Conventions come and they go, especially in my life. I do a lot of them in order to promote myself and my books to the general horror/reading public. Mostly, this is because I’m horrible at doing interviews and podcasts and generally being social when I’m not behind a selling table.
I attended Scares that Care Weekend down in Williamsburg, Virginia. I had fun, which is usually the case, but I have to say that this event was somewhat special. Most of you know that I’m a father (and step-father and grandfather), but if you really know me, you also know that being a father is one of the things that frightens me most (right behind dying). And to know that there’s an organization like Scares that Care who embodies the horror that I love and is specifically designed to help sick children and their families is outstanding. Mayhap it even warms this cold dead heart… and that said, you know, the convention stands out and hopefully I’m able to attend next year as well.
It wasn’t a perfect convention (none of them ever are), but you know how I roll; since it wasn’t a total suckfest, the minor problems won’t get mentioned beyond this short paragraph, except on whatever survey comes out. Needless to say, nothing shitty happened to detract from the convention at all, unless you count two shots of whiskey on top of Alfredo sauce making me hurl on Saturday. Granted, the convention had nothing to do with that.
So, where to really start? How about the haunted house run by The Red Vein Army? This thing was built in 22 hours in two adjoining hotel rooms, and was seriously fucking cool. No, I don’t mean it scared me, really, which is hard to do, but they had a kick-ass story attached to the event, and a few good jump scares in there. There was a line-warmer, a bloody nurse, who was an absolute riot. The man never broke character while on the clock, though he did make at least one person break down in tears. The picture there to the left is the whole cast and they were fantastic. They raised a serious chunk of change for the Scares that Care organization Check out their website, give them some love.
The convention also had a ton of pretty cool items up for silent auction. I didn’t take pictures of them all (there were literally dozens), and while the wife and I donated money over the weekend, I sure wish I’d have had more to get some of the items. They had a few Tim Curry items that were just made to be hanging on the wall in my office. Not to mention a Strain poster signed by the entire cast. Yeah, I like that show for what it is, and if you don’t, feel free to go back to The Vampire Diaries.
There were celebrities, which as you know aren’t a thing for me. But, for those keeping score, saw David Naughton, Sid Haig, Kim Coates, Robert Maillet, Lochlyn Munro, Larry Drake, and Tiny Lister. There were others, but I didn’t see them. In all fairness, one of these days I’m going to have to get David Naughton to sign something werewolf for me, and Lister to say pretty much anything from Friday, in character as Deebo.
More exciting for me, naturally, were the authors present. I’m pretty much one of those people who doesn’t say shit to anyone that I don’t know personally and this weekend wasn’t an exception to that. I did get to speak to Tim Waggoner, Jay Wilburn, Armand Rosamilia, Hunter Shea, Jacob Haddon, and John Boden from Shock Totem. I stood a few feet away from F. Paul Wilson, rode in an elevator with Jeff Strand, and nearly ran Brian Keene over once. I think he’s taller, but I’m wider, so it could have been ugly. Of course, I didn’t speak to any of them, because, well, I don’t know them. Plus, Saturday night was dairy beats whiskey night, which ended poorly. And yes, I understand I’ll never get to know them if I don’t speak, but we all have our crosses, don’t we?
Another highlight… apparently my wife’s “werepup,” Willow, freaked out a maid. As in, the maid ran from the room, screaming. After the staff calmed her down, we returned to the room to find Willow propped up in bed, watching television. There’s just something awesome about having a hotel staff be just as creepy as you are. Check out the picture here… and to the first person who says that damn thing looks like me, I’ll personally introduce my foot to your ass at some point. To quote Sgt. Barnes: “I’m personally gonna take an interest in seeing you suffer. shit you not.”
As always, a thank you to Post Mortem Press for publishing my work and letting me tag along to these interesting gatherings. Scares that Care Weekend fostered a great environment for an outstanding cause, and I can’t wait to go back next year. Be sure to check out the rest of the pictures over at the Scares that Care Weekend Photo Gallery!