Peggy Kolm features a wonderful interview with me here on her blog, "Biology in Science Fiction", a site that merits a visit (even if I wasn't on the feature post!). I've been interviewed a few times (here's one with Denise Fleischer at Gotta Write Network). Peggy asked insightful, intelligent and challenging questions that had me thinking (lucky I'm now a thinking blogger, having had that little thinking alien award bestowed upon me by Somerset Bob!). Peggy also devoted some quality time to researching my biography, my books and general items of relevance. And it showed; it made a difference in her questions.
This reminded me that it isn't a piece of cake to do a good interview. Having done a few in my day, here are a few things I would suggest to any prospective interviewers (things that Peggy got all right, by the way!). When you do an interview you should:
- be genuinely interested in the person or their work (if you aren't, it'll show to both the interviewee and to the readership);
- do the research;
- find a general theme (usually something that sparked your wish to do the interview in the first place) and keep to it (at least loosely);
- vary your questions from personal to academic/work-related (personal stuff always makes an interview more interesting to the readership, no matter what the topic is--the best non-fiction books always give some juicy tidbits about the people they're writing about);
- do more research;
- don't be afraid to ask challenging questions (this makes for a very interesting read and may even bring out something the readership never read before about this particular person--BONUS for you!);
- be polite in the beginning and in the end (e.g., thank the interviewee).
There ya go...