Update from World Horror Convention 2011 in Austin, TX

I’m writing this from the lobby of the Doubletree Hotel in Austin.

It has been a great couple of days at World Horror Convention 2011 and I am sad it’s the last day for me. (I’ll be leaving Sunday morning and miss the last day of events.)

I arrived in Austin on Wednesday evening after a long day of travel from Ottawa and passed a generally quiet evening.

On Thursday, I walked around downtown Austin with ChiZine Publications authors David Nickle and Claude Lalumière. We explored some out-of-the-way places (great fodder for horror writesr), walked under Austin’s Bat Bridge and had a good time exploring the Museum of the Weird. I went out to dinner with some friends and was longer than I thought I would be, so missed the opening events. After my walk in a hot, sunny city that morning, I was in bed early.

Friday was a blast, beginning with the “Why Write Short Stories” panel, which featured my friends Suzanne Church and Claude Lalumière. One of the things I took away from this panel was most first scenes in short stories are throat-clearing before you tell the real story.

I then attended the Guest of Honor interview with Brett Alexander Savory and Sandra Kasturi, my bosses at ChiZine Publications. After that I sat on my panel, “What Happens to Your Books After It Sells?,” where I discussed my experience as Marketing Director for ChiZine Publications with other editors, publishers and authors to try to let aspiring writers know what to expect in the publishing process.

After some time on my own to re-charge and dinner with friends, I did a reading at the Damnation Books launch party from “Silverman’s Game.” The ChiZine Publications’ launch party followed, which was packed, loud and hot, but a great party. Considering we were not in our backyard of Toronto, we really packed in a quite a crowd and the feedback on the work we’ve been doing was positive and enthusiastic.

I just came from the “What Do Editors Want?” panel, where Sandra was a panelist. I’d hope for a bit more Q&A, but the panel was educational to understand the world and point of view of publishers and editors.

I’m looking forward to the panels later today and parties tonight. The only trouble is the hotel is filling up with college kids on some kind of fraternity/sorority weekend booze getaway. I’m not sure dressed-in-black horror fans and horny drunk college kids is a good mix.

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