The Proust Questionnaire — a parlor game popularized by the French essayist and novelist, Marcel Proust — is said to reveal a person’s true nature through a seriesof probing (i.e., nosy) questions. In the hot seat today: Stephanie Elliot, author of the YA contemporary, SAD PERFECT (FSG/Margaret Ferguson, February 28, 2017).
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Relaxing on the beach, listening to the waves crashing against the shore. And having my family there with me.
What is your greatest fear? My family dying, dying on a plane.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Procrastination and laziness, two traits I obtain in buckets.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Being unnecessarily dramatic (i.e., the woe-is-me griping people do on Facebook); lying; being MEAN; and people who continually post selfies.
Which living person do you most admire? My children. My son, AJ, for going after his dream of playing college basketball and getting a scholarship; my daughter, McKaelen, for battling anxiety and depression, and for recovering from her eating disorder, ARFID, and sharing her journey with others; and my son, Luke, for going through what he did when he was diagnosed with epilepsy. He went through hell and back, and through it all managed to remain dignified and graceful.
What is your greatest extravagance? Napping, sleeping in, and the occasional Starbucks latte.
What is your current state of mind? Crankiness, as I deal with the 110-degree Arizonian heat!
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Charity. Although I donate to causes and organizations I believe in – including the Epilepsy Foundation, for which my son fundraises and promotes awareness of the disease – it’s not realistic to give money to all the charities out there. There are so many!
On what occasion do you lie? When the truth will hurt someone’s feelings.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “DON’T LEAVE ANY CRUMBS!” and “DO YOU HAVE ANY LAUNDRY FOR ME?” (I’m always yelling.)
Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? The ability to wake up refreshed and ready to start my day by 7 or 8 a.m. And to be better at yoga.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Creating my children.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A speed-reader. Or maybe a grain of sand on the beaches of Grand Cayman.
What is your most treasured possession? In the event of a fire, I’d yell for my kids to get out and then grab my laptop.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Extreme sadness is pretty miserable.
What do you most value in your friends? Humor and honesty.
Who are your favorite writers? I love so many! Taylor Jenkins Reid, Rainbow Rowell, Emily Giffin…
Who is your hero of fiction? Me, because I wrote a book.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? I am not a fan of history. (This is supposed to be a joke btw, did you laugh?)
What is your motto? “Simplify.”
A Florida native who now calls Scottsdale, Arizona, home, STEPHANIE ELLIOT has been, or still is: a book reviewer; a parenting columnist; a mommy blogger; an editor; a professional napper; a reformed Diet Coke drinker; a gecko breeder; and the author of three self-published novels. She graduated from Northern Illinois University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Stephanie and her husband, Scott, have three children: AJ, McKaelen and Luke. They are all her favorites. Find Stephanie on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (stephanieelliot).