I was originally introduced to the Proust Questionnaire by my fellow Write Bitch Madhuri Blaylock in her interview series, Getting Proustian (you can find my interview on her blog). As an admitted nerd for self-reflection, I really enjoyed answering the questions. It also got me thinking.
Why not put some of my characters under the microscope?
Below is the Proust Questionnaire as answered by professional badass, Misha “Puzzle” Kaslov. He and his associate, Rev. Emil Stone, first showed up in A World Apart (Shades Below, #1). They are also starring in their own novella series, the Shades Below Shorts.
Misha is in the driver’s seat for the second Short, Thicker Than Water, which just went live a few weeks ago (get more info here). I figured this was a good time to sit down and pick his brain…
The Proust Questionnaire: Misha “Puzzle” Kaslov
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Good tequila. The Ramones. Emil.
2. What is your greatest fear?
I fear I am becoming cruel.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
The urges I feel towards Emil.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Nosiness. People who interfere in things they don’t understand create more messes for me to clean up.
5. Which living person do you most admire?
Simon Darviche, General of the Peers.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
Kissing Emil. Wrong or not, it is my greatest extravagance.
7. What is your current state of mind?
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Diplomacy. I can get the same results much faster with my fist and my karambit.
9. On what occasion do you lie?
On any occasion that most requires it.
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I look like my father.
11. Which living person do you most despise?
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
The same. Stupidity is far too common a quality in the world.
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Most are in Russian. None are polite.
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
That is a very personal question.
16. When and where were you happiest?
Emil and I were once on a job in Hawaii. It was…rejuvenating.
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
The talent of connecting with people. Emil has that talent. I have always admired it.
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
The way I look at men.
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Emil and I are sent on assignments all over the world. We are the best.
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Johnny Ramone’s guitar
21. Where would you most like to live?
22. What is your most treasured possession?
My black Ramones t-shirt
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Usva in the winter.
24. What is your favorite occupation?
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
I was raised to be a weapon. That is my only characteristic.
26. What do you most value in your friends?
27. Who are your favorite writers?
Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pushkin.
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Konstantin Levin from Anna Karenina
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Vasily Zaytsev, sniper at the battle of Stalingrad.
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
The people I meet while on assignment, who have no incentive to help us, but do.
31. What are your favorite names?
That is a pointless question.
32. What is it that you most dislike?
33. What is your greatest regret?
I want things I can’t have, and I have an eternal lifespan to suffer for it.
34. How would you like to die?
On my feet.
35. What is your motto?
All Peers have the same motto: Etsi mihi invisum avis frui magis. Although I am the hated bird, I rather enjoy that.