IT’S BEEN ABOUT two weeks now since I hopped a plane to Denver to attend my first World Horror Convention. I’ve put off writing about it, because I had no idea how to summarize it into a couple of paragraphs. But the memories are already fading, so here’s a go at it:
Probably the best thing about the con for me was meeting so many people in the horror community who I’ve corresponded with via letters and e-mail for years. I finally got to meet the queen of fringe, Jasmine Sailing, of CyberPsycho’s AOD, a longtime e-pal, writer Michael Laimo, and editor/publisher Dave Barnett, of Necro Publications, who has bought three of my stories over the years and for whom I’ve copy edited a handful of hardcover book releases.
I also met two of the authors whose work I’ve edited both for Necro and Delirium Books — Gerard Houarner and Charlee Jacob. I met and talked several times with Patrick and Honna Swenson of Talebones, who I’ve just started writing a “Bug Music” column for, and Mike Paduana of Midnight Hour, who’s picked up my “Shadows In Stereo” column. It’s always a pleasure to talk with P.D. Cacek, who I saw dashing from one end of the hotel to the other several times.
I got plenty of magazine business taken care of hanging around the Dark Regions table in the dealer’s room with Joe and Bobbi Morey and Ken Wisman (we even contracted art for an upcoming cover and decided on some manuscript acceptances). And then there were all the new friends I made — writers like John Platt, Elaine Moore, Jack Passarrella, Gemma Files and artists like GAK and Colleen Crary (the latter of whom illustrated the cover for my upcoming fiction collection Cage of Bones and Other Deadly Obsessions (how weird it was to see that cover displayed for sale in the art dealer’s room!)
GAK, Crary, Barnett, Sailing and I all ended up at the Borderlands Book party on Friday night where I met Borderlands owner Alan Beatts, who I also ended up sitting with at the Stoker awards the next night. I spoke briefly with Leisure Books’ Don D’Auria, ubiquitous editor Ellen Datlow, and horror scene chronicler Paula Guran and got to serve on a panel with one of my longtime favorite authors, Lucy Taylor. As it turned out, we were the ONLY ones who showed up to sit at the panel table (a great way to be introduced to being a panelist — thank God Lucy knew what she was talking about!).
I gave a reading of “Bloodsongs,” a new story from my upcoming collection on Friday afternoon and had a handful of appreciative (I think) listeners.
One of the highlights for me though was Neil Gaiman ‘s surprise attendance at the con and Saturday night reading of his upcoming children’s book, a marathon session which lasted until 2 a.m. (he read 3 hours straight without a break!) It was a great weekend for me, and I’ve barely even touched on all the great people I spoke with there.
Oh…and while I was hanging out Friday night at the Borderlands party, my name was being called out a few floors below — my story “Lovesong” won 5th place in the WHC fiction contest.
I can’t wait ’til next year.