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Michael Crummey takes the Laferrière Questionnaire

Our patented Laferrière Questionnaire shines a light on the slightly twisted mind of Michael Crummey, the author of Galore.

About the Laferrière Questionnaire: We asked writer Dany Laferrière to reinterpret the Proust Questionnaire for the 21st century. He put together 20 questions that shine a light on who we really are, both as writers and as individuals.

1. If you were Alice, would you rather stay in Wonderland on the other side of the mirror, or come back to the real world to tell your story?
That was definitely a drug trip of some kind and it ain't anywhere I'd be anxious to stay. And I'd probably keep my mouth shut about it even if I made it back alive.

2. If your home were on fire, what prized keepsake would you grab on your way out?
Honestly can't think of a single thing I couldn't live without. Which makes me think I have to rustle up some prized keepsakes. 

3. What childhood fear do you still have as an adult?
Fear of being singled out. Followed closely by the fear of being overlooked. 

4. Would it be okay to have a miserable childhood if that were a prerequisite for becoming a writer?
Depends how badly you want to be a writer, I guess. Years ago I'd have sold most of my internal organs if I thought it increased my chances. Leaning now towards going with the happy childhood, which I think at least offers a shot at a happy adulthood. 

5. Do you wake up at night to read or write?
Occasionally I have sleepless nights and I'll write to pass the time. But I'd rather be sleeping. 

6. Do you feel anxious or excited when you start to write?
Mostly anxious. Before, during and after. 

7. Does darkness soothe you or frighten you?
I like the dark. When I lived alone I often didn't bother turning lights on at all, just wandered through the house by feel. It makes the world seem like a more intimate place.

8. Do you tend to hang on to a thousand little scraps of paper, or do you regularly clean out your drawers?
I'm not anal about this, but I have a limit. And when that threshold is crossed, everything has to go. Think I've tossed a few uncashed checks in those mad clearouts. 

9. Which animal would you rather be: a cat or a dog?
I'm too needy and too eager to please to be a convincing cat. 

10. Does love dry up your creative juices or make them flow faster?
Love seems to have no direct influence. Heartbreak offers the illusion of increased creativity. But that illusion only breaks your heart in the end.

11. Do you remember your dreams?
Rarely, and usually only if they're traumatic. The one exception to that rule was dreaming of my father in the year or two after he died. Strange things, I always knew I was dreaming, I always knew he was dead and I knew that waking up meant losing him again. Which I guess makes them traumatic dreams as well. Although they were beautiful moments, just to lay eyes on him, to occupy the same space for a while. 

12. What's your favourite colour?
There's a particular shade of green on the head of a particular water duck whose name escapes me at the moment. A luminous, shifting green, with some of the qualities of oil in water. That green. 

13. What's your favourite season?
It would be spring, if such a thing existed in Newfoundland.

14. Does pressure motivate you?
Deadlines are a writer's lifeblood, baby.

15. Would you rather live to write or write to live?
Well, writing to live is no life at all. So it's gotta be live to write.

16. What published book do you secretly wish you had written?
That's a secret, man.

17. Are you the paranoid type or calm, cool and collected?
What do you mean by that? Who's asking these damn questions anyway? Is the government in on this?

18. What would qualify as the afternoon of your dreams?
Any afternoon that doesn't involve mowing the lawn. Or phone calls from insurance companies. Or laptop meltdowns. 

19. Are you more like the sun or the moon?
Definitely more like the moon. Waxing and waning. A bit lunatic.

20. Do you hear voices?
Only when someone's talking to me. (And not always then.)

Michael Crummey's latest novel, Galore, was shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Prize. Michael's first novel, River Thieves, was a finalist for the 2001 Giller Prize, and his second, The Wreckage, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. He lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.

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