Monday, January 16, 2012

Guest Post: Playing Host: Five Benefits of Blog Interviews by Karen Lange

Today, I'm welcoming my writing buddy and good friend, Karen Lange. She's put together a list of blogging interview benefits. Enjoy!

Interviews are a great way to add interest and draw readers to your blog. They provide exposure, not just for the guest, but for the host, too. Reflecting on the interviews I’ve conducted, I realized that I’ve learned a lot from the experience. These items top the list:

1)      Authors/writers are real people.

I have long held them in high regard, and rightly so. They are a talented bunch. But guess what? They are more down to earth than I expected. Fame, fortune, and writing talent haven’t spoiled them. They are just like us – experiencing ups, downs, and everything in between. Knowing this immediately sets me at ease, and makes me realize that with creativity and hard work, I can attain what they have, such as a published novel.

2)      Everyone’s work habits are different.

There’s a common notion that writers must put pen to paper daily. Not so. Some writers crank out oodles of words each day, but for others, nary a word hits the page until the weekend. There are early morning writers, night owls, and ones who snack on chocolate while hitting the keys mid afternoon. You know what? They all get it done; writing in a way that best suits them. And we can too.

3)      It broadens horizons.

Assembling content for an interview stretches me. It is important to create engaging questions that will draw interesting answers and useful info for my blog readers. Brainstorming and examining the writing industry from various angles helps me assemble info, appreciate different viewpoints, and hence, ask better questions.

4)      Great writing tips.

Talk about a walking resource library! These gifted wordsmiths could publish volumes. I’ve gleaned valuable insight on research, critique partners, character development, publishing, novel writing, and so much more.

5)      Encouragement.

The heartfelt thoughts of an experienced writer offer candid and wonderful insight. Quotes like “Persevere and keep writing even when things aren’t going well” and “Rejection is not fatal” ring in my ears for weeks after an interview. Gems like these season my perspective and writing, and encourage me to keep moving forward.

Have you ever hosted an interview on your blog? If not, I encourage you to try it. You might be surprised at how much you learn.

Karen Lange is a fan of chocolate, hockey, and Susan J. Reinhardt. She is a writer, blogger, and online writing instructor at the Coffeehouse for Writers. Visit her blog at

Wow, Karen, thanks for ranking me right up there with chocolate and hockey! I know how serious you are about our favorite snack and your sports.

Okay, everyone, it's your turn to chime in with thoughts on author interviews.


Karen Lange said...

Thank you, Susan, for inviting me over today. It's a great pleasure!


Carol J. Alexander said...

Great thoughts, Karen. Thanks for sharing.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Great piece, Karen. And I agree. I love the "sneak peek" that interviews offer into the thoughts and lives of others.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much! Appreciate your input!

Thank you! Yes, "sneak peek" is exactly the right term!


DearHelenHartman said...

Thoughtful and helpful as ever Karen!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I especially like them when the interviewer gets creative with the questions and the answers are unique.

~ Wendy

Jennifer Brown Banks said...

Great post! I certainly agree with point # 2. Thanks for sharing.

Karen Lange said...

You are a sweetheart, thank you! :) Thanks for stopping by.

Yes, i agree! I read one such interview this morning. Good stuff!

Thanks for your input; it's very much appreciated!


Anonymous said...

I haven't done an interview in a long time. I usually let guests post whatever they want with no questions pr guidelines except for a 400-500 cap on the word count. Hopefully, they will say something the visitors can walk away with.

Terri Tiffany said...

I have never done an author interview but I enjoy reading their insights and see the struggles they have gone through. You've made some excellent points here! thank you!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

That was a great list, and so true! I've hosted authors on my blog but they were guests posts, not really an interview! I love all the creative questions interviewers come up with, though, and hope I'm that creative if I ever host an interview!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great list, and very true! I have only interviewed one author so far, but hope to broaden my horizons by interviewing more. Thanks for the insights Karen!

Lydia Kang said...

Great points, Karen. I think interviews are fun.
I was doing them for a while and may have to do some more soon!

Rhonda Schrock said...

Fun!! Karen is a great interviewer and just a wonderful friend. Great choice of interviewee, Susan!

Hugs to you both.

Karen Lange said...

You've had good success with your blog, so it sounds like it's working well for you!

Thanks so much! I really have gleaned a lot, and gotten to know many people this way.

Thank you! I think it's a great way to gain knowledge and skills.


Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much! I think we learn so much from reading them too. :)

They are fun, I agree. It is a bit of work, but I think overall it is worth it. Thanks a bunch!

Thanks, sweet friend! I think one of these days I need to interview you! :)


Diane said...

My love and hugs to you both. Both great women of God and inspiring to me and so many others. :O)

Karen Lange said...

You are a sweetheart! Thanks so much for your kind words and support. :)

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

That was fun, thanks ladies! I do host interviews with fellow bloggers / writers (published or not) on my blog, and they always get great responses. As you mentioned Karen, it might be surprising to learn how normal we all are :)
Hope to see you next month for an interview.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen, I've seen all of that as well.
And I've only done two interviews on my blog, but I've hosted dozens of authors for guest posts.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much! Thanks for inviting me to stop at your blog next month. :)

I never would have guessed that - but you always have so many good things happening at your blog!


Nancy said...

