Last month, Peggy Archer invited me to be the Missouri SCBWI PAL author for February. At about the same time, I was asked to write a blog post for Alive Now. Both requests involved answering four interview questions; in each case, I was provided with a list of questions and got to choose which ones to answer. Before I could make my choices, I had to decide what I wanted to do with each interview.
I was pleasently surprised that the Alive Now choices included questions about both my writing life and my faith journey. I can talk about writing all day long, but I find talking about my faith life difficult. Still, it seemed strange to choose only questions about writing. Lucky for me that our pastor had recently discussed creativity and faith. Before his sermon, I knew how creativity impacted my writing but he clarified how it also gives life to my faith. Thanks to Pastor Sean, I chose questions that illustrated how important non-writing creativity is to both my faith and my writing.
Sometimes when you answer interview questions, it pays to start with something surprising and that’s what I did for the Missouri SCBWI interview. I feel like I’m the only children’s writer on the planet who didn’t grow up wanting to write. As much as I loved to read, being a writer never crossed my mind. When I decided to pursue this as a career, I may have thought it came out of the blue. Not, Mom. She was relieved that I had finally figured it out. Because I was a late bloomer, my family didn’t encourage my writing so much as my curiosity.
All interview questions are not created equal. Before you decide which ones to answer, give them some thought. An interview is a lot like an article. Once you know what you want your readers, or listeners, to get out of it, you are ready to proceed.