In my neverending quest to make A Dribble of Ink a better publication, I decided to make a new feature, I Ask You, to get you guys, the readers, more involved in improving things.

My readership is constantly growing – from avid fans, to aspiring writers, to well established authors – and that’s a resource I’d be silly to pass up. To that end, I’ve got a couple of questions for everyone that drops by, and the theme this time is Interviews.

What makes a for a good interview?

Readers: What kind of questions do you like to see? What do you like the author to talk about? How long do you like the interviews to be?

Authors: How can we, the bloggers, keep the interviews from getting stale? What do you most enjoy speaking about? What questions would you like to be asked, but never are?

  • John - Grasping for the Wind June 5, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I like to read something of the author’s philosophy, a discussion of the theme of their book, and maybe their opinion on a topic whirling around in SF/F today.

    I also like the personal element, although in my interviews, I never can seem to come up with good personal questions.

  • TK42ONE June 5, 2008 at 11:22 am

    The questions and answers I like are the personal ones. Many times we see authors as a name on paper, or if we’re lucky, a blurry face online. I enjoy reading about the personal side of life for an author. It makes them more “real” and let’s me connect with them. After all, what do I know about being a published author? And with these questions and answers, length doesn’t matter much. But generally speaking, long winded authors tend to boring anyway.

  • Robert Walker June 5, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Great idea for a new feature.

    Okay. As a reader, I am always interested in how they got published in the first place.

    As an author myself, I think a great question would be: What influences your work outside of the realm of fiction? For example, films, television shows, etc.

  • Becky June 5, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I like questions that help us get to know the author as a person, not just “author-y” kinds of questions. What’s a typical day like? What else do you enjoy besides writing? How does your family/friends fit into your world? – stuff like that… :)

  • neth June 5, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    I always try to go for questions that an author has never been asked before and I like the humorous side of things (as you may be able to tell from the Questions Five). I’ve also found that if you can throw certain words into a question, fun happens – such as promiscurity, pub, and haggis.

  • Gabriele June 6, 2008 at 8:59 am

    The problem with more personal questions is that not all authors will want to answer them. I know I don’t – anything that goes beyond what’a your hobbies is not something I’d share. Should I ever get published and interviewed. ;)

  • aidan June 7, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks for all the great feedback, guys. I think one of the most obvious things is that everyone likes something different and there is no perfect style of interview.

    It’s interesting to see that people either really like personal questions or really aren’t interested in them.

    I think one are that isn’t discussed enough in interviews is the publishing industry in general. It’s a scary place and these authors have manage to make it. That’s a huge resource of information to mine and something that I’m sure a lot of folk who read blogs (which I’d be willing to bet are also aspiring writers) could take a lot away from.

  • I Ask You | Reviews - A Dribble of Ink June 26, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    […] first edition of I Ask You went over better than I had anticipated, with a lot of great input from my readers. […]