But all that is personal. I'm not going to talk about it. I came here today to talk about the uses of convention- and conference-going to advance one's career.
My agent used to give me advice about that. I arrived late at my first Bouchercon convention in Philadelphia, years and years ago, failed to tell anybody I was a published writer, and wandered around from panel to panel listening to people talk, profoundly impressed to find myself in such exalted company. My agent told me later that this was wrong. I was supposed to make an impression on people, myself, she said.
So that became my style of moderating, read everybody's work, put some questions together to showcase each panelist, meet shortly beforehand to get comfortable with each other, and let 'er rip. Usually this worked fine.
First he switched the name signs to put himself at my left elbow. Then he stuck a list of his own questions in front of me, on top of my own set of questions. Then, as I endeavored to find my own rhythm for moving the panel along, he kept interrupting, poking at his questions with a trembling finger. It was kind of an ordeal.
As a result I said, "Ha!" when the organizers of a Bouchercon in Toronto offered me fifteen minutes to do whatever I liked. "Ha! I would have to tap dance and set my hair on fire to get any attention." Then I thought, "Why in hell not? I'll promise to do that, and maybe I'll get some attention."
© 2014 Kate Gallison