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dolores haze
02-21-2010, 07:48 PM
I'm gearing up to interview a few writers for my friend's blog. I do quite a bit of interviewing for my day job and have a lengthy list of suitable questions to ask, but I'd like to get some input from y'all on the specifics of interviewing writers.

If you've ever been interviewed, have interviewed writers, or have just daydreamed about it - what are some unusual questions you'd like to ask or be asked?

Thanks!

ChaosTitan
02-21-2010, 08:08 PM
Speaking as someone who's been interviewed, the more unusual or author-specific the question, the better. There are only so many ways you answer the more typical questions asked (how did you get started writing? how did you get the idea for your book? how long did it take you to get published?), especially the twentieth time it's been asked. Now, if you're interviewing a debut novelist, that's a little different, because they probably haven't told the story as often. So it's important to know some background on the person you're interviewing.

Some of my favorite interviews have asked oddball questions. It gives me a chance to think, or to give an oddball answer. Specific question (book-related, author-related) are good, too, if you've had a chance to read the author's work beforehand--character questions, world-building choices, etc...

Polenth
02-22-2010, 01:01 AM
The time I was interviewed, it was a standard set of questions and they were emailed to me. That part was okay.

The icky part was when it went up. Readers of the site usually comment on interviews, but they didn't comment on mine. Nor did the editors, who usually comment on interviews too. It left me feeling bad, as it was clear I wasn't the right person to interview for the readership. I wish I'd been told when the interview was submitted that it probably wasn't right for the site.

So that's my comment... if an interview doesn't work out, tell the person.

dolores haze
02-22-2010, 03:59 AM
Good advice, Chaos and Polenth. Thanks!

Kathleen42
02-22-2010, 04:05 AM
Some of my favorite interviews have asked oddball questions. It gives me a chance to think, or to give an oddball answer. Specific question (book-related, author-related) are good, too, if you've had a chance to read the author's work beforehand--character questions, world-building choices, etc...


Pssst. You're supposed to say "My Interview with Kathleen was my favorite" :p

Wait - what do you mean you don't know who I am? Why are you calling security.

maestrowork
02-22-2010, 04:35 AM
Cater to the particular writer and background. Generic questions like "what made you want to write" is less interesting (especially with canned answers) than something that is specific about the writer. It'd be better to do a pre-interview interview to find out a bit more unique about the writer.

I like it when my interviewers asked me about something that was specific about my book or go deeper into the themes of the book -- that shows me that they paid attention.

sheadakota
02-22-2010, 04:39 AM
Cater to the particular writer and background. Generic questions like "what made you want to write" is less interesting (especially with canned answers) than something that is specific about the writer. It'd be better to do a pre-interview interview to find out a bit more unique about the writer.

I like it when my interviewers asked me about something that was specific about my book or go deeper into the themes of the book -- that shows me that they paid attention.
This- I love it when they ask me about my characters- I feel like a mother talking about her kids :)

ChaosTitan
02-22-2010, 04:58 AM
Pssst. You're supposed to say "My Interview with Kathleen was my favorite" :p

Wait - what do you mean you don't know who I am? Why are you calling security.

:Hug2:

All the interviews I've done for fellow AWer's are my favorites. I love you guys. :D

MarkEsq
02-22-2010, 05:00 AM
I've done a few interviews recently for my blog - true crime writer Kathryn Casey (http://daconfidential.blogspot.com/2009/12/interview-with-true-crime-author.html) and thriller writer Jeff Abbott (http://daconfidential.blogspot.com/2010/02/interview-with-thriller-writer-jeff.html). I have two more coming up, Steven Sidor and David Lindsey. I emailed the questions and admittedly they are a little "stock," so to speak. I actually think it's interesting to compare answers to the same questions from different writers.

I also think that while some of the usual questions are a little boring to the writer, they are what people want to know. Why else would people keep asking them, right? I tend to give the writers a list of fourteen or so questions, and tell them to answer whichever ones they want.

dolores haze
02-22-2010, 07:43 AM
Great stuff, guys. Thanks so much.

Jess Haines
02-23-2010, 12:56 AM
All the interviews I've done for fellow AWer's are my favorites. I love you guys. :D


You were a great sport! Thanks for letting me interview you. :D