I'm going to be doing a series of guest author interviews on my website, but I'd love to know what sort of questions you all wish people would ask the authors.
Put on your reader hat, not your writer hat, and think about the interviews you've read online. Are you bored of the same old style of questions? Or do you still find that interesting? Maybe there are things you'd like to know that are never asked.
Let me know your thoughts, so I can ask them the questions you all want to hear. Also mention your preferred genre for reading, so I can see if there are any correlations.
More focus needs to be placed on how the book was "crafted/molded" to create the finished product. The ideas and direction for my book has been bouncing around inside my head for years. It has been interesting to step away during every chapter to look at it from the reader's perspective then approaching it again to smooth out the uneven surfaces.
I've read and done quite a few interviews that ask the normal questions about how authors wrote their books or came up with their ideas etc. but recently I found a blog that uses a different style. The blogger interviews characters from the books as well as the author, and I found this really interesting to read as it gave an insight into the characters emotions at certain points in the book, as well as how the author was feeling at that point in time. For me I find some of the old questions a bit dull (unless the author is well known) and would maybe like to know more about the characters, such as how they were developed, and what ties the author has to them. My preferred genre is mostly YA, paranormal romance but will read most genres.
All the best
Well, I have done many E-mail Interviews for my blog, I try to ask the author about three things.
What their life is outside of writing
Book related questions
how their book came to be
you can see some of my interviews here
I'm DEBORAH PALUMBO
I love the idea of the charcters being interviewed. Since introducing a new character in my new book that will be a series, I've been talking about him as if he was a "real" guy. I've been looking forward to introducing him as if I'm introducing a new beau to my family!
When we authors are writing, the characters are real, vivid, they come to life, and to craft a character well, you have to think as he-she would. It's not only an entertaining way to interview, but it sure scopes out the novel and its characters! Debbie
As someone who has been on both ends of this (author and interviewer), I would say that my favorite questions are the ones with personality. Who are you, what do you do, and what do you want to know? These are going to be the most honest questions, and the ones that authors will respond to the best. You can get ideas from asking around, or reading otherpeople's interviews, but you can't ask someone else's questions.
As an author, my least favorite approach is when an interviewer sends me a packet with a list of dozens of questions, and asks me to answer x number of them. The questions are almost always dry, flavorless, and lacking in personality. I have developed ways to make the most of them, but bouncing answers off of those questions isn't easy or natural.
My favorite questions are the ones that truly engage me and my book. Interviewers who have actually read the book ask the best questions. Crazy, huh? But it's true.
Personally, as an interviewer, I refuse to give an interview if I did not read and review the book. After I read the boo, I rarely have problems coming up with questions, and I like to think they are more insightful than a general "How did you get the idea for The Book You Wrote?" (Where sometimes the interviewer forgets to copy and paste the name of my book into that slot, so I have to do it for them.) Far more interesting to ask: I really loved the choice your main character had to make between love and duty. Is this an important concept for you, and what made you decide to use this theme in your book?
To me, reading the book (and not just a summary, although that's better than nothing), makes for a night and day difference. The interview is more interesting for the interviewer, the author, and the reader, who ends up with a far more personal experience of the book in question.
Because I write for children I like to be asked questions such as, 'What were your favourite books as a child, and do they have an influence on your writing now?'.
Children's author and illustrator
I tend to prefer author interviews that have the questions subtly woven into the text, rather than the straight question and answer format. This link to an interview with author and artist Stephen Poleskie is a good example to what I mean. Check it out: http://www.outrageous-writer.org/2012/08/guest-author-stephen-poles...
I've done a few interviews and I found some of the questions to be absolutely inane. I think the best questions are the ones that really allow you to get a glimpse into the person's phyche and creative process. For example: does the author draw on his/her own life experience or just use their imagination? How do they go about writing love scenes (if they have them in their book)? What makes them choose a particular time in history, or a particular even? What influenced their choice of genre? Those are the type of questions that I would be interested to hear anwers to from my favorite authors.
As an author I've contributed to a few interviews and I enjoy answering the following questions and they'd also be ones I'd like to hear answered as a reader
Who in real life, if anyone, formed the inspiration for the characters and why, are there any personal experiences in the book that as an author you'd feel comfortable talking about, was there anything specific that inspired you to write this story, what made you decide to write in the genre you do, is there any story behind the book that readers need to know, any karmic events that led you down the road you followed to write the book.
I feel that the more you ask an author about the inner motivations for creating the characters the way they do and putting them in the situations they do, the more the reader will get out of it.
I also like the idea of character interviews; also (and something I try to do when interviewing) in-depth questions about main characters in the book, about the period chosen (when it's historical fiction) or favourite writing places (i.e. does the author have/need a special place to write in, etc). So, a mixture of content and craft, I suppose.
Heck, I'd just be happy with a couple interviews! Anyone want to interview me before my second book comes out?
:) John Emil Augustine
I'm interested in interviewing you, John. I have conducted two interviews so far and have recently decided to incorporate writer/author interviews as a regular feature on my blog. If you are interested, leave a comment on my page here or contact me through my blog. Thanks.