Road to Publication #21: Completing your first interview

Okay, to be honest, I am writing this up after completing many interviews.  The questions just keep flooding in.  Such wackiness, I swear!

If you were on a train in Alabama, and the lights went out and the sky turned green, what would you do?

Seriously?  You really want me to answer that question?

Okay, I made that up, but some of the questions are like this.  A lot of the questions are very much the same though, and it’s hard to keep them sounding “Fresh”

While I was filling out a set of questions last night, my son (The Monomanical Middle Grade Reviewer) Leaned over my shoulder and told me I was boring.

I read it over, and decided he was right.  I thought about some of the interviews that I’ve done here, and laughed at myself.  Boring interviews are the reason that the Little Blue Lady from Mars was created… to add a little spice and fun into it.

He pointed out the last question, and told me I didn’t even really answer it.  I looked it over.  Yep, he was right.  I danced around it.

“Okay,” I said.  “I’ll answer it.”

With a big smile on my face, I answered the question… I answered it with him in mind… Using all the magical powers of a science fiction author.

Within a few keystrokes, my son was chuckling.  I was too… and I found that this time, I really DID answer the question.  And it was funny.  More “me”.

“You are just too cool, Mom,” the MMGR said.

You know what?  I AM COOL Dernit!

Why hadn’t I done all of my interviews like that?  It made me want to go back and re-do all of the interviews I’d already done.  Unfortunately, I’d sent them all out already.

Lessons Learned.

For you guys… when you do your interviews, don’t get all “tight” and “boring”.  Remember your “voice”… remember who you are.  You only have about 250-500 words to get someone who has never heard of you to like you.

Use those words wisely.  Have fun and be yourself.

What do you like/hate about guest posts and author interviews?

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11 responses to “Road to Publication #21: Completing your first interview

  1. Thanks, I’ll try to remember that.

  2. Hahaha, just before I read this, hubby told me I was boring! I wish my middle schooler told me I was so cool sometimes! The high schoolers at church where I help lead youth group try to convince her that I’m actually a “cool” mom but she doesn’t believe them, lol. Oh well, I’ll keep all your wonderful advice in mind come January!

  3. Thanks for your thoughts about interviews. I haven’t been interviewed all that much but I have interviewed a few people. I hope they haven’t all sounded the same, as Widdershins mentioned. I do try to shake things up a bit, trying to be author-specific with my questions. Good luck with the rest of your interviews. :)

  4. I’m sure you would ask incredible questions. Do feel free to interview me to prove it. :)

  5. The interviews I’ve given have been in my usual style–truth with a bit of absurd. Or is it absurd with a bit of truth? Hmm, well, whichever it is, I like to keep my answers short. People have enough things to read as it is. :)

  6. I occasionally have poems published in literary journals and I hate the people who write nonsense bios. I can’t decide whether they are fatally self depreciating or just weird.

  7. I hear you. I’ve found myself to be boring, too, in many of my interviews. The last one I did I tried to spruce it up a bit. I think this interview stuff is all a learning process. The more we do it, the better at it we’ll get. I’m still trying to get used to the idea people want to interview me.

  8. At this point I’m just shocked to learn the Little Blue Lady from Mars is just a creation of your mind. I so wanted to believe she was real! ;) It takes me back to the time Santa adjusted his beard…
    Geez, I speak rubbish sometimes. Quite often in fact. Must keep that to a minimum, I guess if I ever have the honour of being interviewed by someone. I’m kinda new at this, as you might have noticed.
    But as someone else alluded to, you expect an interview to be specific, researched, and the interviewer obviously needs to be well informed before coming up with questions. Which sounds a bit counter-intuitive but makes for a deeper interview.

    Cheers,

    RL – always available for an interview. ;)

  9. What really bugs me when I read a site that does interviews regularly is that the questions are the same for everyone who’s interviewed … very lazy. If someone is going to set themselves up as an author interviewer then I, as a reader, want them to put as much effort into creating the questions as the interviewee puts into the answers.

    I do understand that inventing a new set of questions each time would be a real time suck, but get a little inventive, cycle through four or five sets, something!

    Did I happen to mention that this bugs me? :D

  10. Great advice. I’ve done 2 interviews so far. The one I did as my pen name “born fully grown” was a much better interview than the one I did as “me”. Interviews can be super boring to answer and for readers to read. Have fun with them. Its even okay to ask your interviewer if you can add / change the questions. Some interviewers will love that. Keep a stable of silly questions with answers ready to change things up for those occasions…

  11. writerwendyreid

    I’ve only done one so far so I don’t think I’ve had the chance to get boring yet. :-)