Thursday, October 22, 2015

Here I am, the interviewer as interviewee

Nancy Christie, fellow member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, is a full-time professional writer, whose passion is for fiction. In addition to her two e-books, Annabelle and Alice in Wonderland, her short stories can be found in literary publications such as Hypertext, Full of Crow, Fiction365, Red Fez, Wanderings, The Chaffin Journal and Xtreme. In addition, she maintains an interesting blog: "One one One: Insights into the Writer's Life" where she interviews writers in unusual depth. Recently, she interviewed me.

Because Christie herself is a writer, she asks interesting questions about a writer's background, writing experience, writing process and more. The interviews are long, so long she posts them in two parts. But because they are so long and because interviewees are free to respond at length they are unusually insightful. I found the experience of answering her questions both challenging and stimulating.

For example, she asks, "What does the act of writing bring into your life? Why do you want to write?" I was tempted to give the answer Victoria Page gives to a similar question in the movie The Red Shoes: "Why do you want to live?" But that begs the question.

More good questions that made me think: "What stimulates your creativity or serves as a writing inspiration? . . . What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most? The least? . . . What is the message of your book? What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book? . . . Who has inspired you — either at a personal level or as a writer?"

These are not easy questions, and I'm glad I didn't have to answer them off the top of my head but had a chance to think about them and write answers. That might mean the interview lost a certain spontaneity, but surely gained some depth. All in all, I found it a thought-provoking experience.

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