Ask @ChrisKuhnAuthor:

What was your favorite subject in school?

I don't think it will come as any shock at all. For me, it was always English, in whatever garb - one year, American Literature...another year, British Literature...and so on. But what might surprise some people is what I really loved more than anything was not so much the novels and poetry, but instead the uncovering of plays and playwrights that were new to me. To this day, it's my favorite literary format and yet I've never written a play before. Hmm... never say never. Perhaps some day! *eyes the sky longingly, smiles*

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If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

Hmm. Interesting question. And I apologize for not getting here sooner to reply. If someone wrote a biography about me, there are a few appropriate options... Wistful, the Eighth Dwarf You Don't Know About or...perhaps in homage to the great Judy Blume, Tales of a Fourth Grade Geek...and 5th Grade, and 6th Grade, and So On... All kidding aside, perhaps the most appropriate title of all would be Words and Music. What Else Is There? :))

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What crazy things do you dream of trying someday?

I will admit that I am not the most adventurous person, and I have so many phobias, that doesn't help. Lol. But I would like to go up in a hot air balloon someday (and that's from someone afraid of heights!) I also would love to see the aurora borealis in person...the Northern Lights. To be sitting there surrounded by that kind of beauty, it must be breathtaking. Not sure how that one will ever happen. I don't have any ambitions to physically try any daring things because I'm far too clumsy a person and would probably break my neck attempting to ski or hang glide or anything far outside my comfort zone. And um... I probably have some other things I want to try, but *blushes* I don't really think this is the place to share THOSE. Heh. ;-D xx

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Name a few movies you can watch over and over?

Movies I've watched again and again, huh? Hmm. Well, whenever I've needed a confidence boost professionally, WORKING GIRL is always the kick in the pants to motivate me. If I'm feeling particularly wistful, movies like WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, SIXTEEN CANDLES, LEGALLY BLONDE and 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU can pull me out of a funk. I've seen AMERICAN BEAUTY and PULP FICTION so many times, I can recite lines with the actors. Don't get me started on every MONTY PYTHON film in existence. And if ever there were a movie I've seen far more times than is healthy, there's ON THE WATERFRONT. I could probably perform the whole 1954 classic in my sleep. I'll be sure to send out notices when we get that event on the calendar. Heh. :-P Great question!! xx

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When was the last time you broke the law?

Sorry for the delay in answering. Let's see... every time I drive probably. *cringes* I know, I know. I shouldn't but I can't help it. I do speed an itsy bitsy teensy weensy bit. But I'm granny on the road compared to most peeps. But technically, any of us who go even a mile over the posted speed limit are breaking the law, so I guess that would have to be my answer. :-) Thanks for the question. Now please promise me you won't turn me in. I haven't perfected a mug shot pose just yet. :-P

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Do you prefer to answer questions or ask them?

That is a good question. I've spent much of my last 10+ years asking others questions, not answering them. When I was a creative strategist in marketing or when I worked at a newspaper and wrote short promo items for one job and articles for another or when I served as an editor of a magazine, I was constantly asking questions. It was necessary to work toward building a product others might want. Even while I was writing my book, I found myself frequently stopping to ask myself questions aloud (yes, we writers are odd and talk to ourselves). I'd ask things like what would she do in that situation, would he really say that, how would other people react, questions such as these, all with the same purpose --- of trying to build a believable framework, realistic characters and dialogue one might actually hear in the "real world." I always avoid attention or defer it to others, I commonly shrug off compliments, I don't like to talk about myself. But I'm forcing myself to come out from under the shell and be more open in sharing my own views and story for I find that when I do, so many others come forth and tell me how appreciative they are for my sharing what I do and that they can relate to the moods, the mementos and memories that I bring to the conversation. And that is the most wonderful thing, that realization that you're not quite so alone on this planet. Mmm.

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What is your favorite black and white movie?

