Thursday, May 27, 2010

Armchair BEA : Author Interviews

Book Expo America is taking place this week in NYC. A few bloggers put together Armchair Bea to allow bloggers to virtually attend. Find out more about it here

Yesterdays Armchair BEA blogger interviews got me to thinking about author interviews. I like doing interviews like some like doing giveaways (maybe not that much) I don't know how many people actually read them. Though I hope those that do will find like something enough to check out the author's book.

I do not like when bloggers have set questions. Asking all authors the same questions. It seems so impersonal. I don't feel like I am getting to know the author. When I read an interview I want to get to know the author, as much as I want to know more about their newest novel.

With set questions there's no back and forth between blogger and author. I'd rather watch two tennis players hit balls to each other, than watch one player hit balls from a machine. Besides my favorite part of an interview is thinking up the questions. I also like doing the research. I think a little research is required when interviewing an author. A quick look at the author's blog , facebook page would work.

After the author answers the my first few questions. I'll have a few follow up questions and comments. It takes at least 3 correspondences to take the stiffness out of a blogger interview.

I used to really not like author blog tours but I am coming around to understanding the necessity. An author must get the world out on their book. Though the generic questions still make me cringe. Back in March blogger Ah Yuan, did a post on YA author's Y.S. Lee's blog tour Ah Yuan's right that was an awesome blog tour, the best I've ever seen. If more blog tours were like that, I could really get behind them. I know that took some work by the author and bloggers but I think its worth it.

I like to think my interviews have gotten better from this first one with YA author Dream Jordan, to the most recent with YA author Karen Healey.

If you haven't already and you want to see some great interviews I highly recommend checking out the Summer Blog Blast Tour A few of the authors that particapted - Kate Milford, Rita Williams- Garcia, Lisa Mantchev and Nancy Bo Flood.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I have to say I see Book Tour and I click away as fast as my fingers can type!

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

When I do blog tours, I do my author interviews via podcast. That way you get to hear the author's voice. I have a giveaway today for ArmchairBEA!

Entertaining look at Copyright law.

The Wooden Bowl Giveaway

The Bumbles said...

Oh wow - I would love your input! I wrote about this very topic today too. I agree with all of what you have said. Rule #1 - read their book. Rule #2 - research the author's life. Rule #3 - don't ask what their book is about - you already know that and likely provided a synopsis to introduce the interview. Rule #4 - be different. No one wants to see the same Q&A over and over - including the person you are interviewing.

I agree that your interviewing skills have improved between the two examples you provided. Wasn't it interesting to see that the first author responded most enthusiastically to the more personal questions and that is where we learned the most?

Hearing your techniques in creating questions would be helpful. Stop on by.

Tif Sweeney said...

Coming up with good questions is tough! I would love to do more author interviews, but I don't want it to be cookie cutter! Can I learn to be witty and creative?!?! :)

Doret said...

Jill - I used to skip over them as well, now sometimes I skim. Some bloggers are better about not asking the same questions.

Though I won't review if its on a 20 blog author tour.

Brooke - author interviews via podcost is a great idea.

The Bumbles - It's always nice when a random post is in sync with another blooger. One of the best things about Armchair BEA, is discovering your blog.

Tif - You can do it. The research helps a lot. If its a book you really like it easier as well. Check out other blogger interviews, to see what you think works and doesn't work.

Valerie said...

I had a really cool experience a few months ago, when the author wanted to interview ME on my blog.

so far, have not been in direct touch with many authors, but I can see how hard it would be to come up with really creative questions -- but making an effort to be different would be appreciated by both the author and the blog readers, I'm sure!

Jodie said...

The Spy in the House tour was so good. She really thought about all sorts of different topics that tied into the book.