Part 2 of Interviewing: The Questions

When it comes to laying out the interview and choosing the interview questions that I will be asking, they tend to fall into three categories:

1) Questions about the new book, with reference to how the author came up with the story, what research was required, where certain characters came from, how certain events in the book came about, and whether there will be a sequel or continuation of the book.

2) Questions about the author with relation to writing, how they started writing, what sort of schedule they keep, what they use to write on, what advice they have for writers looking to get published.

3) Questions about the author’s life, what they do in their spare time, what they like to read and do for fun.

As you may have noticed my interviews tend to be laid out in the order of the categories above and for my first bunch of interviews I stayed very much to a set script of questions and rarely deviated from it with each interview.  I even had a last question — “What is your favorite TV show?” — with each interview.

Then in about the spring of 2009 I decided to really start varying the interview questions, changing them around, reshaping the format and asking different questions, to make each interview a little more unique.  The result is I think I enjoy the interviews more and it forces me to work a little harder at coming up with interesting questions, as well as that all important last question.

In Episode 18 which will be available October 15th, in my interview with Joe Schreiber — since it was related to his Star Wars horror novel Death Troopers — my last two questions were: What is your favorite Star Wars movie?  And if you were to be a character in Star Wars, which character would you be?

I now make the extra effort with that last question to either tie it in personally with the author or something more unusual that they wouldn’t usually get asked.  I think the result is definitely worth it.

Perhaps after another five or ten interviews, I’ll redo my interviewing format all over again.  Who knows?

Upcoming Book Review: Star Wars: Death Troopers

Episode 18 of BookBanter will feature my interview with author Joe Schreiber, and we talk a lot about his new horror novel Star Wars: Death Troopers, which I’m also reviewing, and here’s a sneak peek at it:

Star Wars: Death Troopers

All good horror novels have a foundation using a familiar horror trope, whether it be zombies, vampires, deepest darkest space, or creepy children.  The really great horror novels employ multiple tropes to become terrifying, page-turning nightmares that the reader simply can’t put down.  Star Wars: Death Troopers is one of these horror novels.

And you can check out my earlier post on what I thought of Death Troopers after finishing it.

Upcoming Book Review: Princess of Light

My review for Princess of Light by Marie Bilodeau will be up on October 15th with the new update, but for now here’s a sneak peak:

Princess of Light

We all react to different situations in different ways.  The question is when we are tested to the extremes of our endurance, whether we will succeed or fail.  In the genre of fantasy, readers find an escape in characters that defy the odds and triumph, often with magical powers.  Marie Bilodeau has done just this with Princess of Light, the first book in the Heirs of a Broken Land series.

Upcoming Book Review: No Doors, No Windows

Another review that will be appearing on the site and in Episode 18 is Joe Schreiber’s No Doors, No Windows, a dark and disturbing horror novel that serves as a good pairing  to Schreiber’s other book coming out, Death Troopers.  Both books will be available October 13th.

No Doors, No Windows

From my review for No Doors, No Windows:

It’s been recommended that writers should stick to writing what they know when it comes to writing, and what better character can a writer write about than him- or herself . . . a writer.  But the writer in Joe Schreiber’s new novel, No Doors, No Windows, is one with a dark, disturbing past that even he doesn’t fully understand until the last few pages of the book, and has worked hard to forget and stay away from.  One hopes that Joe Schreiber isn’t anything like his character, Scott Mast.

Upcoming Book Review: Distant Early Warnings

One review that is now complete and will be featured on the BookBanter site and possibly in Episode 18 on October 15th is Distant Early Warnings: Canada’s Best Science Fiction edited by Robert J. Sawyer.  I interviewed Sawyer in Episode 11 where he talked briefly about this project, but little did I know it was going to be such an enjoyable and fascinating collection.

Distant Early Warnings

And here’s the first paragraph to get you interested:

Readers who either don’t read a lot of science fiction, or don’t read a wide breadth of science fiction, may look at Distant Early Warnings and wonder: “Canada has science fiction writers?”  Then they’ll read down the list of the stories included in this collection by authors like Julie E. Czerneda, Nalo Hopkinson, and Robert Charles Wilson, and think to themselves: “They’re Canadian?”  And finally they look and see that Distant Early Warnings is edited by Robert J. Sawyer, a brilliant science fiction writer who has won just about every award possible, and think: “He’s Canadian too?”  Not only is science fiction alive and well and being skillfully created and written in the great country north of the United States, but it is in fact home to some of the best science fiction writers alive today.

And that review will be up on BookBanter on October 1st.