NOLA and the WHC

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So a week has passed since our return from New Orleans, and I realize this post is a little late. When the muse strikes, I must abide. I’ll get to that in a bit.

When we started planning our weekend in NOLA for the World Horror Convention and Bram Stoker Awards Weekend, we didn’t know what to expect. I stayed in a great little house in Treme with Mercedes M. Yardley, Mason Bundschuh, and Bailey Hunter, and I couldn’t have asked for a better set of roommates. When we weren’t rubbing elbows at the convention, we were home writing or reading; a mid-day nap wasn’t uncommon either.

On Friday, I had a few hours to kill, so I walked to the bus stop to head back to our house. I watched the bus pull away just as I turned the corner, money in hand. There wouldn’t be another for at least thirty minutes. So, I headed back into the French Quarter by myself and wandered. It was the best decision I’d made up to that point.

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The cat at Cafe Beignet

The city has so much to offer in history and culture. I stopped and browsed some of the used book stores tucked away inside 150-year-old buildings and made my way to a tiny cafe called Cafe Beignet, where I sat with a coffee and fried deliciousness, flipped open my notebook, and wrote for an hour as a local cat weaved through my legs and some street musicians jammed their jazz across the street. I couldn’t remember the last time I tried to accomplish anything without my computer or iPad. I felt free, and in a way, connected to the city.

The convention was a blast, as well. I attended a few great panels, including the future of zombies in literature, and the rise of Young Adult horror (look for a post on this later). I also had the opportunity to meet some really cool people, including Jonathan Maberry, Mort Castle, and Glenn Chadbourne. It was great to see some of the people I had met at Killercon back in September, as well. I’m looking forward to seeing most of them this September.

The best part of the weekend, though, was spending time with my travel mates. We walked. A lot. We sat in the square and listened to great music. We ended up in a dive bar for open mic comedy/burlesque show (at least the first half was pretty good; wish I could say the same for the latter). These people are awesome. Without them, I would be staring at a blank computer screen, pulling my hair out.

When one of us needed to write, we wrote. When one of us felt stuck, the rest of us helped to inspire through brainstorming session and writing prompts.

I know I’m leaving a lot out here, but I must get back to my novel. Yup, that’s what my friends did for me. I’m back on track.

Cheers to Fears,

M. R. C.

Zombified!

Yup, that’s me, Zombie Czar!

Though the entire Killercon weekend was a blast, one of my most interesting experiences was meeting Carter Reid, creator of The Zombie Nation. I’d always wondered what I would look like after the zombie apocalypse curses the Earth, forcing me to roam hungry when human flesh falls to short supply…

The Zombie Nation features a comic, blog, and the opportunity for you to get your personalized zombie art.

Thanks, Carter!

Check out The Zombie Nation (thezombienation.com)

Cheers to Fears,

M. R. C.

Surviving Killercon 4

Over the weekend, I attended Killercon 4 at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.  Not only did the conference offer an amazing list of honored guests, author and editor panels, and readings from many established authors in the horror genre, it was an opportunity for me to meet a lot of great people and make some new friends.

The amount of talent was never in short supply. Among the guests of honor were Jack Ketchum, William F. Nolan, F. Paul Wilson, Brian Keene, Don D’Auria, Mignon Fogarty, and Kelley Armstrong. Other guests included John Skipp, Edward Lee, and, of course, convention organizer, Wrath James White. I had the chance to speak with most of them, and I’ve got to say, they were some of the friendliest people I have ever met.

I have to thank everyone that was there, though, for making this the best first horror convention. The horror writing community is full of some of the coolest, supportive artists I have ever met.

On Friday night, I participated in my first erotic horror flash fiction contest, in which I read a story written only the night before. Though my story went over the allowed time, and I didn’t place, I received some awesome feedback from many of the other writers. Overall, the experience was fun, and I can’t wait to do it again.

The Shock Totem team was there, too, and it was the first time I had ever met most of them. So, I have to give a special shout out to all of them: Ken, Sarah, Nick, John, and Mercedes. Thanks for making me feel welcome in your group. 🙂

What a great weekend! There are more pictures out there somewhere. When I find out who has them, I’ll post some of the good ones.

Cheers to Fears,

M. R. C.

KillerCon 4 and Other News

(photo credit: KillerCon.com)

Well it’s official: I will be attending KillerCon 4 on September 20-23 at the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas.  I am beyond excited about this event.  While the organizers don’t have a lot of information about the conference posted on the website yet, there is already an impressive list of special guests, including horror legends William F. Nolan and Jack Ketchum. All you horror writers and fans out there that will be in the Las Vegas area during these dates should check out the KillerCon website and sign up early!

In Other News…

I had to take a short break from writing the endings to End of Harvest for the week because of a flash fiction piece I started working on for a contest through horror magazine Shock Totem (If you’re not familiar with this ‘zine, check it out!).  But, I have one of those endings finished and will start working of the other two in the upcoming week, so stay tuned and look for them in the near future.  If you haven’t read the beginning of the story yet, check it out so you can help decide how it will end.

Read This Book:

I recently picked up the book The Girl Next Door, by Jack Ketchum, and spent an entire day reading.   What a book!  It is a horrific story about the torture of a teenage girl by her sadistic aunt, told through the eyes of the boy next door.  As much as I couldn’t stand to bear witness to many of the events, I couldn’t put it down.  If you’ve never read anything by Ketchum, get to the bookstore and pick this one up.  Be prepared to throw it across the room a few times (though you’ll run to pick it right back up again).

I will be working on some full book reviews in the near future, so I’ll be sure to post links to these as they’re finished.

Has anyone stumbled across any horror or dark fantasy lately that is a must read/see?

Cheers to Fears,

M. R. C.