Very excitingly, I’ve been able to do a couple author interviews on my blog, and just sent the questions off for another. This is another instance of my blog making my dreams come true – not only do I get sent free books but am allowed to question the people who wrote them! Hurrah!
I interviewed Christopher Fowler here and my sister and I interviewed Lynette Noni here. But I’ve found that writing questions isn’t quite as easy as you might think. I find that I spend a long time agonising over just what exactly to ask!
Here are my five quick conundrums:
1. No spoilers.
I don’t want to ask anything that gives away the plot to someone who reads it, but a lot of the natural questions spring from it. Plus, I don’t want to ask for any information outside of the book. They’ve given me what they want to tell me – I don’t need to ask for what happened next, or clarification.
2. Not just the easy ones.
What are your top tips for writers? Where do your ideas come from? What’s your writing schedule? Though the answers to these are endlessly interesting as they obviously vary so widely, I’m sure someone else will be asking that.
3. What do I really, really want to know?
What has been my personal reaction to a book, or a question that has arisen to me? I assume that if I want to know it, someone else probably will too. But it’s not always easy to identify these things.
4. Does it even matter?
Is the author dead?* Should they be? I think that as I like to write too, I will always be interested in writers. But I also want to respect the distance between them and their work.
5. I don’t want to look like an idiot.
Maybe I should stop doing those book selfies?
What would you ask an author if you could? What do you want to know when you’ve finished? Which author would you most like to question and why?
*I mean dead in the way Barthes meant: the author is separate to the text and does not have the only or even a more important view of what it means. They simply put the words together, and became separate from it. I’m not trying to interview dead people.