Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Proust Questionnaire, with Eve Silver

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Eve Silver

Rush (HarperCollins Canada) is Eve Silver first novel for young adults. After writing for adults for many years, Rush sees Eve moving into a new arena, telling the story of Miki Jones, who wakes up in a mysterious place called the Lobby after being hit by a car. Forced to play a strange game that she suspects is much more than just a game, Miki soon finds out that it's not just her survival at stake in this baffling new place.

In her answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Eve tells Open Book about a very colourful life (literally), Toronto's best chocolate and a glittering list of favourite authors.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature.

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What is your dream of happiness?

Health, joy and fulfillment for all those I love (including me). A beautiful sunrise. A beautiful sunset. A kayak. A smooth, calm body of water. Books. Lots and lots of books. Dinner with my husband and kids and extended family and friends, laughing, talking. My dogs off leash, running and playing in a vast, open space.

What is your idea of misery?

Knowing those I love are suffering. Toiling at an unfulfilling job. Loneliness (which is very different than being alone). Helplessness. And on a less serious note: shopping for clothes. Seriously. I find shopping painful.

Where would you like to live?

I like where I live — beautiful Greater Toronto Area — surrounded by family and friends. But I’d like to move around a few times a year: winters somewhere warm and sunny (and kayak-friendly). Summers at a cottage somewhere in Muskoka.

What qualities do you admire most in a man?

In no particular order: honesty, integrity, reliability, resilience, sense of humor, sensitivity, self-awareness, playfulness, intelligence, empathy, kindness and an interest in health and fitness.

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?

Pretty much everything I admire in a man.

What is your chief characteristic?

Resilience. Knock me down and I get myself back up.

What is your principal fault?

I’m hard on myself: self-blame and feeling like I have to work harder, do better.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Spoiling the people I love. If I ever imagine myself winning a lottery, I imagine all the things I’d like to do/buy for everyone I care about.

What do you value most about your friends?

Everything — their strengths and flaws both because that makes them who they are.

What is your favourite colour?

It varies from day to day, but usually something bright — pink, purple, blue, green, the color of a sunset, the ocean at dusk, leaves in autumn, tulips in spring. A snapshot of my colours: My car is bright orange. For years my house was painted bright yellow. My laptop cover is teal. My iPad cover is pink.

What is your favourite flower?

Gerbera daisies.

What is your favourite bird?

Don’t have one.

Who are your favourite prose authors?

See, I’m really bad at choosing a single answer, or even creating short lists. How to choose only a handful from the vast field of glittering diamonds? In no particular order: J. K. Rowling, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Sarah Waters, Judith Ivory, Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races), Linda Howard, Karen Marie Moning (Fever series), Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Moore, Andrzej Sapkowski, Naomi Novik, Daphne du Maurier, Edgar Allan Poe... I could hit my thousand word limit just naming authors whose work I love.

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?

The ones who have flaws.

Who is your favourite musician?

The pop flavour of the moment. I have a weakness for catchy tunes that are popular at the moment, then I move on to the next catchy tune.

What is your favourite food?

Oh, this one’s really tough... chocolate truffles from this specific store in Toronto (Swiss Master Chocolatier). Cold watermelon on a hot summer day. Butternut squash soup on a cool fall day. Anything with goat cheese. Homemade mac and cheese. Oven roasted squash and brussels sprouts tossed with cranberries and a hint of balsamic, olive oil, maple syrup and mild curry powder. Crème carmel. And lots of other yummy things!

What is your favourite drink?

Non-alcoholic: unsweetened iced tea or water or a lactose-free Caramel Corretto® from Second Cup. Alcoholic: wine (white zinfandel or a sweet riesling) or a Pina Colada.

What natural talent would you most like to possess?

The ability to sing well. I am completely, utterly tone deaf.

What is your current state of mind?

Content.

What is your motto?

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”


Eve Silver lives with her gamer husband and sons, sometimes in Canada but often in worlds she dreams up. She loves kayaking and sunshine, dogs and desserts, and books, lots and lots of books. Rush is Eve's first novel for teens. She also writes books for adults.

For more information about Rush please visit the HarperCollins Canada website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check out all the Proust Questionnaire interviews in our archives.

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