One size fits all?
Not really and definitely not when it comes to designing author interview questions.
There are a number of different techniques that can be employed for creating the questions which might be asked during a guest author interview.
I’ve a couple of sets of questions which are incredibly general and which I dip into when I will be meeting the author for the first time. In such a case, what questions might be the most interesting for me to pose?
I'll be wanting my readers to get a general 'feel' for who the author is and what genre they write in. If the author writes science fiction, then I might be wanting to focus a bit more on where the author gets ideas from and perhaps if they are influenced by others who write in the same genre. My questions might also include:
What's your target audience?
What character traits does your favourite character have?
Those questions often appear and reappear on numerous blogs - along with questions like:
What is your hero's biggest challenge?
If the author writes romance only then the questions might include:
What does your heroine think when she first meets the hero?
Sometimes questions are repeated around the blogsphere because they are good questions, but at other times it’s because they are like DIY - they're ready to use.
Writing takes up a lot of time and takes up many forms across the day if you are an author. Creating new interview questions can be a challenge and can take longer than other tasks, especially when the blog host seeks some new slant on the questions or seeks to be more entertaining for the blog readers. If the questions are tailored to the author, or the work being promoted, then it can be even more time consuming – yet the rewards are in the interesting answers that come back.
I’ve written many guest author interviews over the last two years and some of the questions have been very difficult for me to answer. Sometimes that’s because they really haven’t suited my writing style or my pathway to publication, and others perhaps because my mood hasn’t been focused enough.
Today I’ve written 4 sets of interview questions which fall somewhere in between the types already mentioned. I have geared them to fit what I have learned about the author’s voice but unless I’ve actually read the book being promoted (if that is the reason for the guest appearance) I can’t be really as personal and targeted as I’d ideally like to be.
Sadly, it’s impossible to read all of the excellent books I’ve promoted on my blogs and I don’t try anymore, though I do still read a lot of them.
What I've tried to do today is to encapsulate as much as possible of what I’ve learned of the author’s work- a snapshot within some general questions.
Look forward to some interesting interviews coming up soon.