Thursday, August 22, 2013

Proust's Questionnaire

What is Proust's Questionnaire? Well apparently it's a great list of questions to ask your characters! I'm joined today by two people. Give it up for Cosmo Moonshine and Celeste Smitherson!

Celeste: Why does Cosmo get introduced first?

Kate: Because she's the main character.

Celeste: In your opinion.

Kate: It's my opinion that counts. I'm the author.

Celeste: But--

Cosmo: Question number one please!

Kate: All right. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Cosmo: Freedom from worrying.

Celeste: A purple bunny.

Kate: Are you being serious?

Celeste: When am I ever serious? No, really my idea of perfect happiness is complete and total peace in the world.

Kate: What is your greatest fear?

Cosmo: That my mom and I are going to get evicted.

Celeste: Strange noises at night. I know, I know, it's stupid. But it really creeps the heck out of me!

Kate: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Cosmo: My low self-esteem.

Celeste: My inability to shut up.

Kate: What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Cosmo: Just plain meanness.

Celeste: Lack of empathy.

Kate: Which living person do you most admire?

Cosmo and Celeste (simultaneously): Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Kate: What is your greatest extravagance?

Cosmo: My computer, for sure. I'm surprised I'm even still allowed to keep it what with the situation we're in.

Celeste: My fancy artist's kit, complete with paints, stencils, paper, an easel, crayons, colored pencils, pastels, and more!

Kate: What is your current state of mind?

Cosmo: Relief.

Kate: Why is that?

Cosmo: Because Celeste is still my friend and Nana and Pop-Pop left after days of fighting with Mom.

Kate: And you, Celeste?

Celeste: Sadness.

Kate: Why is that?

Celeste: Because the bullies at school destroyed all of my best artwork.

Kate: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Cosmo: Piousness.

Celeste: Faith.

Kate: I sense a theme here.

Cosmo: We're not religious.

Kate: Ah. That explains it. On what occasion do you lie?

Cosmo: To avoid the truth.

Kate: Ha ha. But specifically?

Cosmo: To protect someone. To be able to "explain" where you were when you were actually getting someone a Christmas present.

Kate: Celeste?

Celeste: Ditto.

Kate: What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Cosmo: My fingernails. I can't stop biting them.

Celeste: My toes.

Cosmo: Your toes?

Celeste: They're kind of crooked.

Cosmo: When do you have time to examine your toes between this ridiculous amount of homework?

Celeste: I have sleeping issues. I look at my toes when I'm trying to fall asleep.

Kate: Ahem. Which living person do you most despise?

Cosmo (through gritted teeth): Samantha Waters.

Celeste: Same here.

Kate: What is the quality you most like in a man?

Cosmo: Um . . . confidence I guess? I like guys who aren't afraid to like art or cooking, something that's considered "girly." The guys who aren't confident with themselves resort to being walking stereotypes so they're accepted by the "cool kids."

Celeste: Patience. I have a lot of quirks to get used to. You know that, Cosmo.

Cosmo: Oh, boy do I.

Kate: What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Cosmo: I like take-charge women, like Rosa Parks and Katniss Everdeen--and don't worry, I know she's not real. Someone who can do things by themselves. It'd get tiring to have to rely on someone all the time, wouldn't it?

Celeste: Agreed.

Kate: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Cosmo: Fine. Mostly when agreeing to do some absurd thing that Celeste suggests.

Celeste: Hey!

Cosmo: It's the truth.

Celeste: ... Yeah, you're right.

Kate: And you, Celeste?

Celeste: You don't know . . . ? What a blog is? Who Neil deGrasse Tyson is? What "Thrift Shop" is? Why Samantha Waters is determined to ruin our lives?

Kate: What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Cosmo: Polaris, my mom, and Muffins, who, sadly, isn't alive anymore.

Celeste: My parents.

Kate: When and where were you happiest?

Cosmo: Pennsylvania, where I first went camping with my parents. They were both happily married--I think--and if they weren't I was clueless. It was the first time I really saw the night sky and at the time we were one not-so-big happy family.

Celeste: Spanish class, Classroom C, the desk next to Cosmo. That was when I met my first true friend. It was either that or the table in the corner of the cafeteria on January 3rd when "the incident" came to be.

Cosmo: Oh, that was pretty awesome, too.

Kate: For the sake of our readers, what is "the incident?"

(Cosmo and Celeste exchange grins).

Celeste: They'll have to wait and see.

Kate: Which talent would you most like to have?

Cosmo (sighing): The ability to fly.

Celeste: Which talent? As in singular? God, it's like "Sophie's Choice!" Um . . . the ability to make my nose hair grow at will.

Cosmo: Eww, what?!

Celeste: Yeah! Because then I could freak people out so much that they're just staring at me and I can make a quick getaway from any sticky situation before they realize what happened!

Cosmo: You really are something.

Kate: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Cosmo: To rid myself of this curse that is being unpopular. Then Samantha wouldn't torture me.

Celeste: Absolutely nothing. I like myself the way I am.

Kate: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Cosmo: Um . . . when I . . . er . . . I got nothing.

Celeste: Come on, there's gotta be something.

Cosmo: Maybe the time I got an A plus on the pop quiz in math. You know, 'cause I suck at math.

Celeste: Apparently straight B's means that you suck at math.

Cosmo: All right, what's your big achievement?

Celeste: That time in the cafeteria where I quoted Shakespeare, made a speech, and most of the people clapped. Or maybe that time at the dance I made a short speech before a song and people cheered. Large groups of people rarely like me.

