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20th January
2011
written by Steph

I recently interviewed Ron Reagan, son of America's 40th president, Ronald Reagan, about his recently released memoir, My Father at 100 over at BookPage. Anyone who knows me knows that politics aren't really my shtick, and certainly not American politics, so I was super nervous going into this interview. I am happy to report that it went swimmingly and that Ron Reagan is a wonderfully nice guy with a great sense of humor and the entire thing wound up being a complete blast! For those of you interested in reading a no-holds bar conversation on Reagan's thoughts on the current state of the nation and what his father was really like, you can read my interview here. It's chock full of lots of juicy tidbits and Reagan doesn't pussyfoot around controversial issues, so it's a pretty fun read if I do say so myself!

10 Comments

  1. 01/20/2011

    I find it really neat that you got the chance to interview Ron Regan, and I am off to check out the post on BookPage!

  2. What an amazing opportunity! I’d be terrified if I had to do something like that. Congratulations on a fantastic interview 🙂

  3. 01/20/2011

    Wow, that’s very cool that you got to interview him! (even though, like you, I’m not into politics all that much)

    This book has caused quite an uproar from his brother, who had some very nasty things to say about Ron.

  4. 01/20/2011

    That’s a great interview, and I don’t like politics, either! But Ron Reagan was always my favorite of that family.

  5. 01/21/2011

    That is so awesome that you got to interview Ron Reagan. Very cool! Like you, I’m not a political nut, but I’m looking forward to reading your interview with him (sounds like you enjoyed it, which I’m sure will make for some good reading). Cheers!

  6. 01/23/2011

    @ zibilee: Yes, my interviewing skills keep skyrocketing with each prestigious interviewee! I’m so thankful for all the cool people I’ve had the chance to talk to via BookPage!
     
    @ Jackie: Yes, I always wind up talking to authors who vaguely terrify me because of their brilliance, but I’m happy to report that everyone has been excessively kind. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to approach one of these without being rather weak in the knees!
     
    @ Lesley: Yes, I think with Ronald Reagan as your topic, your book is always likely to cause quite a bit of a stir and this book has proven to be no exception. It was nice to be able to conduct such a lively interview!
     
    @ softdrink: So glad someone else who’s not politically inclined enjoyed the interview. It was really quite a riot and there was much laughter throughout, which I hope comes across!
     
    @ Nadia: Yes, I think that I’ve been lucky so far in that everyone I’ve interviewed has always been very responsive and engaged by the interview process which I think makes it all the easier to create something that people will ultimately want to read. Ron Reagan was certainly no exception!

  7. 01/24/2011

    Ronald Reagan was really one of those one-liner experts – his one-liners are still memorable! He was also likeable though one may not agree with his political philosophy. I have seen a movie starring Ronald Reagan and he is good in that too 🙂 So is that what you do – interview celebrities? 🙂

    I haven’t read the interview yet. I will read it and come back and comment more.

  8. 01/24/2011

    Just finished reading the Ron Reagan interview! Thanks for this interview Steph, and thanks for posting about it here! I enjoyed reading the interview very much and I liked Ron’s way of sharing things in the interview. I liked very much what Ron said about his father writing him a letter for failing in Algebra and how that letter was general and abstract. I would love to read that letter 🙂 I also liked very much the anecdote that Ron shared about his father – how his father helped a poor woman when he saw her on the news and on how he responded to problems differently and with kindness when they had a human face. I was surprised to learn from the interview that Ronald Reagan was introverted / introspective. I have always thought that he was someone who liked talking to people and was more a person of action rather than an introvert. Interesting!

    I loved the questions you posed to Ron – in some places they are direct and in other places they are gentle and delicately designed to tease out insights.

    How do you prepare for interviews? Do you read all the stuff about the person that you are interviewing and plan questions? Must be quite complex and lots of hardwork, isn’t it?

  9. 01/24/2011

    Thanks for sharing the link to your interview with Ron Reagan. I’ve heard quite a lot of press about his book. I guess many were saying that he implied that his father’s Alzheimer’s was evident during the White House years. I’m always fascinated to hear from children of famous people. They have to share their parent with the whole world and that can’t be easy. It sounds like he’s had plenty of time to reflect and that he’s come through okay.

  10. 01/26/2011

    @ Vishy: When I prepare for interviews, I generally just try to find out as much about the person as I can in advance, and see if I can find other interviews so I’m not asking the same old questions. If they’re an established author, I try to read their previous books if I have time, but if not, then I don’t sweat it and just make sure I’ve read the current novel! As for questions, I guess I’m just inquisitive and I find that I naturally come up with a lot of things to discuss with other writers… I just hope others enjoy the questions as well! 😉
     
    @ Kathleen: Yes, the book has definitely stirred up quite a bit of controversy it would seem. I can see how that might be the case given that Ron Reagan isn’t afraid of making waves. Plus, as you say, he seems to have internalized and come to terms with his father’s life in a pretty healthy way, so I doubt he’ll be upset if others throw some fits! 😉

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