Writing Character Interviews for Promotions

by | Marketing Books, Writing | 10 comments


image by Tumisu

My guest today is Zoe M. McCarthy (okay, me). Zoe discusses character interviews. Then she interviews the hero and heroine from her book, The Putting Green Whisperer, releasing September 14, 2018. She’s pleased to share that her publisher has a one-time-only 99¢ pre-order special for the Kindle version. The special disappears on the release date.  See the blurb and pre-order links for The Putting Green Whisperer below.


Character Interviews

Character interviews can help authors obtain a deeper understanding of their characters. They can also be used in book promotions to tantalize readers to purchase their books.

Are the questions asked for character development different than those for promotion?  Some are. For example, authors need to know their characters’ secrets, but giving away their secrets for promotional purposes would be story spoilers for the reader.

Other questions may or may not be good for promotions, depending on when the reader will know the answers in the book. For example, their past wounds may be revealed early in the story and asking about their wounds in an interview might work. If they only hint at past wounds in the beginning to create suspense, asking them in an interview to reveal their wounds would create spoilers.

Two Tips

  • The character interview questions and answers for promotions should cause readers to have questions they want to know the answers to.
  • The characters’ interview answers should reveal their character.

The Putting Green Whisperer Character Interviews

image by mohamed_hassan

Shoo Leonard

1. What do you want to accomplish physically, Shoo?

I want to leave caddying and make it into the PGA, where I hope to be a good example for youth. But before this can happen, I have a couple of challenges to overcome.

2. What are your thoughts about your fellow caddy Allie Masterson?

At first, I thought Allie needed a friend and I was supposed to minister to her. That didn’t go well. Then she revealed one thing that shamed me and other things that helped me understand her. Although she can be intense and prejudges at times, she believes in my dream and works tirelessly to help me. Allie’s my best friend.

image by mohamed_hassan

Allie Masterson

1. What do you want physically, Allie?

I’m glad Dad asked me to caddy for him on the PGA Seniors Tour, but when that ends, I want to teach kids in a good golf program. Some problems have come up, and I might have to research youth golf programs sooner than I thought.

2. What are your thoughts about your fellow caddy Shoo Leonard?

Man, I was afraid you’d ask me that. The great thing about Shoo is he has this unbelievable gift to read the greens. Guys who listen to his directions sink their putts. I misjudged Shoo at first because of our past history when we were kids, but now I’ll do anything to help him make it into the PGA. We’re fist-bumping buddies. And that’s a huge problem.

Interviewing your characters in promotional media. Click to tweet.

What are some good questions you’ve used in interviewing your characters for promotional purposes?

Pre-order Link  $0.99 during pre-order period only.

Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer…and then she falls for him.

 Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-bumping buddy…but then he falls for her.

What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?

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  1. Regina Smeltzer

    What a great idea to interview your characters for others to enjoy. For authors, our characters become real people. We either bond with them or we don’t. I felt such angst for one of my characters I caught myself praying for him! I had to stop and tell myself that he was not REAL! I am sure God got a good laugh out of that one.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      I chuckled too, Regina. I know what you mean, though.

  2. Patti Shene

    Hi Zoe. I really like this concept of interviewing your character. I’ve had a couple of guests on my blog who interviewed their characters for the post and it is always fun.

    Regina, I don’t know that I’ve ever prayed for a character, but I have cried for them! LOL! It is amazing how our characters become so very real to us.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Patti, a while ago, I couldn’t imagine how a character interview could work at a promotional draw. But when I wrote interviews, I realized how much we can share about their personalities, dreams, and fears. Of course, without giving readers spoilers.

  3. Marcia Lahti

    Zoe, I love the interviews. Makes me want to read the story. The characters become real and I care about them before even reading the story.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Marcia, thanks for the letting me know the interviews were effective for you.

  4. Erin Unger

    These are things I hadn’t even considered I was doing wrong. Thanks for teaching a valuable lesson.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      You’re welcome. I don’t know if character interviews without these tips are wrong but maybe the tips make them more effective.

  5. Bonnie Winters

    Just as the interviews could become spoilers for the readers, they can become a great source of information for the author. They help a lot in character development as an author writes their story. I have done that often at the beginning or while in the middle of writing stories – like a free writing exercise where I ask the character a question and just start writing their answers without pre-thinking it and without lifting the pen from the page. I will definitely have to try the interview as a promotional tool when i finish this latest manuscript.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      I like the idea of asking them questions in the middle of scenes, Bonnie.

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