One of the questions submitted to me for this series was “What 3 questions would you ask an author?” by Kris. (Thanks, Kris!)
I had to really think about this one because the one time I did get a chance to talk to an author–at a writing conference I attended in college, I got to meet Ron Hansen, who wrote one of my all-time favorite books, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward R0bert Ford–I couldn’t think of any intelligent questions. I just mumbled something about being a big fan and then brandished my own personal copy of one of his books for an autograph. Because I’m smooth like that.
Now that I’ve had some more time to ponder the question, I think a question I’d ask any author–and enjoy hearing the answer to–is “What is your process like?” Everyone has their own writing process. I certainly have mine for when I am writing (lots of research and lots of planning before I even think of writing anything! And by anything I mean anything, including emails), and the endless variety in people’s processes interest me. So, I like to know if they do a lot of planning or if they prefer to figure things out as they go. I like to know if there’s a set time and place when and where they write. I like to know if they type everything or if they prefer to write in longhand and make someone else type it or if they prefer dictating. I like to know if they seek out feedback on their work from trusted critique partners or if they just leave that to their editors.
My remaining two questions would be mirror images of each other. As much as I like to know about people’s writing processes, I also like knowing what their influences were, so I’d probably also ask “Who are some of your favorite writers/what are some of your favorite books?” But my addendum to that would also be asking, “What books have you read that you absolutely hated?” Mainly because I think listening to people rant about things they disliked is just as educational and telling about them and their own thought processes as listening to them brag about what they really enjoyed.
What 3 questions would you like to ask a writer? Have you ever met a famous author? What questions do you have for our “Ask The Blogger” series? Tell us in the comments!
Don’t forget: You may have the chance to practice your 3 questions if you go to Books in Bloom!