A few weeks back we had a wonderful time interviewing the authors of Dirt Road Books. For those who don’t know, it’s a group of authors who with their combined (about 150 years) experience in writing, editing, and other business pursuits banded together to make their own publishing house. It was wonderful that despite the disparity of time zones, illnesses, personalities, everyone was able to participate. The fans were able to get a good idea of the who, the what, and the why.
Those are the kinds of things I love about the group I formed three years ago, the Lesfic Reading Group. I based it off another group I had started with another author, and even before that on a group headed up by Jaynes Penney where we interviewed authors. I believe the name was even inspired by Jaynes who disbanded her group. I’ve interviewed a lot of authors since then. One per weekend for a while! That’s a lot of authors.
The cool thing about interviewing an entire group is that if one author is particularly shy (I wouldn’t say this about most of the authors of Dirt Road Books), they can contribute to their comfort level. We have since that time also interviewed the authors of Ylva Publishing (twelve participated!), and are anticipating the authors of Sapphire Publishing coming up in a month or two.
It’s great that when an entire publishing group participates they can cheer each other on, bring in their individual fans to the group, and contribute. If an author who isn’t as well known participates, they can, by association, suddenly be discovered by the fans. A whole new fan-base is out there.
We aren’t in competition with one another, that is something I have said for years. Just because I run the interviews doesn’t mean the fans even know of my work. It’s about the authors, their works, and who they are as an individual. I ask personal questions as well as general ones. It isn’t the same every-single-time. Based on what the author, or authors answer, I can generate another question or series of questions on that answer. It’s fun for me, a lot of work, but I know, based on the fans who participate, how much fun they have had too.
I don’t do interviews every single weekend, after all, I do have to have a life. I accidentally scheduled a Friday night interview once back in December, when I was away with my girlfriend for a five-star weekend. Oops! In my defense, the interview was scheduled before the get-away. Those two hours in the hotel were like watching a caged cougar pace…we still had a marvelous interview, and my girlfriend and I had a wonderful weekend…I made it up to her!
The interviews are either on The Author’s Block or as a Book Release Party, either way, it’s a more in-depth way of knowing about the book, or the books, and the author or authors we are celebrating. It’s great when the fans can ask almost anything and have the authors attention. There are always questions about why they wrote a certain book a certain way and about the characters that lived in their brains and were put down on paper.
Due to the curve of our Earth, many authors are in different time-zones. I schedule most interviews based on my own time zone in Midwest-America, Central Time Zone. However, I have been known to have interviews on a Friday night, because the author was in Australia and that meant it was Saturday morning there. Another time we had to reschedule a Sunday interview to a Thursday due to the death of a well-known author. I made sure to ask unexpected questions so that everyone could have a good laugh…after all, who wouldn’t want to know the size of Jessie Chandler’s shoes?
I find people fascinating, which is probably why I interview them. I have often worried that since I don’t have the time to read all these wonderful lesbian fiction books, that I won’t know what to ask them. However, a bit of research goes a long way and if the author doesn’t give me one-word answers, we can build on that and have a good time for everyone involved.
Right now, we are scheduled out until June, I may take the summer off to go traveling, but I have already had inquiries by a couple of authors for November, so you can imagine how much is out there that we haven’t discovered…yet. Authors, books, and lives! Please come on into the group, hang out, even lurk, you are all welcome. The schedule is up under the events, and if you are an author looking to tell people about your new release, please inbox me on Facebook and let me know of your interest. If you are a publishing group and would like to get some of your shyer authors out there, tell the fans about their work, let’s schedule a weekend where we can introduce them to the fans. Those two hours go by VERY fast!
Thank you to the authors and publishers I have interviewed, I can honestly say that I’d love to interview you all again, and again. I have interviewed one author three times in between the two groups I have been involved in. I enjoy it, I like getting the word out there, and what a wonderful laid-back way to get people to know about your work(s).