Proust Q 5.0 october 2009: Susie MoloneyOctober 11, 2009
Welcome to this month’s profile Proust Questionnaire 5.0. (What’s this? See bottom of the page.)
I’ve known of Susie Moloney for a long time, having both gone to Red River Community College in Winnipeg a few years ago. Then she moved away and moved back, becoming a blockbuster successful author along the way. In this strange social media world and with me a day-and-a-half’s drive east of Winnipeg here in Montreal, I’m only now really getting to know her. Fiendishly funny, devoted to wine and witty repartee, currently nursing an aching jawbone, which sounds like the setup to a joke but is painfully not so. Here is Susie Moloney, who put herself through the PQ 5.0 blender about a month ago.
Since we are conducting this interview via Facebook inbox, the world is ours for the inventing. If, as I some day hope, money is no object, in what city and establishment would you like this interview to be taking place? Anywhere but my office. Actually maybe a sexy little bistro someplace where the waiters wear jackets and serve from the right. Or is it the left? I want to hear the clink of crystal and feel the thrum of a big city, reminding me that there’s a world out there and it can’t wait to meet me.
Who and what would you be wearing?
Mmm … Dolce and Gabbana; with boots. And an ironic expression, completely faked.
And, most importantly, what would we be drinking?
A good French red, like velvet in our mouths.
Okay then. What are the qualities you most admire in others?
Hard work and focus, which I constantly seek.
What do you like most about yourself?
I’m a very funny girl.
Occasional bouts of deep self-loathing and my ankles.
What is your greatest achievement?
My ability to take it on the chin.
What is your present state of mind?
Happy. In love.
Where and when are/were you happiest?
Manitoulin Island 1995. But in general, I’m happiest at my computer.
What is your first memory?
My mom was going to California and she joked that I was tiny enough to take in her suitcase. I crawled inside and waited to go with her. I was about 2.
What, currently, do you most love doing?
Writing well, when I am. Drinking, when I’m not.
What was your worst job?
I worked very briefly in a shop that sold “love aids.” It was a nightmare. But it paid well. People always thought there was something going on in the back room.
Your favourite colour?
Blue. Possibly lilac.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The end of a good day at the computer, a book, a glass of wine and the possibility of sex later.
The work not working.
If not yourself, who or what would you be?
I would love to be deeply involved in a cause, something that would create good change. Maybe political.
Where would you like to live?
In Europe, somewhere coastal. Barring that? Somewhere coastal.
What is your favourite journey?
A car trip with vague intentions and someone handsome. And a good book.
What is your favourite or most memorable meal and when is the last time you indulged?
I had a great pick-up dinner at The King’s Head pub last year, with some good, hilarious writer/musician friends. It was hours and hours of laughing, everyone trying to out bon mot each other, and everyone succeeding. I had the curry. I won’t name drop, but it was the fabulousness of the people who made the meal.
Name the person who influenced you most and how.
My grandmother. Is that lame? Does it help if I say she influenced me in reverse – I do everything I can not to make her mistakes, and so her difficult and often sad life was not in vain.
Name the film/song/book/art that influenced you most and why?
I read Wuthering Heights about fifteen times when I was in my twenties. The idea that a woman could be so conflicted and so cruel and so incredibly wonderful at the same time inspired me to create a number of my own, most memorable, characters, even if only in my head.
In this or any time, which real-life figure(s) do you most admire?
Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second wife. Poor thing was just trying to get ahead (ha!). And Bonnie Fuller, who does whatever she pleases, and does it well.
Who is your favourite fictional hero?
I love a conflicted hero, someone who isn’t really very good, but does good things. So, I love almost all of them. Mira from Women’s Room, by Marilyn French, revelation to me in my young years, that book should be the bible/cautionary tale to every woman with children. And I’m still a little in love with Ritchie from my own book, The Dwelling. Buy it now.
What fault can you most easily forgive?
What fault can you not forgive?
The passing of judgment. Also the passing of opportunity.
What is your motto?
Be bold, and kind.
How would you hope to die?
I want to go out with a good line, drama and copious tears.
Any last words?
In the words of Lyle Lovett, paraphrased, “I am not good, but I have good intentions.”
Admit it. You read those celebrity Q&As and you know you’re easily as worthy of being profiled. I know I do, but my friends are way more interesting. So, with nods to the “confession albums” of the late 1800s made famous by the fabulous Marcel Proust’s answers, to French TV host Bernard Pivot who adapted the questionnaire, to Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton who gave it another spin and to Vanity Fair, which uses its own elegantly spun version to anchor the magazine’s back pages, I submit for your entertainment and enlightenment, my own version of the Proust Questionnaire, re-retooled for a blog age.