Francis Plug, of How To Be A Public Author, answers the famous Proust Questionnaire for us:
Your favourite virtue
The ongoing desire to understand where I am and how I came to be there.
Your favourite qualities in a man
Patience, understanding, good humour, kindness, dancing feet, donkey laugh.
Your favourite qualities in a woman
[Same as ‘Man’ qualities above.]
Your chief characteristic
A nervous energy, leading to laughter, weeping, and shouting with oneself.
What you appreciate the most in your friends
I have some new literary friends. When they listen to me yabbering on and on and on, that’s appreciated.
Your main fault
The inability to put enough aside for tomorrow, resulting in poverty, debts, and angry letters/phone calls.
Your favourite occupation
Gardening is most enjoyable, but as a business proposition it’s a friggin’ nightmare.
Your idea of happiness
To be anonymous. And to be paid to write in the pub all day.
Your idea of misery
Stuck on a stage, before a sizeable crowd, fending off questions concerning my book and myself, armed only with still or sparkling water.
If not yourself, who would you be?
Keri Hulme, Booker Prize-winner, living on an isolated beach on the other side of the world.
Where would you like to live?
On an isolated beach on the other side of the world. Or in the dome of the Boston Arms pub, Tufnell Park.
Your favourite colour
The rich burnt umber brown of horse poo innards.
Your favourite flower
Your favourite bird
My regular companions, the sparrows. They clean themselves in dirt.
Your favourite prose authors
George Orwell. George Gissing. I also share some of the same social problems as George Michael.
Your favourite poets
Rimbaud, Nick Cave.
Your favourite heroes in fiction
Christie Malry, Don Birnam, Erwin Sommer
Your favourite heroines in fiction
Istina Mavet, Daphne Withers, Anna Kavan
Your favourite composers
Mahler, Spike Milligan
Your favourite painters
Vincent van Gogh. I also see myself in many Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach works.
Your heroes in real life
J.G. Ballard, Oliver Reed.
Your favourite heroines in real life
Keri Hulme, Janet Frame, Anna Kavan.
What characters in history do you most dislike
Those spoilt children who blagged their way into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Your heroines in world history
Mother Theresa, Mother Nature.
Your favourite food and drink
Ale pie. Ale.
Your favourite names
Wigglebottom. I also like my own name, except when unpleasant people change Francis to ‘Butt’.
What you hate the most
I hate the assumption that a person passed out in a doorway with pissy breath, wee-stained trousers and no money can’t be a great writer.
World history characters you hate the most
The kings and queens who lived lavishly while the people starved. Most rich and powerful folk tend to be shits.
The military event you admire the most
I like when they fly their planes low over the city and discharge coloured smoke. It probably kills the plants though.
The reform you admire the most
The end of six o’clock closing was quite something. The smoking ban, not so great.
The natural talent you'd like to be gifted with
Self-confidence, banter, slam-down wrestling moves.
How you wish to die
Direct meteorite strike. But I’ll probably choke on my pen lid, on the bus.
What is your present state of mind?
Right now I’m thinking I could beat Proust in a bit of rufty-tufty.
Which fault have you most tolerance for?
Shyness, awkwardness, drunkenness.
Your favourite motto
You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.
Read more about Francis in Francis Plug: How To Be A Public Author, by Paul Ewen (Galley Beggar Press - September 2014)