As we encroach upon the one year anniversary of BookBanter, which technically falls on Tuesday, October 13th, but I’m commemorating this with the new episode on Thursday, October 15th (or between 11PM and midnight the night before for you BookBanter Readers waiting for the new episode), I’m going to talk a little about interviewing on BookBanter.
With the eighteenth episode going up next week and sixteen successful interviews under my belt covering a wide range of authors on numerous subjects, including fiction and nonfiction; I’ve realized an interesting facet to interviewing: with each interview I undertake, they fall into two categories. Now bare in mind these categories are on equal standing, and no one is better or worse than the other, they’re just different, and both just as enjoyable to do.
There is the interview where I feel like I’m always running the show. Obviously I’m pretty much always in this position, being the interviewer, but there are some authors who either have some preset answers or are just good at responding to questions and know where I want them to go with it and what information I’m looking for. These are the situations where I feel like I’m “mostly” running the show. It’s almost like they are running the interview and I’m simply shooting out the questions every once in a while when they’re done answering the previous question. These are fun as the listener gets a lot of information about the author, as well as personal anecdotes and some interesting stories that I never would’ve expected to hear and never thought to ask as a question. These are usually with authors who have been writing and published for some time and have a number of books under their belts; though this is certainly not always the case. These also tend to be longer interviews.
The other type is where I give the question and the author answers specifically to the question, occasionally giving extra information, but for the most part sticking to the question. In this situations I feel like I’m completely running the interview, as the author is reacting and responding to me and not the other way round (as is the case in the first type discussed above). What makes these interviews just as fun and interesting is it forces me to improvise more and make up new questions that will probe a little more into the author’s life. The result again is some new and interesting information that I’d never planned on asking and yet leads to a fun and unique interview. These authors are usually relatively new authors (again, not in all cases) and tend to be shorter interviews.
I want to once again stress the point that I thoroughly enjoy these two types of interviews equally, as the result each time is a very entertaining and enjoyable interview that I know is special and unlike any other. This guarantees for me — which is a big part of why I love doing BookBanter — that each interview I do will be a totally different experience to any one I’ve done before and will therefore, I think, make it all the more interesting and entertaining for the BookBanter Reader and Listener.