Getting Proustian With…SHANE EVANS – the interview series


If you follow my blog you might also know I rather love the Proust Questionnaire. I’ve been using it for a while to dig deep into my characters, find out what makes them tick, what scares them, what brings them joy.

It’s fun, brief, and yet, so very insightful.

I’ve learned quite a lot about myself and the characters I create playing around with these 35 questions. Which is why it hit me a couple of weeks ago that it would also make for the perfect ongoing interview series at Madhuri Blaylock Writes.

Because seriously people, what’s more fun than hitting up some folks and getting them to submit to my short, sweet introspection?

Okay, maybe a few things, but we’re going to keep our minds out of the gutter for the time being and stay focused on the task at hand

which is introducing

“Getting Proustian With…”

my interview series that’s a little different from the usual tell us about yourself, what do you do, why, how, type of shit. I’ll be chatting with all kinds of folks, from writers and literary agents, to actors and animal rights activists. It’s going to be fun and revealing and sexy (not really…well maybe, you never know).

And my inaugural post is with the lovely



generous soul

NAACP Image Award nominated children’s book illustrator, Shane Evans.


Shane and I met through our younger siblings way back in the early aughts, 2000 if I’m being exact, at one Emory University college graduation. I honestly could not tell you what we chatted about that day, but I can say that over the years, Shane has tolerated all my requests for advice and guidance, has listened and laughed, and just generally showered me in good vibes every time we chat.

He is a gift and if you haven’t checked out his work, you should immediately head over to and Olu’s Dream and Chocolate Me Too, his project with actor and childhood friend, Taye Diggs – fabulous sites featuring some of his stunning work.


So enough about me and my interview series already – I’m much more intrigued by Mr. Evans and how he handles getting a little Proustian with it.

Let’s do this.

Getting Proustian With…


1          What is your idea of perfect happiness? Life

2          What is your greatest fear? Life

3          What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? The ideas that lead me astray

4          What is the trait you most deplore in others? Confusion

5          Which living person do you most admire? God

6          What is your greatest extravagance? Life

7          What is your current state of mind? Calm

8          What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Love

9          On what occasion do you lie? The day coming into view (Daily)

10       What do you most dislike about your appearance? That it’s tangible

11       Which living person do you most despise? The person who knows truth.

12       What is the quality you most like in a man? Breath

13       What is the quality you most like in a woman? Breath

14       Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I am…

15       What or who is the greatest love of your life? God’s love…

16       When and where were you happiest? Now

17       Which talent would you most like to have? Flight

18       If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Death

19       What do you consider your greatest achievement? Life

20       If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Me.

21       Where would you most like to live? The woods by the beach.

22       What is your most treasured possession? Life idea.

23       What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Life not enjoyed.

24       What is your favorite occupation? Breath, creative breath… art.

25       What is your most marked characteristic? Height and depth.

26       What do you most value in your friends? Love

27       Who are your favorite writers? Those who write.

28       Who is your hero of fiction? God.

29       Which historical figure do you most identify with? Job & Dr. Seuss

30       Who are your heroes in real life? Christ being.

31       What are your favorite names? Shane Warren

32       What is it that you most dislike? Not being…

33       What is your greatest regret? Choice…

34       How would you like to die? Sleeping…

35       What is your motto? Life—

ShaneEvans2 Shane Evans is the illustrator of many terrific picture books, including Nobody’s Gonna Turn Me Round by Doreen Rappaport, Coretta Scott King / John Steptoe New Talent Award winner The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith, Take it to the Hoop Magic Johnson by Quincy Troupe, The Shark series by Jean Marzollo and When Gorilla Goes Walking by Nikki Grimes. His accolades range from being honored by First Lady Laura Bush at the 2002 National Book Festival, to The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and The Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction for Children.

A multi-talented artist and designer, Shane Evans has also worked as an illustrator, graphic designer and web designer for a diverse group of clients, including Nike, the FDA, the Kansas City Jazz Museum and the Kansas City International Jazz Festival.

Evans studied at Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts. He graduated in 1993 and began traveling the world. His work is influenced by his travels to Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and throughout the United States.

Firmly believing in education and creative development for all people, Evans has produced a unique presentation designed to share his gift with all ages, cultures, ethnic groups and backgrounds. His presentations and workshops are specifically tailored to each audience and combine storytelling, art projects and slide presentations from his own work and world travel.

Shane Evans lives in Kansas City, Missouri. For more information, please visit or catch up to him on Twitter at @oluizumz or Facebook at Olu’s Dream.


4 thoughts on “Getting Proustian With…SHANE EVANS – the interview series

  1. First time coming across the Proust questionnaire and can see why its your go-to for building and understanding your characters. Great idea! Interesting interview and look forward to the series.

  2. Pingback: Getting Proustian With…CINDY PON – The Interview Series | Madhuri Blaylock Writes

  3. Pingback: Getting Proustian With…KAYTI NIKA RAET – The Interview Series | Madhuri Blaylock Writes

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