.” “Really?! Really.” “I can’t do twelve things at once.” My daughter has started quoting that last one.
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? I would like to be Simone Biles.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Keeping a kid alive for six years. Birthing a book baby. Being called an ally by a student who needed one.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A cat owned by a writer. Watch for pictures of me on Instagram.
What is your most treasured possession? Next to my family, it’s my laptop (plus external hard drive, because technology). All my photographs and my writing would not be possible without it.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Hopelessness.
What do you most value in your friends? A sense of humor and a deep love of flailing over books.
Who are your favorite writers? Judy Blume, L.M. Montgomery, Miranda Kenneally, Stephanie Perkins, Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda.
Who is your hero of fiction? Emily Starr, Claudia Kincaid, Margaret Simon, Dolores Price.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? I’ve always loved reading about Anne Boleyn. Her ambition had a huge, lasting impact on the whole world, if you really think about it.
What is your motto? “It is what it is.” Also, “Everything happens for a reason.”
When she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor, CHRISTINA JUNE writes contemporary YA fiction. Christina lives outside Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.