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Interviewing an Author: Don't Be Left Speechless

Stephen Earley Jordan, II
[Editor@outstretch.net]

Joyce Carol Oates. Langston Hughes. Anne Sexton. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Nikki Giovanni. The names of authors (dead and alive) can go on and on. But I'll let you have first pick!

           You are in a room with some of your favorite authors. About ten of them. However, you are only allowed to invite one of them to Starbucks for a couple of chocolate mochas. Just you and your favorite author. It doesn't matter if the writer is deceased -- use your imagination! After all, you're a writer, right?

           Oh dear, who shall it be? Should it be William Shakespeare with his purple pantaloons; Sylvia Plath who now vows to use an electric oven instead of gas; or should it be Maya Angelou and old playmates from her broken-hearted brothel?

           Finally, you have selected an author.

           You take him (or her) to Starbucks. You order the mochas. You sit down. As you open your mouth to ask the author questions nothing useful comes out.

           What's the problem?

           Often times we'll chance upon moments when we can interview an author. And, with technology nowadays, methods of research and brainstorming have changed slightly.

           Above all, I highly recommend to record the interview. Before you display your trusty hand-held recorder, ask the interviewee for permission to record them. Keep and label all used tapes with the author's name, date and location of the interview. You never know when that once self-published novelist will become the next best seller.



About the Author (click here) © 2002 Stephen Earley Jordan, II, all rights reserved
 appears here by permission

This article also appears at OutStretch Publications, and is available for reprint. Please notify the author: Editor@OutStretch.net.


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