Sample Interview Questions

Debra Sanders still experiences repercussions from the car accident that caused her
Traumatic Brain Injury.  These questions help her maintain her focus and are a good
starting point for interviews:

    Questions for overall general interview:

1.        Let’s start with the accident itself.  You tell us in the book that you walked away from that
accident thinking nothing was wrong. What do you remember about that day, about the accident

2.        And yet you say the accident was a pivotal point in your life.  That everything changed.
Could you talk about that a little bit?

3.        Could you describe your injury to us?  Have doctors determined what the problem is and can
it be fixed ?

4.        What would you say are the most difficult aspects of having this brain injury?  

5.        Let’s talk a little bit about your life before the accident.  You were in Alaska for a long time.
What took you there and what were you doing there?

6.        What were your experiences with the school districts there? In the book, you say that when
you were living in the Eskimo village, you covered 15 schools spread out over 80,000 square
miles.  That’s hard to imagine

7.        And you also lived in the interior part of Alaska-- in an Athabascan Indian village that was on
the banks of the Yukon River. Were you still traveling at that point or only working with the kids that
lived there? Tell us a little bit about that period of your life.

8.        So, when you left Alaska you moved to Utah.  That must have been such a dramatic
change!  What was that like?

9.        Was the educational system pretty much the same or did you see many differences (either
good or bad)?

10.        What led to you deciding to write A Matter of Panache?

11.        Well, that leads to an intriguing question.  How could you write Panache given the
ramifications of your brain injury that you were telling us about earlier? What were some of the
greatest challenges?

12.        Where can people find your book, "A Matter of Panache"/please give your website as well?

13.        And what are you doing now that the book is finished and on the shelves?

    Questions of a more specific nature related to concussion:

1.        The recent and tragic death of Natasha Richardson has brought the spotlight on head
injuries.  It seems like such a fluke; I mean how can a person die from a gentle fall on a beginner ski

2.        How critical is it to receive immediate attention to head injuries?  Are they sometimes
dismissed as minor concussions?  If so, why?

3.        How is it that some people sustain a concussion and are fine a few days later and others
experience these long term consequences or worse, die from the injury?

4.        How common are undiagnosed or untreated brain injuries?

5.        What can we do to prevent them?

6.        What do people need to know in order to protect themselves and their children from
concussions in general, and certainly from these more dramatic and tragic effects of concussion?