Author Questionnaire

If you wish to be interviewed by Pat Bertram, please answer ten to fifteen questions (do NOT answer all questions — it makes for a long and boring interview) and submit them in the reply section below along with whatever links you’d like included. Be sure you mention the title of your book and where people can buy it.  If an answer to a question is yes or no, please explain why. Feel free to include your own questions.  To make the interview even more personal, feel free to use any of the questions from the character questionnaire. (I didn’t add any here because I didn’t want you to think I was prying.) Also, please include links where I can find your author photo and a book cover if you have one.

Please Note: This is NOT a free service. If you wish me to promote your book via this interview, you MUST do something in return to promote my books. When you post your interview, please let me know what you will be doing for me. Thank you.

Click here for hints on How To Do an Online Interview.

  1. What is your book about?
  2. How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?
  3. What inspired you to write this particular story?
  4. How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
  5. Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?
  6. Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?
  7. Why will readers relate to your characters?
  8. How long did it take you to write your book?
  9. How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?
  10. Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)
  11. What about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
  12. How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
  13. Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
  14. How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?
  15. What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
  16. Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?
  17. What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?
  18. What was the most difficult part about writing the book?
  19. Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?
  20. What has changed for you personally since you wrote your first book?
  21. How has your background influenced your writing?
  22. How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
  23. What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
  24. Do you have any rituals that you follow before sitting down to write?
  25. Do you prefer to write at a particular time of day?
  26. Do you have a favorite snack food or favorite beverage that you enjoy while you write?
  27. What are you working on right now?
  28. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your work-in-progress?
  29. Are you writing to reach a particular kind of reader?
  30. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
  31. At what age did you discover writing?
  32. What was the first story you remember writing?
  33. When where you first published? How were you discovered?
  34. What is the most difficult part of the whole writing process?
  35. What is the easiest part of the writing process?
  36. Does writing come easy for you?
  37. What’s been the most surprising part of being a writer?
  38. Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character in your story because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you, his or her creator?
  39. Do you have mental list or a computer file or a spiral notebook with the ideas for or outlines of stories that you have not written but intend to one day?
  40. How many stories do you currently have swirling around in your head?
  41. What do you like to read? What is your favorite genre?
  42. What writer influenced you the most?
  43. What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you’d written yourself?
  44. What, in your opinion, are the essential qualities of a good story?
  45. Which is more important to your story, character or plot?
  46. Who gave you the best writing advice you ever received and what was it?
  47. What advice you would give to an aspiring author?
  48. How have you marketed and promoted your work?
  49. What are your current writing goals and how do you juggle the promotional aspects with the actual writing?
  50. What advice would you give other novelists about book promotion?
  51. What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?
  52. Have you written any other books?
  53. Where do you get the names for your characters?
  54. How do you deal with exposition give readers the background information they need?
  55. Do you keep a pen and notepad on your bedside table?
  56. What has been your greatest internal struggle to overcome in relation to your writing career?
  57. What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing?
  58. What are your future plans? What will you bring to the literary world besides more stories?
  59. What genre are your books?
  60. Do your characters ever take on a life of their own?
  61. Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
  62. Does your understanding of the story you are writing change during the course of the book?
  63. Describe your writing in three words.
  64. What one word describes how you feel when you write?
  65. What do you think the most influential change in book publishing will come from?
  66. Would it matter to you if you were never published? (In other words, would it matter if no one ever read your books?) Why or why not?
  67. Do you have a saying or motto for your life and/or as a writer?
  68. What is a talent you have that nobody knows?
  69. If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?
  70. What is something you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
  71. What is your favorite place, real or fictional? Why?
  72. If you could have lunch with one person, real or fictitious, who would it be?
  73. What famous literary character is most like you?
  74. What do you wear when you write?
  75. Who designed your cover?
  76. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself or your books?
  77. Where can people learn more about your books?

25 Responses to “Author Questionnaire”

  1. Author Self-Interview | less than this Says:

    […] so I stole these questions from Pat Bertram, to answer on my own site… so it’s only partially a self-interview. I’m pretty […]

  2. How To Do an Online Interview « Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] my Author Questionnaire, I begin with the question, “What is your book about?” It’s the hook, the reason why we are […]

  3. How Did You Do the Research for Your Novel? | Angie's Diary Says:

    […] did you do the research for your novel?(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire and follow the instruction.)var […]

  4. Cora Mae Follero (@coramaefollero) Says:

    Hello! Can I use this questionnaire to interview an author for my blog? Is it okay with you? 🙂 Thanks

  5. Karen E. Rigley Says:

    Cora, I have some author questions you are welcome to share. Pat’s questions are uniquely hers & fantastic, mine are more general, but work well. 😉

    • Cora Mae Follero (@coramaefollero) Says:

      Hi Karen! Can you send me a link?

      • Karen E. Rigley Says:

        Go to my blog at & scroll past the last post & down through the interviews. The questions were tailored for cozy mystery authors, but can be adapted. If you want the master list you can email me. I would also add a question like “what have you learned on your writing journey?” Anyway, I gave the list of questions to each author & let them pick or edit what they wanted to answer in their interview. The interviews began in Oct. with Carolyn Hart & ended Jan. 31st with Leann Sweeney. Good luck with your interviews!

  6. dianewilkie Says:

    Hi Pat, Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the author interview opportunity! I really appreciate your kindness.

  7. AJ Sikes Says:

    Hi Pat,

    Wondering how you’d feel about me doing the interview as a contributor to an anthology. I don’t have a novel out yet, but have three stories in anthos (3rd is releasing on Saturday, July 13th).



  8. Ben Solomon Says:

    Dear Ms. Bertram:
    A quick query so as not to spin your wheels.
    Call me an upstart. I’ve created a short-story series of old-school, detective fiction that’s available by subscription. Readers download stories in their format of choice: ePub, mobi or PDF. Will you accept an author questionnaire regarding this work? However you play it, I applaud your endeavors. Keep up the good work.

  9. Rosemary Agonito Says:

    Rosemary Agonito, Author of The Last Taboo: Saying No to Motherhood

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