Interviewing is the single most important way journalists (and doctors, lawyers, social workers, teachers, human resources staff, and, really, all of us) get information. Yet to many, the perfect interview feels more like luck than skill a rare confluence of rapport, topic, and timing. But the thing is, great interviews aren’t the result of serendipity and intuition, but rather the result of careful planning and good journalistic habits. Dean Nelson, director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University and founder of the Writer’s Symposium by the Sea, is here to show you how to nail the perfect interview every time.
Drawing on forty years of award-winning journalism, Nelson walks readers through each step of the journey, from deciding whom to interview and structuring questions to the nitty gritty of using a recording device and effective note-taking strategies, to the ethical dilemmas of interviewing people you love (and loathe). He also includes case studies of famous interviews to show readers how these principles play out in real time.
Chock-full of comprehensive, time-tested, gold-standard advice, Talk to Me is an indispensable guide to the subtle art of the interview guaranteed to provide readers with the skills and confidence they need the next time they say, “talk to me.”
About the Author
Dean Nelson is the founder and director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. He is also the founder and host of the annual Writers Symposium by the Sea. A forty-year veteran journalist, Nelson's bylines have appeared in publications such as New York Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, San Jose Mercury News, San Diego Union-Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune, USA, and more. He lives in San Diego with his wife.
"Dean Nelson is a fabulous interviewer because he has the most important qualification-genuine curiosity. Add to that his deep compassion his searing intellect, and his love of a good story, and Dean gets you to say things about yourself that even you didn't realize. And you're the better for it." - Jeannette Walls
"Dean Nelson is a remarkable interviewer: wonderfully informed, perceptive, smart, funny, and-not least-uplifting." - Joyce Carol Oates
"Dean Nelson is one of the best interviewers around." - Anne Lamott