By Jason Harris
Welcome to the second entry with pictures from the 2014 New England Author Expo, which happened this past Wednesday night (July 30) in the Harborview Ballroom at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA.
Find out more about Madore on her website here.
Find out more about Phillips on his website here.
Find out more about Hastings on his website here.
Find out more about Boudreau on her website here.
Find out more about Illebode on her website here.
Find out more about Dimbleby on his website here.
Find out more about Ross on his website here.
Find out more about deNapoli on her website here.
Find out more about Swiss on her website here.
Find out more about Mason and his books on his website here.
Find out more about Stephens on his website here.
Find out more about Barker on her website here.
Find out Greig’s book, A Dog to Remember, here.
Find out more about Greenleaf on her website here.
Find out more about Johnson on her website here.
Find out more about Castle on her website here.
Find out more about Wilkerson on her website here.
Find out more about Feitelberg on his website here.
Find out more about Lassiter on her website here.
Find out more about Chase on her website here.
Find out more about Maxwell on her website here.
Find out more about Doyan on her Amazon page here.
Find out more about Hambley on her website here.
For the people who I didn’t get your picture, I do apologize. I hope to see you at the next event so I can take your picture at that time.
The New England Authors Expo will be attended by authors, artists, booksellers, publishers, and many more guests, companies and organizations, which makes it the perfect time for readers to meet and talk to authors and others in the publishing world about books and the written word. For an entire list of who will be there, click here.
Some of the authors and artists in attendance are Stacey Longo, Rob Watts, Dale T. Phillips, Vlad V., Michele McPhee, Nicholas Conley, Eric Dimbleby, Guntis Goncarovs, Edith Maxwell, Ursula Wong, A.J. Kane, and S.L. Johnson.
The Expo operates from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and takes place in the Harborview Ballroom at the Danversport Yacht Club. The yacht club is located at 161 Elliott Street (Rt. 62) in Danvers, MA. There will be a free gift bag to the first 100 visitors. This event is FREE.
The second Rhode Island Comic Con held at the Rhode Island Convention Center was a big success. The attendance for this year was around 33,000, which was close to 11,000 more than last year’s convention. There were some issues with pre-sale tickets and a few celebrities such as Anthony Michael Hall, Jett Lucas, and Nichelle Nichols weren’t able to make it because of the gunman who shot up Terminal 3 at the Los Angeles International Airport Friday morning. Nichols felt so bad about missing the convention that she has already signed on for next year’s convention.
Comic Con had the entire convention center this year so the organizers were able to make more room in the aisles so there was plenty of room to browse the vendor tables and get pictures of the cosplay that were on display around the entire convention. There were people dressed as characters from movies, television, comic books, video games and books.
I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures.
For writers, the process of actually writing a book is one of the most painfully brutal tasks imaginable. It’s a meticulous, painstaking, heart-stopping (and often heartbreaking) procedure that truly changes a person.
See, once the plucky creative-minded person decides that he or she has aspirations to become (of all the things in the world) a writer … and once that foolish, foolish person decides to embark on the god-awful, painful task of writing a book, well … that creative person quickly becomes wrapped up in his or her own world. And inside that world, it often seems like the only thing you’re working toward is that last page, that final period.
Once you finish the book, you’ll be done, right? The world will just end, won’t it? Everything will be complete! Your life is finished!
No, not quite.
As it turns out, completing your book isn’t the end of the story. No, not by a long shot. Now that your work is out there – now that this collection of inner demons that you’ve been carrying around in your head is finally out in the world, and it’s available for people to read — now, it’s time to get YOURSELF out there. It’s time to meet people, form new friendships and make new connections. You’ve done the introverted part, and you did it well — but now, it’s time to gather up your extroverted energies and, uh … mingle.
But … mingling? How are a bunch of socially awkward WRITERS suppose to MINGLE?
See, this is why going to fiction/horror/comic etc. conventions can be difficult, but it’s also why the good conventions are so much fun. Conventions force all of us introverted writers, artists and other creative types to get to know each other and interact. Above all else, these conventions force us to get out of our writing shells.
This is also why NECON (short for the Northeastern Writers Conference) is by far the most entertaining, lively and just plain entertaining convention I’ve ever had the opportunity to attend. Yes, it certainly features a smorgasbord of genre authors, artists and publishers, as well as plenty of enthusiastic genre fiction fans. But what makes NECON unique is that, really, it’s a surprisingly small, personal con; within a few hours, it’s as if you’ve known everyone there for years.
