Thursday, May 05, 2011

Author Interviews

Now don't get me wrong, I love being interviewed - honestly - and I know interviewers can't all be Larry King or the other one whose name I've forgotten but I know he's a Brit. 

Sometimes, just sometimes, in author-interview blogs, don't you get tired of the "same-old, same-old"?

I'm talking from an author's and a reader's perspective here. Who really likes, or even finds interesting, the question: "where do you get your inspiration from?" Be honest here, if you love this question please comment. As an author when I receive this, I think: What on earth can I say? It comes out of the air, something jolts and the jig-saw comes together. Is that interesting?

And another one: "What's your book about?". Um...the excerpt is printed underneath, why not read it and, anyway, why repeat it here?
One more: "Are your characters based on real people?" Oh yes, always. Excuse me let me answer the phone: "Jeez, it's a lawyer!"

Please don't get me wrong - I love meeting new authors and I love being interviewed (I said that before, ahem) but if I'm running an interview here you can be sure I'll have read at least one of that author's books and I'll have run a previous review. I think this is important in order to form more interesting questions. 

As an author I like the questions where I can be imaginative, such as: Who would you like to invite to a dinner party and why? Which author do you most aspire to? Any question that can let my creativity run riot has my approval, as do those that are appropriate to the world we live in, for example: What advice would you give to aspiring authors, how do you see the publishing world in the future, did you make any mistakes when you were on the submission-circuit? That kind of thing.

You may think I've been a bit hard here and deserve never to be interviewed again in my life. But, I'm interested here: as authors, what questions do you like? And readers, what questions would make you read the interview?

*** If you haven't turned completely against me, and you're a published author, I'm happy to interview you. Just contact me (on the About Me and Contact tab above). I will need to read your book, though!


  1. I agree interviews can be repetitive, as well as too long sometimes.

  2. Using your imagination is always a good thing. The only interview I've done is one that was pre-written so I could choose the questions I liked. I think it turned out well.

  3. I agree that some questions aren't that interesting and I agree with Alex that a lot of interviews go on way too long - what I do find interesting, though, is how the same questions can be answered so many different ways by different writers.

    I have a blog award to pass along to you - stop by to pick it up ;-)

  4. My heart always sinks when I get the inspiration one, even in normal social chat. It always seems that's a question asked by people who don't read very much. The other one is, "How long does it take to write a book?"

  5. Yes Alex - that's why I prefer to do the reviews and excerpts beforehand.
    Amelia - choosing the questions is good.
    Katie! And award! Off to check...
    Deborah - oh yes, I forgot about "how long does it take". How long's a piece of string?

  6. I understand completely what you are saying here and agree with you. The repetition is hard. And the length is an issue, as Alex said. As an author, I like spontaneous questions that I don't expect because than the answers are real, coming from my heart. As a reader, I like hearing the stories of how a book came to be, where the idea came from, not necessarily where inspiration comes from.

  7. LOL - I think we can all relate to this. FAct is, us writers don't really know where we get our ideas from, they can come from anywhere and at any time. I was reading agent Jessica Faust's blog over at Bookends and she was saying that she can't stand interviews - especially when they're emailed to her. Made me laugh.

  8. Interesting food for thought, Sue. I shall bear that in mind and try to come up with some imaginative questions for you!

  9. Hey, girly! I'm planning on having my author interview contest (like a virtual book tour) sometime in July! My book releases in late summer/early fall.

    I would love to add you to my contest if you wouldn't mind??? here's my email:

    elizabethmueller6 AT gmail

    Looking forward to hearing your fresh questions to answer! :D

    YA Paranormal Romance Darkspell coming soon!


  10. I have to interview people regularly for OWW (Online Writers Workshop for SF, Fantasy and Horror).

    I agree about some of the questions you mentioned, but asking what the book is about is a good way to give readers a capsule-sized logline. Most people won't bother clicking on a link to take them to the blurb or excerpt, so a quick 50 word logline is a good way to entice them.

  11. I actually like the inspirational questions (from the perspective of the reader). Even if it's something totally random that inspired the idea, it's interesting to hear about. :)

  12. I think interviews can be more interesting, especially when doing a blog tour and it's between that or guest blogging. Surprisingly enough, I find it harder to think of blog topics. lol I think the "where do you get your inspiration from?" question pretty interesting. Different authors are different, so one might say something new. =)

    Anyways, I enjoyed connecting with you during the A to Z challenge! I have a Versatile Blogger award for you at my blog!

  13. It's challenging to come up with interesting questions to ask, but it does pay in the long run to stretch your imagination when coming up with stuff to ask writers.

  14. Hi Maria! I made a mistake in the post - I meant blurb and not excerpt :(
    Me too Alexis,
    Sarah! You're a doll!
    It is challenging J.L. but worth it in the end.

  15. As a reader, after the A-Z challenge I just skip these same format interview blogs now. I put that in the A-Z feedback as my opinion about what could be improved and got in response what I thought was a snotty and presumptuous response from someone who does interviews. I just deleted it. But to be honest, the repetitive questions are a downer. I enjoy interviews for example done by, is it Chick Lit and some other blogs like that, That's innovative and captivating.As J.L says, being creative about the questions and even the format pays off.

  16. Thanks Wendy - so you got into trouble LOL! I'll check on the Chick Lit site and get some ideas. Thanks.

  17. Check Rach Writes too. I think her interview content is awesome. yes I did, somebody asks you to give an honest critique and then they get their panties in a knot.LOL. go figure.

  18. Compiling and writing your dissertation is a challenging task. Submitting it in a neatly typed format can be a bigger challenge, but not one that cannot be resolved. visit site


Don't be anonymous - it's not worthwhile. Anonymous comments go straight into the spam box. Sorry.