A little birdie told me that the panel assignments for the upcoming Bouchercon in Raleigh have been sent out. Though it's not yet time to announce the specifics of any panel assignments, no doubt some of my friends are on panels, either as participants or moderators, some of you for the first time. I'm looking forward to seeing the finalized schedule.
In the last few years, I've been fortunate enough to appear on a variety of panels. To be honest, I prefer moderating to simply being on a panel because I'm a control freak. Though it requires a bit more preparation, dictating the pace and topics discussed makes the panel more interesting for me and keeps my anxiety at bay.
So with that said, this week, I thought I'd share the introductory letter I usually send to my panelists:
My name is Holly West and I'll be moderating the panel, <Insert Title Here>. To help me prepare, please send me the following, ASAP:
--A brief bio
--The title of the book you'd like me to read and focus on for the panel
If there is any particular topic with regard to your books or yourself you'd like me to touch upon, please let me know. I can't guarantee it will make it into the panel, but I'll do my best.
In the coming weeks, I'll be reading your books and preparing the questions for our panel. To help *you* prepare, I'll be sending everyone a sampling of the questions I plan to ask, likely around <insert date here>.
I look forward to meeting you all. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Short and sweet, but it allows me the space to shape the panel any way I like.
Two suggestions for all of you who are participating on panels but not moderating: Offer to send the moderator a copy (either physical or ebook) of the book you'd like them to read and most importantly, thank your moderator after the panel is finished.
I wrote an expanded article on this topic for the upcoming issue of MWA's newsletter, The Third Degree, so if you're a member, keep an eye out.