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: Erin Beaty, author of the forthcoming Traitor’s Circle Trilogy. The first book, THE TRAITOR’S KISS has been selected for the Fierce Reads Spring tour of 2017. (Macmillan, ImprintReads, May 9, 2017).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Besides reading? What makes me feel most at peace is being in church or maybe snuggling a newborn. What makes me excited is a good puzzle, jigsaw or otherwise. I love a challenge. And buffalo chicken pizza with Cherry Coke. Any combination of those things would make my day awesome.
What is your greatest fear? Being helpless.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I ignore things I think are stupid. Sometimes that comes back to bite me.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Lack of rational thinking and believing “caring” makes you a better person. Hashtags do nothing, but they garner likes and people get high from how good the look to others. That’s not to say hashtags are useless, but for many they can be a substitute for action.
Which living person do you most admire? I’m not sure I can narrow that down, but I’ll go with Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky for now. Those ladies are just astounding, both in and out of their sports.
What is your greatest extravagance? Starbucks. That stuff’s like $55 a gallon. Have you tried the new chili mocha? I have, and now I need to up my running mileage.
What is your current state of mind? I am so in awe of my life right now.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Sentimentality. At best it clutters your house. At worst it causes you to make horrible mistakes.
On what occasion do you lie? Just in interviews.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I have to slash “just” and “even” all the time.
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? I love music, but I am horribly tone deaf, so I wish I had some musical abilities, or could at least keep a rhythm. I remember singing to my son Sam when he was about 17 months, and he reached up to my mouth and covered it and just shook his head. I mean, damn. Joke’s on them, though, because all my kids are worse than me!
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Probably graduating from USNA and sticking with my major through it. I clawed my way in and hung on for dear life despite bad circumstances and the efforts of others. Sometimes I look back and wonder why the hell I didn’t give up. Stubborn, I guess.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? I would come back as wind and go everywhere, winding and twisting through Greek columns and Thai palaces and Arctic forests.
What is your most treasured possession? My family. They made me who I am and give me purpose and support.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Being in a bad situation and knowing nothing will ever get better. I guess that’s the definition of despair.
What do you most value in your friends? Not giving up on me when I withdraw. Forcing me to be social and forgiving me when I’m just not good at it.
Who are your favorite writers? I love Robert Heinlein (earlier stuff) for sci-fi, Tamora Pierce for fantasy, Alison Weir for historical, Jane Austen for romance, and Michael Crichton for nerdy stuff.
Who is your hero of fiction? I always had a crush on Corlath from Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword, but for hero(ine) I’ll go with her character Aerin Firehair from The Hero and the Crown.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Ben Franklin. I kind of bumble around doing whatever catches my interest at the moment and testing theories. People think I’m smart, but the reality is I’m lazy and eccentric.
What is your motto? “As long as there is air to breathe and the bowels move regularly, all other problems are temporary and minor.” (Robert Heinlein)
ERIN BEATY was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, and graduated from the US Naval Academy with a degree in rocket science. After serving in the fleet as a weapons officer and a leadership instructor, she resigned to pursue her side hobby of populating the Church of Rome. She and her husband have five children, two cats, and a vegetable garden and live wherever the navy tells them to go. Find Erin on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.