Aah, this is an easy one. Well, maybe not exactly. I am going to tweak the question a little. Ha. I'll give you my favorite Comedy and Drama B&W movies. Comedy, without question, It Happened One Night, 1934, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. Mmm, I adore the banter between the two, the romantic tension is palpable and yet this movie is nearly 80!!! years old but man, does it hold up! Wonderful stuff. For Drama, definitely ON THE WATERFRONT, 1954, Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint. Another mmm, not just because Brandon was completely yummy but it is my favorite kind of movie - the underdog fights his way back to attempt to defeat the "big man." Perfection. Elia Kazan's best film ever. A masterpiece! If you haven't seen either of these films, rent them. Pronto! That's an order ;-D

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What made you happy today?

Somebody answered my questions today here on ask.fm, and as this person usually does anyway, he put a smile on my face. Someone told me she loved my book today. That always makes me cheerful. Someone else did a really super thing for me online today to give me an extra push out into the marketplace and for that, I smiled greatly and am forever grateful but I've told her this, so I think she knows. ;-) And a totally different person told me that he enjoyed my company. That probably made me happiest of all. You can delete an email or ignore a tweet or Facebook update, but if you choose to spend time with me and then tell me you're glad you did, well, that makes me smile inside as well as outside. And sure enough --- it did. :-D

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What will you never do?

Jump out of a plane voluntarily, barring the need to jump out during an emergency of some kind. I have friends who have jumped out of planes to skydive in honor of a birthday milestone or to "feel alive." Nope, not going to be me. Potentially dropping through the skies to my death is not necessary for me to "feel alive." I can think of other far less dangerous things I could do. Take a golf club to the shin, poke my eye, tickle, pinch, massage (hey, they don't ALL have to be painful or uncomfortable). All will certainly remind me that I have blood flowing through my veins and fulfill that job perfectly fine.

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What is the first animal you would run to see if you went to the zoo?

I'm a bit of a hypocrite. I'm the first person to claim adamantly that I'm a dog person but when I step foot in any kind of animal sanctuary or zoo, the animals I'm most excited to see are wild cats of any kind - lions, tigers... any of them! So in the wild, I quickly become a cat person. Go figure.

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Is your favorite time the past, present or the future?

If you had asked me this question 20 years ago in my 20s, I would have said the past because I hold on tight to memories and enjoy reliving them in my imagination. About 10 years ago in my 30s, I felt like all I was ever doing was planning ahead but rarely paying attention in the moment. Today, in my 40s, I am definitely much more in the moment - so much so that sometimes I find I get a little um...forgetful about things in the future. LOL I need to find a happy medium but I feel like I enjoy my current experiences much more now living in the moment than I have for most of my life. I highly recommend the transition to fellow over-planners and past-dwellers. :)

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What should there be in a perfect day?

Music. Definitely. Lots and lots of it. Ideally, art of some kind - whether it's a good book, a trip to an art museum, a favorite film...something I can get lost in or immerse myself in interpretation and study. Add in some awesome company --- a patient friend who shares my interests or a sweetheart so we can add in a little canoodling, too --- and a little wine and a nice meal to end the day, and we've got the components of a perfect day. Mmm.

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How ambitious are you?

Ambition is a funny word. To me, at least. It has negative connotations for me sometimes and it shouldn't. Not really. I am most ambitious not because of money or fame or toys you might acquire in the process of being successful. Nope. I'm ambitious when I really, REALLY believe in something. For this reason, I honestly wasn't a very ambitious person until about 6 or 7 years ago, once I was finally doing something that I believed in, writing for a living. And recently, upon publishing my first novel, it's the first time I can truthfully say that something I've created has prompted some ambition again because I've heard people talk to me about their reading experience, I know how my book - my silly little romance book or as it appears on the surface - has actually opened up people emotionally and encouraged and empowered others to take some much needed leaps in their life. That makes me feel fanfuckingtastic to know that something I WROTE could do that for someone. So I'm ambitious about things I really do believe in and if I feel a sense of urgency to get that message into the right hands and the words that comprise it into the right ears.

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Yes, I've read your book. I'm an academic but I'm poring through plenty of romances so get the gist of the genre so I can write one myself - pen-name, of course, because I have publications under my actual name. And am I to take you don't enjoy the tickle-torture discussion?

