A Bunch of Writers in Vegas, What Could Go Wrong?

The first ever StokerCon was quite an experience. I have to say that it was very well run. Everything I participated in went smoothly and the volunteers were all friendly, helpful and professional. Next year’s StokerCon will be on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA and I expect it will be amazing! I really appreciate the chance to take pitches and this year’s bunch were all excellent, read the guidelines, did their homework and brought their A game.

Of course having an RDSP title nab a Stoker was certainly one of the highlights. Lucy A. Snyder‘s collection While the Black Stars Burn is packed full of fabulous stories. We’re honored to work with her and happy to see her recognized. If you haven’t read it yet you should really pick up a copy from Amazon or from us.

There has been a lot of drama surrounding the HWA this year and some of it was addressed during the Bram Stoker Awards ceremony. Personally, I’m confident things are moving in a positive direction. Tim Waggoner had the best advice when he accepted his award for Mentor of the Year which was: just concentrate on paying forward and everything will be all right. stokercon1Tim’s generosity is a model we can all aspire to. If everyone did just a little more of that, the results would be amazing. As usual Jeff Strand kept the Stoker ceremony entertaining. He cracks me up!

RDSP tends to travel in a pack which means there’s always fun and laughs to be had. It was great to catch up with Maria Alexander, Michael Arnzen, Kristin Dearborn, Lucy Snyder and Stephanie Wytovich. I couldn’t ask for better, more hardworking (but also fun) comrades. They make our press a team and I love working with them. Also, exciting projects can come from a weekend like this so expect some big announcements soon!

It was awesome to meet Kate Jonez from Omnium Gatherum in person. Even a 20 minute chat with someone working in the same trenches as you is enough to inspire you to plow through the hours of thankless tasks that await. Omnium Gatherum is doing great things and I have loved every book of theirs that I’ve read. Though I did not get to talk to her for very long, Monica Kuebler from Rue Morgue is someone I have long wanted to meet and was inspiring to talk to. And I always enjoy seeing James Chambers.

It was also at the top of my list to meet the people from RothCo Press and I was happy to find them very approachable and knowledgeable. They package books for they think have TV and film potential and then work to get them optioned. I’m not familiar with many companies doing that so was fascinated to learn a little bit about it.

stokercon4Shout out to SHU peeps I got to hang out with: Joe Borelli, Venessa Giunta and Kerrie Leigh Grady. Joe recorded a fantastic edition of the Creature Cast podcast with Stephanie Wytovich which will be online soon. The episode explores the carnal side of Horror and includes a reading from her latest poetry collection Brothel and lots of hilarious and informative writer anecdotes.

Probably the best thing about cons is meeting random people that you just connect with. I enjoyed sharing work stories with John Ebersole and Michael Tugendhat. Shane Mckenzie was very friendly and kind enough to sign a couple books for me. Al Barrera always asks great questions and keeps me on my toes. It’s worth checking out his books. I enjoyed Joe-la Dowdy’s reading of a chilling story based on a prompt from Michael Arnzen. I also heard great ideas from C.A. Suleiman, Lee Murray, Lisa Lane and Kristopher Triana. Look them up if you get the chance!