Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Questions to ask an author

I've had questions and prompts for interviewing writers as part of my Book Review Outline, but decided I really need a separate post about interviewing writers. Here are some possible questions you could ask:

1. Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
2. How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children's books, etc.)?
3. What kind of research did you do for this book?
4. What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
6. What’s the best thing about being an author?
7. What are you working on now?
8. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
9. Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
10. What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
11. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?


(The last question comes from Lisa Roe.  Thanks, Lisa, it's a good question.)

13 comments:

Christine said...

Thank you Bonnie! This was a very helpful list.

Douggie said...

i made a poem all by myself.im 11 years old and i want to figure out a way to get it published where do i send it or what website did u go to


thanks,
aaliyah

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Sorry, Aaliyah, but I'm not a publisher. Ask your teacher or a parent or another adult you know, and maybe they can help you search for a way to get a poem published. (Who is Douggie? Is he your brother?)

william roy-stone said...

im 16 and currently writting a novel about a young dog named rocky whos sister gets taken from him from him he began to hated to hate humans after his parents were visiously killed by a pair of unerving brothers rocky must learn to trust a young boy sam and his dog silver enable to save his sister from her parents fate
anyway my question dosent really pertain to my book its just something that i have always wandered about

when authors create a new world whit its own culture and language how dow they come up with the words of the language? do they base them off other languages or they put them togeather them selves

Bonnie Jacobs said...

William, that's a question you'll have to ask an author when you get a chance. In the meantime, the most important thing you can do toward becoming a writer yourself is to learn all you can about writing by doing these kinds of things:

1. Put capital letters at the beginning of every sentence.
2. Use capital letters for every name, like Rocky.
3. End each sentence with a period -- or a question mark, if you ask a question.
4. Be very careful about spelling each word correctly, then go back over what you write to check again before posting it online or sending it to a publisher.

Unless what you write is very clear to your reader, it will never become a book. Good luck.

Wilf said...

Thanks Bonnie. I'm going into a school to talk about being a writer and the list helped me put together some key points regarding what to actually talk about!

To William Roy-Stone; that sounds like a very interesting story! When people make new languages in books or films, they will often base them on an existing language so that when you read it, you can almost guess at some of what is being said (see how JK Rowling does it in Harry Potter with the language they use for the spells - the words are mostly made up but use words that are close to English or Latin words so they give you a hint at what they mean). Hope that helps! WM

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thanks, Wilf, for the information about languages. I'm glad my lists were helpful.

Shane said...

Thank you for this list, it has been very helpful. I was asked to share questions I am willing to answer smiles =) for interviews on my new book so this has helped get me thinking.
~Expect Miracles

Ookami_kitsune said...

I am in the middle of writing me story and I have to have a very important character die. SAD!!!!!!!!!
Anyway I am trying to figure out how to make it feel that the characters best friend (more like a brother) is extremely overwhelmed by this; and remembers past events while listening to the characters last words. If you could give me any pointers or help PLEASE:)

toniritchie17@gmail.com

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Toni, I write about books I have read. I have never written a novel and have no idea how to advise you. Sorry.

raghav said...

very much thanks

Casey Sean Harmon said...

Very good list of questions to ask an author in an interview. If you don't mind, I would like to use this list to conduct an author interview. Thanks for sharing, and keep posting!!

If you follow my blog, I'll follow yours!

http://writersoldier.blogspot.de/

Casey Sean Harmon
Author
www.caseyseanharmon.com

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Sorry, Casey, I neither "follow" anyone else's blog nor ask anyone to follow mine. If you like what you read here, feel free to return. I have no idea why anyone signs up to be a follower.