Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Disrespectful Interviewer / Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Non-Fiction

Approximate word count: 25-30,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Novelist Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s family is full of authors. She has written numerous books (I don’t have enough fingers to count them) aimed at adults, young adults, and children.  Her husband, Greg Logsted, writes young adult novels. With daughter Jackie, the entire family collaborates writing the Sisters Eight series, for kids.

For more, visit Baratz-Logsted’s website.


“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!”


What is the point of author interviews? I have a website where the majority of the new content consists of author interviews from a standard list of questions, so I better come up with a good answer, right? As a reader, knowing more about your favorite authors could make you a bigger fan. (Isn’t this the same as all the TV shows and magazines devoted to actors and entertainers? Aren’t authors like rock stars to readers?) For authors we aren’t familiar with an interview can be like an audition. While they’re trying to sell you on reading their book (the author’s reason for doing the interview), you’re looking at how he or she words their answers. How they express themselves in interview answers could reasonably be expected to be the same as in their books. Do you like their sense of humor or find them to be insightful? Or is their verbiage convoluted? Other authors may enjoy author interviews for the opportunity to compare experiences. However, coming up with unique questions if you’re conducting the interview or, for the author, answering the same old questions without using the same old answers is tough. Which is where this book comes in.

Baratz-Logsted originally did these interviews for the defunct literary e-zine BiblioBuffet. The premise was that she’d ask questions that are different and at times disrespectful. By shaking things up with the questions, maybe it would get some different and more entertaining answers as well. To give you an idea of what this means, here are a couple example questions:

There have been several authors who’ve turned out to be one-hit wonders. Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee are the two that spring most readily to mind. How about you – planning to be a one-hit wonder, or do you have something else up your sleeve?

I see here that “The Dust of 100 Dogs” is classified as a Young Adult novel. Care to comment on why you didn’t write it as a real book – you know, one for adults?

The answers were (as they should be) more entertaining than the questions. One of my favorite answers was J.A. Konrath talking about the worst review he’d ever received. He ended with this comment:

Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, critique. Those who can’t critique well, work for “Kirkus.”

I enjoy humor with a touch of irreverence, so this was a fun read for me. Prior to reading these thirteen interviews, I’d read a book from only one of them (Konrath) and heard of two others, Joseph Finder and, having this book in hand, I’d also heard of Lauren Baratz-Logsted. (Yes, she interviews herself, and the disrespect between interviewer and interviewee is shocking.) The acid test is whether, after reading these interviews,  I am interested in reading books from some of those who were interviewed. The answer to that is a resounding yes.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: **** Four stars

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