At NECON, the walls are down. It’s a highly casual affair, wherein all the big names (for example: Jack Ketchum, F. Paul Wilson, Kealan Patrick Burke, Christopher Golden, Brian Keene, etc.), small names and middling names are all on equal ground, and everyone freely interacts with one another. Everybody shares beers, trades corny jokes and gets to discuss their passions. Throughout my NECON experience, if there was one thing I heard quoted over and over again, it was this:
“Necon isn’t just a con, it’s a family.”
Yes, that’s definitely the feeling that one gets from attending. It doesn’t feel like a conference at all. Really, it just feels like a family reunion – the good kind, the kind where everyone cheerfully pokes fun at each other and catches up on what they’ve been doing for the last year.
For genre writers, the Northeastern Writers Conference in Rhode Island is something you hear a lot about, and always in highly enthusiastic tones. Put on every year by the Booth family, including founder Bob Booth (who is affectionately referred to as Papa Necon). Booth is a truly inspirational figure; currently battling lung cancer. Bob and his family’s perseverance is absolutely amazing to see.
NECON is the Booth family’s baby, and what a creation it is; most people I’ve spoken to refer to NECON as “the best con,” or “the only con I go to every year,” and now that I’ve attended, I can definitely understand why.
(Before we move on, allow me to insert an embarrassing side note and a tip: Yes, NECON is pronounced Knee-Con, not En-E-Con, Neck-on and definitely not Neeh-Cone. This seems obvious, but I’ll admit I actually made sure not to say Knee-Con out loud until I’d heard someone else say it first. Oh, the shame, the shame…)
Now, how did my weekend get started?
Okay, so I made the two-hour drive down from New Hampshire on Thursday afternoon. Immediately upon opening the doors, the welcoming nature of the whole event was made extraordinarily apparent. Once I got my badge, collected my bearings and started emptying all the empty candy/chips/highly-stereotypical-road-snack wrappers out of my bag, I was immediately greeted by Mark Angevine and artist Duncan Eagleson, both of whom did a terrific job at explaining everything, telling me the history of Camp Necon and showing me around. Seriously, I really can’t emphasize enough how great these guys were; I enjoyed many intriguing conversations with both of them throughout the weekend. From there, Mark offered me a cup of coffee – very, very strong coffee. I got the pleasure of enjoying a brief demonstration of his talented musical abilities, in particular his undeniable skill at playing the shakuhachi, an ancient Japanese end-blown flute.
From there, I met up with Scott Goudsward of the New England Horror Writers, a great guy who really does an admirable job at organizing all of these group events. There was a whole slew of NEHW members all over NECON, so all of us got to freely navigate throughout the convention. Sometimes at the table, sometimes at the panels or sometimes just walking around, you could always spot an NEHW member somewhere. Among those in attendance were Charles Day (The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief), Bracken McLeod (Mountain Home), Tracy L. Carbone (Restitution), David Price (Dead in the USA), Kristi Petersen Schoonover (Bad Apple), Michael Arruda (In the Spooklight), Eric Dimbleby (The Klinik) and Scott and Trisha Wooldrige (UnCONventional), as well as Jason Harris and Stacey Longo Harris, owners of the horror-themed Connecticut bookstore Books and Boos, which I’ll be doing a reading at on August 24.
Now, NECON is a four-day event , so naturally, there’s an enormous amount of great moments to talk about. However, since I’m far too aware of my own tendency to turn every article into a novel-length work (yes, I’m one of those guys, ugh), I’m going to force myself to whittle this down into a neat, tidy, manageable length. To accomplish this daunting task, I’m going to write out a concise list of highlights:
1. The Rick Hautala memorial. Rick, who was famously known as “Maine’s other horror writer,” was the author of over 30 novels and short stories; his recent death this past March was an enormous shock to many in the literary community. As a regular attendee of NECON – an event that was, according to his close friends, “Rick’s Christmas,” – most of the first night of NECON 33 was devoted to a moving tribute of the man and his work. Touching speeches were given by many of Rick’s friends and loved ones, including Christopher Golden and Rick’s wife, Holly Newstein Hautala. I’m sorry to say that I only had the opportunity to meet Rick once, back at Anthocon 2012. However, even in my limited interactions with him, Rick’s kindness and generosity were truly remarkable, especially for someone who so many young horror writers (myself included!) have looked up to for so many years; he was truly one of a kind. Rest in peace, Rick.
2. For the next highlight, going back to speeches; I can’t go without mentioning that every speech given by Mike Myers and Rio Youers was absolutely gut-bustingly hilarious. Great job, guys.
3. The Hawaiian shirt contest! Ridiculous as it might sound, this was totally one of my most anticipated events of the weekend. Since I consider myself to be something of a Hawaiian shirt connoisseur (and with that, the crowd groans), I was excited to give this a whirl. As it was, my shirt – a white and red number – placed in third, winning me a set of googly eyes. I was happy with third place, since my fellow top fivers (including the winner, Barry Dejasu) had some really terrific shirts. My personal favorite was probably Errick Nunnally’s Spider-Man number, which displayed almost all of the major Amazing Spider-Man issues of the last fifty years.
