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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

World Fantasy Con 2005 

I just returned from the World Fantasy Con in Madison, WI. I'd never been to one before, and it was more enjoyable than I'd ever expected. I was able to see many of my fellow horror writers including William D. Gagliani, the Stoker Nominee who recently sold his novel WOLF'S TRAP to Leisure.

Nancy Holder, a fellow Buffy novelist and writer extraordinaire, was in attendance, and we had many great conversations about writing media tie in novels.

I chatted with Christopher Golden about comics and writing choose your own adventure books. Author John Everson joined us for several meals and parties, and we all shared tales of the writing life. John's novel COVENANT won the Bram Stoker Award this year for Best First Novel.

In addition to hanging out with Nancy Holder, Bill Gagliani and John Everson, one of the finest highlights for me was spending time with the illustrious Bastard Sons of Mort Castle, who include Richard Dansky, Maurice Broaddus, Lucien Soulban and John C. Hay. We talked of horror, writing for games, and Lucien and I had a great time discussing suspense structure and recent chilling horror films. While Maurice and I laughed about nightmare weddings we'd attended and the finer points of terrifying '80s power ballads, Richard and I discussed fossils and gothic horror, including the nuances of Melmoth the Wanderer, that gothic masterpiece written by Charles Maturin in 1820.

I met many writers I hadn't before, and talked to some face to face that I'd only communicated with via e-mail in the past. During the mass signing, Bill Gagliani wanted to gather signatures for a few books he'd brought, so I took his place at his signing table, next to talented author Dennis L. McKiernan. I told him that I was actually still Bill, but that a spiraling portal had loomed up before me, and I'd emerged in the body of Alice Henderson. While Dennis laughed, people who wanted Bill to sign their books were somewhat dubious.

Among the many new people I met were Ginjer Buchanan, Jeanne Cavelos, who in addition to being a talented writer and editor, teaches the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop, Ellen Datlow, Jean Rabe, Elizabeth Vaughan, and Denise Little. I also had the honor of talking with Steve Rasnic Tem, whose short story "There's No Such Thing As Monsters" has haunted and enchanted me for years.

Scott Webb, a sculptor featured in the art show, sold me the most wonderfully creepy little magnet with a fanged creature's face, like an alien walrus. I marveled at the rest of his works, which included disturbing sculptures that surely come to life at night and skitter about the room, probably hooking claws into the weave of your comforter and slinking spider-like onto the bed in order to lurk near your head or crawl into your ear.

Thank you to all who made this convention such an enjoyable experience. Writing is a solitary endeavor, and it is always energizing and inspiring to gather with fellow writers and laugh, commiserate, and dream.

posted 6:19 PM

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