Interview: Kat Zhang, YA Author

smaller APKat Zhang is an avid traveler, and after a childhood spent living in one book after another, she now builds stories for other people to visit. An English major at Vanderbilt University, she spends her free time performing Spoken Word poetry, raiding local bookstores, and plotting where to travel next. WHAT’S LEFT OF ME–about a girl with two souls–is her first novel and was released by HarperCollins on 9/18/2012. The sequel, ONCE WE WERE, comes out 9/17/2013. She is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong. You can read about her travels, literary and otherwise, on her website or check her out on Twitter.

Let’s see how Kat answers the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
Working toward something I want, helping someone else achieve what they want, and enjoying what I already have 🙂

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
Right now, it’s Lullaby for a Stormy Night by Vienna Teng. I first heard it when my friend showed me some video on youtube about two years ago. I can’t remember what the video was about, but “Lullaby” was playing in the background, and I just love how sweet it is.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I really wish I could sing better, haha. And maybe dance, too.

WLOM_cover to KZ 1.30.12On what occasion do you lie?
When it causes more harm not to.

What is your present state of mind?
Well, my last semester of school just ended, and I’m about to leave in an hour for lunch with an old high school friend, so I’m feeling pretty awesome 🙂

What is your motto?
There’s a quote by Henry David Thoreau: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” My personal motto is to not be one of those men! (or women)

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Hmmm….For a while, I used “legit” way too much, but I don’t think I do anymore, haha. I’m not quite sure what my current verbal tic is!

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1767

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1767

Your favorite painting?
Oh, of course I suddenly forget them all as soon as I’m asked! (I have much the same problem when asked for favorite books). I do like The Swing, though I’m sure in about an hour I’ll suddenly remember 10 others that I like better 😛 

What is your favorite journey?
That of a terrific work of art 🙂

What is your favorite time of day?
Just before the sun rises, or deep in the dark of night.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
Hermione. She knows so much! 😉

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
I suppose as long as I’m happy, I can die happy.

Who or what is your first love?
A boy. Sweet and stubborn and prickly, the way they sometimes tend to be 😉

Once We Were final hi resWhat’s the last dream you remember?
I think my 7th grade Language Arts teacher was trying to give me a Physics test that I hadn’t studied at all for. It was definitely a finals stress-dream, lol.

What’s your madeleine?
Old books, ones that I read when I was a kid. Re-reading them transports me perfectly back to that first reading. Who I was then, and how I saw this book.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?
Singular.

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