Brainstorm! Interesting Author Interview Questions

Some of you may have noticed I’m big on supporting my fellow authors (whether published traditionally or self pubbed), mainly by doing author interviews.

Making up personalized questions started to take hours (yes literally) out of each day, so I made up a list (SEE BELOW) and ask authors to pick. Unfortunately, the questions aren’t overly exciting.

So, I call out to all my most amazing friends, be you authors or readers! Help me out with some author interview questions. What do you want to know? Give me some interesting ones too, funny, crazy, whatever. Authors are people too and we all want to learn more about them!

Please post below! Post as many as you like, but PLEASE keep them ‘clean’!

Thank you and have fun!

(for those who also do interviews, feel free to nab questions! I’ll be leaving this post up!)

Just to help out some more… Here are some of my questions…

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
  2. What do you do when you are not writing?
  3. Do you have a day job as well?
  4. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
  5. How did you choose the genre you write in?
  6. Where do you get your ideas?
  7. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
  8. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
  9. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
  10. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
  11. 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?
  12. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
  13. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
  14. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
  15. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
  16. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
  17. How did you come up with the title?
  18. What project are you working on now?
  19. Will you have a new book coming out soon?
  20. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
  21. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
  22. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
  23. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

NEW! Oct 2011:

I’ve now started some FUN and Wacky questions for those interviewed on my site. Try your hand at some if you’re making up an interview!

Examples:

  1. Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?
  2. Do you prefer fuzzy or tub socks?
  3. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
  4. Be honest, how often do you wash your hair?
  5. Do you get road rage? What pisses you off the most about other drivers?
  6. Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide?

About jlwylie

Stay at home mom of 2 boys, avid reader and writer. Published by Untold Press

49 thoughts on “Brainstorm! Interesting Author Interview Questions

  1. I was asked on one of my interviews, “Chocolate or vanilla?” In my series of author interviews, I ask for a deep dark secret about the author (if he/she wants to reveal it).

  2. jlwylie says:

    Great questions! I’d have to say chocolate for me.. most definitely!

  3. What does your protagonist think about you? Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author, his creator.

    what has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author. What has been the best component.

  4. Compliment. I’m using an iPad and I’m having a hard time with it,

  5. I like the question – “What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?” or “How did you come up with the title?”

  6. How does your writing process look? Consistent with regular amounts of word counts daily/weekly… or more sporadic with a gush of words all at once and then a dry bed for a while?

    Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?

    Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?

    What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare? ;)

    What would YOU like your readers to know about this book or you in general?

    Just some random thoughts! :D

  7. jlwylie says:

    Great questions! Keep them coming!

  8. I am writing non-fiction and because my first book is about the murder of my brother; I think it makes interviewers nervous…I think they could simply ask:
    Why did you feel you had to tell this story?
    How does your family and others ‘in the story’ feel about the book?

  9. One interview I did had a series of short questions such as

    Light or dark chocolate
    favorite color
    dogs or cats
    tea or coffee
    light side or dark side

    things like that. Short to write, short to answer and a fun little insight into the person. I’ve been toying with adding them to my interview questions.

    Great idea for a post.

    Julie

  10. MATT S says:

    I always like hearing about books other authors read. Or, what books they read when they were kids? What were some inspiring books?

    If your book were made into a movie, who do you picture playing each characters part?

  11. I find it interesting to know what environment people write in. Do they use a pen and paper, laptop? Quiet room, music or what? Dog at their feet? Cat on the desk? Just whatever makes it comfortable to be productive. Just a thought.

  12. jlwylie says:

    Great ideas everyone! Do keep them coming! :)

  13. Hi Jennifer,

    I know it’s been a while since you posted this, but I write a blog and often feature author interviews. Your post caught my eye! Here are a few of my favorite questions:

    What led you to write this book?

    What is best writing advice you can give?

    What make the sci-fi (or romance or suspense) genre so special?

    I also try to ask at least one question that applies only to the author I’m interviewing. For instance, if the protagonist is an art historian, I might say, “Your MC is an art historian. Why did you choose this profession, and how did you prepare to write about art?”

    Thanks for a neat post! I enjoyed reading the responses!

