You’re ready to interview an author for your blog. Or maybe you’ve started a podcast and are wondering how to interview an author for it?
We’re here to help — both with preparing for the interview and with making your list of author interview questions.
As authors with an insatiable appetite for authentic stories, we created this post to answer the question, “What are good questions to ask an author about a book?”
There are loads of questions you could ask. But these will make the interview more enjoyable for you and your guests.
For authors, these questions can help prepare you for interviews and know what to expect when you’re called on to talk about your work.
How Do You Prepare for an Author Interview?
Preparing for an author interview requires more than a list of good questions to ask an author. Both of you need to be in the right frame of mind.
But since you’ll be the one conducting the interview — and the author is offering their time and answers for your readers’ or listener’s entertainment — it’s on you to make sure this interview is a positive experience for your guest.
To that end, keep the following tips in mind:
The better prepared you are for each author interview, the more likely your readers or listeners are to keep coming back for more.
101 Author Interview Questions
You need a list of good questions to ask a writer, and we aim to make your job easier. The questions below are divided into popular categories, so you can choose the types of questions most interesting to your audience.
Best Author Interview Questions
1. At what point do you think someone should call themselves a writer?
2. What difference do you see between a writer and an author?
3. Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym, and why or why not?
4. What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you?
5. How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?
6. Are there therapeutic benefits to modeling a character after someone you know?
7. What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
8. How long have you been writing or when did you start?
9. What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
10. What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?
11. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
12. How do you develop your plot and characters?
13. When did you first call yourself a writer?
14. How do you use social media as an author?
15. What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
16. What would you say to an author who wanted to design their own cover?
Author Interview Questions about Their Book
1. How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
2. What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?
3. What part of the book was the most fun to write?
4. Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?
5. If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?
6. What is a significant way your book has changed since the first draft?
7. What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with this work?
8. What inspired the idea for your book?
9. How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
10. How much research did you need to do for your book?
11. How important was professional editing to your book’s development?
12. What was your hardest scene to write, and why?
13. What characters in your book are most similar to you or to people you know?
15. How did you come up with the title for your book?
16. Would you and your main character get along?
17. If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?
Fun Author Interview Questions
1. What is your writing process like? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?
2. What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
3. If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick?
4. If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?
5. What is your schedule like when you’re writing a book?
6. Have you ever traveled as research for your book?
7. What’s your favorite writing snack or drink?
8. How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
9. What do you think of NaNoWriMo? Worth it?
10. What is your kryptonite as a writer?
11. What risks have you taken with your writing that have paid off?
12. When was the last time you Googled yourself and what did you find?
13. Which of your characters are most likely to be an activist, and what kind?
14. Do you play music while you write — and, if so, what’s your favorite?
15. Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?
16. If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?
17. Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?
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Questions about Writing
1. What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?
2. What do you think is the best way to improve writing skills?
3. What advice would you give to help others create plotlines?
4. What has helped or hindered you most when writing a book?
5. Does writing energize or exhaust you? Or both?
6. What is the best money you’ve ever spent with regard to your writing?
7. What are common traps for new authors?
8. How many hours a day do you write?
9. What are your favorite blogs or websites for writers?
10. At what time of the day do you do most of your writing?
11. What’s your writing software of choice?
12. How do you come up with character names for your stories?
13. Do you participate in writing challenges on social media? Do you recommend any?
14. When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?
15. Whom do you trust for objective and constructive criticism of your work?
16. What are the essential characteristics of a hero you can root for?
17. What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?
Questions to Ask Authors about Other Books and Authors
1. What books do you enjoy reading?
2. Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?
3. What books helped you the most when you were writing your (first) book?
4. What books did you grow up reading?
5. What authors did you dislike at first but then develop an appreciation for?
6. Name an underappreciated novel that you love.
7. Has any hugely popular novel left you thinking you could write it better?
8. Have you ever tried to write a novel for a genre you rarely or never read?
9. What book (or books) are you currently reading?
10. If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be?
11. Do you prefer ebooks, printed books, or audiobooks most of the time?
12. What are your favorite series or series authors?
13. Have you listened to any audiobooks? Which did you enjoy the most?
14. If you could be a character in one of your favorite books, who would you be?
15. What author in your genre do you most admire, and why?
16. Have you used an app to borrow ebooks or audiobooks from the library?
17. What books have you read more than once in your life?
Personal Questions for Authors
1. Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself?
2. Is there a particular genre you would love to write but only under a pseudonym?
3. Do you see writing as a kind of spiritual or therapeutic practice?
4. As a writer, what would you choose as your spirit animal?
5. What spiritual or therapeutic practices help you get into the right headspace?
6. At what stage (or stages) of your life have you done most of your writing?
7. What’s the trickiest thing about writing characters of the opposite gender?
8. What do the words “literary success” mean to you? How do you picture it?
9. If you didn’t write for a living, what would you probably do for work?
10. Would anyone in your family disapprove of anything you’ve written?
11. Does anyone in your family read your books?
12. Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?
13. Do you have other writers in the family?
14. If you could invite any three people for dinner, whom would you invite?
15. Would you share something about yourself that your readers don’t know (yet)?
16. If you had to describe yourself in just three words, what would those be?
17. If you had the power to cure a disease of your choosing, what would it be?
Are you ready for your next author interview?
Now that you know how to interview an author, which authors do you have in mind? And which of the author interview questions in this post stood out enough to make you want to add them to your own interview list?
Your questions don’t have to sound original. It’s more important to ask questions your readers or listeners want the answers to.
And as much as possible, give them a reason to check out the author’s books.
That’s the beauty of author interviews. Done right, they make the authors you’re interviewing more interesting and relatable to your audience.
May every author you interview be glad you did.