The Next Chapter

Lisa Moore takes the Proust questionnaire

The Canada Reads-winning author of February and the new YA book Flannery on the unlikable literary character she loves, and why fog can get to a person.
Lisa Moore's novel February won Canada Reads in 2013. Her latest novel is Flannery. (Murdo Macleod)

Lisa Moore has always been eclectic in her choice of subject matter. February, which won the 2013 edition of Canada Reads, tells the story of a woman whose husband died in the Ocean Ranger disaster. Caught is a suspenseful tale of a drug heist gone wrong. And her latest, Flannery, is a YA novel about love potions.

Moore takes The Next Chapter's version of the Proust questionnaire, revealing her favourite fictional character and her secret to avoiding regret.

Tell me about your favourite character in fiction.

I think my favourite character in fiction might be Duddy Kravitz. And that's just because he's so evil, and he's so funny, and he's so driven with passion. He's such a guy's guy that you can love to hate him, and he has such a perfect downfall.

What do you value most in your friends?

A sense of humour. My friends make me laugh, and in Newfoundland in particular there's a lot of humour, often self-deprecating. Humour helps me see the world in a new way, and that's what I like my friends to do for me — show me the world in ways that I've never seen it before.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

There are times in Newfoundland where there's no sun for a very, very long time. And in the first days of that absence of sun it's liveable. It can even seem romantic — the fog can seem romantic and even the drizzle has its romance. But 20 or 30 days into that, it becomes quite miserable. 

The quality you most admire in a man?

Curiosity. I love it when people are searching for things, and this would be for both men and women. I love when they're open to surprises.

What's your idea of perfect happiness?

I think it has to do with having time to write, time to create, time to spend with my friends and family. And swimming. I love plunging into the water and feeling the heat of pushing myself to swim as many laps as I can.

What is your greatest regret?

I don't think I have any regrets. I sometimes take a long time to make a decision, like will I go out tonight and go to a play, or will I stay home and read a book. Those things can seem huge to me even though they're quite small decisions, but once I've made the decision I don't look back.

Lisa Moore's comments have been edited and condensed.