Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

The Proust Questionnaire, with Richard Thake

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Richard Thake, author of Sir Seth Thistlethwaite and the Soothsayer?s Shoes (OwlKids), comes to children's publishing as a veteran of the advertising business; he was an Associate Creative Director of one of Canada?s largest advertising agencies. A father of three grown children and a grandfather of three, he has finally found the time to write the Sir Seth series — a thinly disguised glimpse into his own ?theatre of the mind? childhood adventures with his friends in the Don River Valley and The Beach areas of Toronto. He lives in Newcastle, ON.

Sir Seth Thistlethwaite and the Soothsayer?s Shoes is the first in a series for boys ages 7–10. It?s all about two regular boys who imagine they are knights and have all kinds of adventures in a made-up world called Thatchwych. It?s full of alliteration, wordplay and tongue twisters. Listen to an excerpt narrated by the tricky-tongued author in the book trailer.

In his answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Richard tells us his greatest accomplishment, his motto and his idea of misery?it's going to be a long winter, Richard!

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?
Being in the same room with my wife and three children

What is your idea of misery?

Where would you like to live?
12 Heatherlea Drive, Newcastle, ON

What qualities do you admire most in a man?

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?

What is your chief characteristic?

What is your principal fault?
Talking before I think

What is your greatest extravagance?
Model aircraft

What faults in others are you most tolerant of?

What do you value most about your friends?

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?

What is your favourite virtue?

What is your favourite occupation?
Writing children?s books

What would you like to be?
Two inches taller/40 pounds lighter

What is your favourite colour?
Navy blue

What is your favourite flower?

What is your favourite bird?

What historical figure do you admire the most?
Jesus Christ

What character in history do you most dislike?
Adolph Hitler

Who are your favourite prose authors?
Bill Bryson, John Steinbeck

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?
The Mighty Knights of Right & Honour

Who are your heroes in real life?
The RAF during the Battle of Britain

Who is your favourite painter?
Barbara Thake

Who is your favourite musician?
Dave Brubeck

What is your favourite food?
T-Bone Steak

What is your favourite drink?

What are your favourite names?
Emma and Matthew

What is it you most dislike?

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
Being able to sing

How do you want to die?

What is your current state of mind?

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

What is your motto?
It?s a wonderful life


For more information about Sir Seth Thistlethwaite and the Soothsayer?s Shoes please visit the OwlKids website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online 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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