Kate: If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Cosmo: A beloved stuffed animal, because I would receive unconditional love.

Celeste: A dog. Dogs always get spoiled and pampered.

Kate: Where would you most like to live?

Cosmo: Anywhere that isn't here.

Celeste: Paris, France. Food, people speaking French, and Cafe's? I'm there!

Kate: What is your most treasured possession?

Cosmo: Ugh, it's a tie between my my teddy bear, my computer, and my very worn copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Celeste: A button.

Kate: A button? What makes this button so special?

Celeste: My grandmother had this ginormous button collection. She had a shoebox overflowing with them, buttons of all shapes, sizes, and colors. She'd collect them from old coats and shirts, she'd buy some of them, she'd find some of them on the ground. Any time she'd find a button, she'd keep it. She said each button had a story, like every person had a story. And she knew the stories of some of her favorite buttons, the ones she'd put on display. One of her favorite buttons belonged to Paul McCartney. It popped off of his shirt during a concert right in front of her--she was in the front row--and she grabbed it. Well, she got diagnosed with breast cancer and the last day I saw her, she gave me the Paul McCartney button. I still have it--under lock and key, of course--and it reminds me of her.

Kate: Aww, that's so sweet!

(Cosmo punches Celeste on the arm).

Celeste: Ow! What was that for?

Cosmo: We played truth or dare, you picked truth, and I asked you if you owned anything that belonged to your parents or grandparents and you said no.

Celeste: Well, I never knew my blood relatives! I'm adopted, remember?

Cosmo: Then why didn't you tell me the button story?

Celeste: It must've slipped my mind.

Kate: Next question! What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Cosmo: Losing someone you love forever.

Celeste: The realization afterwards when you realize you'll never see them again.

Kate: What is your favorite occupation?

Cosmo: I can't be sure, since I've never worked, but I think an author.

Celeste: Dessert sampler. I do it all the time at home.

Kate: What is your most marked characteristic?

Cosmo: Um . . . I guess my nerdiness.

Celeste: I am so obviously quirky, you'd have to be blind and deaf not to realize it.

Kate: What do you most value in your friends?

Cosmo: Loyalty. I could have a hundred friends who come and go, but the only person I'd care about is the one who stays by me forever.

Celeste: I can't agree more.

Kate: Who are your favorite writers?

Cosmo and Celeste (simultaneously): L. Frank Baum.

Cosmo: Ooh, and J.K. Rowling. She's a recent discovery.

Celeste: Thanks to moi.

Kate: Who is your hero of fiction?

Cosmo: Hermione Granger. She's smart and witty, but she's generally not made fun of for it. She's one of the cool kids who gets to hang out with Harry Potter and take down evil. It's nice to know that those kinds of people can be considered cool instead of freakish.

Celeste: Luna Lovegood. She's my twin sister, minus the spaciness.

Cosmo: And the Crumple Horned Snorkaks.

Celeste: What?! You mean those don't exist?!

Kate: Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Cosmo: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Celeste: Ha! That's what I was going to say!

Kate: Who are your heroes in real life?

Cosmo: Again . . .

Celeste: Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Cosmo: Definitely. And my mom, for not giving up no matter how hard things got.

Celeste: Aw, that's sweet. My parents, too.

Cosmo: Copycat!

Celeste: My hero is you, Kate!

Kate: I am not letting you go first.

(Celeste sticks her tongue out at me).

Celeste: You're no fun.

Kate: What are your favorite names?

Cosmo: Besides my own? I like unique names that aren't too weird. Names that are used, but not often. Like Lena, Indie, or Mika.

Celeste: Cactus!

Kate: Excuse me?

Celeste: Cactus! That's my favorite name. I'm gonna try and convince my parents to let me get a middle name. If they say yes, that's what it's going to be.

Kate: Okay . . . Next question! What is it that you most dislike?

Cosmo: Mean people.

Celeste: Samantha Waters.

Cosmo: Giant spiders.

Celeste: Not being able to stay up late.

Cosmo: Having to live next door to a guy who makes pot.

Celeste: Getting up early.

Kate: What is your greatest regret?

Cosmo: That I went on a camping trip to Pennsylvania for school. I wasn't able to say goodbye to Muffins.

Celeste: That I didn't forgive Cosmo sooner.

Kate: How would you like to die?

Cosmo: Peacefully, in my bed, surrounded by the people I love, of old age.

Celeste: Me, too.

Kate: What is your motto?

Cosmo: "Keep your friends close."

Celeste: "Eat cheese."

Kate: Really?

Celeste: Sorry, that's my other motto. My main motto is, "Shrug it off."

Kate: That concludes our interview. Thanks for coming, you guys!

Cosmo: No problem!

Celeste: Eat cheese!

Would anyone else like to ask Cosmo or Celeste a question? Leave a comment! :D

Also, be sure to check out the interview with Em Garner below! :D She's giving away a signed copy of Contaminated!


Boquinha said...

OMG, I LOVE this! I had so much fun reading it!!

Kate: Which living person do you most admire?

Cosmo and Celeste (simultaneously): Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Love that part. And so many more. I love their consistency, tone, and personalities. I'm so excited to read this book. Love their meaningful names and back stories. Super fun interview!

Anonymous said...

This was fun! I did a post a while back about interview questions to get to your characters better, but this was a great idea to do it as an actual interview. :)

Dr. Mark said...

What a great interview! I love your characters. Can't wait to see all of them in their own stories!

Tara A. said...

This was great! It was so much fun to read, and it's a great technique to get to know your characters better!


Tara A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Magic Violinist said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! :D