I attended the 2012 World Horror Convention (and Stoker Awards) this past weekend. It's where the horror writers and publishers get together for some mayhem. I loved the convention, (it was the second time I've gone). I met some awesome people: writers, editors, publishers, poets, artists, and fans. I also recruited some horror writers to write Crimson Pact stories for me at some point in the future. I'd like to do a volume of The Crimson Pact where almost all of the stories were horror.
There were so many highlights, but I'm going to try and list a few below.
I got to hang out with artist John Picacio, who I've known for a while, (since 2002) and got some Song of Ice and Fire art from him. A limited edition print of Melisandre (the Lady of Fire) from George R.R. Martin's series, which will go in my basement gallery at some point. John is awesome and I heard him speak for an hour about his process and the creation of the GRRM 2012 calendar, which I love. I remember when John won his first World Fantasy Award, and I loved seeing him win as his friends and family surrounded him. Someday, he'll do a book cover for me. I don't know when, but someday. This is the future I see when I look into the flames . . .
I got to sit with Lawrence Connolly and his lovely wife Jenny at the Stoker awards, MC'd by the hilarious writer, Jeff Strand, who I sat beside at the mass autograph signing. Anyway, Lawrence was up for best short story collection for his awesome collection of short fiction, Voices: Tales of Horror. I heard him read from it and loved it--he's such a great reader. I've got my autographed copy of Visions and look forward to diving in. I also got his audio CD which has songs inspired by his novel, Veins, and has some snippets of him reading.
Another great moment was getting to talk with Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker's great grand nephew about the sequel to the sequel of Dracula. I read The Un-Dead, (the direct sequel to Dracula written from Bram's original notes, but written by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt) a few years ago and wondered what was going to happen next. They left it open for a sequel. Here's a link to my Amazon.com review. It was cool to have Dacre pick my brain about the possible plot of the next book, which is not written yet. Dacre (sounds like acre by the way) was there promoting his new non-fiction book, which is about Bram Stoker, and was written after the discovery of a lost journal written by Bram himself. The book will be out soon, check Amazon.com for it.
I met a ton of great people, one was Usman, a young doctor who has finally finished ten years of education and now has time to get back into writing. I read a short piece from him and it was fantastic.
Usman Malik and Paul Genesse at the 2012 Stoker Award Banquet
Getting to hang out with my friends, Patrick Tracy and Chante McCoy was great too. We had a lot of fun, and any excuse to hang with Pat is great. We're brothers from another mother. We also signed books together, which was lots of fun.
I chatted with so many awesome people and did a few media interviews, two film crews spoke with me, one podcast crew (Residual Hauntings Revived, and I spread the word about The Crimson Pact. I did a panel about Book Bombs (I like to call them Book Blasts), which is when you get the word out on your new book by posting a lot of stuff on the internet. Howard Tayler and Bob Defendi were on the panel with me, which was a hoot.
Overall, it's just great to meet the horror writers. They are so unpretentious and cool. If you ever get a chance to attend World Horror, or the Stoker Awards, please do. It's awesome.
The next one is 2013 in New Orleans.
Editor of The Crimson Pact anthology Series