woensdag 30 april 2014

Give good interview!

I give good interview.

See how I made that sound a little dirty? I do that sometimes. You’re welcome!
Anyway, back on track, this is not about my double entendres, but about interviews. As a writer I try to get seen, which means I give a lot of interviews. A lot of writers do this, but here’s the thing… some give terrible interviews.

People tend to forget that –like writing, or any other aspect of a writer’s career—interviews are important, and should be done with thought and care.
You don’t want to know the amount of times I’ve read an interview by one of my peers that made me want to fall asleep. To be honest with you… I tend to just zone out half way through and not finish them. Sorry guys.

So let me tell you where these people go wrong, and maybe I actually have something valuable to give to you in my blog today: When you do an interview, don’t just blurt out what you want to say… communicate in such a way that people want to hear. Interviews are not just about you answering questions with the first things that come up in your head. You want to tell something in your interview, you want to show the reader who you are. You need to have an ‘interview voice’.

For me my voice is ‘humor’, but you can be entertaining without being funny. In fact there are numerous ways to answer interview questions to get the reader involved. Perhaps you can answer with a great anecdote, or maybe you have a deeper insight into something, that you can share. Be anything, be weird, quirky, meaningful, poetic, hipster (no, don’t be hipster… a screw it, be hipster if you want) or anarchist… but be someone. Don’t just answer questions without putting some passion into it, because the reader will know.

And yes, I know… some interviewers make it hard to be original. To be honest the more interviews you do, the more challenging the ‘generic questions’ become. Even I struggle sometimes to be ‘original’ when answering certain questions, but still I try. And luckily a lot of interviewers are great, and have their own unique voice in their interviews. But in the end, it’s up to you, the interviewee to make the whole thing interesting.

Think about what it would be like to read your interview as an outsider. What would they get from your interview? Do they really need to know certain things about you, just because you did them? Or do you have something to say about why you did them?

It’s not that much different from writing a story, only this time you use fact rather than fiction. You still want to make it interesting. There is an art to leaving things out, as there is to exaggerating bits, and making them more prominent (I’m not saying ‘lie’, just make sure you describe the interesting parts with sufficient flair or drama)
Make people excited about you, because you’ll have more chance to make them excited about your writing.  

*puts down her imaginary reading glasses and gives you a wise stare* I think I have taught you enough, young Padawan. Now go off… and give good interview.

**** and as to prove my point, Jim Mcleod from Ginger Nuts of Horror posted this on his web: http://www.gingernutsofhorror.com/9/post/2014/04/be-interesting-be-engaging-dont-be-dull.html

(give it a read)

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