Cathleen Townsend did one of the best interviews with me I think I’ve ever read.
It’s a good lesson for those of you who need to do interviews – which is all of you – on how to do them.
Most of the interviews we author types get to do will be written. That’s our home turf. That means we get to write the answers, edit them, and show them to a friend for input before we submit them.
Don’t just answer the question; tell the reader some insights and funny stories they won’t get anywhere else. That’s kind of why they read an interview.
- Write your answers.
- Let them rest.
- Show to friend.
Answer the question but use it to segue into what you need to talk about, and since it’s usually a written interview that won’t be too hard, but if it’s not a written interview, be sure to have some notes you’ve written down ahead of time to help you remember what you wanted to say!
Here are some highlights from my interview by Kathleen a few years ago. The rest is on her blog. Go check it out.
Interview with Dan Alatorre
Best-Selling author and humorist Dan Alatorre turned his sights on fatherhood in “Savvy Stories,” and the results were hilarious. Since then, Dan has racked up a string of #1 Bestsellers in family humor, novels, illustrated children’s books and cookbooks, and has been published in 12 languages throughout 14 different countries. His romantic comedy Poggibonsi: an Italian misadventure, set in Tuscany, will be released in a few weeks.
Dan’s success is widespread and varied. In addition to being a best-selling author (he claims it was a slow week at Amazon when that happened) Dan has achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies.
Have you done any projects that took you way out of your comfort zone?
Oh, God yes. First of all, I decided to try every genre to see if I was good at any. Then when I got to Romance, it turned out I was supposed to write sexy love scenes! I never saw that coming. Well, you can do a lot of things badly but sex can’t be one of them, especially if you are writing about it. And by that I mean, nobody wants to read a bad scene but nobody ever EVER wants to read a bad sex scene. Ever. So in my romantic comedy “Poggibonsi: an Italian misadventure” I got some help from my lady author friends who write romance and I ran some stuff by them, and they were impressed! And I was like woo hoo! The scenes were sexy and steamy! A LOT of the beta readers said so, too. In fact, one eighty-six year old beta reader in Minneapolis actually had to be rushed to the hospital, the scene was so hot (that may also have been a result of some questionable seafood she ate at lunch) but everybody else said they were great! I have one fan who sends me emails saying she thinks about my scenes in the bathtub. That’s how you know you’ve hit the big time, right there. Naked ladies in a bathtub thinking about your sex scenes. Yup. Mom would be so proud.
What’s been the most memorable piece of research that you’ve turned up?
Ha, this will kill you.
The rest of the interview is HERE