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Writing From Interviews

“I really hope they aren’t all starting to sound the same Riley,” I said over the phone one night deep into the drafting process in January as we both perused my latest pass at a new interview transcript turned story.

Google docs was a wonder for the co-author process. I would skim the interview transcript Riley had recorded and try to remember the personality I saw in that person if I’d had the privilege to be there as the interview happened. Looking for the key moments to write. What would capture the readers attention? Where should we jump into their story? What is the theme and recurring struggle they overcome? What seeds were planted over time we should highlight? Is there any historical context I can flush out to help the reader understand the times? So many ways to start. 19 stories to do!

I was concerned halfway through after every two days jumping into a new person’s story that they might be blending together. My creativity was waning from the repetition of the task. And exhaustion from writing every day during nap time and after the kids bedtime.

“I just hope I’m writing them enough differently so you can tell the different personalities and they don’t all sound like me…” I went on as I saw on my computer screen Riley’s cursor fixing some of my sloppy grammar.

“Ya, it’s something to look out for for sure I’ve wondered about that too.” He replied over the speaker phone from his own home.

We only worked on the book side by side once or twice really. The beauty of technology and our combined skill sets made for such a great fast work of it.

Now four months after publication this review came in a few days ago… “I really loved the original stories each writer shared” 

I do believe this mean this reader felt as if each story was original voice. The answer to our questions those months ago (the end product of course polished by Riley’s personal knowledge and friendship with each of the people we interviewed and also our editor too) but this review meant so much to see that having never tried to write others stories in first person before: it’s worked. They came across original as if written by each person who is represented in these stories my author heart is full today. Thank you dear reader for your short but helpful review!

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