Need ideas for an article or blog post?
How about an interview? Interviews offer treasures galore. It's like getting information from a primary source, which is always a good thing. Readers want solid, interesting info to broaden their horizons, and an interview can help do this.
Everyone has a story to tell. As the interviewer, our job is to draw that story to the surface. Consider what information the interviewee has to offer your readers.
Consider these tips:
An interview can be conducted in person, by phone or live chat, or via email. Be clear of your intent, whether the interview will appear on a blog, online, or in print. Gain appropriate permission for quotes and pictures.
Assemble thought provoking questions and comments. “Tell us about your book” is great, but aim for questions that generate sparkling content, and those that get more than a yes or no answer. What would you like to know about this person? What would your readers like to know? Go with the flow too; interesting tidbits might surface that could be worth pursuing. Ask if the interviewee minds a follow up question or two by email.
Don’t forget, lively quotes and anecdotes add personality, so sprinkle them in where appropriate. In addition to questions about their work, books, or current projects, ask fun and random ones, like about favorite foods or quirky hobbies or habits, or ask them to share little known and surprising facts about themselves.
Put an interesting spin on the interview. For example, author Susan J. Reinhardt featured a blog interview series with two writers. She took answers to their questions and incorporated them into a virtual lunch date for them and herself. It’s a clever angle combining facts and an imaginary scenario for an entertaining feature.
Don’t forget to include the person’s contact information or links and picture.
I believe Mr. Zinsser is right; an interview can give life to facts or events. What do you think?
In other news...
Congratulations to Susan J. Reinhardt, who gained an agent and book contract all in one week! Her novel will be released in ebook form late February or early March. She will, of course, be stopping by to see us here.
Effective today, I will be posting once a week instead of twice. This was a tough decision, but I need to adjust my schedule to accommodate projects and more writing time. I will occasionally post more frequently (reviews, special announcements, etc.) and may return to posting twice weekly in the future. Will keep you posted. :)
Have you ever featured an interview on your blog? What tips do you have to share? What questions would you ask fellow writers?
Photo credit: Stock Exchange