Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Tip - How to Write a Better Interview

As the internet has expanded, we here in blogoshpere have been given such an amazing opportunity. As bloggers we form communities, we find others with like minds. From the inane to the insane.. We bond with others over movies, children, cars, vacations and yes books. We get a chance to interact with people that even 5 years ago we wouldn't have imagined..

On twitter I speak regularly authors, publishers and fellow romance book lovers.. I even feel a kinship to many of them! And it's not just the newbie authors, who are oodles of fun. What a wonderful world we live in! BUT.. that makes some things harder.. Like writing an interview..

So many of the questions we want to know can be found on the author's FAQ page..  Obviously these are questions that have been asked in ad nauseaum and should be avoided at all cost. Form Interviews have their place but do they really get the wow factor? Get both the author and the reader coming back?

So, how do you write a better interview? How do you get an author to say this was the hardest interview or these were the best questions or I really enjoyed these questions? The answer is you go outside of the box..

Some Simple Suggestions to building a better interview..
  1. Research.. Yes that is right, research.. Check out their Faq page, maybe some older interviews, find out what questions they have been asked often and find out something about them.. what their interests are. Sometimes a little snippet from a previous interview can be a great question. Vickieann found out in an older interview that an author's house had suddenly become cat central and was referring to herself as the crazy cat lady.. so she asked how was that going?
  2. Use your personal experience.. In my recent interview with Jennifer Lyon I found out we grew up about minutes apart so I asked her some questions that I knew she would understand and yet not exclude the readers.
  3. Ask the questions you really want to know.. believe me so do others.. In my recent interview with Jo Goodman I asked if she ever considered going back to an older series.. I miss them.. 
  4. Create a signature move.. At BR and Tea we do a speed round, granted it was created by former BR member Sandy who now is co owner of The Reading Cafe.. but it remains BR's signature move.. as it was on all interviews before Sandy left.
  5. Make sure your interview flows.. if you are speaking about a book and it's characters, don't skip over to where they live then back to the character. Let the questions flow together.
  6. Ask questions about the books but don't make it your main theme..there is so much more to an author than just her books... yes we LOVE those books but let's appreciate their creator.. Because of the internet we know so much more about authors than ever. We know where they live, if they just moved, the struggles they are having with water heaters, furniture, moving men, pets, children... they have lives let's bring them into ours..
  7. Above all be appreciative, as far as I am concerned it's ok to gush..can you imagine giving your heart and soul to something putting yourself out there to be insulted or unappreciated? Yeah, neither can I but I have seen it. Face it some of these authors I have read for a lifetime.. When Cynthia Wright and Jo Goodman responded to me and agreed to interviews, I took a minute to just cry.. I have been reading Cynthia since my HS years and JO since the mid 80's how could I not be excited?
  8. And make it yours..your interviews share more than the author they give us a glimpse of you.. So state your questions loud and proud be you, it's way more fun that way.
Hope this helps.. if anyone has suggestions to add.. or have tried some of these and aren't comfortable then please share them with us in the comments section.

Shauni

1 comment:

  1. This is a great list of tips. Even authors often do interviews of other authors. This is a handy reminder of what you can do to make your interview shine. Thanks and see you on Twitter! ; )

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