Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Review: The Disrespectful Interviewer by Lauren Baratz-Logstead
Just what the title promises! Thirteen disrespectful interviews with authors, including: Chris Cleave, Jon Clinch, Tish Cohen, Joseph Finder, Kristy Kiernan, A.S. King, J.A. Konrath, Greg Logsted, Lisa McMann, Lynn Price, Lev Raphael, Adriana Trigiana...and Lauren Baratz-Logsted - discover new favorites and see some of your favorite authors, like you've never seen them before!
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Source: Copy of book provided by author for my honest review
As a blogger, I’ve had to do my share of author interviews, and they have been the most stressful part of blogging for me. I’m horrible at interviews! At this point, I just try to avoid them.
I imagine the authors at home receiving yet another batch of – “What made you decide to become a writer? What motivated you to write this book?” They roll their eyes and try to answer the same question they’ve gotten 100 times in a new and exciting way. Kind of like an actor on those press junkets for movies. They seem like the want to rip the reporters head off or nap through the interview in a fit of extreme boredom.
I was hoping that The Disrespectful Interviewer would help me approach interviews in a new light. Bartaz-Logstead is indeed, as the title suggests, quite disrespectful, but always in a loving way that encourages a thoughtful/witty response and not in a way that makes the author defensive. I could never ask some the questions she does but the book did encourage me to take a more laid back approach and think outside the box. Basically, we could all stand to lighten up and not take ourselves too seriously. Sometimes a *disrespectful* question provides more insight to an authors personality.
A few interviews felt like an inside joke between friends that I wasn't getting but the majority have a fun, conversational flow, while others read like you're attending a celebrity roast. The best ones were when the author was "in on the joke" and gave back as good as they got.
The Disrespectful interviewer is a collection of 13 interviews, originally seen in the Writer-in-Residence column for BiblioBufffet e-zine, between 2009-2010 but read as a book, several of the questions were repeated often enough that I had to take a break from reading. On the positive side, the questions are posed in a way that no author could answer the same way twice. They really encouraged discussion.
Kristy Kiernan, Lev Raphael, Adriana Trigiani and J.A. Konrath were standouts. I would say that they became disrespectful interviewee's but it made for hilarious reading.