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: Pat Moody, author of the MG debut, THE GRAVEDIGGER’S SON (Sky Pony, September 26).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? A good book, a strong cup of coffee, and a nice playlist.
What is your greatest fear? Thinking that next idea may never come.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Self doubt. I’m very hard on myself, especially when it comes to writing. I have a habit of going back and tinkering with each sentence until, frankly, I don’t know what I’m looking at anymore. It can be very, very frustrating.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? I don’t know if I deplore this, necessarily, but it saddens me when I see people who lack ambition.
Which living person do you most admire? Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys. That guy is a wellspring of talent and has just a titanic imagination. I can listen to records he made in the late Sixties and still find new things to appreciate.
What is your greatest extravagance? Japanese vinyl figures. Godzilla, Mothra, the whole gang. I’m a huge fan of giant monster movies and collecting those can be quite pricey. Being a huge nerd comes at a heavy cost!
What is your current state of mind? Optimistic and loving it!
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Being highly organized. Is that a virtue?
On what occasion do you lie? Calling out sick at work *cough*
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? In real life, I say “absolutely” and “totally” way too much. In my writing, I use a lot of what my editor calls “heart Olympics”… hearts pounding, racing, dropping, soaring, etc. Never noticed that until she brought it up! My characters should all be hospitalized for cardiac issues.
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? I’d love to play an instrument, and be able to write a song.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Asking my girlfriend to marry me, and having her say yes!
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Definitely a cat. They have it made.
What is your most treasured possession? That’s a tricky one. I have a second edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin that my grandmother gave me, and it’s still in great condition. I also have a signed copy of I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett. I keep it on my desk and it makes me smile every day.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Comparing oneself to others. It’s incredibly easy to do, especially nowadays, and it’s just unhealthy.
What do you most value in your friends? Most of my friends have very different interests, but we all support one another one-hundred percent and always keep each other laughing. That’s worth a lot, in my book.
Who are your favorite writers? Steven Erikson, Gene Wolfe, and Stephen King. There are plenty of others, but I find they’re the ones I go back to the most.
Who is your hero of fiction? Mad Eye Moody, of course.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Abraham Van Hellsing. He went to Transylvania and fought Drac…oh, wait. That’s not real, is it?
What is your motto? Persistence is key.
When he was six years old, Patrick Moody saw The Creature From the Black Lagoon on late-night television, which sparked a lifelong love of all things horror, fantasy, and science fiction. He also grew up next to a graveyard, which probably helped. He has a degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University. His short fiction has been published in numerous genre magazines and literary journals, and has been adapted into audio dramas on two podcast networks. He lives outside New Haven, CT, where he writes by day and works as a middle school custodian by night. THE GRAVEDIGGER’S SON is his first novel. Visit Pat on his website and Twitter.