I have my first “big” interview coming up with a well known author who I’ll be profiling for an article. Most of my articles up to this point have only required me to track down a few sources for a quote or two over the phone. I haven’t conducted a lot of “in person” interviews. What’s the proper protocol? Do I take hard copy notes? Type on my laptop while we chat? Or can I simply lay a dictaphone on the table and just have a conversation without taking notes (then transcribe the tape recording later in my own time)?
Funny, in the day and age of email and phones, we writers rarely have to leave our offices to conduct nearly all of our work. Amazing, isn't it? I mean, if I'd decided to become a journalist twenty years ago, I'd have to trek to the library to do my research on microfiche!! Which means that in-person interviews are often a thing of rarity. I don't do them much either.
When I do do them, I tend to record the convo and take light notes. I dunno, this seems to help me jog my memory when going back and writing the article, as well as helps me filter through a long recorded conversation, as in, okay, she said this, and then she said that. Which helps when I'm looking for a specific nugget.
But I'm tossing this question back out to readers because I'm certain that there are some folks who do a lot more in-person interviews than I do. So folks, how do you conduct them? Tips for this reader?