Posts Tagged ‘Horror Writers Association’

The illustration is by artist and poet and current Horror Writers Association trustee Marge Simon, who some years ago challenged me to write a poem about it.  The result, titled “Émile’s Ghosts” (the title was also Marge’s, for the illustration), was published originally accompanied by the picture in ILLUMEN in Spring 2008 and also appears in my 2011 poetry collection, VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE).  And now it, still with the illustration at my suggestion if Marge was willing, has been published again in the HWA’s October NEWSLETTER, a special expanded Halloween issue, with a full dozen poets included, including such names as Linda Addison and Alessandro Manzetti, Michael A. Arnzen, Christina Sng, Stephane M. Wytovich . . . the list goes on.  So for HWA members, just press “Gallery of Poets” in the October NEWSLETTER (fourth from the bottom in the issue’s contents), then scroll down and down until you see the picture, the only illustration that’s there, with the poem to its left.

It starts with a longish poem from Marge Simon, “Robert Browning and the Spider Poet,” and ends with a flurry of poetry by Christina Sng (a fun one, her second, “Catsitting on Halloween”).  No, Triana, don’t get any ideas.  But what it is is a “Gallery of Poetry” in a jam-packed October/Halloween edition of the HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER.  And, between the two poets already mentioned, are three mini-poems (two haikuish, the third a four-liner) by me.

But for extra fun, the three I chose were all published first on this very blog, on February 14 2013 (yes, that’s Valentine’s Day) and February 14 and September 24 2017.  And one at least, the first, is a love poem (well, sort of a love poem — a warning perhaps).  The others, perhaps, a bit more on the dark-humored side.  The poems themselves are titled “Best Appraise that Diamond Fast,” “The Vampiress’s Embarrassment,” and “Land of Milk and Honey,” and all may be seen (Marge Simon’s, Christina Sng’s, and mine) by pressing here.

A quick schedule update for StokerCon has been announced.  We may recall (January 29) that I had been slated for two panels at the early March Convention, on Friday for poetry and Saturday to moderate a session on vampires, but due to an early flight back home on Sunday morning could not be scheduled for a reading slot.  Kudos today go to
Kathleen Scheiner on the StokerCon staff who emailed this morning that there has been a sudden opening at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, for which I’ve emailed back “I’ll take it!” (or words to that effect).  So as of now, for those who wish to join me, I’ll be sharing the Saturday morning opening slot with Nathan Carson and Karen Bovenmyer.
As set up, I understand, these will be one-hour sessions with three readers each, giving us about fifteen minutes apiece allowing time for introductions, “class changes,” etc.  And so, from TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, I think I’ll be able to read a shorter piece, most likely “Carnival of the Animals” from Section III, “Intimations of Future Disaster,” in just about the time allowed.

So in one respect the second part of this saves some worry, plus lets me get to StokerCon without likely to be unrealized expectations.  Still TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH having missed the final ballot (cf. January 25, et al.) is a disappointment.  So how about watching a movie instead, maybe one not seen before, as listed in “11 Severely Underrated Horror Movies You Should Watch Tonight” via THE-LINE-UP.COM?  The fourth on the list, in fact, has been reviewed here (cf. “With Snow on the Ground Casey Surely Was Freezing in that Miniskirt, Though,” December 27 2015).  For the others, press here.

And for me, one thing that might cheer me up:  If you’ve read TOMBS and feel, at least, it did deserve being on the preliminary ballot, perhaps you could post a review of it on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, et al.


For those going to StokerCon at the beginning of March this year, the program (or at least a preliminary version of it) has been published.  Or more to the point for me, I’m listed on two panels.  Thus, the first of these is on Friday afternoon:  Dark Poets Face to Face Redux (Moderator: Marge Simon), 4:00 PM, A select panel of talented contemporary horror poets read and discuss each other’s works.  The audience is encouraged to participate and will be given copies of the poems for comments as well.  Panelists will be asked for three poems, 50 lines max per poem.  I will share all the poems with everyone in advance and they pick another poet’s poem to read to the audience.  They must pick 3 poems by different poets on the panel.  After reading it, they will state why they chose it, and/or what sparked their feelings about it.  Audience will have copies of all poems read.  The round continues until time is up, so every poet will have at least one or two poems read aloud and discussed.

