Interviews by Allison Symes

What do you like about author interviews? I’m fascinated by what makes someone become a writer (or realize they are one. The first person you convince you can write is you. I refuse to believe that was just me!). I also love stories of authors overcoming obstacles on their writing road.

If an interview engages me, I take the view there is a good chance the author’s books will too. Next step is to check said books out.

What would YOU want to get across in an interview?  Pixabay

When I interview authors for my Chandler’s Ford Today page, I set open questions as I want a writer to take those and run with them. That’s where the stories are.

Hopping over the other side of the fence, what do I get across when I’m interviewed?

One governing thought that helps a lot is to ask myself what is in this for the audience? Can other authors be encouraged by what I say?

Can you use your interview to encourage other writers? Pixabay

I was once at a writing festival when a writer did try the hard sell on me. It didn’t work.

How does this help anyone not yet published or who is just beginning their writing journey?

Think ahead. What would you want to say if you were interviewed? How do you want to come across? What parts of your writing journey have you struggled with?

Which of these reflects how you feel about talking about  your writing? Pixabay

There are stories here. I know a few authors where they faced multiple rejections before their work was accepted. I love stories like that. It is encouraging to know rejections are (a) never personal and (b) happen to everyone. So bear this in mind if all you receive are rejections. There may be a story for you to use here in interviews later. If you can make it funny, even better!

When I started writing, I wanted to convince myself I could come up with stories and keep on doing so. It was ages before I plucked up the courage to submit work. Now that’s the kind of story I like to read. It is reassuring as it affirms it is fine to write for your own pleasure but that you can move on when you’re ready to do so.

When I did start seeking publication, I thought I’d give this my best shot. If it worked out, fabulous. If it didn’t, I’d know I had tried. I still take that view.

What is it about your books and stories that we, as readers, must  know? Pixabay

Another aspect to interviews is for your characters. Have you considered interviewing them to discover what they are made of before you write their stories?

This tip I suspect will be of more use to the planners amongst us rather than the pantsers. (I salute the latter. I must plan my writing. My making it up as I go has scaffolding behind it!).

Quizzing your people is a great way for you to know them inside out before you commit too much to writing their stories. I’ve found it saves me time when editing later and has stopped me from going off on many an interesting but irrelevant tangent!

Good advice but you may wish to update your equipment! Pixabay

Happy writing!


  1. I do like the idea of interviewing your characters. Interviews are loads of fun anyway - I do so many for work and you never know what people are going to say. I've got lots of great quotes tucked away in my head from over the years.

  2. Great idea to interview characters! I’m picking up tips as I move from non-fiction (where I have loved interviewing people both on radio and for magazines) into fiction.

    1. I find it a really useful technique, Ruth. If I didn't know my characters to begin with, I definitely do by the time I've quizzed them for a bit!

    2. Good luck, Kathleen. I love writing fiction and non-fiction. The challenges of both keep me on my writing toes! I have found outlining my characters the single biggest thing to help me with planning a story. I have to plan things out. I'm not a pantser at all.

  3. Thanks for this great article on interviewing characters. I am sure this guide to content writing will be quite useful when writing about story based content.


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