Interview: Michelle Painchaud, YA Author

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Michelle Painchaud is a 22-year-old YA author who watches too much anime and writes sad-happy stories about imaginary teens who are incredibly awesome and cooler than her. She spent her growing years equally split between the florid beaches of Hawaii and rainy suburbs of Seattle. There were a lot of heartbreaks and wedgies involved.

PRETENDING TO BE ERICA, her young adult thriller about a teenage conman in Las Vegas, is forthcoming in 2014 from Viking Children’s.

In her spare time she likes rolling around on the floor with cats and baking and yoga.┬áHer current project is a bit of a secret since it’ll be subbed under a penname, but it’s a YA/Sci-Fi pitched as Memoirs of a Geisha meets Legend of Korra in space, and she’s super excited about it!!

Let’s see how Michelle answers the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
Cats and tea and a little shack on a cliff by the sea.

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
I keep coming back to Lost Love, from the Gyossait Soundtrack. It’s a little indie video game that’s had a profound impact on me. I heard the song when I played the game, about a year ago.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Sword-fighting ability, without a doubt.

On what occasion do you lie?
When I feel it’ll make someone more comfortable.

What is your present state of mind?
Grateful and BUSY.

What is your motto?
“We are here, and then we are not.”

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Honesty and communication are tied, really.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Literally”, “Fixed it for you”, “oh my god”, “k bye”

Your favorite painting?
The Return of Persephone (1891), by Frederic Leighton

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Frederic Leighton, 1891

What is your favorite journey?
The one that never ends!

What is your favorite time of day?
Dusk! Everything changes right then. Everything is softer then.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
Alanna, from the Song of the Lioness books

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
Getting the important stories in my heart on paper.

Who or what is your first love?
The bildungsroman.

What’s the last dream you remember?
Benedict Cumberbatch and I were at a carnival and I told him his shirt looked ‘gay’ and I hid on the tightrope because he was mad and then we held hands and I was super flustered. All in all, pretty good dream.

What’s your madeleine?
The PS1 logo on a TV. Some of my best memories, and tenderest realizations, were made playing old-school video games.

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

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