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: Christina Soontornvat, author of The Changelings, a fantasy MG series, and Diary of an Ice Princess, an early chapter book series. Forthcoming books include A Wish in the Dark and All Thirteen, a nonfiction account of the Thai Cave Rescue.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Eating a delicious meal with my family outside in perfect weather after a day of getting some really good work done.
What is your greatest fear? Losing one of my family members.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Impatience.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Arrogance.
Which living person do you most admire? Laurie Halse Anderson.
What is your greatest extravagance? My Bose wireless noise-canceling headphones. My life got about three clicks more pleasant after I splurged on them.
What is your current state of mind? Having too many ideas and too little time to execute them.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Cleanliness.
On what occasion do you lie? When the truth would hurt.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Totally. Like, totally.
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? Being a captivating public speaker.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? When young people I have mentored or supervised go on to achieve incredible things that make the world a better place.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Laird Hamilton. That guy looks like he’s having a pretty awesome time.
What is your most treasured possession? Love letters from my husband.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Waiting for the results of a serious medical diagnosis.
What do you most value in your friends? A self-deprecating sense of humor.
Who are your favorite writers? Lindsay Eager, Celeste Ng, Victor Hugo, Samantha Clark, Susanna Clarke.
Who is your hero of fiction? Like, my favorite fictional hero? Probably Gandalf. I am always drawn to the elders in a story.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? I feel a strong connection to and admiration for all the women throughout history who have been told that they can’t hack it and they should just give up, then went on to do great things anyway. That makes it hard to pick one figure, because I think most of us have gone up against naysayers at some point in our lives.
What is your motto? In the future you will look back on this moment and think, “Those were the good old days.”
CHRISTINA SOONTORNVAT is the author of the fantasy middle grade series, The Changelings, and the early chapter book series, Diary of an Ice Princess. Her forthcoming books include the middle-grade fantasy, A Wish in the Dark, and All Thirteen, a nonfiction account of the Thai Cave Rescue. In addition to being an author, Christina holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Science Education. She spent a decade working in the science museum field, where she designed programs and exhibits to get kids excited about science. She is passionate about STEM and loves learning new things. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, two young children, and one old cat. Learn more about Christina on her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.