And then, for Saturday:  Vampires:  The Next Generation (Moderator: James Dorr), 4:00 PM, Sparkly vampires are dead!  Long live ugly vampires!  With the popularity of young adult vampires in books, such as the TWILIGHT series, and television shows, such as THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, finally waning, where do vampires go next?  There are plenty of vampire romance novels.  But there’s also a swing back to the vampire as a monster, as seen in THE STRAIN books and television series and Justin Cronin’s PASSAGE trilogy.  What’s next for horror’s favorite undead bloodsucker?

As for this second, I don’t at this moment know who the other panelists will be, but insofar as, going back at least to the lamiae of ancient Rome, allure has traditionally been one of the vampire’s deadliest weapons it’s possible that not all vamps we’ll discuss will be physically ugly — albeit still dangerous.  For instance, I’m kind of into mermaid vampiresses at the moment, including the film THE LURE (see below, April 25 2017, but also in poetry in the current STAR*LINE), as well as, to continue with films of the past few years, Ana Lily Amirpour’s survivalist (sort of) A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AFTER DARK (see January 11 2015) and the gorgeous, if nevertheless unsparkly, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (June 26 2014).  Any ideas that you could add too?

And then, finally, for the “well, mostly” part of the headline, I will hopefully also be doing a short reading from TOMBS, but, since airline schedules have me arriving by nearly evening Thursday, and leaving around dawn Sunday morning, I had to pass up the first time slot offered.  Hopefully though one will be found for me (as set up, I believe, these will be hour sessions with three readers each, giving us about fifteen minutes apiece, so it may possibly take their finding some other already scheduled reader who’ll be willing to trade for a Thursday or Sunday slot).

2018 may be an unusual year.  One might recall the CAMPFIRE TALES windfall only a few days ago (see January 19, below), of more than ten dollars — this for a single anthology story.  A second royalty has just arrived in Wednesday’s mail from Elder Signs Press for more than six times that amount!  And while one may also recall last July 23 and a check that would cover a decent romantic dinner (although without drinks) for two, for two separate stories in two separate books aided perhaps by the fact they’d both received a brief showing on actual bookstore shelves, today’s check is for considerably more than that amount too.  And here’s the thing:  This one does not include the anthology stories (which happened to have no payout this period due to returns) but, also published by Elder Signs Press, covers only the first sales for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  I’ll also add that if you might be interested in buying TOMBS, you can click its picture in the center column; or if you’d just like to read some reviews for 8451b32b-e3c4-41cb-8f3e-7c6834708f13now, press here.

Then, speaking of TOMBS, voting also started Wednesday to pick the official 2017 Horror Writers Association Stoker(R) nominees.  Five can be voted for in each division with, I believe, eleven titles in all in “Fiction Collections” with TOMBS.  And one more item going back to the notice above, with Amazon and Barnes & Noble both still offering substantial print copy discounts which may be a factor, print sales for TOMBS in the previous six months appear to have outstripped electronic copies by more than ten to one!

Which is to say, despite yesterday’s “oopsie” at HWA Central, publicity continues on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH having made the preliminary Stoker(R) ballot.  For example, for publisher Elder Signs Press’s Facebook page press here (where, if you then scroll down and down, you’ll also find other posts about TOMBS, including one with a link to an interview by Heidi Angell).  For HWA Active and Lifetime members voting will start tomorrow, I think (with a hopefully corrected list of ballot candidates’ links/contact information), with an announcement of the final ballot early next month.  And for everyone, if you like TOMBS please consider giving it a review for Amazon, Goodreads, and other such fiction lovers’ gathering places.

