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 (aka nosy) questions. It the hot seat today: Elly Swartz, author of the contemporary middle-grade novels, FINDING PERFECT (FSG, 2016) and SMART COOKIE (Scholastic, 2018).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being with my family.
What is your greatest fear? Losing someone I love.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Impatience. In everything!
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Intolerance. Disrespect.
Which living person do you most admire? My husband. He is my life’s anchor and my best friend.
What is your greatest extravagance? Boots from Frye, and books. Lots and lots of books.
What is your current state of mind? Happiness.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Not sure if this falls into the ‘virtue’ category, but financial success.
On what occasion do you lie? I don’t.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Amazing. Inspiring. Love. But can you really overuse those?
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? I so wish I could sing, but I am completely tone deaf. Think dying frog.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Raising two kind, thoughtful, loving, respectful, smart young men.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? My dog.
What is your most treasured possession? My family. Not a possession, but nothing I treasure more.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? The inability to help another in need.
What do you most value in your friends? Kindness, empathy, and unconditional love.
Who are your favorite writers? That is a boundless list! But the ones who inspired me to write are: Lois Lowry, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Avi.
Who is your hero of fiction? Ramona the Brave.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Eleanor Roosevelt.
What is your motto? Be kind, be strong, be true to yourself.
ELLY SWARTZ loves writing for kids, Twizzlers, and anything with her family. Her debut novel, FINDING PERFECT (FSG, 2016) is about a twelve-year-old girl named Molly, friendship, family, OCD, and a slam poetry competition that will determine everything. In her second book, SMART COOKIE (Scholastic, 2018), you meet the spunky and big-hearted Frankie. And in 2019, say hello to Maggie in GIVE AND TAKE (FSG). Find Elly at her website, Facebook, or Twitter.