Readers’ Reviews

(These reviews were gathered when Kelly Blanchard ran a survey to compare the two styles of interviews–traditional and interactive–for both author interviews and character interviews. This was the feedback she received. The graph below shows the interview preference of those participated in the survey, and the comments explain their reasoning.)

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Phil H.

Author Interview: I definitely prefer the interactive one.  It’s more engaging, and every bit as informative.

Character Interview: Again, the interactive.  I felt like there was very little going on in the traditional interview, not to mention the interactive interview gives us a chance to see him in his natural environment.

Raven B.

Author Interview: The answer is easy, the interactive one of course 😉 While I really like the traditional one, I feel the interactive interview lets us see more of him and feels as if you two are actually meeting, instead of him rattling down answers.

Character Interview: Once again I liked the interactive one much more. It was as if we were in the story next to you and Vincent Graves, watching the poor man scarf down the cookies (poor guy, that Church dude should be ashamed) and we get to know him much better than in the first version. While that version is fun too, the second one lets us into the world of the character.

Eric K.

Author Interview: I enjoyed the interactive one more simply because it was interactive. It was kind of like watching a talk show interview. The Q&A version was more statism and while the information was pretty much the same, the interactive one was more engaging. Two storytellers telling the story of a storyteller telling the story of their story. It’s a new, fresh, interesting technique. And while it is fun and interesting, I think that I probably would have enjoyed a transcript of the conversation equally as well because it’s really the conversation that is important.

Character Interview: I liked the interactive one for all the same reasons. However, I think that, since this is a character interview, having it in the character’s setting was pretty cool. I found I didn’t mind the additional actions related to the setting to be superfluous at all, which I did for the author interview. They actually enhanced the interview. And it seems to me that this type of character interview would be a great way for the writer to gain additional insight into their characters.

Daryl B.

Author Interview: I enjoyed reading the interactive interview more as the answers felt less rehearsed, and as a result more genuine.  It also made the author a real person for lack of a better explanation.  Also, because the questions are more peppered in with other conversation you find yourself pulled in.  In contrast, the traditional style, the temptation is  there to skim for the questions you want to know the answers to and thus risking missing out on something.  Finally, the interactive allowed more of a feel for how the author being interviewed might write stylistically.

Character Interview: The traditional interview is full of  amusing anecdotes and quick witty replies and was over all good for giving a feel for the characters personality. The interactive interview was a compelling short story in it’s own right as two characters, the Muse and Graves discussed events and motives and while still providing a good sense of Graves personality, also showcased how he reacts to his environment as well. Overall the interactive interview delivers much more but I think both styles provided insights into personality.

Kelly B.

Author Interview: I like the interactive style better. Nothing draws another writer in more than a story, and it gives you more to think about than a bulleted list of questions. Ronnie’s response is far better in your model as well. He’s engaging and talkative. In the traditional he’s short and leaves out many details.

Character Interview: I like the interactive better for the same reason. MORE information. It makes both the author AND the character more “real”. I like seeing personality and you get that.

Dex F.

Author Interview: The interactive interview. He seems to be more relaxed in the interactive, which sort of supports my theory (which holds true for me) that writers prefer to hide behind writing. Does that make any sense?

Character Interview: Again I liked the interactive, but in this case it’s because it was different. He’s hiding behind the character in both instances but the second was less formal and more fun.

Amy P.

Author Interview: I prefer the interactive style better. I think it gives me a better sense of the feel of the author and his stories. I think the interactive interview is a much more true and genuine representation of his personality and sense of humor. I like that in an interview. It makes me better trust my impression of whether or not I think I want to see more of the author.

Character Interview: I very much prefer the interactive style. I have seen the “traditional style” character interviews before. I dislike them. I find them rather contrived and annoying. I also dislike such blatant abuse of the 4th wall. To me, the interactive format reads more like a short story. I can imagine it as a scene between events in a main story. It is also self contained in a way that most excerpts usually are not. To me, this is closest to my preferred way of sampling a story with the intention to possibly purchase the full story or series. I get a genuine and authentic look at what to expect, I don’t have to worry about major spoilers, and I’m not left hanging if I didn’t like what I read. That last one is an issue for me because I will sometimes finish stories I hate because I started them, and no other reason.

