Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mid-Week Musing, 3

On the topic of author interviews:

When I first started blogging, my goal was just to create an archive of reviews for my own entertainment and edification. 

I had no interest in interacting with authors or marketing folks--I found the idea intimidating, to be honest. And then, I wasn't sure what value I could bring to them as my blog's not a blockbuster as far as page hits.

Gradually, my attitude's started to change. Sure, my blog is still quite small. But it's still viewed by a fair number of people. And I can be another link in the chain, connecting readers with good books.

So I took the plunge, and signed up to interview an author.

And wow, was it satisfying. I love combing through an author's website for clues to their interests, personality, and inspirations. I like to consider these alongside the book, and then develop questions that will hopefully shed some light on why the author made the choices they did in their book or how their background might have made them the best person to write their story. I love to ask about their process, what they like or dislike about being an author beyond the writing of books, and so on. 

But I've recently started to find the approach to author interviews a little frustrating. Many publishing companies and tour companies are asking for questions to be submitted at the time of the interview request, before I've had an opportunity to actually read the book.  

And that, for me, is a bit of a problem. I don't want to spoil in the interview, but I do want to make sure the questions I'm asking are relevant. Sometimes, blurbs point us in one direction, but there's elements of the story/setting/characters that would be better to ask about, without handing out a bunch of spoilers.

Often these opportunities present themselves very quickly, so reading previous work by the author isn't often possible.

So... what's the best strategy for submitting questions for author interviews? Blurb, author website - are there other sources I should turn to for inspiration for questions? Or is it wiser to keep the questions more generic?

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