Thursday, January 5, 2012

Booking Through Thursday: Dream Interviews

This week's question sort of made me laugh:

If you could sit down and interview anyone, who would it be?
And, what would you ask them?

As some of you know, I interview people all the time. I'm a reporter for a weekly community newspaper. I've interviewed a wider variety of folks than that description of my job might imply. The biggest thrill for me was the time I got to interview Judith Viorst, in my opinion, a true living legend, author of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" and a book my mom had in the bathroom titled "Yes, Married." I read that book many times when I was 10 and it kind of gave me a thrill, since I viewed it as being all about sex. It wasn't about sex in any kind of racy way whatsoever, more a humorous look at marriage (I kind of viewed her and Erma Bombeck as being the same, growing up). But when you're 10, anything about sex is pretty interesting.

One thing my job has taught me is that you never know when you're going to get a quality subject to interview. I've interviewed people who've done tremendous things and had little to say about them. And I've interviewed people for stories I'd been forced into doing that sounded poke-your-eyes-out boring, but the people behind it had such passion for the subject that they got me excited, as well. I've noticed that sort of dynamic even as a reader of profiles in magazines. I despised the music of Marilyn Manson, for example, but whenever I saw him profiled in a magazine, I would usually pick it up, because he's quite an interesting person with a unique take on the world and a lot to say.

Since this is on BTT, I am guessing that the idea was that we choose an author. I might pick Harper Lee. I've always wondered what her intent was behind writing her book. I'm curious as to why she thinks it remains so widely read after society has changed so much. I'd talk to her about her character development, and the balance she had to strike in writing in Scout's voice, since it was an adult looking back on her childhood. I also wonder why she stopped at one book, and what she's been doing with herself since "To Kill a Mockingbird" was published. But I highly doubt she'd answer most of those questions.

Really, my dream interview is anyone who's had an unusual life experience and can talk about it well, though. That's who I look for in writing articles.

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