Blog

Fantastic, 80 Unique Questions to Ask an Author

MLeMont.com Follow @mistersalesman

Reading Time: 4min 20sec

by M LeMont

What if you had a chance to ask an author a bunch of questions about a book you've read–what questions would you ask? As a fan that could be your chance– to learn more about the author.

For an author, the best compliment in the world is for people to read their work and get something out of it. When an author meets fans, it is a step further because not only did they read the book but they liked it enough to attend an event or write a letter with questions. However, authors receive the same questions over and over again from email, social media, and from interviewers. Believe me, that can get real, B-O-R-I-N-G. Even though authors enjoy talking about their book, they prefer answering more--unique questions that get their juices flowing as opposed to:

What inspired you to write this book?

What does your writing process involve?

What advice do you have for upcoming writers or those who are struggling?

As you can see, these are generic questions that every author answers at some point in time. So, if you have the chance to ask an author some questions, you need to ask questions that they haven't answered before and I can assure you, they'll be happy to reply.

Below, you will see my personal collection of 70 unique questions that will yield fascinating answers. Of course, we aren't looking to delve into their personal life so their book or the industry in general, should be the focal point.

However, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow in the boring footsteps of others. If you have read their book, try to ask a question about a particular character and their plot or the relationship between two characters. If you are yet to read the book, these questions are a good place to start.

The questions can also be used if you're an interviewer or an author who wants to give a pre-approved list of questions for an interview. Either way, be creative, rearrange the words and use them for any occasion.

80 Fantastic Questions to Ask an Author

1. Have you gone on any literary tours? If not, do you have an ideal plan for one?

2. Is there a book that makes you cry no matter how many times you've read it?

3. What about your own books, do any of them make you emotional?

4. There are many unethical practices in publishing, which one is the most unbearable?

5. What effect does writing have on your body; does it strengthen or weaken you?

6. Have you ever used yourself/a character based on yourself as starting point for a story?

7. What do you consider to be your writing lucky charm?

8. How important is it for writers to tap into the emotions of the characters?

9. Do you have any author friends and how have they helped or hindered you?

10. What are common traps for aspiring writers?

11. Is a big ego an asset or liability to writers?

12. What is your writing Kryptonite and how has it affected you?

13. Is there really a such thing as writer's block?

14. What is the advantage of writing under a pseudonym?

15. Are there any authors' writing style that you disliked at first but soon came to like?

16. How early was it that you realized how powerful words can be?

17. Do reading, watching movies and listening to music help become a better writer?

18. Do you think someone could be a good writer without suffering first?

19. Do you purpose for each book to be a complete project or all your books interconnected?

20. Do you brainstorm with other non-writers and if so, is it effective?

21. Have you ever read a book that changed the way you look at writing?

22. What are three things, that you wish you knew before you wrote your first book?

23. Is your writing today vastly different than your first book?

24. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer to enhance your career ?

25. Do you ever put a story aside and let it stew and comeback to it at a later date? If so, how long before you revisit it?

26. Do you read books for entertainment or homework?

27. Can someone become a good writer without reading books?

28. Why do most authors write in 3rd person POV instead of first and second POV?

29. Were you born to write or did you learn the craft?

30. What did you buy with your first royalty check?

31. How do you celebrate when you publish a book?

32. How long does the research process take before you start to write a book?

33. What experience made you realize that you could influence and change lives with the power of writing?

34. Do you have a hidden message in your writings for a particular person or group?

35. What magazines or newsletter can writers subscribe to and enhance their writing career?

36. Do you believe that a good book will sell itself?

37. What is the biggest myth about writing that would help aspiring authors?

38. Where would your work be if you didn't have real people to base characters in your writing?

39. In your own experience, which marketing avenues have been the most rewarding?

40. Do you have a favorite book, you wrote that you feel is under-appreciated?

41. Is writing a form of spiritual practice or healing for you?

42. What is the greatest challenge you face when writing about characters of the opposite sex?

43. How do you balance the demands as a writer and personal relationships?

44. Do you believe there should be ethics regarding historical fiction or is it a free-for-all?

45. How long have you been a full-time writer, and how much time did it take you to make the transition from part time?

46. Do you have pieces of story that were removed from this book? If, so why did you remove it?

47. Do you have any other passions to pursue if you didn't write?

48. Have you any favorite literary journals?

49. Do you experiment with writing or prefer to stay in the safe zone?

50. Did you have a favorite book as a child?

51. What scenes do you find hard to write and why?

52. What did your family say when you first went full-time as a writer?

53. Can you name one thing that you would give up to become a better writer?

54. On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

55. Have you ever grown an attachment to one of your characters?

56. Have you ever killed off a character unwillingly?

57. With sequels, how do you handle the wishes of readers compared to your original ideas?

58. Which fictional books have you read that have changed your perception of that style of writing?

59. Do you read your books out loud? If so, what are the advantages?

60. Do your book reviews make an impact on how you write subsequent books or volumes?

61. Are there any secrets people are bound to find when they read your books?

62. What would I find if I Google your name?

63. What time of the day do ideas usually hit you?

64. Do you believe writer's block is real?

65. Do your friends and family members buy your books?

66. For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or print books?

67. What books are you reading at present?

68. Do you proofread, edit your own books or use a professional?

69. What are the main advantage of being self-published as opposed to getting a book deal?

70. Is using Twitter or social media part of your marketing strategy?

71. How do you convince readers to give you a book review?

72. What are your thoughts on bad book reviews?

73. Is there any marketing strategy that had an immediate impact on your daily sales?

74. What do you think about book trailers?

75. What do you think about selling books for 0.99 cents or giving them away for free?

76. How do you relax when you're not writing?

78. What is your favorite motivational phrase that keeps you going?

79. What famous person living or dead that you would like to meet?

80. Do you write using a typewriter, pen & paper or PC?

As you can see, these are thought provoking questions. If you ask one of these, you will surprise the author and they will be far more willing to discuss the book, their life as a writer, or the writing industry with you in more detail!

Start your post here...