For those of you who missed my Facebook posts, here’s a recap of the 2012 World Horror Convention and the Bram Stoker Awards:
Wow. All I can say is… it was fantastic!
Thursday, Day 1 – WHC officially started at 3:00pm. I attended panels on social networking and promoting your books on Amazon.
Highlight of the evening: participating in poetry readings with several well-known horror poets, including Linda D Addison, who later won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection for How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend.
Linda Addison with her Stoker for Best Poetry Collection
Friday, Day 2 – Started the day off with a reading by my friend PS Gifford (go Paul!). Attended some great panels: ‘Understanding the Mind of a Serial Killer’ by Dr. Al Carlisle (creepy yet fascinating), ‘Q&A with Guest of Honor Sherrilyn Kenyon (what a sweet and funny lady!), and ‘Women in Horror’ with Sherrilyn, Ellen Datlow, Lisa Morton, P.N. Elrod, and Kim Richards.
Hal Bodner & Dacre Stoker, great grandnephew of Bram Stoker
Sherrilyn Kenyon with her assistant, Kim
Hangin’ out with the big kids
Panels I attended this day: Stoker on Stoker with Dacre Stoker presenting his just released The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker (very cool stuff); ‘Vampires Through the Ages’ (like I’d miss this one?); ‘Real vs. Fictional Multiple Personalities’ (more creepy real stuff from Dr. Al Carlisle); and a ‘kaffeeklatch’ (think roundtable discussion) with P.N. Elrod (fascinating lady).
Highlights? My 5:00pm reading, where I read excerpts from Watcher. I love doing readings!
And oh, yeah… the Bram Stoker Awards Banquet! It was massively awesome! I sat with David Farland and his wife, Mary (she’s so sweet!) for the dinner and ceremonies.
Several friends (both old and new) won awards: Nancy Holder, for her YA novel, The Screaming Season; Linda D Addison for her poetry collection How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend; and Rocky Wood, for his nonfiction work, Stephen King: A Literary Companion.
Nancy Holder with her Stoker for Best Young Adult Novel
The Bram Stoker Winners
Congratulations to these and all of the other winners!
One last award to mention: A special, one-time only award for The Most Influential Vampire Novel of the Century (since Bram Stoker’s death) was given to Richard Matheson for his 1954 novel, I Am Legend.
The ‘Black Stoker’ Award for Best Vampire Novel of the Century
** Personal note – Though I am no expert on vampire literature and its impact on society, I was a little disappointed that the book with the most influence on me and many others, Anne Rice’s Interview With a Vampire, was not chosen. I much prefer Rice’s chameleon-like seducers to Matheson’s zombified, mindless killing machines. To me, Rice’s vampires more accurately embody the spirit of the Dracula mythology, and the subtle horror of a monster hidden beneath a suave and polished exterior is far more terrifying than a slavering walking corpse.
Parties: The Stoker Awards party continued in the con suite after the banquet. It was so cool to see everyone running around with their haunted house statues!
Sunday, Day 4 – The Last Day! Uggh, I hate last days.
Sunday got off to a slow start with many folks recovering from Saturday night’s parties. My day began with the panel The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Cover Art with a cool slide show. Then I just wandered about the con until my panel at noon.
It was called ‘Scaring ‘em Young: Middle Grade Horror’, and my co-panelists were Jacob Ruby (Bear Weiter) and J. Scott Savage. Bear had assembled a great list of discussion items and led the panel. Jeff, who has the most experience writing MG, was a wealth of knowledge, and I just chimed in when needed. It was a great panel (my very first!) and I had a lot of fun. I own much thanks to Bear and Jeff for making it so.
The con sadly ended at 3:00pm, though a number of folks stayed afterwards for the ‘Dead Dog Party’.
Highlight of the WHC 2012? Meeting so many awesome people with whom I felt instantly at home. I mean, I didn’t feel any embarrassment at all about writing vampire fiction, because chances were whomever I was speaking with had written it as well, or at least written about zombies, demons, or the stuff of nightmares.
Overall, this was the best con I’ve been to since my writing career began. I truly feel like I belong when I’m with this group of writers whose works get relegated to fringes of literary society. Being on the fringe can be lonely, but not when in the company of other fringe-ers!