4. “That Damn Game Show,” hosted by Craig Shaw Gardner and Doug Winter. This is the sort of event that could only happen at NECON; a relentlessly silly “game show” with a head-smacking number of “simple rules.” Truly, an enormous amount of fun.
5. The artists’ reception – complete with coffee! – where everyone got to chance to spend some time exploring all of the amazing art pieces at the show, and discussing them with the artists themselves. Artists in attendance included Jill Bauman, Caniglia, Stephen Gervais and the aforementioned Duncan Eagleson. Overall, I probably spent the most time speaking with him. Duncan is an exceptionally interesting guy with a lot of great insights, as well as being a truly remarkable artistic talent; his Lovecraftian “Homo Avis” piece was absolutely fascinating.
6. …and finally, the courtyard! Why the courtyard? Because when it comes down to it, those nights in the courtyard – the long, late nights spent drinking an ocean of alcoholic beverages, chatting with friends and eating saugies – are truly where the warm, beating heart of NECON becomes most alive. The friendly, even affectionate atmosphere of the whole event is truly something special.
Special. That’s what NECON is, really — special.
And this, right here – right when I’m beginning to really, really enjoy reminiscing about what an amazing time NECON 33 was – is where I’m going to cut myself off, before I go into the aforementioned novel length territory. I’m already sailing ahead at almost 2,000 words, so I’d say it’s time to call it a night.
But in all seriousness, I just want to thank everyone who organized, contributed and attended NECON this year for creating an absolutely extraordinary event, one which even a “NECON newbie” like myself will never forget. Necon doesn’t just live up the hype, it surpasses it. There’s no other con like it, and I guarantee that I’m going to make a point to come back.
On Saturday, Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester hosted A Dark Carnival of Authors, an event to remember Rick Hautala, who passed away in March. The authors who read were Eric Dimbleby, Jennifer Pelland, K.A. Laity, Jessie Olson, Errick Nunnally, Rose Mambert, Frank Raymond Michaels, Morven Westfield, Inanna Arthen, John McIlveen, TJ May, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover.
Author Erin Thorne read at The Book Shop in Somerville, Massachusetts on Saturday.
Author Erin Thorne will be in Woodstock, Connecticut, on Friday at Treasures and Trash Consignment Shoppe from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The consignment shop is located at 1115 Rt. 169.
On Saturday, Thorne will be at The Book Shop in Somerville, Massachusetts, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. reading from her latest book, Behind The Wheel: And Other Stories.
Another event involving authors takes place at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The authors involved in this day-long event of horror and dark fantasy are Eric Dimbleby, Morven Westfield, Frank Raymond Michaels, K.A. Laity, Errick Nunnally, Inanna Arthen, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, TJ May, Rose Mambert, and Jessie Olson. They will be there at different times throughout the day. They are sharing their own work and honoring award-winning horror author Rick Hautala, who passed away this past March.
Stop in to hear some amazing and chilling writing, chat with authors, and remember the kind and talented Rick Hautala.
Dimbleby’s novel was published by Pill Hill Press and tells the tale how “a twist of fate and a slick trade draw a young man into a living nightmare. In the hands of a lovesick siren, his sanity slips from his grasp. He must battle to keep his loved ones and himself safe from her insatiable wrath.”
Please Don’t Go can be purchased in hard copy or Kindle version by visiting http://ericdimbleby.com/buyme.html.
Author Eric Dimbleby will be signing his debut novel, Please Don’t Know, at the Railroad Square Cinema’s event Damnationland: The Way Life Should Bleed this Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29.
In the novel, Zephyr becomes immersed in a tangled web of horror when he discovers that his new friend is being kept hostage by a demonic presence. A twist of fate and a slick trade suck him deeper into a living nightmare where he is soon trapped by the lovesick siren. Zephyr must learn to deal with the insatiable, violent beast as he battles to keep his life, his loved ones, and his sanity intact.
Please Don’t Go was released in September.
Damnationland is a showcase of short Maine-made horror films that features local filmmakers, writers, actors, and music. New filmmakers are chosen every year for this unique cinematic event. Unlike many traditional film festivals, the shorts are continuously screened back to back, without interruption. All credits are held until the end of the final film, keeping the tension heightened and leaving viewers on the edge of their seats. The short films start at 9 p.m. Unrated. App. 80 min.
On Saturday night, there is a zombie costume and participants have the chance to win a free movie pass. Three people with the best costumes will receive a free pass to a future move at Railroad Square Cinema