Ten Questions About Your Story

Here at terribleminds, it’s time we do interviews a little differently.

I want to use the interviews to showcase a story rather than its author.

Now, on the one hand, I really like showcasing the author. Highlighting a storyteller of some medium is a fascinating look at who we are and how we all have variant processes — but the change is necessary for, I think, two reasons:

One, I just don’t have the time to craft the individualized questions for other writers and storytellers anymore. It’s not that it’s some epic time-sink, but I’m looking at a year forward where I have meager splinters of time available to me.

Two, and perhaps the more important reason, I want to specifically showcase a project you worked on that people can check out right now. You have a book coming out? Fuck it, let’s talk about the book. Plus, that allows storytellers to come back here multiple times to talk about multiple projects, which is a thing I quite like about, say, Scalzi’s Big Idea posts.

That’s not to say I won’t do interviews crafted more toward a storyteller than a specific project — but those will be far less common, I think. This is the way forward.

Interviews will still post on Thursdays as usual. I’ll do one a week.

You want an interview? Then here’s how it works. (And again I’m cribbing from Scalzi. If you’re gonna steal, steal from the best.) The rules are:

1) I’m looking for any kind of storyteller with a project to showcase. I assume this will trend toward books and the authors of said books, but I’m happy to talk to comic writers, screenwriters, game designers, whoever. Open to any genre, too!

2) In terms of authors of books, please know that if you’re a self-published author, your chances are slimmer. That’s not to say I don’t think indie is a valuable and meaningful option in terms of publication, only that when I do these things I receive a boat-load of responses from self-pub authors, many of them demonstrating what could kindly be called “questionable talent and/or story.” A story published by a traditional press, even a small one, tends to have met a certain set of standards that self-published works are not required to heed.

3) You need to hit me up no later than one month before your book drops. The earlier you let me know, the earlier I’ll get you on the schedule. I’ll try to get you close to a date of release/publication if possible, though if the schedule starts to fill up, then THE FATES HAVE SPOKEN. Oh, and yes, you can have an agent, editor, publicist, etc. contact me.

4) How do you reach me? Email me at terribleminds at gmail dot com. The subject header should be in this format: TEN QUESTIONS AT TERRIBLEMINDS [Author Name] [Name of Story]. The body of the email should give me a sense of the book, whether it’s flap copy or something else you’ve written to describe the book. Also: please identify your release date. Er, not “from prison.” I mean, the date your story releases to the world like a flock of doves in a Prince video.

5) If the stars have aligned, then I’ll give you the questions (which can also be found below) and I’ll fit you with a set of shackles — er, I mean, a date your interview will land here at terribleminds. I’ll need the answers to your questions the week before they post (i.e. the Thursday prior). I’d also like a copy of your book. E-copy is fine, though print is preferable.

6) Send me the questions and answers inside a document. I don’t need HTML formatted text or anything — .doc or .rtf will do fine.

7) Make sure to send me along any links pertinent to the project. Got a website? I want that link. Got a Twitter account? I want that, too. Also give me any pertinent “buy” links — Amazon, B&N, Indiebound, whatever. I’ll get them in there at the bottom of your post. I’ll also need a link to your book cover — I don’t need the actual file, as a link to the graphic will do fine.

A few notes:

I prefer to stick to books that are new — meaning, I’m not interested in a post regarding work previously published. Them’s the breaks, word-nerds.

Also, don’t just, y’know, answer the questions and email them to me assuming I’m totally gonna bite. I have no idea how robust the response will be to this, but I can’t guarantee a slot.

It’s also possible you’ll write me and I won’t write back. I’ll try to. I promise. But, time may be against us. Or you may accidentally end up in a spam folder. Or I may be trapped under a heavy object, slowly being pecked to death by starving geese. Shit happens, is what I’m saying.

Why would you want to do this?

Well. Terribleminds isn’t the worst exposure you could have: this past year saw just shy of three million views here, with around 8000 daily readers. And that number is going up, not down. Plus, the readers of this site tend to be other writers and readers who dig storytelling in its myriad forms: books, games, films, comics, pornographic manifestos, what-have-you.

So, there’s the rules. Feel free to drop any questions in the comments.

And here, now, are the tentative ten questions all y’all storytellers will answer:

Ten Questions About [Your Book, Film, Comic, Manifesto, Etc]

Tell Us About Yourself: Who The Hell Are You?

Give Us The 140-Character Story Pitch:

Where Does This Story Come From?

How Is This A Story Only You Could’ve Written?

What Was The Hardest Thing About Writing [Title]?

What Did You Learn Writing [Title]?

What Do You Love About [Title?]?

What Would You Do Differently Next Time?

Give Us Your Favorite Paragraph From The Story:

What’s Next For You As A Storyteller?

8 comments

    • Hah, me too. Thing is, only so many ways someone can answer that, and we end up seeing similar answers from folks, I find. At least for a while, this’ll change things up a bit. :)

      Or, so I hope.

      — c.

  • I’m excited for this change. I never read the interviews before, because most of the time I really don’t care about the author, I just want to hear about the book.

  • This sounds like a great way of promoting :) Are you only looking for authors of adult books, or is YA okay as well? I guess your website isn’t exactly child-appropriate, ehehe.

    I’ve got a collaboratively written book coming out from a teeny indie press in a couple of weeks. Obviously, that’s too soon considering your month limit thing, but it’s the reason I clicked on this link on Twitter.

  • I might try this in the future. Well, when I figure out the fate of my first novel. Unfortunately it seems my e-mail might be in your spam folder. Good thing Gmail Accounts are free.

    I’ll see where fate lands the book and I’ll get back to you when it’s an actual material thing.

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