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: JENNIFER CAMICCIA, author of the contemporary MG debut, THE MEMORY KEEPER (Aladdin/S&S, October 15).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Reading in front of a floor-to-ceiling picture window overlooking the ocean, with the promise of rain in the air and a fire crackling in the fireplace. Bonus: a hot chai latte and a blueberry scone placed carefully on the table next to me, and all my family playing games or reading nearby.
What is your greatest fear? Something bad happening to my kids.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Being afraid and anxious to try new things.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Disloyalty.
Which living person do you most admire? A friend of mine who recently lost her husband. Her positivity and faith are inspiring to me.
What is your greatest extravagance? Face cream–the kind that costs way too much.
What is your current state of mind? Denial.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? The sort of kindness that doesn’t really help those in need. The appearance of kindness without the action to support it.
On what occasion do you lie? To protect those I love.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? ‘Just’ in my writing, and “You keep saying that word; I do not think it means what you think it means” in everyday life.
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? To sing.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? My children. I’m so proud of all four of them.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Myself, but with a thousand years worth of wisdom and the ability to sing like Beyonce.
What is your most treasured possession? The pictures of my children growing up and of my wedding.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Death of a loved one.
What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty
Who are your favorite writers? Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, John Steinbeck, Judy Blume, Louisa May Alcott, Olive Ann Burns, Rebecca Stead, Margaret Atwood, Suzanne Collins, and so many more.
Who is your hero of fiction? Mr. Darcy.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Jane Eyre.
What is your motto? “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”
JENNIFER CAMICCIA has lived in the wilds of Los Angeles, where she wrote her first book at the tender age of five; Iran, where she developed a fear of camels and a fondness for pistachios; Hawaii, with its balmy breezes and memories of learning to swim; and the San Francisco Bay Area, where she now lives with her children and husband. THE MEMORY KEEPER is her debut middle-grade novel. Learn more about Jennifer on her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.