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Chuck Klosterman was a newspaper reporter in the 90’s, who interviewed celebrities for a living. He later turned his celebrity interviews into articles, essays, and bestselling books including ‘Chuck Klosterman X‘ and ‘Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs.’ Some of his celebrity interviews include Taylor Swift, Tim Tebow, Eddie Van Halen, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Kobe Bryant, Billy Joel, and many more.
In a Recode Media podcast with Peter Kafka, Klosterman explains what it’s like to do celebrity interviews and then be contacted about them:
“Part of the reason I became a writer is because it was this completely controlled reality where I could do this thing by myself. You’d go out and you’d do the interviews and stuff, but then you’re back by yourself, transcribing and writing. Then, when the story is done and you send it off, that’s the end.
Now that’s the middle. Now it’s like when the story is published, it’s the middle of the process because the consumer feels differently now.
Media is not a one-way relationship. It’s this two-way relationship where people feel the reason they’re consuming media is to respond to it. It’s not for the content. It’s so they can use that content to have their response. It’s not something to criticize. It’s just how it is now. That is the expectation.
Things change. My first book comes out. Part of the reason I was able to go to New York… I had never been to New York. I was living in Akron, Ohio — but suddenly was able to move into this world because I did something that, in retrospect, seems completely out of character for me: My home phone number is in the forward to that book, Fargo Rock City.
If you want to call me, I was like, ‘here’s my number.’ It was my home phone number. I thought, at the time, people will think it’s funny I did that but they won’t actually call. But many people did. I got many phone calls. The first event I ever did in New York was with David Byrne and Lydia Davis because David Byrne called me from the Denver airport because my number was in this book.
Now, sometimes people will say to me, ‘Why don’t you respond to people on Twitter?‘ People tweet at you. That’s the whole idea of it.
I do book readings, and I love getting questions from the audience. That’s my favorite part: when there are questions from the audience that I can respond to off the cuff. But for some reason, I don’t feel that way about social media. I guess I have theories as to why I feel that way, but I’m not certain. When I first got involved with Twitter, it seemed different than it does now.
I will occasionally respond to people who tweet at me if I think they have an interesting question or they seem like a particularly sincere person who just wants to know something.”
For more on Chuck Klosterman, check out his Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything‘ post.
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