Well, thanks for reading it and I'm glad you enjoyed it, I hope you'll share your feedback out at GoodReads and Amazon with others. I know as a reader I am always interested in the observations of others to determine if a book's the right fit and worth the investment of my time. So thank you for reading it and for the kind words. As for the tickle-torture chatter, well, I simply don't have anything to contribute to this convo, so I'm afraid you're on your own with that one. But it may (or may not) surprise you to learn, I could actually answer questions about OTHER subjects and since you've devoted 7 of them already to the subject of tickle-torture, it just might be time for a change in topic. ;-)

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Sorry, dear, for failing to ask a question that once :-) I finished off your book recently and you're quite the talent. I can't kick the desire to co-write (switching on-and-off chapters with you, from the male/female POV) a tickle-torture novel with you. Thoughts?

Did you really read my book or are you just saying that? *eyes you suspiciously with a light smirk upon my lips* You know, I wouldn't totally rule out the idea of a male/female POV literary project but I'll leave the tickle-torture genre to you. You've clearly got that category nabbed completely. I am just a sappy, wistful, pop culture-obsessed romantic and won't be of much use to you in that tale. But let me know when you release it so I can seek out your Authorgraph inscription...oh wait, but I don't know who you actually are? *sighs* Daaaaaamn. *shrugs, walks off sadly* Oh well...

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I must say, I like your wit, Chris. Though at the same time, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that your toes are wiggling rather uncontrollably while reading all of this. Is that the case, dear? P.S. Yes, I quite appreciate your freshness :-)

Hey! You asked a question...good for you! ;-) And, to answer it, no, my toes are actually quite comfy and snug in my slippers, but I appreciate the concern. Happy to hear I was entertaining, too. :-D

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A skilled tickler wouldn't make you pass out, my dear. You'd be given breaks from the tickling, during which, perhaps, your toes might be nibbled, and other light, gentle teasings might occur. Have to keep your sensory receptors fresh, after all, for maximum effect :-)

Is there a question buried in that flirty commentary or did you simply lose your train of thought? ;-) Oh look! I provided the question instead. Good thing! It is called ASK.fm after all, and asking does require questions. Hmm, funny how that is. *whispers* P.S. You said you wanted me to be fresh with you, so there you go. Fresh enough for ya? :-P

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Mr. Anonymous ;-) Hmm, perhaps... Or perhaps it would be fun to tickle you regardless, even if you don't have anything to give up - after all, your torturer might not believe you and might continue your torment, making you laugh yourself into hysterics :-) Most ticklish spots, Ms. Kuhn?

Can you feel me smiling from waaaaaaaay the heck over there? ;-) Most ticklish spots, huh? I suppose everywhere isn't a specific enough answer. Let's just say my ribs/sides and my feet and leave it at that. That would be plenty of latitude for torture and I'd probably pass out from delirium!

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Oh, you'd make it up? Dear dear... that might result in less grubby fingers and more feather-tips tickling you... perhaps for the location of your newest manuscript :-) You might be in quite the jam.

Sure wish I knew who was obsessed with tickling me to torture, Mr or Ms Anonymous. ;-) *sighs* Anyway, they'd be torturing me to no avail since I haven't been quite so prolific as of late. They may want to postpone their tickling escapade for a few months when I have something substantial worth stealing. *winks*

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If you were captured by a spy organization, tied up, and tickled for information, how long would you last before you told them the information they wanted?

Funny you should ask this, mystery inquisitor. I happen to be quite ticklish and would be terribly forthright in providing whatever information they wanted to which I was privy. Hell, I might even make it up if it got their grubby, tickling fingers off of me. Ooh wait, did I just confess that aloud and give away my Achilles' heel? Yowzah. ;-)

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Are you an art lover?

I am a huge art lover. Humanities was easily my favorite subject in college. I have a real appreciation for someone capable of carving out their view of the world through the use of texture, color, perspective and shape. I make my living and tend to my heart's longings in the same manner but wielding words not paintbrushes or charcoal. We often respect and admire those who can do what we ourselves cannot. I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler. Art is something I love to observe and interpret and absorb. I have tried to be an artist, taking painting classes and trying my hand at drawing, and I am far better observing than creating the work.

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Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?

I don't. I think that's just something we tell ourselves to accept the fact that perhaps we don't have complete control over all that occurs in the world around us. And it may offer comfort to those who struggle accepting the fact that some things simply happen and may do so for absolutely no reason at all.

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