Post Convention Blues

The WHC convention in New Orleans is over. So sad. The Bram Stoker awards have been announced (Special congrats to Jonathan Maberry and Charles Day), the parties are memories, and only the after taste of the fine Creole cuisine lingers. Conventions, especially horror conventions, are times of unrestrained fun with informative panels and readings interspersed. If you can’t find fun in New Orleans, you can’t find fun anywhere.

In the early 70’s I lived way south of NO on the Miss. River in Buras. I had to drive to No for good food, partying, and guitar strings. I spent much of my paycheck there, but dining at K. Paul’s, Commander’s Palace, Brennan’s, and many other restaurants was a lasting memory and helped shape me as a chef in Atlanta. Even the small dives had excellent food. One great place across the street from the Hotel Monteleone was the Checkered Parrot. Great gumbo, jambalaya and Po Boys.  The Crillo Room in the hotel was pricy but excellent. My fish was delicious and my asparagus just the way I like it, with a bit of crunch.

I concentrated on meeting people, hanging out in the dealer’s room with Angelic Knight Press and Damnation Books, both of whom are selling my books, but my wife explored the city. The River Walk and its River Trolley were a great way to see the river and visit the Aquarium. The Charles Street Trolley allowed a nice ride to the city’s western wards and their picturesque homes. The city, at least what parts of it I saw, seemed to have resurged from Hurricane Katrina quite well. Our view of the river from the hotel was excellent. I have to admit, after seven years in Tucson, the humidity in NO almost killed me.

Back to WHC. The panels this year ran from C0-Authoring, Anthologies, and Characters, to the Zombie Apocalypse and YA markets – something for everyone. There were parties by Heather Graham and her band, Dark and Bookish, and Dead Dog Press, not to mention the Stoker Awards banquet and party. Between the meet and greet party and the free luncheon on Friday, some bucks were saved on food, saving more for fine dining.

Many authors had readings. Unfortunately, mine was at 9 pm Friday night during the Heather Graham bash. After ten minutes and no one showing up (Sad face), I joined Heather’s party and had some fun. I don’t blame anyone. I would have preferred heather’s party too. The Mass Autograph session was a huge success. The room was packed.

My main two reasons for going to WHC 2013 were meeting friends and making new acquaintances, and the pitch sessions. I pitched a novel to Blood Bound Books. They’re reading it now. I also pitched to Samhain Publishing. I’ve made three sales from pitch sessions, so they’re worth the effort.

I probably won’t make it back to NOLA very soon. Our trip from Tucson to Miss. to see friends and have a book debut and on to New Orleans and back to Tucson, took ten long days. I arrived home exhausted from the ordeal but happy I made the effort. My last royalty check just about covered the trip. I guess I’ll have to sell more books!

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