I received an e-mail last week from a student reading 50 Underwear Questions as part of a Silver Birch club in Ontario. Here’s my response:

1. Did anything inspire you to write this book?
My husband has three questions, which he calls the “Min Kyi Personality Test.” One of the questions is: “If you won a free trip around the world, but every day that you took a plane, train, or bus, you had to wear your underwear outside your pants, would you take the trip?” He says there’s no right or wrong answer to this question — it’s just a way of seeing how shy or outgoing or downright crazy a person might be. But I say, of course there’s a right answer! An around-the-world trip, for free?!? You HAVE to take it. Who wouldn’t take it? (I think this answer might put me smack-dab in the “crazy” category.)

2. Is it actually true that people used to think bathing made them sick?
True story. My six-year-old son believes the same thing.

3. Why did you decide to write about underwear?
Everyone has them. But no one ever talks about them…. What writer can resist a mystery like that?

4. Do you like being a writer?
Yes, thank goodness, because I tried being a dishwasher and it was awful. And then I tried being a journalist, but I’m kinda scared of talking on the phone, so that didn’t work out. I tried working in a government office, and I was nearly petrified with boredom. (They had to chip me out with archeological chisels.) So, overall, I’m very blessed to be a writer.

Thanks for writing with your questions!

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