April 3rd, 2008

spring

He was fafafather of all schemes for to bother us

1300 words on the novel for the day so far, bringing the total to 103287 and halfway through Chapter 23, leaving only a scene in which two male characters bond over stories about their fathers in order to complete it. Please feel free to post father stories that I can shamelessly steal in the comments. I'm sure we all have them.

Meanwhile, I'm taking both the novel and some terrorism writing to the coffee shop -- too pretty a day to stay inside.
spring

Petrella by Charlene Brusso

I wanted to point people at Petrella, currently up at Fantasy Magazine.

And here is a question for people who read the magazine regularly -- what are the stories of 2007 and 2008 that you most loved, that you could see yourself going back to look at again, or giving to someone as an example, or even just because you loved reading it?
  • Current Music
    Van Morrison - No Thing
spring

Exit, Stage Left, With Laundry on My Mind

3000 words finished on the novel for the day, and so I'll leave off for now just as I start Chapter 25. I'm at 105010 right now, so I think this may end up nudging a little over 110k but not by too much. I hope. Got in some study guide work as well while coffee-shopped this afternoon and answered a couple of emails. Wayne has asked me a couple of times how many e-mails I write in a week, and truth be told, I'm afraid to reckon it up, between Fantasy Magazine, personal e-mail, and game mail. I suspect at least a couple of hundred.

I finished John Marks' Fangland and Jeanette Winterson's The Stone Gods this week. I liked one much better than the other and will post some observations when I get the chance. Probably tonight as we catch up on Top Chef.

Tonight features a delicious scallops and squash and peanut sauce medley over rice noodles, which should be good.
  • Current Music
    Marie Digby - Unfold
spring

Interviewing 101

The excellent david_de_beer will be contributing time to SFWA in the form of overseeing the Nebula website, and I offered to do some of the interviews with Nebula nominees. Between doing that, steering another interviewer his way, and talking to someone about an upcoming interview, I have been thinking about what makes for an interesting interview, which includes:

  • A working knowledge of the interviewee
  • Showing the readers why they should care about the interviewee
  • Including pointers for readers who want to find out more about the interviewee

I think process questions -- i.e. what's your writing/drafting/revising/reading process like? when do you do your best work? what sort of pen do you like to use? -- at useful only at intervals, and hopefully when a writer's process has changed, so they're not saying the same thing over and over again.

When I'm going to interview somebody, I look first at their website. Hopefully they've got some interesting stuff on there -- if not, I start Googling around. I make sure I read at least a representative sampling of their work -- I don't feel that I have to read every single bit of it. With the Internet, there's not much excuse for not being able to find at least a few launching points for questions.

I look for things that they've said that they might expand on in an interesting way, for things that seem to be recent themes with them, or ones that they return to, over and over again. I ask questions about their tastes, what they're reading, what they think about. The trick wit interviews is to ask questions that allow interviewees to showcase how interesting they are.

Think about the sort of questions you might ask if you had the chance to talk to them over a drink or coffee -- what have you always wondered?