Hostile Questions engage writers in new Booklist Online interview series

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/17/2012

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CHICAGO — An aggressive interviewer might put off potential interviewees, but in the case of the new weekly Hostile Questions interview that Booklist Books for Youth Senior Editor Dan Kraus recently initiated for Booklist Online, the opposite seems to be happening. The sometimes surprising results offer a lively Monday read. Kraus’ promise to the best-selling authors he is interviewing that he will “interrogate you in an aggressive manner—and you love every minute of it,” seems to be fulfilled so far.

Kraus started the interview series as he wondered if authors are sick of politeness. The answer, he has discovered, is that, “Strangely enough, the promise of being roughhoused by my insensitive questions seems to appeal to all kinds of writers. They’re practically lining up for the honor of being interrogated—and, probably, the chance to do something besides your usual cookie-cutter interview.”

Authors who have already willingly submitted to the unorthodox questions include Libba Bray, Frank Portman, Victoria Dahl and Chuck Hogan. Other best-seller names coming soon include Neal Stephenson, Melissa de la Cruz and Chelsea Cain.

Each interview is built around five questions—Just who do you think you are? Where do you get off? What’s the big idea? What is your problem, man? and Haven’t you done enough? Interview subjects are invited to interpret the questions however they’d like, though in case the authors get stuck, Kraus offers suggestions for each, along the lines of: “Introduce yourself;” “Tell us where you’re from;” “Tell us about your books;” and “What’s up next for you?”

You can read the Hostile Questions counter-cookie-cutter interviews on Booklist’s “Likely Stories” blog.

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