Megan R.

Author Interview: The interactive one.  It gives a lot more feel for the author as a person. It feels like a more intimate and friendly exchange, and it gives me a sense of their potential writing voice.

Character Interview: Same thing, the interactive one. It makes me interested in the character. I want to read his story and see if he finds his answers

G. Scot P.

Author Interview: I enjoyed the interactive interview more. The regular interview was informative but felt like I was reading it in a magazine or watching it on TV; whereas the interactive engaged not only my intellectual side, but spoke to that part of me that gets lost in stories. I liked the fantasy elements of it, and felt that it was more conversational than the regular interview.

Character Interview: I preferred the interaction with the characters for the same reasons I preferred the interactive interview in the first part. I might not remember much of the factual information from the standard interview, but I was riveted by the interaction between Kelly and Vincent in the second. I kept waiting for a monster to leap out and interrupt their chit chat.  One of these days I’d love to sit down with you and do one of these interviews myself.

Jack F.

Author Interview: Interactive interview by far, most prominently for the fact that once he gets into the world, it is easier to phrase the answers in his own comfortable way, complete with mood defining subtext. The whole mechanism is comfy.

Character Interview: Again the interactive, again for the immersion it makes possible. If standard interview gets a cup of water answer, the interactive gets the fountain.. same kinda effect, but one comes from the depths.

Verna D.

Author Interview: Okay, It was a tough to make up my mind, but I would have to say the Interactive Author Interview. I liked the in between world setting and the way the Author explained his characters and story.

Character Interview: Okay, I would have to say the Interactive Character Interview. I liked the in between worlds setting and how the Character talked about himself. This gave me a good idea on who this character was.

Adrienne D.

Author Interview: The traditional interview felt all clinical. I don’t really like those. I read interviews to “meet” people. I definitely liked the interactive better because it felt more like meeting a person.

Character Interview: Of the two styles of interviews, once again, I much preferred the interactive one. I guess I’m weird in the sense that I like to “see” what’s going on. I prefer to watch visual interviews most of the time because I don’t much care for how cold seeming the simple Q&A style is. You really get more information out of the interviewed individual when you can see them, literally or only in your mind.

Cora M.

Author Interview: I definitely enjoyed the interactive style more, but I do think there are merits to both. The interactive style is more fun to read, and I’d imagine, more fun to participate in. And, since there isn’t a pre-set list of questions, if the author says something intriguing, the interviewer can build off of that, and delve deeper into whatever it was that caught their attention.

The only problem with the interactive style is that I think sometimes the attention is drawn away from the book a little bit. Since there’s so much else going on, with the descriptions of the scenery, and the interactions between the interviewer and the author, the information about the book occasionally slips through the cracks just a little bit.

Although the traditional style is more boring and not as interesting to read, I think it is perhaps better at getting information across. Overall, I definitely enjoyed the interactive style more, and there is still plenty of information about the book and the author there, but I can see the values of both styles.

Character Interview: Again, I prefer the more interactive interview, but I can see the merits of both. With the traditional-style interview, you get more facts about the character, so in some ways you learn more about them. But with the interactive interview, I think you get a better feel for who the character really is, even at the cost of a few more facts/details.

I think a combination of both is ideal, because the traditional interview gives specific details and information about the character, but the interactive interview gives a better sense of who they are, their essence, I suppose. 🙂 But if I had to choose one, definitely the interactive interview, because I think getting a feel for who the character is deep down is more important than learning specific details about them.

Nan B.

Author Interview: Hands down, I enjoy the interactive style better.  I feel like I’ve actually met the author in the interactive version.  it’s much more personal and I felt like I was able to get into his head.  Plus it’s much more entertaining to read than the traditional interview. It’s like reading a story – and for readers, what could be better? There is an immediacy, a clear sense of personality in the interactive style which you will never get in a standard interview.  Also you get a feel for the writing style of the author just by reading his side of the interview. Not every author will appeal to every reader, but this is an author’s chance to shine and begin to sell himself to his prospective readers.  And if you are already a fan of the author, this style gives you that feeling that you are being allowed a peek into his life and his world as though you were friends.

