Less Common Interview Questions for Blog Author Interviews

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Releases tomorrow.

For The Putting Green Whisperer releasing tomorrow, I had a stack of interviews for which I answered bloggers’ questions. At first, I liked the common questions, but was ashamed at the reason. I could copy those answers from other interviews and get the interview job done.

After I’d worked on answering a few unusual questions, I realized they revealed more about me and my story. Below, I list some less common interview questions that may tell more about an author and the author’s book.

 

Less Common Interview Questions About the Author

 

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  1. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself as you wrote this book?
  2. What was the best money you ever spent for your writing career?
  3. What does literary success look like to you?
  4. How could reading your readers’ reviews and comments help you?
  5. Have you met any of your favorite authors? What was the moment like?
  6. Is it true that being a published author is glamorous? Why or why not?
  7. Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
  8. How does your faith affect your writing?
  9. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
  10. If you could be a fictional character from literature for one day, who would you be and why?
  11. If you were a pair shoes, what style, brand, and color would you be?
  12. If you’ve been on a writer’s retreat, what was the greatest benefit to you?
  13. What is one book that made you cry and why?
  14. How does writing affect your energy level?
  15. What’s more important to you, to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
  16. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
  17. What writing groups or events do you attend, and what are the benefits?
  18. What is an interesting event that occurred in your life?

Less Common Interview Questions About the Book

 

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  1. What did you edit out of this book and why?
  2. What do you love about this story?
  3. What do you hope readers will tell others about this book?
  4. What holiday would your main character enjoy celebrating most and why?
  5. How is your main character more similar or different than you in personality?
  6. What would your protagonist say about how you’ve put him/her in the story?

Less common author interview questions can reveal more about authors and their novels. Click to tweet.

What other less common questions have you asked or been asked for author interviews?

Pre-order Link Releases tomorrow.

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?

Interview Questions for Characters’ Professions & Possible By-Products

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The hero in my next romance is a cattle farmer in Southwestern Virginia. I pass cattle farms often. I see muddy areas where the cows have been brought in from the pasture, the tabs stapled to their ears, the machinery, and the farmhouses. These offer little about what my hero’s workday is like, his worries, and his hopes.

image by jmesquitaau

So, to develop my hero, I will interview a cattle farmer. I hope he’ll give me a tour of his farm too.

It’d like to use my interview for more than developing my character.

 

 

By-Products from Interviews

  • Developing interview questions can make my online research easier.
  • I could write an article about cattle farmers for guest blogs and my newsletter to promote my book.
  • From the farm tour, I could use photos on my Facebook author page.
  • Interesting farming tidbits could be fodder for promotional speaking engagements.
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    I could design a set of multiple-choice questions about cattle farming for a contest.
  • The stories the farmer shares may help in developing a plot twist I would never have thought of.
  • Thinking up the questions alone can spark possible crises, dilemmas, and conflicts for my story.

Example: Interview Questions for a Cattle Farmer and Wife

1. Why did you choose to be a cattle farmer?

2. Is your farm a family farm, and if so, how did that affect your decision to farm?

3. What effect has farming had on your family?

4. How many acres is your farm, and for the area, what size farm do you consider it to be?

5. What time do you get up and how long is your farming workday?

6. You have a second job. Could you live a comfortable life on the farm income alone?

7. What farm jobs take up most of your time?

8. What jobs do you consider most challenging and why?

9. What worries you most about cattle farming?

10. Have you ever considered giving up farming and why?

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11. What do you like best about farming and what is your greatest hope for your farm?

12. What help do you have on your farm?

13. Do you breed cows or buy them to fatten up, and what are the tabs in their ears for?

 

14. How do you sell cows and to which markets?

15. What breed of cattle do you own?

16. What machines do you use to run your farm and what do they do?

17. What special gear do you wear to do farm work?

18. What do you think are the most dangerous activities in farming?

19.What’s the funniest thing that has happened on your cattle farm?

20. What myths about cattle farming could you dispel?

Questions for Farmer’s Wife

21. What do you like best and least about your husband being a cattle farmer?

22. What is your biggest challenge in being a farmer’s wife?

23. What farm jobs do you help with?

Your interviews on professions for your story can provide by-product benefits. Click to tweet.

What by-products have you gleaned from your interviews on professions? What other questions might I ask my cattle farmer?

How You Can Conduct an Author Interview Like a Pro

“Remember, you are not the focus of the interview. Your only job is to make the interviewee look like a hero.“  —Carlos Cooper

cover1My guest today is Amy L. Sullivan, author of When More Is Not Enough. Amy graciously agreed to share steps to conduct out-of-the-ordinary interviews, whether for blog posts, audios, or videos. Her book is for “families who are ready to move beyond seeing generosity as a series of tasks and instead, turn it into a way of life.”

Author interviews are a great way to highlight authors and establish connections. Follow these easy steps to look like an interviewing pro.

Prepare. Walk into the interview knowing something about the author: where they live, the name of the last book they wrote, a funny post they recently shared. Preparing ahead of time allows you to connect with the author immediately. 

Pay attention to time zones. Make certain you confirm time zones. I learned this when I thought an author was in the Eastern time zone, but she was in the Pacific, and I agreed to a 9:00 pm interview.

Set a clear expectation regarding time. Let your interviewee know upfront exactly how much time the interview will take and then, stick to the time period given.

by jppi
by jppi

Ask a variety of interesting questions and have more questions than you will need. I promise you every single person who interviews an author asks, “Where did you get the idea for your book?”

Be different. Come up with unique and well-thought-out  questions and always have more questions then you need.

Along the same lines, if you are emailing questions to an author, don’t overload them with twenty questions. Send the author between five and eight questions and allow them to choose the questions they would like to answer. 

In this interview with Jessie Benkert six questions was the perfect amount for my readers to get to know her.

Be fun. Forget ho-hum. Think of a way to add something unique to the interview.

by monosodium
by monosodium

In an interview I did last summer with Jeff Goins I asked Jeff to play the game Instant Answer.

This is how I found out he preferred U2 over Michael Jackson, chess over checkers, Downton Abby over Scrubs, and flying over driving. Interesting, right?

Ask the author ahead of time if there is anything specific he or she would like you to share with your readers. The author may want you to run a book trailer or include specific social media links. Ask and then follow through.

Make some noise. Once your interview is printed, yell about it on social media.

Be gracious. I know you know this, but drop the author an email thanking them for their time. It’s just nice.

Do you have any tips you can add to the list? Do you have a favorite author interview you have conducted? Leave the link in the comment section.

Tweetable:

Be fun. Forget ho-hum. Make some noise. Conduct an author interview like a pro. Click to tweet.

amy2Bio: Amy L. Sullivan is author of When More is Not Enough (Amazon link). Amy also writes for oodles of print and online publications and loves speaking with groups of any size. Connect with her online at AmyLSullivan.com