Saturday, October 29, 2011

Interviewing--and an Invitation to do Same

The guest speaker at our writers' group this month discussed interviewing and related it to writing, so from my notes--and thoughts--here are a few things to think about.

First of all, WHY do an interview? For information, of course. Asking questions is the best way to learn.

WHERE do you conduct an interview? At one time, the only choice was to do it in person. Now we have a choice of the "live" interview, telephone, live chat, or email. If choosing either of the first two venues, permission to record (mechanically) is important. I was interviewed by someone from the local newspaper a few months ago. When we sat down, she flipped on a hand-held recorder. I liked that, knowing that my exact words would be a matter of record. Also, because she wasn't busy trying to write everything down, the interview was more like a friendly conversation and put me more at ease.

Finally, HOW does one conduct an interview? It's important to know something about the subject beforehand. That means doing your homework with some research. If it's an on-site situation, the interviewer can pick up clues from the surroundings--pictures, knick-knacks, trophies, books, and so on. It's important to have a list of more questions than there is probably time for--but ask the most pertinent questions first.

Always make sure the interview shines with a positive light--that is, the interviewee knows he won't be hit with a hatchet job. And, of course, always respect privacy and confidentiality. Anything said "off the record" stays that way.

In considering how I, as a writer, might use the interview, the blog interview rose to the top of the list. Below is the interview I created, keeping to the theme of the blog which is Resources for Writers. I hope some or all of you who read the blog will choose to be featured here at The Word Place. Email your answers to

Resource Round-Up Blog

1.  What genre is the primary focus of your writing? Do you write anything else?
2.  Where do you publish?
3.  What is your most important and most frequently used resource as you write? (This does not
     necessarily have to be a print/online resource.)
4.  What resource has been the least helpful to you? Would you recommend it to another writer
     with a different focus?
5.  Do you consider a special writing place a resource? Why?
6.  Can you share a resource you are using/have used for a specific current/past work?
7.  Do you have any other resources you would like to share?
8.  Do you have a  secret resource that you would never share? (Think chefs and top-secret recipes!)

As always, please feel free to post covers and taglines of your books. Covers should be attached as jpegs.

I'll post these interviews as they are received and for as long as they come to my inbox.



K9friend said...

There certainly is a technique for doing successful interviews. I like recording the interview, too, but the problem with that for me is I can't refer back to previous notes for follow up.

Critter Alley

Judy said...

Hope you'll consider a guest interview--I already know your most important resource(s): Indy and Bogey! :)

K9friend said...

Who, me???

Judy said...

Of course, YOU! I'd be tickled to death! You can even include pics of those fine four-legged friends!! I'm sure they inspire you (seriously).

Beth Trissel said...

What a neat idea, Judy. I just joined your site. Very nice blog. I like your 'Someday is here.' That is true for many of us.