My panel had to do with how to keep a series going strong. I said that the idea was to create a character arc so that your character keeps growing. (That's what I learned from Don Maass, and he's just about always right.) Philip Donlay nodded..... so did Wendall Thomas, and then Aaron Elkins said we were all wrong! That wasn't true at all! He'd written some 37 mysteries about his forensic scientist and that was just fine!
I caught my breath and thanked Elizabeth Little for going on to the next question. I guess if you write 37 books about the same character.... maybe it's hard to make that character show a complete arc. But Aaron himself later said that you do, of course, show different sides of your character.
When it was time for audience questions, a nice man in the audience, Lorenzo C., came to my aid and pointed out that Aaron had contradicted himself to an extent. I believe that was the moment when Aaron said: "At 82 I can do what I want!"
(I talked to Lorenzo's wife afterwards and thanked her. She said, "¡Mi esposo dijo que el viejo le atacó y que le tenía que defender!" My husband said the old guy attacked you and he had to defend you! Thank goodness for loyal readers--who can appreciate poor defenseless mariachi players......)