As always, I'm on the road again. Since I don't have the time to write anything substantial, I thought that instead I'd ask a question.
Last weekend, I was at a convention and showed up for a panel to discover that, without being told, I'd been made the moderator. The woman assigned the role told the con committee she wouldn't do it and then printed out the email from them saying they'd shifted off the responsibility to me.
Without telling me, of course.
Well, that's par for the course. But when I fired up the discussion, five seconds later, I had a panel consisting of myself, two Big Name People who were self-evidently qualified to discuss the topic, and two new writers who quite understandably were reluctant to inject themselves into the conversation.
Here's the question: Given two people who were obviously smart but of whose work I knew nothing... what ought I have done to involve them in the panel? Half the questions I lobbed their way were useless because they presupposed knowledge they didn't have. I was in their situation back in the day, so I know that they had contributions to make, and when they did speak up what they said was interesting and to the point. But mostly they were silent.
So what should I have done? What could I have done? What might I do when I find myself in this situation in the future?
Your ideas would be welcome.