Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Daniel Pinkwater

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daniel pinkwater

Just had a great conversation with author Daniel Pinkwater. He turned out to be a gracious, no nonsense, down to earth person. Considering we never know how people will be (or how we seem to them), it was a very pleasant and revealing interview.

I came up with about 20 questions, with half of them related to the 14 years or so of contact he had with NPR. But I got the impression after a few questions that NPR wasn’t on his top list of things to talk about. I also kind of inferred that after checking him on Google Trends. For those of you that don’t know, Google Trends is a great tool that tells you how popular something has been or currently is in society. I noticed that between 2004 which is when Google Trends began and about January 2007, Mr. Pinkwater had up to 100 mentions at a time in the media. But after then, his media exposure dropped off sharply. And except for two spikes this year, it has continued to taper off.

He said in the interview that he likes the relative anonymity he enjoys in his Upper Hudson River Valley community because “nobody here reads books”. So when I asked him why he agreed to do the interview with me, he simply said “because you asked”. As an interviewer, you always expect things to be hard; agents, handlers, changed schedules, questions to avoid, tempers, equipment problems. But Mr. Pinkwater was a human version of WYSIWYG and it took me a second to get used to that.

Anyway, our talk will be up shortly. And thank you again, Mr. Pinkwater.

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Written by Interviewer

October 3, 2013 at 02:10

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