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, Mae Respicio, MG author of THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT (Wendy Lamb Books, 2018) and the upcoming ANY DAY WITH YOU (5/5/20).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Family, friends, the beach.
What is your greatest fear? Stepping on poop!
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Impatience.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Those who are unkind.
Which living person do you most admire? Michelle Obama.
What is your greatest extravagance? Date nights with my husband at fancy foodie places.
What is your current state of mind? “I got this!”
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Contentment.
On what occasion do you lie? I’m a little taller on my driver’s license (please don’t tell). <I won’t; I lied too. 🙂 –M.R.>
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Stop antagonizing your brother!”
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? Is not being socially awkward a talent?
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Teaching my sons how to do their own laundry! (Currently my favorite #mombrag.)
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A puppy… they get so much love.
What is your most treasured possession? A note my Mamang (grandmother) wrote to me for my high school graduation.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? A four-hour, snowy, winter-break drive to Lake Tahoe—which turns into eight hours—while stuck in gridlock traffic on a precarious two-lane highway with two hungry, whining children who have to go to the bathroom but Mom forgot the snacks and there’s no easy place to pull over. And did I mention the audio book ran out?
What do you most value in your friends? All of my best friends are good listeners.
Who are your favorite writers? This is a tough question because I have so many faves, and I find that my (very fluid!) list is always evolving. So I’ll share what’s on my nightstand right now: Ada Limon (Bright Dead Things), Mitali Bose Perkins (You Bring the Distant Near), Joanne Ramos (The Farm), and Juleah Del Rosario (500 Words or Less).
Who is your hero of fiction? Mrs. Frisby in the Rats of Nimh. Ultimately, she’s a smart mom who’ll do anything to save her family.
Which historical figure do you most admire? Another tough one! There are many, but Remedios Gomez-Paraiso, known as Kumander Liwayway, was a commander for the Philippine military who always wore red lipstick to battle.
What is your motto? “It never hurts to ask.”
MAE RESPICIO’s middle grade novel, The House That Lou Built, received the Asian Pacific American Library Association Honor Award in Children’s Literature. Her upcoming MG novels are Any Day with You (Wendy Lamb Books, May 5, 2020) and Everything Starts with Nothing (Summer 2021). She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, sons, and their family’s two pet rats. Learn more about Mae on her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Find Bubbie and Mochi (her sons’ cute, broccoli-loving pet rats) on Instagram.