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Sep 12, 2013

Writers Interviewees Don't Kill Your Hosts Blog

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  5:26 PM

Apologies if you came for the Neil Gaiman live reading post. There was a scheduling error. It will be up on Saturday.
This is so funny because this was supposed to be an FB status uodate. It started as such but my ranting and raving went on for so long it morphed into a blog post.

I have very few pet peeves but those that I have I tend to take very seriously. One of them is authors whom despite a bloggers best efforts and time taken to prepare questions for interviews in order to help THEM get exposure by the way, at NO charge, will pay that kindness back with dry, uninspiring, clipped answers that feel like a "let-me-just-do it-and-get-it-out-the-way" job. Sometimes the lack of effort in giving responses even reads like the interviewee thinks they are owed the space on the hosts blog or the readers have nothing better to do. I just read a few lines of one such which i opened from the twitter feed and moved on to the next blog. The sad bit is that the blogger lost an opportunity of a follow for their blog. It makes you wonder how a many potential followers and visitors will respond as I did today.

Bloggers I suggest that you don't put up boring dribble from someone who requested an interview from you. You are not doing your blog or readers a favor. The least they can do for you is give your readers something interesting to spend their time on.

This is certainly the route I've decided to take lately because I go through a lot of effort to tweet and FB post, to google+ and bloglovin share, you name it, for these same unappreciative few.

Through your good intentions you may just be pushing away visitors from your blog and they will not even tell you why because people don't like giving bad news. They just silently slink away without even a tweet (speaking from experience at the wrong end). You may be misled into thinking this is not true because you receive some kind but not really deep comments from fellow bloggers like "oh what a lovely interview, I really loved the questioning technique. I've definitely learnt something here."  although they have mentioned something specific, you will notice that the comment has nothing to do with the visitor. 

I'm my mind this can mean a number of things, upper most being a polite way of my lovely blog friend/follower making their presence known, letting me know they were here and they have my back.  I do it too sometimes, especially on blogs where I see no comments have been left. Despite the unappetizing interview responses I try to leave meaningful for the blogger without sounding disingenuous.
Because let's face it, as much as we want to make out that there's more to blogging than comments, it's still nice to get them and interact with someone through your posts. The average individuals enjoys a little attention, so I do it.  

So my thing is, as bloggers we shouldn't be complacent because someone you possibly are familiar with has left a more or less decent comment on your blog. Bad/dry/impersonal interview responses do not capture the attention of new readers. 

Personally, I'd rather have less interviews with great content from writers who see the value of giving good, well thought and (bonus) entertaining and creative interview responses. These are writers for goodness sake, they spend their lives wanting to turn words into magic. We're not asking for highly intellectual responses, just ones that don't feel like the blood and stone thing.

Blogger, my opinion is that it is not worth it if the writer cannot help you back with good content for your precious blog. We do interviews to get the story behind the book and hopefully fall I love with its creator. Surely this can only be good for book sales. So why not  just make the effort. 

If  you, the writer are tired from running around the blog sphere due to marketing campaigns, then why not rehash old but stellar interviews you did forever ago and spice them up. Chances are more than 90% of us have never read them anyway. 

And what about advanced planning. Nothing pleases me more than getting an interview request and the writer says they have some prepped ones if I'd like to see them to help. Chances are you know nothing about this person and some insight into who they are would be great. I most certainly love getting such offers. 

My point is, there are so many great things happening on the internet every nanosecond. Writer give me a reason to stay and spend 10 minutes of my time on your interview. That's all I'm sayin.....

In fact it would have been great to give you guys example of bad interview by linking but i don't want to name and shame. That's just ugly. So below I'll leave examples of great interviewee's on whose interviews I'd spend my time any day.

Interview 1: Chatting to JL Campbell
First up is Jamaican Novelist and emag editor at Snippets & Splashes, J.L Campbell. I know almost complete certainty that JL's pet peeve list my feature my seeming inability to write spelling error free posts. I know for a fact J.L that I'll one of those writers that will spend their not yet earned money on editors. JL, God bless her heart made me look so good with her detailed answers in this interview because really, I was still very fresh at review blogging then and interview questions were not my strong point at all.

Interview 2: Author Interviews Blog.
These here girls (I assume its girls) do phenomenal interviews. I am so impressed by their blog. Truly I am.

