As you know, I love Vanity Fair. At the back of the magazine is a “Proust Questionnaire” where they ask a celebrity a few intriguing questions. Maureen and I have been friends for years, and if I wasn’t already a fan of her books, I would be after reading her answers. Maureen, thanks for playing along. Here goes:
LANE: When and where were you happiest?
MAUREEN: Strangely, the moment of most transcendent happiness I experienced was alone on a beach in Chile, watching happy children play.
LANE: What is your greatest fear?
MAUREEN: Death, of myself and others. Which is why it’s odd that I’m a mystery writer. Someone always dies in my books—sometimes two!
LANE: What is your greatest achievement?
MAUREEN: I don’t know if it’s an achievement per se, but what I’m proudest of is that I was once asked to let a very troubled teenager who was being paroled from juvenile detention live with me…and I didn’t say no. I’m so happy to report that she subsequently got clean, got her GED, earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, became a licensed therapist (specializing in teens much like herself), got married, had four beautiful kids, and founded a non-profit.
LANE: What is your favorite occupation?
MAUREEN: I love to explore! I like to just wander through a new neighborhood, reading the historical markers, checking out the architecture, popping in interesting stores (such as a botanica that sells actual love potions and voodoo amulets), eating some food new to me, and talking to people. I’m a huge walker, so I might walk 10 miles in a day, no problem!
LANE: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
MAUREEN: I often put my foot in my mouth!
LANE: Which historical figure do you most identify with?
MAUREEN: I suppose I most identify with my ancestors who were strong women ahead of their time. In particular, I’m proud of being descended from Anne Hutchinson, the first recorded female religious dissident in the New World (the men got so mad they exiled her from Boston, so she showed them by co-founding Rhode Island!), and Susanna Martin, who was executed as a witch in Salem.
LANE: Where would you like to live?
MAUREEN: In a 300-year-old salty sea captain’s house in New Castle, Delaware, with lots of odd nooks and crannies, creaky floorboards, and maybe even a friendly ghost. I think New Castle is one of the most underrated places on earth. It’s got the history of Colonial Williamsburg, but it’s actually old (not reconstructed like Williamsburg), and it has almost no tourists. Plus, it has a lovely riverfront promenade, an exquisite town square complete with a white-steepled church and spooky graveyard, and a fantastic café tucked away down a cobblestone alley. I would sit at the café and write every afternoon!

Maureen Klovers is the creator of a culinary cozy series starring Rita Calabrese, an Italian-American matriarch (and fabulous cook!) turned reporter and sleuth. A former spy and middle school teacher, she has a keen sense of adventure: she’s hiked through the jungle to Machu Picchu, toured a notorious Bolivian prison with a German narco-trafficker, and fished for piranhas in Venezuela. She’s the mother of a toddler and a black Lab and enjoys testing recipes and speaking Italian.


    1. Thank you, Suzanne! If you want to read an account of my (real-life) adventures as a teacher in Ecuador, you could check out “In the Shadow of the Volcano” (my first book, though I must admit I’ve matured as a writer since then! 🙂 I hope your summer is full of adventure!

  1. Great answers, Maureen! You’ve led such an interesting life already.
    We pass New Castle when heading home to LI from NC and I always say we should detour to explore it. Maybe now we will!

  2. I’m so impressed that you’re descended from Anne Hutchinson. She’s a great hero of mine. Thanks for this great interview!

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