One of the many excellent things about living in this area is the Virginia Festival of the Book, held every March in Charlottesville. I started attending shortly after I moved here in order to listen to the many great writers giving talks and readings. Eventually, when my first book came out, I was able to appear on a panel myself, which was thrilling for me, and in subsequent years I’ve been on several panels and most years I also moderate a panel or two.
If done right, panel moderation is time consuming. The moderator should (they don’t always, unfortunately) read the books being presented and learn a little about the authors. The moderator should also prepare some questions, to kick off the Q&A following the presentation and to keep it going if the audience can’t.
But I enjoy it, and it’s a little more exposure for me, also.
This year, I’ll be moderating two panels, both of which should attract a fair number of readers. The first one, on the Festival’s first afternoon, is called Life After Death–Hello from the Other Side, and features authors Sharon Guskin (The Forgetting Time), Andy Kutler (The Other Side of Life), and Jacquelyn Mitchard (Two if by Sea). That’s Wednesday, March 16, 4pm, at the Barnes & Noble. The second one is Pirates, Drones, and other Catastrophes: Thrilling Fiction, featuring Corban Addison (The Tears of Dark Water), Elise Blackwell (The Lower Quarter), and Ron Childress (And West is West). That’s Friday, March 18, 4pm, at the James Madison Regional Library Central Branch.
I can’t wait to read these books and then discuss them with the authors!