About the client
The Horror Tree is a resource for speculative fiction writers. The website notifies science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers of potential publication targets and uses its platform to promote genre authors and their work through interviews, book reviews, and short fiction.
I partnered with a variety of authors to generate content for the website through Q&A email interviews.
The Art of the Interview
Horror Tree uses a traditional Q&A format for their interviews. The interviewer’s question is clearly displayed above the author’s answer.
This format is different from the interview-to-article format that you’ll often see in journalistic reporting because the majority of the interview is likely to make it to the reader with minimal changes along the way.
With this in mind, I spent the majority of my time tailoring interview questions with publication in mind. I dug into the author’s publication history, read some of their work, and got a good handle on what they were trying to do with their publishing career.
Because Horror Tree caters to amateur authors, I made sure to include some mentorship opportunities for established authors to provide advice and guidance to Horror Tree’s readership.
From there, I notified the author and waited for them to complete their half of the interview. Once complete, we worked together to refine the language, eliminate any typographical errors, and finalize the format before submitting the content for publication.
Creating Targeted, Promotional Content
While content like this is a win for Horror Tree and for Horror Tree’s readers, it’s not necessarily a win for the author unless executed correctly. For Horror Tree, that meant including website links and giving authors a chance to use the platform to promote their content.
I made sure that these authors got the chance to do that by linking in their social media channels and setting aside a portion of the interview to really discuss their work in a way that readers within the speculative fiction genre would find compelling.
This helped to ensure that the authors, who were providing free content for Horror Tree, saw value in the exchange and had a great experience along the way.
The result was a great Q&A answer piece, which Horror Tree used as fresh content for its front page and newsletter campaigns.