Posted in Fantasy

My Eventbrite-Inspired Dream Author Panel

Do you guys know Eventbrite? It’s a self-service ticketing platform where you can find people and plan events all over the world. I register for my Urban Librarians Unite events through Eventbrite all the time; in the world that helps people find and plan events. Anyway, Eventbrite asked me to come up with a dream author panel – how do I do that? It’s like selecting a favorite book (or 5), THERE ARE SO MANY.

If you know me, you know that Neil Gaiman is the constant. The given. Always, just like Snape. So I had to build the panel around Neil. I had Tolkien and CS Lewis – hey, it’s my dream panel, they can Skype in from the afterlife. I considered Gail Carriger and Cherie Priest. I drove myself crazy until I settled on a group of authors whose works I love and who all gel together pretty well, with a moderator that would take this panel from awesome to incredible. I give you: The Dream Panel.

Wil Wheaton narrates and is included in Ready Player One, and he’s a sci-fi/fantasy fan who is witty, asks thoughtful questions, and is hilarious, making him a perfect moderator for this bunch.

So now that I’ve pulled this group together, I think one of the main themes of the discussion could be setting fantasy in a realistic setting. I’m awful at coming up with questions, but a few I managed to wrack my brain to come up with include:

  • We have new gods: namely, gods of entertainment and technology, in Gaiman’s American Gods. How do these new gods figure in your (Doctorow, Neuvel, Cline) worlds? Could they find a place in these worlds?
  • Can you envision your novels taking place in the same universe at the same time? What would Cory Doctorow’s Homeland Security do, or the Nameless Man from Waking Gods, if the Armada spaceships invaded one morning? Sylvain, would they get Themis up and running in time?
  • What inspires you to base your writing in the near-future or present?
  • Your books all seem to be so well-researched. Do you outline what you’re writing about and research as you go, or do you prepare beforehand? (It’s the librarian in me, I need to know!)

Who’s on your dream panel? I’d love to hear! And I’d love to hear how you create your own interview questions, because I want to get better at this!

Thanks again to Eventbrite for the inspiration for this post; now I want to plan another one, maybe even branch out into favorite characters. In the meantime, you can search for book conferences in your area by going to Eventbrite’s website; signing up is free!


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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