Tuesday, April 03, 2012

World Horror Convention 2012 

This year I attended the World Horror Convention for the first time since it was in San Francisco in 2006. It strongly reminded me of how much I love hanging out with like-minded writers. Horror writers are the most gregarious, jolly bunch of writers I've ever spent time with. Perhaps it's because we get all our darkness out on the page.

I spent a lot of time talking about craft with talented writer Lynne Hansen, and had dinner with her and hilariously funny writer Jeff Strand the night I arrived. At 9 pm I had my panel "Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Cult TV Shows: Why We Love Them." Dana Fredsti did a fantastic job moderating, asking great questions of me and fellow panelist Scott Allie, who, among other projects, edits the Buffy comic at Dark Horse.

On Friday I had the pleasure of meeting one of my absolute favorite authors, whose writing ability is simply astounding -- Robert McCammon. I attended a kaffeeklatsch where he talked about publishing and the writing process. It was very interesting and helpful. I can't recommend his work more. If you haven't, you should definitely read Boy's Life and his new historical detective series which starts with Speaks the Nightbird.

The mass signing took place on Friday night, where I was in excellent company, seated next to writer and musician Lawrence C. Connolly. I talked to Rocky Wood, Linda Addison, and more with Robert McCammon. The signing went very well.

At the mass signing with Lawrence Connolly and Rocky Wood

At the mass signing with Lawrence and Virginia Connolly

At the mass signing with Lynne Hansen and Jeff Strand

Next was a World Horror tradition that I absolutely love -- the Gross Out Contest. Writers get up and read the most disgusting stories they can concoct, with the audience voting three minutes in if they should continue. It was a kind audience this year -- no one got booed off. Ed Erdelac read a great story about a sentient toilet gone terribly wrong, and John Skipp showed up and was cajoled into making up a story on the spot, which he did to great success.

With John Skipp and Mike McCarty

Saturday was the much awaited Stoker Banquet and awards ceremony, for which Jeff Strand was the hilarious emcee. Among the winners, talented Nancy Holder won a Stoker for Best YA Novel, and John Skipp for Best Anthology. Richard Matheson won the award for Best Vampire Novel of the Century for his I Am Legend, and we were all treated to a video acceptance speech he had recorded.

Before the Stoker Awards Banquet with Jeff Strand and Lynne Hansen

After the Stokers, we headed down to the after-Stoker party and talked into the wee hours about writing.

It's always sad to say goodbye after such a fantastic convention. Writing is a solitary endeavor, and spending time with fellow writers is always a cherished experience. Thanks to everyone who made this convention such a great one.


posted 10:38 PM


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