by John Kohlepp Jr.
Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s the author of the Agatha-nominated Ivy Meadows series, madcap mysteries set in the off, off, OFF Broadway world of theater. Cindy and her husband live in Portland, Oregon, though she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.
An award-winning copywriter, scriptwriter, and author with eight traditionally published books to her name, Cindy Brown has twenty years of experience crafting copy for companies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and crazy terrier where she gardens when it’s not raining and works on her next book when it is. She gets a lot of writing done.
I’ve read Vanity Fair for years, and always dreamed of being interviewed for the Proust Questionnaire at the end of the magazine. I suspect that will never happen, so why not do it here?
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I think Omar Khayyam had it right way back in 1120: “A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread–and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness–Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!”
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I am very messy. It’s as if all the paper in the neighborhood comes over to play at my house and never leaves.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Annie Oakley, but it’s about her spunk, not her marksmanship.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Reading in the middle of the day, and cheese. OK, I don’t know if cheese is really an extravagance, but I wanted to make sure that it got on this list somehow. I LOVE cheese.
What is your favorite journey?
Train travel, anywhere.
On what occasion do you lie?
When people ask me if I like their hair.
What is your favorite color and flower?
Sky blue and daffodils.
When and where were you happiest?
I’m pretty happy most of the time, in most places.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Typing! I am the world’s worst typist. I do it all day andn somehow nev e het any better.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
I helped launch ARTability, a Arizona statewide coalition of arts and disability organizations that helps provide access to the arts for everyone.
What is your most treasured possession?
A personal letter from George Burns.
Who are your heroes in real life?
You wouldn’t know them, because they go about doing the important work (like caring and teaching and advocating) quietly.
What is your greatest regret?
That I will never live long enough to write all the stories in my head.
Where would you like to live?
Right here in Portland, Oregon. How cool is it that I get to live exactly where I want?
What is your favorite song?
Whatever makes me want to dance – it changes daily.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What do you value most in your friends?
Who are your favorite writers?
Too many to name, but the ones I return to are Shakespeare, Dickens, Lewis Carroll, and A.A. Milne (I still love Winnie the Pooh).
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Atticus Finch (from To Kill A Mockingbird ) – smart, kind, and strong.
How would you like to die?
In bed, asleep, at the exact same time as my husband and my dog.
What is your motto?
“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (I suspect he never really said that but it's still a great motto.)
And a bonus question of my own that I always wished they would ask: What’s your favorite Shakespeare quote?
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."