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Louise Ure

David, I think it's a grand idea. I remember seeing a panel at LCC in El Paso ("Series vs. Stand alones," I think) where Andi Shechter was the only non-author on the panel. Her perspective and her comments were a great addition, offering a point of view on trends, and examples from writers other than those on the panel. I think it encouraged the other panelists to go beyond comments like "in my book" or "in my series." All together a very welcome change.


AHEM. As for "other conferences" having done it before, er,yes. Okay, if I have anything to do with it, fans are on panels. that means Bcon 94, LCC 97, LCC 04, and yes, El Paso LCC - THANK YOU. THat was a panel I almost got off becuase the questions I received in advance were so author-oriented. The moderator graciously responded to my email and insisted I stay. I heard good things after that panel.
And YES that's why - many writers think that only writers have something to say, or that fans come ONLY to hear writers talk at conventions. This is not so. Fans often know WAY more about a field than writers - and this is no slam on writers, believe me, whom I admire and respect and like - but becaues they're often too busy WRITING to read in the field and, as Louise points out, they have then a tendency to only know what they know about THEIR book. And I dunno about you, but every time I've checked with folks after a convention full of THOSE panels, there are complaints.
We not only made darn good moderators (which is HARD work and shouldn't be all we do) because we don't have a book to promote, but as widely read people we often know trends, we can RESPOND FOR poeple who want to know what readers think (and let's hope they DO want to know) and as reviewers and bookstore owners and list owners, we know trends and we hear comments and we talk about books. So darn TOOTIN yes, fans should be part of program. And er, they will be in '07.
Thank you. Now back to your blog already in progress.

David J. Montgomery

I think having reviewers like Andi involved is a good idea. I'm hoping to have some non-pros involved, too, though.

So if anyone out there is a well-read, knowledgable fan, who isn't already involved in the community, I definitely want to hear from you.


I consider myself a non-pro, David, for the record. I'm a fan, I'm a reader and that, I think, is the strength of any of the people I can think of who've been on panels as non-authors. Readers first - that's the expertise we bring. The reviewing part is truly secondary and is less useful on a panel like, for example, the one Louise described. So you READERS out there, pay attention - that's really what David wants. If you can be articulate and you have opinions, volunteer to be on program, would ya?


Oh yeah, and duh. Thanks for the compliment.

Elaine Flinn

I'd love to see a panel of booksellers and get their take on trends, touring author successes and horror stories.

Or, maybe - a panel of dedicated, die-hard writers who tour constantly and why they feel it's neccessary, and/or why they don't.

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