What would YOU like to ask a writer?
As the Hay festival began last month, the Guardian published a clever, amusing article. It asked, starting with the Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer (a big attraction at the festival), writers to ask themselves the questions they were never asked during interviews with journalists or by readers during question-and-answer sessions after readings. The writers then answered those questions themselves.
The results were highly interesting. You can read the whole piece here. It’s hard to single out favourites, but here is one I was rather taken with.
It is from Sarah Dunant:
Q: What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
A: Apart from the ability to write: a thick skin, the capacity for despair (and recovery), and the resistance to the odd attack of envy.
Were I to ever undertake this exercise, these are two I would certainly go for.
Q: Have you ever wanted to hit on the head someone who has asked an incredibly stupid question at a reading?
A: Yes, repeatedly. With a blunt instrument.
Q: What writerly qualities do you prize most in yourself?
A: A happiness to be schizophrenic. An immense ability to withstand self-loathing.
What about you? What are the questions that you have always wanted to ask a writer, but couldn’t? Let me know.