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?