In Moderation

One of the things which always confuses me about the con going experience is when I get picked to be the moderator. I like to think I’m a nice guy and that I’m a fun person with whom to chat, but I’m not sure what would qualify me to guide a panel along and keep things on course…

At Con Carolinas (a convention, I should mention, that is totally awesome) last year, when asked a question about the craft of writing, I responded that Pre-zombie Apocalypse my favorite Bond was Sean Connery, but now that the Zombie Apocalypse was underway, I was leaning toward Daniel Craig.

Why would I answer so strangely?

I couldn’t remember what the original question had been… (And it really did sound like the Zombie Apocalypse had begun ithe hallway.)

I’m not an auditory learner. I’m more of an audio-visual-kinesthetic: which means in order to learn something, I have see it, hear it, touch it, taste it, pass it through my colon… freeze it, disinfect it, and then shoot it into space. Okay, so it’s not quite that bad, but add my wandering attention span (sometimes I have one and other times, it’s out in the hall somewhere) and you get me talking about Fang the ‘Stang, the flesh-eating 1964 1/2 Mustang convertible in my Void City series, on a panel that is supposed to be about pets.

Heh! He is kind of a pet. And he does eat pets… And people… And…

So my question is this: how much does it annoy you when the moderator is only loosely keeping to the topic at hand?

This Friday, for example, I’m moderating a panel called:

Vampires: Old and New
From Dracula to True Blood – discuss the appeal of bloodsuckers!
With panelists: Justin D Kates, Rebecca Carter, Theresa Bane, Brinke Stevens, DJ Torch, J. F. Lewis

What should I ask? Obviously the panel crosses a great swath of different types of media, but what would those attending such a panel actually like to hear? Or expect to hear? And what would the panelists like to be asked?

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