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Master List of Interview Questions for Writers - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Master List of Interview Questions for Writers
I'm working with a new email list and FaceBook group that promotes books by touring their authors around to different blogs.  So I worked up a batch of generic interview questions, sifted out from many different interviews that I've done (on both sides) over the years.  Ideally, a good interview contains a mix of basic questions that readers always want to know ("What are you doing next?") and unique questions tailored to the specfic author, book/topic, audience, and venue. 


How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

How long have you been writing?

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers?  Define some of those.

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them.

Are there misconceptions that people have about your book?  If so, explain.

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn't so?

What is the most important thing that people DON'T know about your subject/genre, that they need to know?

What inspires you? 

How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

What do you think is the future of reading/writing?

What process did you go through to get your book published?

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

How do you find or make time to write?

Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two?  Summarize your writing process.

What are some ways in which you promote your work?  Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?

What is your role in the writing community?

What do you like to read in your free time?

What projects are you working on at the present?

What do your plans for future projects include?


And my favorite for dealing with popular authors who've already done a lot of interviews:
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
xjenavivex From: xjenavivex Date: June 25th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is awesome. Thank you.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 25th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

You're welcome!

I knew I'd want it later, so this is a good extra storage place. Plus I figured that other folks might find it handy too. All you have to do is customize the questions to the topic, such as "How did you get started in gardening?" or "Your stories feature a lot of strong women. Who were some of your role models for that?" etc.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 24th, 2016 01:20 am (UTC) (Link)

That 'favourite question'...

You may enjoy knowing this:
A teaching colleague of Geography, History and Political Studies Always included as the last two questions in his class examinations:
"What question do you wish had been asked? Write it here (5 marks for a thought-provoking question)"

"Now answer your own question. (15 marks for a thoughtful, well developed and supported answer)"

Love these questions -- so useful! Thank you for allowing us to access them.

Lynne (Red Penn)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 24th, 2016 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: That 'favourite question'...

>>You may enjoy knowing this:
A teaching colleague of Geography, History and Political Studies Always included as the last two questions in his class examinations:
"What question do you wish had been asked? Write it here (5 marks for a thought-provoking question)"

"Now answer your own question. (15 marks for a thoughtful, well developed and supported answer)"<<


Oh, those are good ones!

>>Love these questions -- so useful! Thank you for allowing us to access them.

Lynne (Red Penn)<<

I'm glad I could help.
4 comments or Leave a comment