Monday, March 20, 2006

New interview is up

Here's a switch: Some poor schmuck interviewing me! Rick Klaw does the dirty deed in a Q&A now up at
What do you do as an interviewer to prepare yourself for the interview? I assume you don't just show up.

I don't just show up, no. That's the kiss of death. You learn that early on in journalism as a reporter. If you show up, your ignorance will be on display for everyone to see and snicker at, and even when you do prepare, a lot of times your ignorance is on display because you haven't prepared enough, even if you do an extensive amount of preparation.

First of all I just try and find the author's web site. If they don't have an author's web then, just any fan sites or anything up there, just the basic biography first, who they are, what their influences [are], if they grew up here, or they grew up there; that's just background information to give you kind of a picture of the person. Their bibliography: find out what books they've written, what their newest books are, what their most recent stuff is, what they're most known for. If they're known for winning Hugos back to back to back, well then that's a significant part of the story. That's background information to give you a feel for the author and a foundation to base everything else on, but what I've found is the most important thing to do is to track down as many prior interviews as possible, not to steal the question, but just so you know what questions are always asked, then just do one step and DON'T ASK THOSE.

That's the main thing that I learned: don't ask these questions, don't ask this question, don't ask this question because everyone else has. Now, I say that, but that's not always really possible or advisable, as far as not asking questions. Because when I interviewed Vernor Vinge, I started off the interview with an apology, I'm sorry that I'm going to start this off, because you've answered it a million times, but let's talk about the Singularity, this concept that you have. He laughed, and then we went on from there. I didn't limit myself to that, which I've seen some interviews with him that that's all they discuss is the concept of the Singularity where humanity reaches a cusp and what comes out the other side of that no longer resembles humanity as we know it.

And you want to know the scary thing? That's only PART ONE of the interview. For a fellow who's only published one book, I sure do seem to think highly of my own voice!

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