Dana L. Church is having a banner year. Her first book, the non-fiction middle grade THE BEEKEEPERS, was published last month by Scholastic Focus and her next book, THINKING ANIMALS, recently sold to Orca Books. In celebration, we decided to have her answer the famous Proust Questionnaire.

What is your greatest fear?

Have you seen the movie Open Water where a couple is stranded at sea surrounded by sharks? Biggest fear of my life.

Which living person do you most admire?

It’s a tie between David Suzuki and Jane Goodall.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Books. I buy lots of books. And expensive loose-leaf tea.

On what occasion do you lie?

When my kids ask me a question and I want to protect their innocence.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My hair. It’s curly and frizzy and has a mind of its own and I’ve always been jealous of thick, straight hair. But if you ask my kids, I have the ugliest feet in the world.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Apparently, I use exclamation marks a lot. But I can’t help it! I get excited when I write!

Which talent would you most like to have?

This will sound utterly ridiculous coming from a writer, but I never learned how to type properly. It’s embarrassing. Oh well. Maybe I’ll learn someday.

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

I would like to be a better friend to myself. It’s a work in progress.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

To have written a book that is now out in the world.

Who are your favourite writers?

Gosh, I have so many. Robert Munsch (The Paper Bag Princess is one of my top favourite books), Alan Bradley, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood, Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, Kate DiCamillo, Malcolm Gladwell, A. A. Milne...just to name a few.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

I absolutely adore Flavia de Luce from Alan Bradley’s Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I love her voice, her passion for chemistry, her sharp wit, her cleverness, her bravery and determination, and how much she is disgusted with her older sisters.

Follow Dana on Twitter and Instagram or visit her website

Order your copy of THE BEEKEEPERS

In the US:

The Scholastic Store


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Chapters Indigo


Dana L. Church’s new middle-grade nonfiction book THINKING ANIMALS has sold to Andrew Wooldridge at Orca Books, edited by Kirstie Hudson. This new book will feature scientists and the clever methods they use to uncover clues about the minds of animals.

“Having been entrenched in the animal world in my past work experience and having the privilege of living with many pets, I know first-hand how brilliant animals are and got so excited when Dana came up with this idea for a new book,” said The Rights Factory agent, Stacey Kondla. “I have no doubt that Dana’s expertise and passion for animal cognition will have children thinking about animal intelligence in a new light.”

If there’s a better way to welcome a new member to your team than to subject them to a Proust Questionnaire, we haven’t found it. We’re thrilled to introduce The Rights Factory’s new Film and Television Agent, Karmen Wells!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Swimming with sharks.

What is your greatest fear?

Orca Whales, but I’m working on it.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My lack of enthusiasm for incredibly long books.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What is your current state of mind?

...I don’t know how to answer this without a Schitt's Creek gif.

On what occasion do you lie?

When asked my age, but mostly out of habit. Growing up with a birthday in December, I would tell people I was a year older than I was so it would be the same as my peers, and it’s just stuck over the years. I often have to think about how old I actually am...

Which living person do you most despise?

There are too many to choose from...

What is the quality you most like in a man?


What is the quality you most like in a woman?


Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

All movie quotes.

When and where were you happiest?

Solo travelling and overexerting myself hiking up cliffs in Ireland.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Freediving for 5+ minutes

Where would you most like to live?

Under the sea.

What is your most marked characteristic?

They say I’m unconventional.

What do you most value in your friends?

Goofiness and thoughtfulness

Who are your favourite writers?

Oh god... Clive Barker, Ania Ahlborn, Stephen Graham Jones, Steven Hall, Hailey Piper, Kealan Patrick Burke, Cynthia Pelayo, Nick Cutter, Douglas Adams, Josh Malerman, Cherie Dimaline, okay I’ll stop now...

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Marvin the Paranoid Android

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Does Lilith count?

What is your greatest regret? All the classic novels I’m missing out on because of their sheer length.

Follow Karmen on Twitter at @KarmenEdits.

Banking on Talent

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