In our conversations with people, many times we only scratch the surface of what could be fascinating insights. Everyone has a story. As an interviewer, it’s been my good fortune to encounter people who have trusted me to record the intimate details of their lives. They’ve taken me into their homes and hearts, and sometimes work places, and spent countless hours sharing engrossing anecdotes by phone. More than once, just before a deadline, I was asked to delete information that had been approved prior to publication and I willingly honored that. Writers should never presume to second guess the impact of our words on people whose everyday lives we don’t share.
The interview process is always fascinating. Simple questions well-placed can trigger almost-buried memories that give weight and shine to the stories being shared. Almost every interview expands and grows wings, culminating in a finished product that surpasses expectations of both interviewer and interviewee. May it ever be this way…the biographer and the storyteller feasting at the same table.
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