I’ve never been a big fan of author interviews simply because for the most part they are dry and formulaic.  These types of interviews, however, are anything but.  I am highly engaged and entertained and would look forward to these from any writer just for the sheer fun of the style.

Character Interview: While the traditional character interview basically conveys the same information, the interactive style puts you squarely into the character’s head, into his shoes.  It allows you to inhabit the writer’s world and be a part of the story.  It’s night and day in terms of entertainment and engagement.  The traditional interview really reads like a worksheet a writer might use while developing a character.  The other style is like reading a short story in which a character is introduced.  And makes you want to read more.  And that’s the point, really, isn’t it?  To introduce the writer’s world and the people who inhabit it in such a way that you cannot wait to read more?

Grace S.

Author Interview: I preferred the interactive interview. He seemed to be more forthcoming with information when asked questions, and it seemed less formal and thus more enjoyable than the straight forward Q&A.

Character Interview: I have to say, much like the author interview, I preferred the interactive interview better. In this one, the character was very short, very abrupt with his answers in the traditional interview and, honestly, like most people I interview, when posed with a yes/no question that could be expanded upon, he chose not to.  In the interactive story he was more…interesting even if he was still abrupt and he seemed more at ease to disclose more in his world setting than he was in the regular interview Q&A.

Vibhuti B.

Author Interview:  I love the new formula you have struck upon. So much that the old question/answer format simply bores me. Even with Virdi’s interview I could not read beyond the third question when it was the Q&A format. I couldn’t connect. Whereas the story format helped me read and imagine the two of you talking, like it was a story book I’m reading or rather a biography of sorts. I clearly enjoy the second story based format of interviewing.

Character Interview: The beauty of reading the interview in the interactive format is that I get a glimpse into the author’s writing style. I also got a fair idea of what might be expected from the upcoming book. There’s so much imagination and skill required to write a character interview in the story format. It gives the author a fair chance to project his/her story and also share about the character like a teaser of sorts. There’s an actual conversation to read. Whereas in the first Q&A format, it all seems so vague. I didn’t understand a thing about what’s going on. I had to re-read from top to toe to know who’s answering all the questions.  And that character seemed vain, actually. Whereas in the story format, the character has such a personality even though its just a soul hopping bodies.  So yeah! As per me, Kelly’s format wins hands down once again!

Varun P.

Author Interview: I preferred the interactive one. It creates a vivid image and it is something different. Traditional styles can be a bit boring with the same usual questions asked. The first one reads like a formal interview as it should be, but the second one is an informal way of communicating.

Character Interview: Again, the interactive interview. Reasons are almost the same. The second part actually makes me know the character better. It is one thing when an actor comes to an interview on TV  to speak about his character and another when the actor plays the character in a movie. I am likening it to that but you get the gist. One can actually know the character if written in story form. The second part allows me a glimpse of his world as well, which the first part does not succinctly do.

Kim H.

Author Interview: Traditional one…I prefer the traditional question and answer. The other one, I find myself searching for the questions and answers, ignoring the rest.

Character Interview: I don’t know which I prefer. Both are very well written. I love the wit in the traditional one. There’s like a story being told even without all the other descriptions. I think if I had to choose one, I’d go with the traditional one again.

Sara L.

Author Interview: The traditional one. It could be that it’s just what I’m used to, but I had a hard time paying attention kinda in the interactive one.

Character Interview: This time I liked the interactive one better, I think because I’ve read Ronnie’s book, so that was fun.

Sabrina D.

Author Interview: I’ve had a chance to read through both interviews. If I’m being honest, I am partial to the traditional. I’m not really sure why. There’s nothing wrong with the interactive. It’s fun and engaging, but I think I just prefer the more traditional interview. The traditional interview reads at a faster pace because the reader isn’t savoring all the worldly details, and it gets right to the meet and purpose of the interview–the author. The traditional one has me more intrigued and genuinely interested in RR’s book.  I hope that helps. Without having read, I think the character interviews in this style might work better.

