This is by far the hardest set of interview questions I've compiled thus far in my 10 Question series. Hard on me, the interviewer, that is. Until now it was fairly easy coming up with questions. I don't have a list of stock questions (except for #10, which is always the same). So what made this interview different? What made it so hard to come up with nine questions?
The subject matter. And by that I mean Mark Beyer.
My first step in generating questions is to review the interviewee's blog, website, or bio. We typically exchange an email or two from which I glean a general sense of the direction I want to take. Mark Beyer's blog entangled me in a seemingly endless wealth of information about writing. About story. No matter how hard I tried, I could not stop drilling deeper. Every this is the last click became the next to the last click.
Simply put, I was captivated by his obvious love of the written word and by his easy manner of expressing it.
Mark Beyer, Author
#1: You clearly have a love of literature. How did that start for you?Oddly enough, this began with the “Curious George” children’s book series. That little monkey was into everything, and I felt akin to his eagerness to know — but know through story (both real and fictional) not just “information.” This is why textbooks bored me to death at school; I achieved far more “learning” by reading outside of the classroom, both in fiction and non-fiction (particularly biography). Then, as a freshman in high school, we were assigned Edith Wharton’s “Ethan Frome” which struck me as an entirely unsentimental way to write about love, tragedy, and human relationships. I was hooked on that method.