by Shari Randall
I’ve been gearing up for the January 2018 publication of my debut novel, CURSES, BOILED AGAIN! Along with setting up appearances at libraries and bookstores, I’ve been invited to do guest posts on several blogs. Many thanks to those who extended invitations! My publisher was as thrilled as I am by these opportunities for readers to get to know me better. But as I’ve begun writing those posts, I’ve gotten a bit stuck.
True confession: I have always aspired to be a reclusive author. Those of you who know me are laughing, but it’s true. Writing for me is a very personal business. It makes my inner introvert assert herself. Interview? No thanks. I, uh, have to wash my hair.
Plus, I’m boring. Honestly, when was the last time I piloted a fighter jet, found a dead body in my woods, or drove in a Grand Prix race? Ran a triathlon, frolicked with dolphins, or whipped up a Baked Alaska?
I have tons of librarian stories, but since I’m bound by the librarian code, I can’t share those with anyone outside the cardigan sisterhood/brotherhood.
It’s a conundrum. How do writers, most of whom identify as introverts, deal with the demands of marketing and social media? And how do we come up with fresh content for getting-to-know-you blogs?
My last blog was about defeating writer’s block. Experts say that the key to get writing is to “prime the pump” with a prompt. But where to get a great prompt, a great question to get me started?
Many of a certain age will remember the infamous Barbara Walters interview question, “If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” I think I’ll give that prompt a pass.
As I was contemplating this, I received an email from Clarissa Goenawan, a fellow member of a writers group called Authors 18, authors with debut works coming out in 2018. It’s a support and celebration group. As each of us learns a new skill for navigating the waters of publishing, we share it with the group. Clarissa, whose book Rainbirds will debut in March 2018, shared several interview questions that are great writing prompts for guest blogs. With her blessing, here they are:
- What’s the story behind the title of your book?
- If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what
would you do?
- Are your characters based on real people, or do they come from your imagination?
- What kind of research did you do for this book?
- Are you a plotter or a pantser?
- What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?
- What is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?
- Have you ever gotten writer’s block? If yes, how do you overcome it?
- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
- How did you get into writing?
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
- Which book influenced you the most?
- What’s your favorite writing advice?
Inspired by these questions, I came up with some more that I’d like to have an author answer – and that I think will be fun to answer myself.
My question for you is – what question would you like to ask an author? Please share in the comments below. And also, if you are in the mood, If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
I’ll go with magnolia.