Let us scare you
I returned yesterday from a spectacular week in the East Coast. I went to the Bram Stoker convention sponsored by the Horror Writers Association and arrived a day early to meet with my agent and editors. They treated me to lunch, a cocktail party, and dinner. I felt so special and not in a little school bus kind of way.
This was my first visit to a genre convention. Last year the Bram Stoker convention was held in Los Angeles. Next year, it'll be in Toronto. But this year it was in the Newark Airport Hilton in Elizabeth, NJ, not exactly the garden spot of the Garden State. The hotel was surrounded by a Budweiser bottling plant, a car lot, a decrepit bakery, and a cemetery. If you like broken windows and grime, this is the zip code for you.
The big draws of the convention were the Bram Stoker awards, the people, and the numerous open bars. By Saturday night my liver was crying uncle.
I met David Morrell of Rambo, First Blood
fame, and Tom Monteleone, notable horror writer and novelist. Tom also wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a Novel,
a great resource analyzing the nuts and bolts of writing a genre novel. Most of his advice will be heresy to you literary scribblers.
David won a Bram Stoker for his new novel, Creepers. The Bram Stoker award is a cool statue of a two-story haunted house, or as the wags call it: the Duplex of the Damned.
Tom gave a wonderful impromptu (or so he said) speech about what drew him to the horror genre. It started, as most things do, when he was a child. Tom found a horror comic book depicting gruesome mutilations, the dead rising from the grave, and the torturing of the innocent. He had never seen such repugnant, ghastly doings--and he loved it.
So what attracts you to the world of monsters and the undead?