I'm planning an October panel discussion of published authors, as a prelude to "NaNoWriMo" (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to be as useful as possible to people who are going to begin (many for the first time) writing a novel. The format will be that a moderator will ask the authors 5 or 6 questions, letting each author take a few minutes to reply to each one.
What is your writing schedule?
Where do you write and what tools, machinery, music do you have there?
How do you begin - story boarding, outlining, character sketches...?
Think back to when you were beginning. What did you need to know? What was interesting, what was inspiring, what helped?