Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

The Proust Questionnaire, with Pam Fluttert

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Pam Fluttert

One of the Focus On: Waterloo Region writers we are celebrating this month, Pam Fluttert is not only an author, but also a committed advocate for youth. Using the difficult experiences of her own childhood, she has written a brave look at mental and sexual abuse in her first novel, Until Today (Second Story Press). The author states that her mission is "to inspire, protect, develop and empower today's youth to take control of their lives and be all that they can be."

In her answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Pam Fluttert tells us about her own inspirations, horses and heroes, the cool drink that tempts her and more.

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.

What is your dream of happiness?
A great ride on my horse, movie nights with my family, happy and healthy family and making a difference. Long weekends every weekend would be nice as well!

What is your idea of misery?
Something happening to my family.

Where would you like to live?
On a beach where the temperature is 25°C every day.

What qualities do you admire most in a man?
Honesty, sense of humour, supportive.

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
Honesty, supportive, confident.

What is your chief characteristic?
Strong family values.

What is your principal fault?

What is your greatest extravagance?
My horses.

What faults in others are you most tolerant of?
When they make mistakes, because we all do, especially if they are willing to acknowledge their mistake and learn from it.

What do you value most about your friends?
Being there for each other when we need to be, forgiveness when we are too busy to stay in touch, having somebody who understands and accepts us for who we are.

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?
Dishonesty, seeking power and control over others, wanting everything for nothing.

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?
I undervalue myself.

What is your favourite virtue?
Courage and being open-minded.

What is your favourite occupation?
Teachers that love their jobs — they inspire and teach our youth, who become our future.

What would you like to be?
I?m happy with where my professional career is going, so I?d like to have more time to write, draw and be a better horseback rider.

What is your favourite colour?
Purple and black.

What is your favourite flower?
Lilies and roses.

What is your favourite bird?

What historical figure do you admire the most?
Secretariat — yes, I know he was a horse but he showed so much heart and determination to defy all odds.

What character in history do you most dislike?

Who are your favourite prose authors?
Too many to name — love Diana Gabaldon?s Outlander series, Barbara Taylor Bradford?s To Be The Best series, the North and South novels by John Jakes, Larsson?s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and Suzanne Collins Hunger Game series! Also love the Harry Potter and Twilight books and so many more!!

Who are your favourite poets?
Dr. Seuss.

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?
Hermoine, Orry Maine, Rhett Butler.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents for the way they raised me and my husband for putting up with me.

Who is your favourite painter?
Too many to name — Da Vinci, Monet, Degas, Renoir.

Who is your favourite musician?
I like a variety but some of my favourites would be AC/DC, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and so many more.

What is your favourite food?
Pasta — lately I prefer the gluten free pasta.

What is your favourite drink?
I?m trying not to like Tim Hortons ice cappes as much as I do.

What are your favourite names?
Karlyssa and Shalyn, my daughter?s names, of course.

What is it you most dislike?
Feeling intimidated.

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
I?d like to enhance my artistic skills.

How do you want to die?
In my bed, sleeping peacefully.

What is your current state of mind?
I?m starting to believe that it may be possible to make a difference and help others — looking forward to the next steps.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
My daughters.

What is your motto?
Make every day your day.

Pam Fluttert lives in New Hamburg, Ontario with her husband and two daughters. In addition to writing and drawing in her spare time, she works at the University of Waterloo. Pam spends as much time as possible with her family, two dogs and two horses. Until Today is Pam's first book. Writing it proved to be a therapeutic experience for her, and she hopes for some of her readers as well.

For more information about Until Today please visit the Second Story Press website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore, online from the publisher or at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check back for more Proust Questionnaires with Canada's literati in this latest series of interviews on Open Book.

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