Monday, April 2, 2012

Writing a great blog interview

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When someone asks if they can interview you for their blog, it's a great feeling! Even if you have to ask someone for an interview, when they say yes, you know you're going to get some cyber space and time. Get your name out there, get know, and maybe sell some books or stories.

But after you've done four or five or six interviews, you may notice some recurring questions. Some are necessary, or course, but there are those that a writer gets tired of answering. There are some questions that we get asked over and over that we really can't answer!

Like~~Where do your ideas come from? I've honestly tried to answer that over and over. I've spent time trying to actually figure it out. But, for the life of St. Lucia (according to some sources, the patron saint of writers), I do not know how ideas, characters, and plots jump out of my head and onto my computer screen. It's as magic for me as electricity (which I freely admit I don't understand a bit). I know that people want to know the answer, but I don't think there is one.

Another question that stumps me is~~What is your writing process? I'm not sure what it means, first of all. I don't think I have a process, I just write. Sometimes I write in the morning, but more often late at night, as I'm doing now, pounding out this blog for tomorrow morning. I work well under pressure. Or maybe I should say I work under pressure. No pressure, no work oftentimes. That's why I'm careful to apply pressure to myself often. I give myself deadlines and set up goals that I try to reach. If the goals and deadlines are set by other people, though, they work a lot better.

Maybe the process question means~~Do I plot things out or do I just start writing? The answer to that is, both. For a short story I'll often get the idea fully formed and just set it down as it came to me. For a novel, I have to have a sketch of my main plot points, and for mysteries, I have to have figured out pretty much who did the crime and why. But how the sleuth solves the case is sometimes revealed to me later, as things unfold. Maybe as my material gets~~processed?

My best interviewers have read (and liked) my work. I love to answer questions about the books and stories I've written. One big help for interviews is to keep track of the answers that you've given. It doesn't hurt to have some stock answers to stock questions. Saves time if you put them down somewhere, and know where to find them for your next interview. I wish I knew who had suggested this to me, but I can't find it. Maybe it's with those stock answers that I stuck somewhere.

To be honest, I haven't had any bad interviews. I can imagine a bad one, with boring questions, or with the same questions for each interviewee. But even the ones that do that have a list of many good questions that the interviewee can pick from, so the interviews don't turn out all the same--not boring at all.

I'd like to hear what you think makes a good or a bad interview!


  1. I think the interviews that are the most fun are the ones where the interviewer has read your work or at least some excerpts. It's more fun to talk about what you wrote than to answer the process questions. On the other hand, it's also great to just be interviewed, too!

  2. I agree, Mary Ann! My last few interviews have been good book sellers for me, which I love

  3. Hi! I also entered to win the IBBA and found you among the list of entries! :) I'm a new follower! I still hope I win (instead of you lol), but it never hurts to make some new friends along the way. ;)

  4. Good luck and thanks for following!

  5. Oops! I voted too soon. But they said I can come back and try again on the 10th.

  6. I should have said the voting starts on the 10th. Oops!!!