Some days just aren’t one’s day.  Voting members of the Horror Writers Association will have just received, as of about the last hour, a “Special Internet Preliminary Ballot Mailer with Links” listing all books and authors in the various Stoker categories, with direct links or instructions for obtaining reading copies of the works.  As readers may know, one of these in the Fiction Collection category is my mosaic novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (cf. January 18, below — why a Fiction Collection and not a novel?  That’s how the categories work).  But, oops, one little problem on the links part of this.  When I looked up TOMBS, the link under it is for a different book altogether, Michael Hanson’s poetry collection WHEN THE NIGHT OWL SCREAMS.

So it goes.  I’m assured, however, that an updated list, to be sent Tuesday night after the actual ballots have been sent out, will have the correct information — so any HWA members reading this blog need not despair yet.  Or, better, to run around the system, if you’re a HWA voting member and wish to obtain a PDF copy of TOMBS to read, drop me a note to that effect with an email address to send it to under “comments” here.

It’s not an official nominee, that’s the first thing to say, but TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH has made the preliminary ballot from which the nominees will be selected.  Also, while TOMBS is a novel-in-stories, the ballot it’s on is for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection, because that’s the way the Horror Writers Association’s Stoker Award(R) rules work.  So big deal — if you’re an Active or a Lifetime Member of HWA, which means you can vote, please vote for it!  And it is a big deal, this being the premiere annual award for Horror, equivalent to the Nebula for science fiction or mystery’s Edgar — the Oscar, if one will, for fearsome print.  And while you’re at it, please buy a copy, spread the word, feature TOMBS on your blog (if you have a blog), and, if you think the book is at all worth while, please write a review for Amazon,Goodreads, B&N, et al.

Every bit helps in this, the cutthroat world of publishing, where books routinely disappear without leaving a ripple.  So even making it onto a preliminary ballot is super worth while!

So, here’s part of the official HWA announcement, while I will sit here being quietly proud:

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is pleased to announce the Preliminary Ballots for the 2017 Bram Stoker Awards®. The HWA (see ) is the premier writers organization in the horror and dark fiction genre, with over 1,300 members. We have presented the Bram Stoker Awards in various categories since 1987 (see ).

Works on this ballot are not referred to as “nominees” or “finalists”. Only works appearing on the Final Ballot may be referred to as “nominated works” and their authors as “finalists”.

The HWA Board and the Bram Stoker Awards® Committee congratulate all those appearing on the Preliminary Ballot. Notes about the voting process will appear after the ballot listing.

And now you’ve heard it too.

So once upon a time, say a month or so before October, the Horror Writers Association was setting up a series of Halloween-related member columns to post, given sufficient participation, one or more a day in October up to the big night.  And so I wrote up a piece on how, in a university community with a lively arts scene, those of us too old for trick-or-treating and/or jaded on parties can always find things like mini spooky film festivals to help celebrate the season.  Calling it “No Place to Go for Halloween?” I wrapped it together with bio and social link material plus a raft of info on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, as participants were instructed to do (that is, to include information on latest books, projects, etc. — also, if desired, to offer prizes for those who commented and the like) and sent it in.
Well. times were busy, and while I checked in at one point to see if my piece had been put on the schedule, I didn’t find it (or so I thought, though in retrospect it may be just that things weren’t final yet).  So I figured that maybe they couldn’t use it — no big deal, one can’t use everything.  So it goes.  And it being a busy time for me, I ended up failing to follow the feature myself after about the first week and a half .
Silly me!  So yesterday afternoon (today being exactly one week after Halloween) I received an email from Coordinator Michele Brittany with contact information on those who had commented on my column.  It had in fact been used after all on October 21!
And so, in lieu of having  announced it at the time, for those not members of the HWA or otherwise having missed “HALLOWEEN HAUNTS,” to see my part in it (and from there, if desired, to go to the other daily columns — just  click “HALLOWEEN” on the bar at the top) one may press here.

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