While I haven’t been to many conventions, they always remind me just how socially inept I am. It’s a little disconcerting. That said, World Horror Con in Salt Lake City has to go down in the win column largely because of the folks I had the opportunity to meet and BS with.
I got to hang out with friend and stable mate, Lincoln Crisler, and got to meet Ed Erdelac in person after collaborating through email forever. He was exactly like I expected him to be, which was good. I also got to see Kim and William from Damnation Books, always great, and got to meet Karina Fabian finally. She was wonderful. Authors JE Gurley and Dennis McDonald were there, too. Good to see those guys.
Despite my inability to function in a social setting, I did manage to talk to and interact with a number of great creators: writers, publishers, editors, and artists. After a few cons of nods, I got to talk to Ed Kurtz and his lovely wife, Megan. Both were fun and friendly, accepting me without hesitation. I picked up Ed’s book, Bleed, too, and can’t wait to read it.
I also managed to talk to Gene O’Neill a bit, and Gord Rollo, the inseparable twins, as well as Chris and Joe Morey of Dark Regions Press. As always, they were very personable and approachable. I probably bored the hell out of Joe, but he never complained. Thanks for that, Joe. James Chambers was hanging around, too. He was another friendly face in the swarm of peeps.
My buddy from last year, Tim Baker, was there and showed me some of his work. Good stuff. You’ll be hearing a lot more of him one of these days. Jason Reinhardt and Roy Robbins (Bad Moon Books honcho) were friendly, as always, and made the trip better for being there. Good guys. I also bumped into Carl Alves and he was kind enough to give me a copy of his book, Two for Eternity. Check it out.
I got to talk to Jeff Strand and Scott Allie, hanging out on a panel with both of them. Very intelligent and well spoken, these two. Made me feel smaller for their talent and ability to express their ideas, but it was a good smaller; a learning experience, for sure.
Weston Ochse was in full convention mode and me, Lincoln, and William got to hang with him and his wife, Yvonne Navarro, for a bit in their room. Was a great experience. Weston always manages to teach me something without even trying.
I met John Picacio in passing, who was nothing but polite, and here’s where my social inability really hits me. I spent an easy forty-five minutes talking to a beautiful, intelligent woman (with whom I spoke to at Killercon last year) and can’t for the life of me remember her name. Sigh. I can remember her story idea and her addiction to good bourbon (brought on by hanging out with horror writers), but not her name. So pathetic.
Artist Carter Reid was there, doing his best to wear his drawing hand to a nub at the direction of his wife, Kelli. He drew a couple of zombified pictures for me (me and my daughter), which were just amazing. I spent a lot of time admiring his artwork and chatting with Kelli. Fun people.
Anyway, I also got to meet and pitch Don D’auria from Samhain. He was friendly and polite, and clearly a professional. Was a great ten minutes, after which, I got to inadvertently pitch John Skipp an idea I’d been bouncing around. He laughed and loved it. Now to write it.
And if it weren’t for Laura Hickman, my pitches would never have happened, so thanks, Laura. It was nice getting to hang with her her and I’m indebted for her magical administration that allowed me to see Don.
Last, but certainly not least, I spent a few minutes chatting with author Steven Booth (The Hungry) and head honcho of Genius Publishing, my new publisher. He, Norm Rubenstein, and Leya Booth are off to an impressive start and it’s an honor to be a part of it.
I know damn well I’m missing folks, but the weekend is still a little bit of a blur, so I apologize to anyone I left out. It was most certainly not intentional.
All in all, it was a productive and fun weekend. Thanks to everyone who made it so. See y’all next year.