Interview 3: Chatting with Karen Gowen
Karen is one of my very first blog friends and she made a great impression on me with her blogging and writing knowledge, quirky wisdom and love for my country. And she gives awesome blog fodder too. I'd have her on my blog anytime.

Ok! i think the tantrum wore off somewhere along the line and I actually had fun reminiscing at the end..... Have a fabulous day.

PS! I'd love to visit some of the best author interviews you've come across. links in comments please.

About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


  1. I agree with you. It's so hard these days to find an interview that's actually interesting. Mainly because the answers are limp and emotionless.

    Would love to see what questions you'd throw at me. ;-)

  2. i certainly will them at yah soonest.d

  3. I love Cairn Rodrigues' Askew Questions:

    Cairn won't ALLOW any answers to be dull! :)

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

  4. A good interview should teach me something, provide me interesting information, or entertain me or any combination of these. Part of the responsibility lies with the interviewer who should come up with unique questions asked in such a way that they elicit a thoughtful response. For the trite common questions the interviewee must be creative in their answers--often humor is the best approach to these.

    An author's personality should come across in an interview and we should learn things that make us want to know more. The best comments from the best interviews should be more questions or thoughtful observations rather that a passing praise or acknowledgement that the interview existed.

    Yeah, I don't dwell on boring interviews very much and feel they can be a real waste of time. My pet peeve is dumb character interviews. Same rules apply as stated above.

  5. Great points, Wendy. Author interviews are so important because you're getting a peek at the source; the very fount of creativity that wrote the book/stories/characters that readers have fallen in love with. In other words, you're getting the purest form of the creation, and seeing how everyone perceives art in a different way, it would be more beneficial if authors were as elaborate and giving with their answers as they can possibly be. Mathair and I were just invited to a Live Chat with Anne Rice (my idol) and she was very giving with all her answers. Mathair and I drank in every word, gesture, like it was the breath of life, not only learning from her as writers but readers as well.

  6. Great interviews are good to read.

  7. Hi Wendy,
    You brought out some valuable points here in connection with interviews. All need to think on these lines when they make interviews with people whoever that may be. Your connected links seems wonderful to visit on. Will come back after going there.
    Thanks for the thinking cap put on and for the good links too.
    Keep inform
    Keep writing
    I just joined in
    Best Regards
    Philip Ariel

    Hey, please take out the word verification from here, so that your readers/visitors can easily post their responses.

  8. Thank you so much Phil. I thought I had removed it last month. I had putti p because a whole back somehow somehow spammers had got hold of this account send email to my contact list with it. But thank the o much coz I luuuuv dem comments

  9. Hey, Wendy,

    Thanks for the mention. More than anything else, writers love to know they have readers and one way to connect with those readers is through interviews. When people take time to read an interview it's because they're interested in finding out about the author as well as their stories. Dry one-liners won't endear us to anyone.

  10. OOO...OOO interview me Wendy! Kidding, but loved the post. Know exactly what you speak of, and advice well taken, though no further comment.

    Feel free to browse my interviews; my blogger interviews ROCK!, which includes one from Wendy!!! I so loved that interview; it still gets lots of page views!

  11. OEBooks....hint or no hint,
    you're in for it now. LOL

  12. This was so helpful that I am going to repost on our CeleryTree Facebook page, where we give tips for writers navigating social media. And I was thinking to myself as I read, oh I hope I haven't done that. And then you used me as a good example! Wow, I am blushing. And honored. Great stuff, Wendy, so glad you are back blogging. You do a wonderful service to writers with your tips, your guest posts and book reviews.

  13. i'm glad you liked it Karen. I worry all the time about this post because I think the reader can sense my angst. LOL

  14. Amen!!! I too have felt this way but I have written the author back and informed them the interview would not take place due to the timeless effort i felt was placed to answer my questions for my blog. Thank you and when your schedule permits please seek me for the opportunity for FREE publicity. We in the Blog Book World are in the thousands and news travel fast through the many meme's, ning groups and book clubs we are a part of. Please honor our efforts as We take pride in the FREE efforts we present authors.

  15. I think I'm posting your comment on FB and Google+

  16. Great post and I agree. I face this a lot. And also the author asks for the interview but doesn't drop back to answer readers.

  17. Oh gosh you've just introduced something else here Nas.

  18. Oh gosh you've just introduced something else here Nas.


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