Is it over? Already? Damn!
Once again, it was an incredibly good time. It was great to see old friends like Nanci Kalanta (my boss at Horror World), Ron Dickie, Marcy and G Italiano, Greg Lamberson, Erik and Laurie Alk, Nikki Reinhardt, Gord Rollo, Kelli Jones, and others I know I’m forgetting. Then there were people I hadn’t met, like Kathy Jones, Rex (never got his last name), Doug Warrick, and Kim Paffenroth. And folks I’d met, but hadn’t hung out with much before, like Tomo, Bill Carl, M. Stephen Lukac (another 3F Publications veteran), Drew Williams, and others. I know I’m leaving people out, and I hate that, but my memory sucks, anyway. Unless I told you otherwise, it was great seeing you again or meeting you for the first time.
It sucks that Brian Keene wasn’t there this year. And James A. Moore (and wife Bonnie) had to cancel on short notice. Susan and Dan weren’t there, and John Skipp wasn’t, either. They were all missed.
Kudos to Nikki for juggling that ever-changing lineup of authors, and for scoring the VIP passes for all the authors (Shh. Take the credit.)
I spent about 45 minutes sitting at a table in the celebrity room this time. The past couple of years, I meant to do that and never did. It’s worth the time. Other than the great view I had being across the aisle from the ladies of the upcoming new Halloween movie, people really did stop and look, and some bought. In fact, I sold almost every book I took this time. I did sell out of Shara and Call to the Hunt. Sales-wise, this was the best con I’ve done so far, and I’ve only done one or two store signings where I sold as many books.
I chose “Dead Betty” for my reading and it went over surprisingly well. When I asked him how his reading went, Jack Ketchum said his audience was quiet when he wanted them to be and laughed when he hoped they would. So, based on that, I’d have to call my reading a success. I was really glad to get a good reaction to that story. Many thanks to Dave for the suggestion on where to send Betty (and I’m really sorry I missed your reading; I was sorta incapacitated at that moment).
Greg Lamberson was an excellent roommate. I highly recommend him. Keene, if you’re reading this, I want you to know Greg and I never once talked politics. No arguments. If only our respective parties in Congress could get along so well …
The highlights were The Dru and Lu Show. Those guys really outdid themselves. They broke taboos that never should have been touched, and there was bukkake for all. They even gave me a speaking part, which I spoke too early because I forgot how to count to four. There were two — count ’em, TWO — dance numbers in this year’s show. The other highlights were the Johnny Gruesome CD launch, where Giasone Italiano played some songs from the CD in an acoustic setting while Marcy gave some background on how the songs were written. G really makes me envious on that guitar, makes me wish I’d tried harder on mine when I was a teenager. The other highlight, and really the best part, was just hanging out with friends at the VIP party, then at the patio party outside Erik and Laurie’s room. Selling books and entertaining an audience is great, but it’s the memories of time spent with friends that really make Horrorfind such a fantastic convention.
I don’t have a lot of photos, but I’ll get what I have online in the next day or so.
It does seem the Horrorfind focus is moving further and further from books and authors. There were only two publishers with booths there this year. However, Don D’Auria of Leisure Books came down for a couple of hours and rumor has it there’s a chance Leisure might get involved next year. I hope so. I’d also love to see Horrorfind do a mass signing for all the attending authors, maybe in the movie room at some point on Saturday.
I did not have copies of Seven Days in Benevolence for Horrorfind. The publisher tells me they were shipped. I nagged the hotel desk several times each day, but the books never arrived. That sucks, but I guess crap happens.
I knocked off two more chapters of Pain while at Horrorfind. I’m really happy with the second, longer of those two chapters. The word count is somewhere over 11,000 now. I’ll do a word meter in my next post.
In completely unrelated news, the principal at my school informed the teachers that we are teachers 24/7 and asked that we keep that in mind when we’re online. She thinks we shouldn’t have MySpace accounts or communicate with students via e-mail. Obviously, I’m a little different situation than most teachers since I use my online presence for book promotion. But, I may make an effort to keep the language here PG-13. The part that I don’t like is the MySpace. I have a MySpace that is just for my students, where I post extra credit and where they know they can go to discuss assignments and ask me questions after school. Not many students have used it yet, but I hate to close it down.
Only one more day before I’ll have students in the classroom again. Am I ready? Of course not! I have the first day planned, and the start of the first full week, but I’m not sure about this Thursday and Friday. School should start on a Monday.
My own kids go back to school tomorrow. Alex starts high school and Sara starts junior high. Neither act too nervous about it. Amanda is the only one who admits to being excited about going back. This will be Jacob’s first year going all day; that’s going to be interesting!