Author Interview Questions

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Here’s our list of suggested interview questions. We suggest taking five or six of these at a time, from the various lists, and making a post out of them. We suggest you include this one at the end of each interview:

What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?

Here are the rest of the questions. Feel free to modify them or add your own.

Writing Questions:

  • When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
  • If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
  • How would you describe your writing style/genre?
  • What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
  • What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
  • Have you ever taken a trip to research a story? Tell me about it.
  • What is your writing Kryptonite?
  • What do you do when you get writer’s block?
  • Do you use a pseudonym? If so, why? If not, why not?
  • If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
  • Do you ever base your characters on real people? If so, what are the pitfalls you’ve run into doing so?
  • How long do you write each day?
  • Do you reward yourself for writing, or punish yourself for failing to do so? How?
  • Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
  • How long on average does it take you to write a book?
  • What do you do if you get a brilliant idea at a bad time?
  • Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
  • How long have you been writing?
  • Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book? If so, discuss them.
  • Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
  • Are you a plotter or a pantster?
  • Do your books spring to life from a character first or an idea?
  • How did you deal with rejection letters?
  • How long does it take you to write the first draft?
  • What is the most heartfelt thing a reader has said to you?
  • What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
  • What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned in writing your books?
  • Where do you like to write?
  • What are your favorite parts of publishing?
  • What are your least favorite parts of publishing?
  • What advice do you wish you’d had before releasing your first story?
  • If you had a grant to write any book you wanted as a freebie without worrying about sales, what kind of story would you like to tell?
  • How do you approach covers for your indie stories?
  • What was the most valuable piece of advice you’ve had from an editor?
  • Name the book you like most among all you’ve written, and tell us why.
  • How do you combine all the different worlds of your life in your works?
  • What’s the funniest or creepiest thing you’ve come across while researching for one of your stories?

This Book:

  • How did you choose the topic for this book?
  • Tell us something we don’t know about your heroes. What makes them tick?
  • What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
  • What was the hardest part of writing this book?
  • Who did your cover, and what was the design process like?
  • Tell us one thing about them that we don’t learn from the book, the secret in their past.
  • What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
  • What character gave you fits and fought against you? Did that character cause trouble because you weren’t listening and missed something important about them?
  • What inspired you to write this particular story? What were the challenges in bringing it to life?
  • What secondary character would you like to explore more? Tell me about him or her.
  • Who has been your favorite character to write and why?
  • What was the weirdest thing you had to Google for your story?
  • Let’s talk to your characters for a minute – what’s it like to work for such a demanding writer?
  • What’s your core motivation in this book?
  • Are you happy with where your writer left you at the end? (don’t give us any spoilers).

Personal Questions:

  • As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  • If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose, and why?
  • Tell me one thing hardly anyone knows about you.
  • Tell me about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
  • Were you a voracious reader as a child?
  • What pets are currently on your keyboard, and what are their names? Pictures?
  • What’s your writing process?
  • What was the first book that made you cry?
  • What other artistic pursuits (it any) do you indulge in apart from writing?
  • What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
  • We know what you like to write, but what do you like to read in your free time, and why?
  • What qualities do you and your characters share? How much are you like them, or how different are they from you?

Fun Questions:

  • Describe yourself using… ( a food, a book, a song, a movie, an animal, a drink, a place etc)
  • Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
  • If you could create a new holiday, what would it be?
  • If you were stuck on a desert island all alone with only three things, what would they be?
  • What action would your name be if it were a verb?
  • What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?
  • What fictional speculative fiction character would you like to spend an evening with, and why?
  • Which of your own characters would you Kill? Fuck? Marry? And why?
  • Would you visit the future or the past, and why?
  • How does the world end?
  • Star Trek or Star Wars? Why?
  • What meds are you supposed to be taking?
  • What’s your drink of choice?
  • What’s in your fridge right now?
  • What food(s) fuel your writing?