RARA-AVIS: Noir Panel at LCC

From: Donna ( donna.moore@virgin.net)
Date: 07 Feb 2007

Hi All,

Brian said:
> Megan Abbott, Con Lehane, Edward Wright, and Cornelia Read. If these
> folks are a cross-section of the faces of hard-boiled/noir writing
> today, the genre and its legacy are in good hands.

Oh, how very well said. I discovered Con Lehane's books a few years ago and have loved them ever since. I recently read Megan Abbott's first, DIE A LITTLE, and it blew me away. I bought the second one at LCC and if it's anywhere near as good as the first, she will become one of my top 10 authors. I really loved DIE A LITTLE and haven't stopped raving about it since. Cornelia Read and Edward Wright impressed me on the panel so I went and bought their books. For me, the four authors made that panel.

And I agree there were some excellent, straightforward questions from the audience which the 4 answered entertainingly and with aplomb.
> Not least of these was a reference that I can only assume was
> intended to be a joking one by Mr. Wohlforth to Ken Bruen, a writer
> referenced frequently (and positively) on this list. ... I wasn't the
> only one in the audience who took it that way.

I also felt the same. I presume it was meant to be a joke, but it didn't come across that way, and I felt it was insulting to Ken - who not only happens to be a wonderful writer who deserves all the accoldes he gets and more, but who is also a charming, funny, and generous man who is a good friend. I'm sure he would not have been upset if he were there, but I was upset on his behalf. If it WAS a joke, then it wasn't a very funny one.

> Unfortunately, that is not the role of the moderator, at least not as
> I understand it. In fact, he's supposed to be there to keep that sort
> of thing from getting out of hand.

The panels which work best are those where the moderator can fade into the background and have the focus be on the panelists. It's nice at conventions if everyone who is a moderator also gets a chance to actually be on a panel. That's when they should talk about themselves. I love a good moderator who can bring out all the panelists, who has read some of the work of each of them, can make the questions relevant and give those panelists a chance to shine.


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