As I set about the task of setting up this blog designed exclusively for books and authors, a thought flash in my mind. I was thinking, may be, I need to have a set of questions for author interview. I know it's basic but questions like "Why do you write?" started to float around in my mind.
What I hitherto thought as a simple task turned out to be a difficult one, even at the stage of preparing the questionnaire. However, I knew it was a task that must be accomplished, and here I have a whole lot of questions that I would like to ask.
But where would I begin and what should I ask first? Probably this would be my first question: Where do your ideas for the book come from?
If the author is a fiction writer, I would most likely ask next: Do you base your characters on real people you know? And my next question most likely would be: Do you have a complete story when you begin to write, or do you make it up as you go along?
Then some very basic questions can be asked: Do you like using paper and pen, or a computer? How do you like to work? Do you work steadily or in bursts? Do you find writing easy?
Other questions would naturally follow: What is your latest news? When and why did you begin writing? Do you consider yourself a writer of specific genre? What inspired you to write your first book? Do you have a specific writing style? Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
And I think it would be a great idea to know three things about the book: First, how the author came up with the title: How did you come up with the title? Secondly, if there is a message behind the book: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp? Thirdly, if the book has its share of real-life incidents: How much of the book is realistic?
Some books and authors have made a lasting impression on me. Naturally, I would like to know if a particular writer has an impact on his or her life. So, the next question would be: What books have most influenced your life most?
To better understand an author, may be, these would do: Do you ever experience writer's block? Do you write an outline before every book you write? Have you ever hated something you wrote?
I know I have a whole lot of questions that I would want to ask: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Do you have any advice for other writers? What was the hardest part of writing a book?
One important question that I would ask all authors is this: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book? Which among your characters do you relate most to and why?
And it would be good to know: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
And then: What do you do when you are not writing? Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
May be, I would like to ask: Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? Can you tell us about your upcoming book? Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
And perhaps, it would be a good idea to end with: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
But then I forgot this - the interlinking of the author's faith with his/her books: In what ways does your faith impact how you approach your writing? How much of your faith is in the book? Do you see writing as means of expressing your faith?
If you are an author dropping by, can I sign you up for my first interview? Drop me a line at nadine (dot) thangluai (at) gmail (dot) com