Panel Tactics

 

At LitFest Pasadena I represented my science fiction book Future Past out of Eternal Press.  The panel discussion centered on ‘crossing genres’, between science fiction, fantasy, on-line games, literary fiction and screenwriting.  I was prompted, however, to discuss literary fiction and briefly plug Night Must Wait and speak about my ambitions to continue in both literary fiction and the science fiction genre. Future Past isn’t available in paper yet, but I sold a number of copies of the first book even though it wasn’t in the genre we discussed. Given that I was the least well-known person on the panel that made me feel just fine.

 

So who was on the panel? Amber Benson, the actress who played a favorite character ‘Tara’ in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, now also a director and novelist, John Joseph Adams, who publishes some of the finest anthologies on the market,  Micky Neilson of the bestselling Ashbringer from World of Warcraft, Tim Beedle graphic novelist, who did a fantastic job of bridging the interests of this wide ranging group, and myself. Such a kind, brilliant and supportive group. I’m profoundly honored to have been a part of this!

 

If any of you fellow writers out there have the chance to be on a panel, take it–but I have a caution. I made the error in the beginning of our performance of answering the questions posed to me. I now think from the crowd feedback, that the best ploy is don’t answer, or at least not simply. Use every question as a prompt to do a riff on something you feel passionate about. Keep it reasonably short, but think sound bites and snark and passion — funny if you can, earnest if you can’t. Turns out that I made an impression in the two extensive statements where I let my feelings take over and spoke to deeper longer-term concerns of mine. Keep it personal, try to keep it short but not too short, and don’t just answer the question!

 

Better next time, more fun next time. In the world of publishing and promotion, I’m still such a newbie– but I’m learning!

 

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