If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


February Interviews













2/5 Heather Weidner, Glitter, Glam, and Contraband
2/12 Rhys Bowen, Above The Bay of Angels
2/19 Elizabeth Penney, Hems & Homicide
2/26 Annette Dashofy, Under The Radar


Saturday Guest Bloggers:
2/1 Valerie Burns
2/8 Jeannette de Beauvoir
2/15 Kathryn Lane

WWK Bloggers: 2/22 Kait Carson, 1/28 & 1/29 Special Interviews with Agatha Nominees by Paula Gail Benson

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WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."


Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.


Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, will be released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here on April 29th.


Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!


KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.


Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.


Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.



Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Seven Characteristics of a Great Panel Moderator

Last weekend Jan and I attended Magna cum Murder in Indianapolis. I found most of the panels well run and the panelists thoughtful and interesting. Two panels stuck out from the rest. One was extremely well moderated; the other, not so much.

Here are six things the exemplary moderator did well:

1.       Before the panel started, the moderator had clearly done his homework. He was familiar with each of the panelist’s writing. Before the conference he provided the panelists a list of areas he planned for them to discuss.
2.       He began the discussion with a description of the panel and a very brief introduction of himself.
3.       He provided a short introduction to each of the four panelists (the conference provided longer bios in the conference book).
4.       He varied which panelist discussed each question first. His introduction of the topic often included specific reference to the panelist’s work (the advantage of homework).
5.       He asked other panelists to comment on interesting observations one of them had made, often choosing a panelist with a different perspective (another advantage of doing his homework).
6.       He never interjected himself into the conversations, except to provide transitions between panelists or to introduce a new topic for discussion.
7.       He never provided his opinions, disagreed with the panelists, or offered elaboration on their answers.

The exemplary moderator acted as a lubricant for the discussion. He did his job so well, one of the panelists commented on it and audience gave the moderator an ovation. In contrast, the less-than-satisfactory moderator failed on a number of accounts.

1.       The moderator surprised the panelists by asking them to introduce themselves, when the previously announced game plan had been for the moderator to make all the introductions.
2.       The moderator’s introduction of himself lasted longer than the introduction of the panelists.
3.       For each topic discussed, the moderator provided his own answer after the four panelists had talked, and used each answer to self-promote.
4.       The moderator read each of ten items on a handout he had already provided the audience.
5.       When it came time for questions from the floor, the moderator answered questions directly.

A moderator’s objective should be to make the panel run smoothly and help make the panelists look good. Solely based on their performance as moderators, I’ll be buying the first person’s newest mystery, and never buy the other moderator’s books, no matter how good they might be, based on their hijack of the panel. I suspect most of the audience feels the same way.


~ Jim

6 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

I've never been on a panel, Jim. But as a member of the audience, I can relate. There's nothing worse than a self-promoting moderator. A moderator's job to me includes helping to promote the panelists and to do that, like interviewing, you must know the authors' work and direct questions to the author whose writing best exemplifies the answer. A moderator who doesn't do research, is like an uninformed interviewer asking canned questions that don't illuminate the author's work to the audience.

Jim Jackson said...

EB,

You make an excellent parallel point about interviewers. I had not thought about that when I wrote this piece, but the research is something you do so well in your interviews.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Good topic, Jim. Like E.B., I've never been on a panel, but I'm going to save your comments for a time I just may be on one.

Shari Randall said...

Great information, Jim. This will be filed away - just in case.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jim. We all know that some panels go well & are very interesteing, & some seem to kind of fizzle instead of sparkle, and here you have helped us understand why and given us some guidelines for both benefiting from panels and perhaps being on them.

Kara Cerise said...

Good observations, Jim. I will also save this information.