Blood & Corpses: The 2014 World Horror Convention Closes

Convention over.  Saturday had also been set aside for wandering through the Dealers Room, chatting with editors and publishers, notably with Chris and Joe Morey at Dark Regions Press and Kim Richards of Damnation Books, in the one case about getting STRANGE MISTRESSES and DARKER LOVES back into print whether as they are now or possibly as a large single volume combined edition with even perhaps a new story or two added.  As for the other, THE GARDEN contract will expire this year and I’m considering the possibility of publishing a “director’s cut” edition of the tale as originally written, without the changes by Damnation’s editor (which would, among other things, emphasize the Gothic element more), so the question is whether Damnation would like to keep their edition in print as well.  Also briefly discussed was the possibility of adding a note to TELLING TALES OF TERROR (Damnation Books, 2012 — cf. January 7 2013, December 3 2012, et al.) to mention that the Introduction is written by a Bram Stoker Award® nominee (that is, me).

Then Sunday morning brought panel time with Nancy Kilpatrick, B. E. Scully, and me (having now lost a third panelist on the way) on “How to Suck the Best:  Writing Vampire Fiction.”  Nancy asked if there were new things to say about vampires, implying “yes” by noting she had recently edited an anthology of new vampire tales while I mentioned my two DAILY SF vampire stories, “Casket Girls” and “Naughty or Nice” (see April 17 2014, et al. and December 28 2011, et al.), and B. E. Scully mentioned Margaret Adler’s VAMPIRES ARE US as a recent nonfiction treatment; all of us brought up historical aspects (I mentioned the case of Mercy Brown, the last of the actual, or at least suspected, American vampires); English Literature (including Lord Byron and Dr. Polidori); “problems” that might beset modern vampires (one of which could be living up to the image non-vampires get from movies); and, getting back to the search for “new” stories, how to pick and choose from “known” vampire lore (some of it contradictory) and explain away the parts you don’t use.

That winds it down.  Following was the “HWA Member Meeting,” but this year I skipped it in favor of the guilty-pleasure “Smut, Gore, and More:  Romance and Erotica in Horror.”  After all, I still remembered the Bedlam Sisters’ circus.  And that was that.  The weather was warm and sunny (contrasted with the rain of Thursday and Friday) so I walked a bit, finding a grocery to buy Sunday’s supper and the next morning’s pre-travel breakfast.  Crossing the Willamette River just for the heck of it.  Stopping into the closing ceremonies.  And then, Sunday night, going on a “Beyond Bizarre Walking Tour” of the older part of Portland, with emphasis on ghosts and the seamier side of local history.  This was fun, even if not in my opinion as interesting as the similar tour of New Orleans’s French Quarter I took last year, but nevertheless an apt way to end a horror convention.

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