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: Marit Weisenberg, author of the YA paranormal, SELECT (Charlesbridge Teen, October 3).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? A long lunch with a person I love in a beautiful place. With cocktails. I just did this with some high school girlfriends at a winery!
What is your greatest fear? I watched too much Walking Dead. I really fear all hell breaking loose/Armageddon. I don’t actively fear it, but I can definitely get freaked out!
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Being apologetic.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? There are worse traits like outright meanness, but I can’t stand know-it-alls/arrogance.
Which living person do you most admire? Like many, many people I adore Michelle Obama.
What is your greatest extravagance? Clothes!
What is your current state of mind? Anxious/excited.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Being driven to succeed.
On what occasion do you lie? I’ll tell a white lie if I know I’ll hurt someone’s feelings and it’s just not necessary. Or if one of my kids gets a bigger piece of a cookie than the other (“They’re the same size!”).
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Perfect!
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? I would love to be a really great cook.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Writing a book despite all the other demands on my time and attention. Sometimes it felt like the world was conspiring to constantly interrupt me, and stop me. I’m most proud of getting into the habit of waking up at the crack of dawn to write.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? I would love to be a fly on the wall in old Los Angeles before the city was developed. I’d love to hang out at Pickfair, the Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks estate, and take the now-defunct trolley to the ocean.
What is your most treasured possession? I really love my engagement ring. It’s art deco style from the 1920s.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Loneliness.
What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty.
Who are your favorite writers? E.B. White, Nicola Krauss, Judy Blume, Jeffrey Eugenides, Rainbow Rowell, Kate DiCamillo, Marguerite Henry, Toni Morrison.
Who is your hero of fiction? Owen Meany!
Which historical figure do you most identify with? I am fascinated by Queen Elizabeth I and her evolution over time.
What is your motto? Well, I’m trying to adopt this one from Hamilton: “When you knock me down I get the *** back up again” !!!
MARIT WEISENBERG has a master’s degree from UCLA in Cinema and Media Studies and worked as a film and television executive for a number of years. She currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two daughters. Find Marit on her website and Facebook, and follow her on Instagram.