The Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival has interviewed some authors in this way, for example Stuart MacBride, one of my favorite crime fiction writers. No, I’m not invited to the festival, nor will I be able to attend, but I felt like answering the questions anyway.
«The Proust Questionnaire is believed to reveal an individual’s true nature. We have asked 2011 Festival authors 17 questions inspired by the questionnaire in an attempt to uncover who they are…»
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being absorbed by my writing to such extent that I forget time, my self and reality.
What does your ideal day look like?
Getting up late in the morning with an irresistable urge to write. When the inspiration has been fulfilled, I’ll meet with good friends to eat, drink and talk. At some point keep a lecture, a reading or any other stage activity where I get full attention.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Cigarettes, coca cola and tasty food.
What possession would you be heartbroken if you lost?
I’m generally not occupied by things. Maybe my photo albums, some of my books, my computer or my phone.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Half of the time I am really happy with just the way I am, the other half of the time everything about me is wrong. Some aspects of my life would be a lot easier if I were ten years younger, but I tend to enjoy having some life experience.
What childhood fear has followed you into adulthood?
The fear that someone I love turns out to be a monster, and the fear that I am myself a monster.
Do you take comfort in darkness or light?
I prefer darkness, when I’m not on a stage. Lately I’ve learned to like sunlight as well.
Do you remember your dreams?
Some. Thanks to my anti-depressants, they are even more crazy than before, and easier to remember. Sometimes I mistake my night mares for reality. Embarrassing.
How do you collect snippets of observations and ideas that come to you unexpectedly?
I have a notebook with me almost everywhere. If I don’t have it with me, I use my phone.
What emotions do you experience when you sit down to begin a new work?
Thrilled. Not sure what to expect, but convinced of my own genius. That conviction is usually very short lived. I’m not a perfectionist, and I trust my publisher to tell me what and how to fix the text.
What is your favourite way to avoid writing?
Surfing the net, blogging, inventing new projects.
Does being in love propel or postpone your work?
I don’t remember.
How do you work under pressure?
That is when I’m at my best. I need (flexible) deadlines to get anything done.
What published book do you secretly wish you had written?
How to choose?! There is a lot of Norwegian books I’d like to have written, and some mystery novels. But I realize that the reason I like them is often that I’d never come up with the idea myself.
The Bible would be much better in my version, with less damaging effects than the current one. All right, I admit that I’m a megalomaniac (ca. half the time).
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Jean(ne) d’Arc because I suspect she was a transman, and because of her brave actions and faith.
If you were reincarnated as a person or a thing, who or what would you be?
A landsnail. Both male and female, always at home, with a life that is pure eating, having sex and sleep.
Tell us one thing you can’t prove but believe is true…
The only thing I can think of is the existence of God. I know, dull answer. This probably explains why I don’t write science fiction…