Saturday, October 06, 2012

Bouchercon Day 3: Panelist takes a fall

Saturday was the seventh panel I'd moderated at a Bouchercon, the most fun I've had while dressed in respectable clothes, and it almost never happened.

The panel, called "Murder Is Everywhere," was on the docket for 10:15 a.m., and the previous panel ran over. When the moderator thanked the guests and dismissed the audience, one of his panelists plunged off the back of the stage and required brief medical attention. "Oh, great," I thought. "More delays." Happily a small bandage and a few stitches were all the falling panelist needed, and he was later able to joke about the mishap.

Once the stage was cleared of the wounded, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Jeffrey Siger, Stanley Trollip (one half of the duo that writes as Michael Stanley), Tim Hallinan, Lisa Brackmann (filling in for Cara Black), and I took over for fifty-five minutes of illuminating and entertaining verbal high jinks that went over the allotted time by no more than a minute or two.

Bearer of appalling
animal parts
I knew the panelists well, and some of them had expressed a desire to do things a little differently, so I tried to avoid questions I'd asked in the past. One got the panel members debating whose country, Iceland, Greece, South Africa, Thailand, Mexico, or China, was worst off. Yrsa's mention of the surprising Icelandic food she had brought to this year's Bouchercon (pickled sheep's testicles) probably contributed to the fun.

Your jovial moderator, photo
courtesy of Annamaria Alfieri
Later, a launch party for Stuart Neville's Ratlines included much beer and much good chat with a group that included Ed Lin, an author new to me who has a book on the way from Soho Crime set in Taiwan.  I am an impatient reader, ready to set aside a book that does not grab me from the first word. This will not be a problem with Ratlines.

Earlier, lunch with Jennifer Jordan, Christa Faust, and Sean Chercover included thought-provoking discussion of what Dr. Faust called "sexualization of the other in porn."

Finally, thanks to the gang who organized Thursday's Snubnose Press edition of Noir at the Bar. Food-service delays forced me to miss most of the event, but I did arrive for the last two readers and the traditional closing salutation of "Fuck Peter Rozovsky!"

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

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Anonymous Mark P said...

You glossed over your panel too quickly, it was one of the highlights for me. Incredibly articulate and entertaining panelists... and, yes, a pretty decent moderator, too.

I enjoyed meeting you, and so many awesome people, but I'm ready to recover from my first Bouchercon, it's exhausting!

October 08, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Mark: Many thanks for the kind words. Interesting you should suggest that I glossed over the panel too quickly. From the time I started moderating panels, I've found it harder to recall the experience than I do other aspects to conventions, about which I like to post in detail.

This is probably because my concentration is split. While the audience watches and listens to the whomever is speaking, I'm listening with one ear, scanning my list for the appropriate next question, glancing at the audience, thinking ahead, keeping alert for anything that might make me want to improvise. That may of immense interest to psychologists but hardly likely to hold readers' attention.

October 08, 2012  
Anonymous Mark P said...

Well that's a fair point, you all did such a great job, recognition was required. :)

October 09, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the kind words. I listened to a recording of the panel last night and I was surprised how much I’d missed because I had to divide my attention. I thought of some ways to mitigate this that I hope to try at future conventions.

This guy was selling recordings of the panels on CD in the book room, though the fact was not publicized this year. If form holds, recordings of all panels will be available on CD and as MP3 files.

October 09, 2012  

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