I am so glad that I attended the 25th World Horror Convention & 2015 Bram Stoker Awards Banquet in Atlanta, GA, this past weekend. I think I was laughing the whole time, giddy with the good times and gore. It was great to reunite with so many old friends (I actually attended the very first WHC, 25 years ago!), and as usual, made several new buddies, too. There were something like sixteen Seton Hill MFA program students, alums or faculty colleagues in attendance, a barrel of Raw Dog Screaming Press associates, and hundreds of gibbering weirdos, which meant I always felt there was someone nearby I could chat with at any given moment, day or night or in-between.
A few of the major highlights for me included: a fun dinner with Stephanie Wytovich and Michelle R. Lane that started the con off with lots of laughter; watching speculative poets read each other’s work with reverence in a great poetry panel, hosted by Marge Simon — all were great, and a lot of well-deserved respect was on hand for GO Clark’s horror poetry, especially; moderating a great panel on horror in academia with my good friends Tim Waggoner, Lucy Snyder, Vic Kerry and now Thomas Drago; hanging out with Frazer Lee and getting to see his film adaptation of Christopher Fowler’s dental nightmare story in “On Edge” (& the premiere of his new film, The Stay!) sitting alongside Ryan DeMoss; watching so many party-goers at the Raw Dog Screaming Press room party make Fridge of the Damned poems and recite them aloud (see the giant gallery of photos on Flickr for all of that!); sitting at the RDSP table at the Stoker Awards banquet and thrilling over hearing my pals’ names read as finalists for the award — several of them winning; hearing Jeff Strand deliver the best emcee job he’s done yet (he even snuck in a reference to my book, Licker!); presenting the Non-fiction Award in a jocular way with Michael Knost; catching up with everyone from Bruce Boston to Anderson Prunty, Weston Ochse to John Urbancik, Mikey Huyck to Adam Cesare, John Skipp to Jonathan Maberry, CV Hunt to Nikki Guerlain. And that’s just a paltry few out of them all. There were also too many weird and unnameable things that cannot be expressed (nor should they be) about fur-curiosity, horror-huffing, Bigfoot, frothy pink god knows what…and more and more and more. I’m leaving out WAY too much, and there are too many folks I haven’t mentioned yet. It was a lot more fun than any explanation can capture, so I’ll just share a few of my favorite snapshots found on my cell phone after the con below, and let the rest speak for itself. I think it’s pretty clear from the evidence, though: horror writers are classy and know how to laugh.
Kudos again to my friends at Raw Dog Screaming Press who ran a great room party and hosted the best table at the Stoker Banquet. It was a good year for RDSP: Lucy Snyder and Maria Alexander both won Stoker Awards! Some other good shapshots from the affair are up on the Fridge of the Damned Gallery, or the Raw Dog Screaming Press’ facebook page online.
Oh, and I almost forgot that I even did a sound recording. When I met an opera singer, I asked her to do the psycho shower scene music, and pressed record…