To make a long story short, I loved World Horror. I bought way too many books, but the enthusiasm of meeting so many cool authors and people in the biz got the better of me. It's one of my favorite Cons yet. The horror community is great. The authors are fun and talented, the atmosphere is relaxed, and everyone is open and helpful. For instance, I was at a reading by Heather Graham (not the movie actress, the writer), and she read a few short chapters, then asked, "What are you guys writing? Does anyone want to read some of their own work?" I'd never seen that. Unfortunately, I'd been walking around with a story in my pocket the day before, but at that moment, I was empty handed. Still, a guy in the audience read the first few pages of his manuscript, which was actually very cool.
Jeff Strand was the MC at the awards banquet, and he did a great job. Very witty, very funny dude, Jeff is. We got to sit with a few people up for Stoker awards, including JoSelle Vanderhooft, a local poet of some renown and Michael Calvillo, who has a book called "I Will Rise" out now.
After the banquet, I talked for quite a while with Steven Shrewsbury, a writer who does fantasy and horror. His readings are wild, unrestrained one-man plays, and he's been known to break furniture and smash whiskey glasses from time to time. Really nice guy.
Later in the Con, I got to hang out with some of the great statesmen of horror, such as Mort Castle and Adam Niswander. They laid some heavy wisdom on the younger folks in the room, wich was amazing.
Anyway, great Con. If World Horror is someplace nearby, I'll certainly try to be there in the future. And I'll have a much more grotesque story for the gross out!
Take care, everyone!