This evening I'm visiting a local community historical society at their monthly meeting and making a presentation about interviewing. I've gone back over my interviewing methods and successes and not-so-successes to glean a bit of information to share with them so they can begin a project of their own.
Strange thing, this phenomenon called coincidence. I am registered on a listserve for nonfiction writers and the theme to yesterday's strand was the interview release form. How convenient that somewhere in this universe there was someone asking about interviews on the very day I was preparing a presentation about interviews. Yes, I definitely use a release form and I'd suggest that as basic to every interview. That's part of my presentation tonight. Mine, however, is a little different from the versions posted by others on the listserve and it goes to intent, or more exact, what will be done with the information from the interview. My intent is to publish a book about this remarkable country schoolhouse in North Carolina. The first sentence on the release states my intent and has the person fill in the blank in that very sentence giving me permission to use what is said during the interview. Several times, people have said, "and don't put that in the book," and I will respect that, even though those are usually the best stories ever.
I have three interviews scheduled today and I am so looking forward to them. First I need to print a few more copies of my release form. Ah, the business side of interviewing.