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8 Overused Author Interview Questions

Author interviews are pretty common especially among indie and self-published authors. They are used to help promote the author’s work and help expose him/her to new readers. Yet due to the large number of interviews, there are a few interview questions that are overused by each person conducting the interview.

#1 Where did you get the idea for your story?

Almost every interviewer asks this question. Now I have to admit that this is an important question to ask an author, but if I read one interview I’m going to hate reading it again. So what do you do? You ask that question but in a unique way that might also prompt the author to write an answer in a new and creative way.

#2 What are your current projects?

You can ask this question but not word for word or anything close to this. I want to know what they are working on but it gets boring hearing this question over and over. Think of a different way to ask this:

  • Are you writing more in this genre?
  • How many stories are you writing on right now?
  • What genres do you want to try writing in now after this story?

#3 Who is your favorite character?

Instead of asking this question ask the author who their least favorite character is. Ask this which character was the hardest to write, research, or connect with. Get more personal here. Ask them in a way that gets them thinking and feeling hard about the characters. Is there a character that is more like them, has their secrets, has their feelings, or they wish they could be?

#4 Who would play your characters if you made the story into a movie?

Take this me as an author, this is a very hard question and one that is asked over and over by interviewers. Throw this question out. If you have to ask something about movies, ask if the author was inspired by a movie, ask them their favorite movies. Get to know the author.

#5 What is your story about?

Really? I can read that on Amazon. An interviewer could also help the reader out by putting the synopsis at the beginning of the article. Don’t make it part of the interview. Yes, I have done so and wished I hadn’t later as I read the author having to answer this question with other interviewers.

#6 How did you decide to become a writer?

What was it about writing that gets you excited? This might be the same question but notice how it gets a little more personal and is not the same ol’ question. Maybe a specific teacher inspired them. Maybe something prevented them from picking up the pen to write earlier in life. Again, get more personal.

#7 Why are You Self-Publishing?

Okay, you can still ask this but find a different way to do it. Research the author. If they started off with a traditional publisher and then moved to self-publishing, ask them pros and cons of each, what is hurting each one, how each can help a new author. Explore the publishing side from an angle that will get people wanting to read this just to get they author’s opinion on it and where the author’s answer can be more than a word or two.

#8 How much research did you do?

Please! Ask something else. Ask where they found the most unusual or interesting information that helped them right the book. Try these questions instead of the overused one:

  • What was the hardest thing about the research did you discover?
  • What surprised you the most in your research?

Written by

Writer for ten years, lover of education, and degrees in business, history, and English. Striving to become a Renassiance woman.

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