Karen has wonderful ideas and you are both special. I like what you said about rejection not being fatal. That is so true.

I don't think I'm ready for an interview quite yet. Maybe someday.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Everyone -

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Karen always has good things to share.

Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much for your kind words and support! I appreciate it!

It's always fun to stop by and hang out with you! :)


quietspirit said...

Another good post from you. I intend to have a couple of interviews in the next few months. I thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Great list, ladies! I've really enjoyed getting to know authors on a personal level through my interviews lately. It reminds me they're people just like me. :)

(By the way, Susan, I'm not sure if it's just me, but the top of your posts are cut off when I visit your site, so I often miss the first paragraph of your posts. I'd love to see everything you write, but I'm not sure how to do that...)

Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much for your kind words! Hope this helps. :)

Thank you! Your interviews have been fun!

It's nice hanging out at your cyber spot. I'm thinking next time I will bring cookies!


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit - Oh, that would be fun! I know you'd enjoy interviewing people.

Hi Sarah - Are you using Firefox? I notice my posts get cut off in that browser. You can see the entire post by clicking on, "Show Original Post," at the top of the comments page.

Susan :)

Kathleen said...

How wonderful to get a peak at the inner workings of the mind of an author!

I knew there was more than one reason I liked you, Karen. Anyone with affinity for chocolate is a kindred spirit.

Great insights, too :)

Sally said...

It is nice getting to know the person behind a great story. Helps to realize a great story can come from anyone, even us!

Melanie N. Brasher said...


I love this list. I've only started doing some author interviews, and like you, I'm realizing that the authors are real people. I learn so much about the person in each interview/guest post.

I have the same problem as Sarah with the top of the posts cutting off. I use firefox as well, so I'll click on "show original post" next time.

Have a great week!

Karen Lange said...

It is a wonderful thing! So glad that
we are kindred spirits. :)

You're right! Everyone has a story to tell!

Thanks so much! It's great to learn more about fellow writers.


Shanda said...

I've never hosted an interview so I may try. Karen was one of the first ones to offer a word of encouragement when I began my blog 13 months ago. It meant so much.

Talli Roland said...

Great post, ladies! I always enjoy interviews because of that sneak peek!

Robyn Campbell said...

Thanks for having Karen visit, Susan!

My amigo, this was a fantastic post. Number two is so true! But they are all excellent. You helped me big time just a few months ago. Remember? I truly value your friendship. Smooch!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Susan...nice to meet you. I am a new follower here.

Great thoughts, Karen.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Yes, these are so true, Karen. I've grown as a writer and person from the interviews I've done. The one with Tosca Lee got the most hits on my blog ever!

Thanks for hosting Karen, Susan. She is a top-notch lady.

Karen Lange said...

You should give it a try! It's a great experience. So glad we've met through blogging! Thanks for your kind words.

Thank you! I know, the advance news and insight are great fun!

Thank you, amigo! Yes, I do remember. :) Big smooches right back to you!

So glad you came over. I think you'll like Susan. :) Thanks a bunch!

You make me blush, you know that? You are a treasure, just like Susan. I'm blessed to count you among my friends!


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Everyone -

I've enjoyed the comments here. I'm always happy to see old friends and meet new ones.

Susan :)

quietspirit said...

I've been meaning to tell you about the missing top paragraph on your posts. Sarah reminded me. I use Internet Explorer but my son has at least one other browser installed on my computer. I thougth you'd like to know.

Jessica Nelson said...

I enjoy having interviews on my blog. Like you said, many authors/writers have some very wise and pithy advice that stays with us.
Great points, Karen!

Karen Lange said...

Thanks, Jessica! Pithy is right! Soon I'm thinking I will need to interview you...:)

Warren Baldwin said...

Susan, great guest post! Karen shared some interesting perspectives on interviews. I have done several on Family Fountain but now I think I'll do more. Thanks for this informative post.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks, Warren! Glad this was helpful!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Before the internet I often felt alone and isolated. Not anymore! Great list, Karen. Doing interviews has made my world so much smaller, and friendlier.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Susan, for hosting Karen. I like reading authors interviews and am grateful you do it! I've had guest posts but have not yet the confidence to do an author interview. But you have encouraged me. Thank you!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I do both interviews and guest blog posts on my blog.

Great piece!


Thanks, Karen, for the practical ideas.


Karen Lange said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Lange said...

You know, that's a great point! It does help connect us in so many ways.

I say go for it! I know you can do it! :)

I think they add so much interest to the blog, plus they help others out, you know? :)

You are very welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read it. :)

Thanks and blessings,

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Everyone -

Thanks for all the wonderful comments. You might want to check out my interview with Patti Lacy, which posted today (1/18).

Susan :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan and Karen - great pointers .. as a plain blogger - I'd add - being educated .. I've learnt so much in my three years of blogging - and I mean so much .. I'm amazed and wonder at the authors out there - sharing their worlds with us, or their hobbies, or their ideas etc ..

Cheers - Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much for coming by. There are so many wonderful things I've learned too! It's a great time to be a blogger. :)

jean Fischer said...

I've never done an author interview, but I'll give that some thought for future posts. Thanks, Susan, for inviting Karen and a guest blogger, and thanks Karen for an insightful post.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

I love doing interviews. Authors are such fascinating people.

Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

You are welcome! Thanks so much for taking time to stop by. :)