Four weeks ago, I was at the Killer Nashville International Writers Conference, sitting on a panel. Two days later, still at the conference, I was sitting on a second panel.
Writing Effective Subplots Friday 8-24 Differences in Men & Women Sleuths Sunday 8-26
Caroline Fardig, me, Jaden Terrell, Dick Belsky, Lynne Hesse, Michael Norman, Steven Cooper Chris Greyson, me, Rebecca Butler
I could go on and on for hours talking about the Killer Nashville Conference with all their panels, writers’ sessions, workshops, and more.
For years before I was published, I went to every author event I could make hoping to learn how to become an author. How I envied the authors who spoke at sessions or with a group. I usually joined in when it was time for audience participation, something I did in preparation for the day when I too would be a speaker or panelist.
The first official panel I participated in was at the Southern Festival of Books in mid-October 2015 here in Nashville, Tennessee. The panel was called: “Who Can You Trust – Three Mysteries.” The other authors with me were Phyllis Gobbell and Elise Blackwell. Our moderator did a great job injecting some “umph” into this presentation. As you can see I was in my glory.
The Killer Nashville conference, always held in August, was moved temporarily to late-October in 2015 and I took part in their panel called "Debut Authors".
In 2016, The Southern Festival of books invited me to be part of a panel of authors for a second year. I joined Kelly Oliver and Jaden (Beth) Terrell to talk on "On the Case: Private Eye Series." To get on another such group with this Festival will not happen again until I publish a new book.
Author panels are handled pretty much the same where ever you find them. They primarily provide new or midlist authors an opportunity to reach a small group of book-buyers, but best-selling authors appear on them too. I’ve been on panels with bestsellers. I’ve also gone to panels where the “big-huge-names” in the writing world participated.
If you’re going to be part of a panel of authors, my advice is never worry about what to say. If you’ve written a book, you’ll know it inside out and backwards. There’s no way to be blindsided by a question. Most of your answers will come out naturally with enthusiasm because you are talking about your work of love. If you wind up on a panel with a talker, don’t worry about how to handle it. I’ve had it happen and the moderator is usually an expert on cutting that talk short. If not, I’ve butted in myself. It’s easy to interrupt and make a couple of comments to pull the talker back into the rhythm of the group.
Do any of you want to share your experience(s) on a panel or experience(s) watching an author panel?
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