Good Questions to Ask Authors in an Interview

Depending on your reasons for wanting to know, finding good questions…

Depending on your reasons for wanting to know, finding good questions to ask authors sets you on a different path. Good questions will give you unique insight into an author’s thoughts, whether you want personal connections or just want to know more. 

The objective of this article is to provide valuable questions to ask authors regarding writing, author growth, criticism, and debate. Let’s dive in!

woman in yellow and black floral dress sitting on brown wooden chair
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

Who Is an Author?

An author writes about a topic and shares their thoughts on it. The subjects they write about can be books, movies, music, artwork, or any other creative work.

The primary way an author writes a story is to create characters and tell a story based on those characters. A writer can be a fiction author, nonfiction author, poet, lyricist, screenwriter, or playwright. 

Interesting Questions to Discuss With an Author

Every writer is eager to discuss their most recent work or a significant work from their backlist. They will be thrilled to answer your questions about their journey writing or what publishing entails. Here are some things to ask your favorite author. 

  • Which literary landmarks have you visited? 
  • Describe the first time you cried while reading a book. 
  • Which unethical publishing practice do you think is the worst? 
  • Do you find that writing refreshes or drains you? 
  • Where do most budding authors go wrong? 
  • Which is more beneficial, a large or small ego, for writers? 
  • Is there anything that kills your creativity when you’re writing? 
  • What causes writer’s block, and how do you overcome it? 
  • Have you ever thought about using a pen name when publishing your work?
  • When writing, do you make more of an effort to be creative or to give the audience what they want?

Great Questions to Ask Your Favorite Writer

Depending on their answers, asking authors questions could be boring or very insightful. In the event of a boring conversation, you can always break the ice with questions like;

  • Does someone need to have strong emotions to be a writer? 
  • How do the other authors you know influence your writing? 
  • Do you want individual novels to be self-sufficient? 
  • Do you intend to create a series of novels that flow into one another? 
  • How has having your first book published affected your writing routine?
  • As a writer, how did you make the most of your money?
  • Is there any writer whose work you initially disliked but eventually came to appreciate? 
  • Tell me about the first money you got in advance. 
  • Is there a formative experience that stands out to you as the moment when you realized the potential of words? 
  • Which periodicals do you recommend most to writers?

Personal Questions to Ask at a Book Signing Event

These questions show that you are interested in and care about their work and life. The more you know about authors, the more you might get out of their books. 

  • Identify a book that deserves more attention than it currently receives. 
  • How do you balance demanding too much of the reader and neglecting them? 
  • What animal best represents you as a writer, and why? 
  • What duties do you have toward the people who inspired your fictional characters?
  •  Tell me how many books you have written but have yet to finish. 
  • Precisely what would you consider to be the pinnacle of your literary career? 
  • When promoting your books, what approaches work best? 
  • How long do you spend researching a topic, and what kind of resources do you use? 
  • Do you think of writing as a sacrament? 
  • What do you find most difficult when creating characters of the opposite gender?

Random Great Questions to Ask Any Writer

Books are excellent sources of entertainment, and when one reads, it is an opportunity to have a conversation with the book’s author. Here are some questions that might help you have a more meaningful and personal experience while reading. 

  • For how long did you work another job before deciding to devote yourself to writing full-time? 
  • How long do you spend writing each day? 
  • What period do you find yourself writing about the most? 
  • What have you read recently that challenged your preconceptions about fiction? 
  • How do you decide on what your characters will be called?
  • What strategies do you employ for handling both good and bad ones? 

Good Questions to Ask Authors

Asking an author these questions below can lead to a fascinating conversation. This is because questions can go beyond how the story came to be and get into the author’s hands, minds, and experiences.

  • Which scene was the most challenging for you to pen? 
  • Have you ever Googled your name? 
  • If you could become a better writer by giving up just one thing, what would it be? 
  • Which periodicals do you find most enjoyable and why? 
  • Which book did you love reading when you were a kid? 
  • I’m curious about the most challenging aspect of your creative process. 
  • Would you say that your loved ones encouraged you to pursue a profession as a writer? 
  • How would you have improved as a writer if you could go back to your childhood or adolescence and do things differently? 

Conclusion

Brainstorming on good questions to ask authors is a great way to get to know their personal stories. You could ask personal questions for an author you know and intellectual questions for an author you’ve never heard of. 

Do your research on the author and their writings, and you’ll have the perfect arsenal of tough questions waiting to be fired at them!

Good Questions to Ask Authors in an Interview

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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