Research the Author You Will Be Interviewing

Updated on January 26, 2018
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Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

Many people interview authors. Most of the time, they are readers who enjoy interacting with authors and helping them succeed. They typically have large followings who also want to meet new authors and help them.

It can be fun to get to know an author better. They become something more than just the face behind the words readers enjoy. Some readers find information in interviews that help them decide to follow an author and read their books. It is more than reading about them on a book jacket. An interview gets the reader closer to the author. As an interviewer, you have the honor of aiding them in that quest.

When you are conducting an interview with an author, you want an interview that will stand out. After all, there are hundreds if not thousands of interviews out there on the internet vying for attention. You don't want to fall unnoticed among all the others. That means you have to be different than the norm yet producing something that readers will enjoy and talk about. You need to do more than ask a few simple questions other interviewers have asked. You want to research the author to find extraordinary questions to ask. The result will be an extraordinary interview.

Information from Author

First of all, before you can do anything regarding the author and his interview, you have to get some information from the author. This basic information is uniform and should be requested of all authors. Readers expect this. It is common and can help guide you in further questions.

- Name of the author as shown on books and if it is a pen name. If you don't know this, you aren't much of an interviewer.

- The website for the author. If a reader likes the interview, they want to find a way to follow them and read more of their works.

- Name of latest book and links to synopsis and purchase page. If they are interested, where can they get the book? Help the readers out as much as you do the author.

With this information, you can create so many questions as well as supply needed info for your readers.This basic information helps readers and authors alike. A wealth of information can be found from this little bit of information when you apply a little bit of creativity.

Author Site and Profiles

From the author site and his profile on Facebook, Twitter, and other social and professional sites you can gather a ton of information. You should be able to find out:

- Where he lives

- Interests

- Background

- Books written by them

You might even find a goldmine of information just by reading profiles and blog posts carefully. Don’t glance at everything. Read it.

Find Unique Tidbits

Look for the unique. For example, if the author lives in Alabama obviously they are in the South. From that, you could ask questions about local phrases that end up in their writing and the reactions from readers. Or…

If the author has pets, ask them if their pets have been featured in their books or if they have a special action they do to prevent the author from writing.

If the author has an unusual hobby, ask how that features in their writing or inspires them.

Has the author gone somewhere unusual?

Have they met someone famous?

Do they have an unusual name? Where did it come from?

Is there a common theme with the author’s characters?

Read Their Books

You can really get to know an author by reading his books. From there, you can discover questions to ask about the genre they write in, their writing style, and even some common themes they have in their work. Ask where they can be found in their books and how the book changed them. Get beyond surface questions and get the heart of it all.

If you have read their books, you'll be able to ask very interesting questions. Within their own writing is a lot of resources for you. By asking these types of questions, you get others wanting to read the book. Pique their interest.


Don't forget images when you publish your interview. These are vital in today's online world. Pictures and videos reach more people than just words.

Author pictures are always the best place to start. Most authors have a professional headshot they use. They might also have others that they use to promote their work. People remember images.

Videos are always hot and popular. Some authors have trailers for their books. They create them to promote their work. Ask the author for what videos and pictures they have. Post them everywhere. Use them to get attention for their interview and works.

Check Out Details From Biography

Read the authors biography. Read other interviews. Read their books. You'll discover more interesting tidbits and ideas for more questions.

Don't limit yourself. Let creativity rule you. Think outside the box.


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