Kate Hart is a young adult writer represented by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary. She lives in the Ozarks, where she and her husband own a small business building treehouses and playsets from locally sourced materials. In her spare time, she does freelance writing and design, tends an oversized garden, and goes for hikes with her two little boys.
Let’s see how Kate answers the Proust Questionnaire!
What is your idea of happiness?
A life that’s centered on the things I love: family, friends, writing, learning, and the outdoors.
What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
I have two. “Wiser Time” by The Black Crowes became my favorite during my freshman year of college — it’s a song about being on the road, which resonated during a time that I struggled with homesickness. The other is “Brackett, WI” by Bon Iver. I don’t remember the first time I heard it, but it’s my surefire weapon when I need to chill out.
Which talent would you most like to have?
If we’re venturing into the supernatural, I’d like to have the ability to pull information from written material just by touch. But if forced to choose from reality, I wish I were fluent in multiple languages. Or that I could sing really well. Or that I could sing really well in multiple languages.
On what occasion do you lie?
Very rarely. But I’m quick with the white lie when it will spare someone’s feelings and the truth is of no benefit.
What is your present state of mind?
Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best, expecting something in between.
What is your motto?
“Don’t do things half-assed,” courtesy of my dad.
What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty. I don’t need to come first in their lives, but I need to know that I can count on them when needed. One of the hardest things about adulthood has been learning to let go of one-sided relationships.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Dude. Y’all. Just. God damnit and a couple other obscenities. (I asked my friends for suggestions and it turns out I also say “Jesus take the wheel,” “bullshit,” “stabby,” and “relevant to [one's] interests” a lot.)
Your favorite painting?
It’s a toss up between a scene my mother-in-law painted of the bridge in Florence where my husband and I bought our wedding rings, or an abstract my son and I painted together when he was four. But so far as professionals go, I love Georgia O’Keeffe.
What is your favorite journey?
Heading west with lots of camping gear and no plan.
What is your favorite time of day?
With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
Minerva McGonagall. I have the feeling that she’s full of fantastic stories we haven’t heard.
What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
I need to feel like I’ve created something that will outlive me, even if just for a short while.
Who or what is your first love?
A boy I dated at age 14. He broke my heart, and I treated him badly in return, but he remained a friend to me when I didn’t deserve it — a fact I didn’t realize until much later. He’s still a dear friend today.
What’s the last dream you remember?
I was camping with Sarah Enni and a friend from college. The latter threw a snake at my face and I flailed myself (and my husband) awake trying to bat it away.
What’s your madeleine?
Music. Sometimes it feels like every stage of my life has had a soundtrack. A love of lyricism and word play was definitely part of my motivation to write poetry in high school, and remains tied to the types of prose I like today.
Without thinking, in one word: what is life?