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: S.A. Larsen, author of the spooky MG novel, MOTLEY EDUCATION (Leap Books, 2016), and YA title, MARKED BEAUTY (Ellysian Press, 2017).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? I don’t believe there is perfect happiness, at least not in our current existence. Instead, I believe in contentment of where we are in our journey and what we have, and an acceptance of things that are not in our control. I guess it’s living in the moment and being good with that.
What is your greatest fear? Ending up alone or not doing my best with all I’m given.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I’m not spontaneous enough. I always feel like I need notice before something is going to happen, which can zap the fun out of it all together.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Procrastination. It drives me nuts. If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. If you can’t or don’t have time, then simply don’t say you will. Gosh, that sounded harsh. Sorry!
Which living person do you most admire? Without a doubt, my dad. He’s spent the last 30 years caring for my mom who suffers with multiple sclerosis. He is a living, breathing example of integrity, commitment, self-sacrifice, and honor.
What is your greatest extravagance? I’m a simple person, really. For many years, it was probably ordering out for a special meal once we put all our children to bed. LOL But over the last couple of years, now that three of our kids are on their own, leaving us with only one still at home, my husband and I have invested in a boat and snowmobiles. Maine weather allows us to use both.
What is your current state of mind? Chaotic. Haha! Having four human kids, five fur babies, a family business, and trying to find writing time can do that to you.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? From the list of seven virtues, I feel all are important for one reason or another, and not one is overrated. I mean, maybe I could say temperance; but using things to excess leads us to other problems, and I’d rather steer clear of problems that are avoidable.
On what occasion do you lie? Oh, I’m a horrible fibber. I can’t do it with a straight face. I shake and start sweating. It’s a horrifying sight. When I was a kid, I might have said I went to bed on time when I actually snuck to eat ice cream in the kitchen.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? So and really.
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? Oh, I’d love to be able to sing! But alas, my words should be written, not sung by me. 🙂
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I’m still a work in progress, but if I had to say it would be my 27 years of marriage and four children.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A modern-day Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. She has many amazing qualities and she’s a spitfire to boot! If we’re talking about an animal, it would be a blue-eyed snow leopard.
What is your most treasured possession? I don’t place a lot of value on things, more like on what memories those things represent. It’s probably my wedding ring and my kids’ baby footprints.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? The inability to see the good in anything.
What do you most value in your friends? Integrity and honesty
Who are your favorite writers? Alice Hoffman, Amy Plum, Kate DiCamillo, Cornelia Funke, and Neil Gaiman.
Who is your hero of fiction? Jane Austen.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Audrey Hepburn is probably more of a Hollywood icon than historical figure, but with her humanitarian efforts as a goodwill ambassador she did leave her mark there. She was beautiful, talented, tireless, and compassionate.
What is your motto? Hmm… I have a few, but I’ll share this familiar one – “To thine own self be true.”
S.A. LARSEN is the international award-winning author of MOTLEY EDUCATION (Leap Books, 2016), a fantasy-adventure for middle-grade readers, and MARKED BEAUTY (Ellysian Press, 2017), a contemporary/fantasy romance for young adults. When she’s not chasing her characters around a cemetery or antagonizing them with the wonders of young love, she can be found in the land of lobsters and snowy winters with her husband, four children, two playful pups, and a trio of kittens. Learn more about S.A. Larsen on her website and Spooky Middle Grade, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.