You’d think it couldn’t get any simpler than an interview – there’s a question, here’s an answer, put it all on paper, edit, done!
And the longer I go on doing them, the more impossible they appear to be. For the last year and a half I’ve been the writer and the deputy editor at “VMG”, acknowledged as the World’s Best Food Magazine 2014 by the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards (it’s OK, nobody knows that, it’s not the kind of news that make it to the best-viewed sections). Anyway, the interviews: when you’re the only writer for a 300+ page magazine that comes out every three months, this means you have to manage around 15 to 20 interviews and about 10 other articles of various length, so in a nutshell – yea, that is a hell of a lot of writing.So much, in fact, that I would sometimes spend a 12-hour work day just typing and editing.
I once had an idea to make a series of interviews about interviews – really, just asking famous people about how they actually feel when being interviewed. Are they ever honest? Don’t they find the whole concept just fundamentally flawed? How does it really feel, being asked about what kind of night cream or car oil you use? And, more importantly, how do you answer these questions without failing to hide the “What the hell?” sound in your voice?
It took me almost a year to realize that this type of interview would never work.
In fact, I learned that a good interview is almost as rear of a phenomena as… well, any kind of a rare phenomena. Every time I go to an interview now, I give it a 50/50 chance to turn out to be something great (cuz it either will be great, or will not. Easy!), and I still haven’t found a pattern that would ensure the success in this pursuit.
What I can offer, though, is a series of somewhat anecdotal stories that I remember every time I open any of the final printed interviews – stories I haven’t yet told anyone. Sometimes people say something without giving it a second thought, but I just don’t seem able to get it out of my head for quite a while – and that’s the true magic.
“Maybe they forgot to teach us how to be happy? Sure, every one was taught how to be successful, but is that the same as being happy?” – Jurga Baltrukonytė, Executive Editor at “Panelė”. whom I interviewed on November 6th, 2014.
more to follow
by Ieva Elvyra