Thursday, January 24, 2008

Horror: What scares us and why do we like it so much?

It seems to me that many people never get a chance to attend as many conventions as they like -- if any. So I thought I'd bring a convention to everyone. One of the panels I participated in at Confusion 2008, along with Suzanne Church, was on the topic of horror and what scares us.

This seems like a good place to pose the question, and look for a few answers. What is it that scares us in horror? Are there particular things? Are people scared by horror fiction any longer? What is the attraction to horror? Is it being scared or is it something else? Do we need gore or some visceral element to make horror horrifying?

I could go on with the questions, but these seem like a good starting point. I'll try to round up a group of panelists, but everyone should consider themselves panelists and offer answers or pose questions.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stoker Preliminary Ballot

The Stoker Award preliminary ballot list has been announced (not the nominations), and in tribute to all of the authors and artists involved, both Horrors Beyond 2 and High Seas Cthulhu made the list of 10 titles.

For those unfamiliar with the process, you might wonder what does it mean to be on the preliminary ballot? It is something like being in the presidential primaries. At this moment, ballots are being mailed to Active members of the Horrors Writers Association. Members vote in each of the categories (HB2 and HSC are in the Superior Achievement in an Anthology category). Once the ballots are returned, the list of 10 titles will be culled to the final list -- those are the Stoker nominations. And from there it goes onto selecting a winner. Nonetheless, it is great to be in the race at all, and for both titles to be included.

Naturally, I invite any Active HWA members to contact me for review copies of either or both books. And of course, they are in the local bookstores for those simply interested in reading the books -- which I hope you do!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Conventions and Release Parties

For those who haven't read it on my website, I will be attending High Voltage ConFusion 08 in Troy, Michigan, Jan. 18-20th. I will be on several fiction panels (listed on my website here) and guesting a Call of Cthulhu scenario and a Pulp Cthulhu scenario. I'll also be autographing and participating in the Writer's Workshop.

I'm also very pleased to announce that there will be a book release party for The Strange Cases of Rudolph Pearson at Omegacon, AL. I will be attending that convention as well, participating in panels and present at the release party. This is a vast convention, running 24 hours (day and night), with gaming, events, parties, and much more. If your nearby, do drop by.

For those looking for extra information, sign up for my newsletter -- it includes inside scoops about upcoming projects, news, excerpts, and a contest.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tales Out of Miskatonic University & Contest

The Necronomicon, Arkham, and Miskatonic University are some of H. P. Lovecraft's most famous and popular creations. He has a long list to his name -- for having written so few works. But these certainly stand out. I wonder how many people have spotted an MU shirt in a film or television program (that wasn't related to Lovecraft). Bumper stickers, hats, sweatshirts, bookmarks, t-shirts, dice bags, the list goes on and on.

And as luck would have it, I'm compiling a collection of stories about Miskatonic University for Mythos Books. Undoubtedly, many of you have guessed the title from above (or the present working title) Tales Out of Miskatonic University. As the anthology is in progress, I can't say too much about it. Oddly, the setting is MU, but the subjects vary, hopefully providing a bit of a tour of the university through stories. The stories will skip across time, and likely include a few favorites.

For those who have read Herbert West -- Reanimator, then you'll know that Lovecraft spent quite a bit of time sneaking around MU, in and out of labs, and dealing with quite a few professors. I wonder what are some of other people's favorite Lovecraft tales that mention MU. Herbert West, as pulply as it is, is one of my favorites.


As for the MU logo, that is just something I put together to have an image on the post -- and to make sure I didn't step on anyone's copyrights. As an experiement, I thought over the next couple of months, I'd gather posts (here) from students of MU. That is to say, people are welcome to offer replies as though they were students at MU today, and in those brief posts, explain what an weird school MU is to attend. Depending upon length, I will take up to 5 (or more) of the posts and include them in the book. And in return, you'll get a free copy of the book (we're talking short, but interesting blog posts). The posts are likely to be edited by me, and you will retain the rights to your post. However, I cannot be responsible if any posts happen to be similar to an author's stories. So here is an easy way to get into print. Make the posts clever and original.

And everyone is welcome to post as many times as you like, but only one post per final person will be selected.