I love reading author interviews. I particularly like to know whether a writer uses a pen or pencil and what kind of notebook she writes in. So, it occurred to me the other day when an author I like sent me a copy of her new book that I should do some author interviews. There are tons of writers who come over to BlogLily — I should hit them up, don’t you think? It could be fun. You don’t even have to have published something. Writers in progress are fair game too!
The thing is, though, that beyond nosy questions about what kinds of writing utensils a writer employs, I’d have to think of some other questions — more literate questions. So, I did what we all do when we have no idea what we’re doing, which is I googled “author interview questions.”
Wow. I found some very bad stuff (not bad, really, but not that interesting), and then the Paris Review’s author interviews which pretty much scared me because they were so smart, and then some other interviews which I loved because writers would draw stuff to illustrate their answers, or at least give the answers in their own handwriting, which I like, because I enjoy seeing how people write. Literally.
Anyway, I realized that you can do two kinds of interviews (obviously you can do many more than this, but I’m going to just keep it to two because — right! — this is a blog. We don’t have to be complicated.) The first kind is more like a questionnaire — you ask everybody the same thing. (And no, I will not be asking things like if you were a color, what color would you be? although, in case you are wondering, the answer is orange.) And then there is the second kind of interview in which the interviewer reads the book and asks questions that are quite book-specific, like “why did you give Harry a scar on his forehead? Do you have any interesting scars you’d like to tell us about? Also, what on earth are you doing with all that money? Are you giving a lot of it away?” That kind of thing.
Okay, so say I decide to exploit the people I know who’re writers and force them to answer questions — what kinds of things would you like to hear them talk about? Another way to ask that question is “when you read author interviews, what are your favorite questions?”
See? I’m interviewing you, dear readers. You’re my warm up to a summer of impersonating Terry Gross.