    • jlwylie says:

      Thanks for posting and adding your questions Rachel!

      This post is one of the most viewed on my blog (still!) so anyone stopping by do please feel free to keep the ideas going!

  14. Thanks for the interview questions! It seems no matter how many author interviews I do, I’m always coming up blank on new and improved questions. :)

  15. heathercashman says:

    Thanks for this! It was a life-saver.

  16. Amazing! This has inspired nearly a dozen questions! I’m with Heather Cashman on this one!

  17. Emm says:

    Thank you for this list (and for the comments). I would love to do more author interviews but am always conscious of asking silly, boring or even insulting questions!! It is nice to read what questions authors like to answer and I think it has given me the courage to go out and do more author interviews!

  18. Sue says:

    Great ideas for my upcoming interview with local author of more than 50 books. Maybe one of these suggestions will be something no one has asked…..agree with Emm…do not want to bore. Thanks…….

  19. This was a great post. Just what I needed. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.

  20. bob steven says:

    loooooooooooooove ur books

  21. Jennifer Morrell says:

    I am doing an author interview and this was a lot of help outside of the normal every interview questions. Thank you all!

  22. This post and all it’s comments are a life-saver! I am getting ready to do my first author interview and I was so lost on what to ask. I’m going to bookmark this post.

  23. missared says:

    I’m doing my first-ever author interview for my blog. This post is really helping me figure out what I’m doing. Thanks!
    I also have a question to add: How did you get involved with your publisher or press?

  24. I’m thinking about doing author interviews on my blog, and your site came up in my Google search. Wow, did I get a bunch of good ideas! I think I’ll do one interview and see how it goes, then decide whether or not to continue with others.
    I figure I’ll promote this first interview on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, and maybe some of the Amazon forums. Any other suggestions? (I haven’t delved into Twitter yet.)

  25. I’m ignorant. What’s stumbling?

  26. Thanks a million! I signed up. Now I just need to figure out how to use this!

  27. Jess Hays says:

    Great article! I always love questions such as “What’s the most amusing thing that happened to you?” You can tailor this to — on your latest book tour, — while you were writing your latest book. Everybody loves to share funny stories!

    I also like questions that encourage the interviewee to share a little about themselves instead of just giving typical stock answers — such as “Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why?” or “What are your hopes for the next five years?”

  28. Sandy says:

    When was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?

  29. This is an awesome post. I hope I’m allowed to steal these questions. I’m using them for my own blog to interview others and when someone asks me for an interview about my new book and doesn’t have questions.

  30. Great post! I’m totally stealing some of the questions for my blog. I hope that’s okay. :-)

  31. Kaylie says:

    Wow! Brilliant post! This has really helped me. Thank you :0)

  32. Shelley says:

    I had soemone ask me recently on an interview, “E-reader or print book?” “Would you rather” questions are always fun as well! Thanks for the blog post, it’s a wonderful thing you’ve done for us just starting out :)

  33. This post is awesome! Just what I needed as I going to be conducting a few interviews and was having a hard time coming up with questions. I’d maybe come up with a handful of things to ask but then get stuck. Thank you so much for this post and thank you all for your comments. You have all been very helpful! God bless!

  34. Thank you so much! I hate asking the same questions that everyone else has all ready asked in a blog tour. These are some great ideas! I had to steal some.

  35. [...] were found here with some additions and [...]

  36. Brandon Cook says:

    The best way to learn how to talk to authors is to read the Paris Review interviews here: http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews

  37. Grace says:

    Thank you so much for this excellent post. Like so many of the other commenters, I’m looking for fresh ideas. Here’s my contribution:

    Have you ever written something you absolutely hate?

  38. Fantastic post and pinched some questions – thank you so much Jen – Signed Jen :-)

  39. […] Jen Wylie’s Blog: http://jlwylie.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/brainstorm-interesting-author-interview-questions/#comment-3… (Jen’s post helped me think of author interview […]

  40. KK Mounsey says:

    Do you mind if I use these questions in my blog to give my readers a bit of insight into me? Thanks!!

  41. jasipper says:

    Reblogged this on Sipper Books and commented:
    Good thoughts from Jen Wylie…

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