Character Interview: At any rate, I have to say I am partial to the traditional interviews in both cases. There’s nothing wrong with either, I think they are very creative but I tend to be more traditional.

Valerie S.

Author Interview: That’s a hard question.  I guess it would depend on WHY I was reading the interview.  I definitely felt like I learned more about Ronnie’s writing from the traditional interview though I may have gotten a better sense of who he was from the interactive.

The interactive interview really tries to be a give and take like an actual conversation in a novel, but it suffers a bit in the places where it’s NOT like a novel.  Personally I think the pace is off.  You’ll make a joke/teasing remark, then ask a question.  Ronnie responds to both in his next paragraph so it ends up with not quite an easy flow and just really long paragraphs.  I also think the lack of dialogue tags can take the reader out of it.  If this is supposed to mimic my reading life, I’m expecting some “said”s.  I also think having this would actually give me a better understanding of the author’s style because how/if they use them is a part of their style.   I also think that too much of the interview is dedicated to set-up and talking about portals is unnecessary – why do we need a reason why 2 people are having a conversation on a beach (though this may be my personal bias – I have never been much of a setting person).

Character Interview: For the character interview, I enjoyed the interactive interview style more. It was definitely more interesting and immersive. I think that it gives you a much better sense of the book and the story, like you’re being dropped in the world and that gives it the immersive feeling that gets you interested and wanting more. The traditional one just came off as vague but the interactive was intriguing

Jennifer R.

Author Interview: Depends upon my mood honestly.

To read the interactive one – the one set like a story – I have to be in the mood and prepared for it. Knowing what style/what to expect, there will be times where I am more receptive to it.

If I were to just be gleaming for information, I like the style of the traditional one. The huge downfall to the traditional is the fact that there was more to the interactive one. He talked more of the “behind the scenes” type thing.  Which caught my interest and kept me reading. But once I felt as if I got what I wanted, I started to skim. I will return some other time to more thoroughly read it.

It is like, when you watch an interview. Watching the actor and catching the silly nuances made it much more fun – and inspiration for memes!  So I was entertained. But if you just want particular facts, the quick Q and A can be just as good.

There is always a mix between the two that I enjoy most. It shows what the interviewer is saying, but shows spots where they laughed or the “actor” reports or looks a bit uncomfortable.

Character Interview: For for characters, I am adoring the interactive method. It seems much more fitting to see the characters in a story format, and very enjoyable to read. It felt…. like that was how it needed to be. The answers don’t seem to have nearly as much to them the first way, and seeing as it is a character in a world different than my own, it was nice to see the full story format.

Dixie-Ann B.

Author Interview: Hm…ok, this is an interesting way of doing an interview. It reminds me of interviews in magazines where the interviewer has a real setting and using that and the interactions. I appreciate the different take on it, but I think the setting distracted me in the interactive style. Why are they on a beach for instance? I thought at first that the setting was Ronnie’s choice and was something for his story, so I kept waiting for him to connect it to Vincent Graves. When I realized it was a rather arbitrary choice, the actions you worked into narrative kept distracting me from the main information. I found myself looking forward to hearing Vincent being interviewed more. Couldn’t he have broken the fourth wall and give the relevant information as well as Ronnie did? Based on those observations, I think I may have liked the traditional style a bit more because I was able to focus on the information better, but with work I might find myself preferring the interactive style.

Character Interview: I liked the interactive style more here. It was interesting to read, and I felt like I was getting to know the character from the way he spoke, the things he said and his actions. I was less distracted by the setting here as well. It melded better with the action. I also like that some of the questions that occurred to me about Vincent were answered. I have to say though that the Kelly character distracted me a bit here. Since I felt like I was reading a story, I kept wondering about her and her background which I think doesn’t help me with focusing on Vincent like I’m supposed to. I wasn’t bored by the story, but I couldn’t help feeling like it was all a bit long for a piece that was just supposed to give me an idea of what Vincent is like.

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