Posted by Juliet Madison
In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’!
Please welcome Elizabeth Cohen, whose book The Hypothetical Girl was featured on Oprah.com as Book of the Week…
1. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)
The House on Beartown Road (in paperback, The Family on Beartown Road. I love my short story collection, but this memoir is about the hard and beautiful two years I spent with my baby and my father, and it is a cornerstone of my actual and writing lives.
2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):
Punctual. Good listener. Neat. Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.
Good Good Good listener. Love to listen. Might take notes. Might steal (be careful what you say to me).
3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):
Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.
Oh no, I am NOT perfect. For sure. I will go with slob here. But only in some areas. Like the BACK of my closet. The RIGHT SIDE of my desk. That one drawer you allow to beocme complete chaos (c’mon, you have one too, admit it!). Let’s call it controlled slobbery.
4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?
I am in LOVE with them, but not romantically. I want to buy them all chocolates and take them to really good, cathartic foreign movies and make them soup because these characters NEED A BREAK. But romantic feelings, nope.
Never. But I do dream it. Yes. First. Then write it.
6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?
Never, but I do occasionally talk to my cousin Stuey Cohen or one of my best friends, Ruth Lopez. Then they typicallly say, either—that is hysterical, priceless, or that’s sh*t, babe. I trust them completely. And for that I thank them.
7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?
HAHA. Um. Hmmmm. Julianna Margolies. It is a hair thing.
8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?
Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, DUH.
9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?
a) A pen and notepad that never runs out
b) An unlimited supply of books
c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)
d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference
I am going with the pen and notebook. But I would miss the gorgeous person. I think I would have to write about that.
10. If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?
Dear Everyone in the Whole World:
There is much you are likely upset about. Like, for example. the fact that you cannot get really good tomatoes in the winter, your toilet is clogged, that there isn’t enough water for your village, or the person you love just left you. And to that I say, welcome to the tribe of humanity. Whatever you are experiencing has been experienced before and will be again. If you take a moment to think about it, all pain is known pain, and it has all been written about beautifully.
The good news is that most bad things are temporary. That eventually you probably WILL get a good tomato, you will find water or someone nice will likely bring you some, there are these things called “snakes” that can unclog a toilet fast, and they are cheap! As for the person who left you… They were not worth your time anyway. And the best part: You can write about all of it. You own your story. It is yours, to write or die holding secret. That is a powerful thing, if you think about it. Plus, every single night there MIGHT be a meteor shower.
(whose toilet would not unclog for a month, who has eaten many really lame tomatoes, had her water pipes freeze and burst and who was left by her husband…witnessed profoundly beautiful and LONGass meteor showers …and wrote about it all).
Was that two minutes? Well, read it faster, then.
Thanks for taking part, Elizabeth, you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!
>> WIN! Elizabeth has an ongoing 350-word love story contest at www.thehypotheticalgirl.com – click on FLASHLOVE to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of The Hypothetical Girl, open worldwide 🙂