Pictures from the Last Day at the Hebron Harvest Fair

The vendor pass we received on Thursday. Photo by Jason Harris.

A new set-up for the NEHW booth on Sunday at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

The sign promoting Sunday’s authors. Photo by Jason Harris.

Alec Wallman, winner of last year’s NEHW raffle at the 2011 Hebron Harvest Fair, stopped by to say, “hello,” and to purchase 52 Stitches. Author Stacey Longo is in the background. Photo by Jason Harris.

NEHW member books on the table. Photo by Jason Harris.

A different view of the NEHW table. Photo by Jason Harris.

A front view of the NEHW table at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

A front view of the NEHW table at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Pictures from Friday and Saturday at the Hebron Harvest Fair

Author Kurt Newton reads to a group of people at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Artist Cheryl Normandie standing next to her work at the Hebron Harvest Fair.. Photo by Jason Harris.

The above picture is just one of many that will be in this post. If any pictures catch your eye, feel free to call Normandie, who lives in Brooklyn, Connecticut, at (860) 779-0827. All photos of her artwork were taken by Jason Harris.

Some of Normandie’s witches. Photo by Jason Harris.

A young fan enjoying the children’s book, Pookie and the Lost and Found Friend. Photo by Stacey Longo.

Author G. Elmer Munson signing a copy of his novel, Stripped. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author G. Elmer Munson signing a copy of his novel, Stripped. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo taking time out to get her picture taken with a cow. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Alan S. Kessler signing a copy of Satan Carol. Photo by Stacey Longo

Author Alan S. Kessler signing a copy of Satan Carol. Photo by Stacey Longo.

Author Rob Watts hanging out with some young fans. Photo by Stacey Longo.

Author Rob Watts getting a stern warning from Vernon Post Captain Austin Agnew for talking with some young fans. Photo by Stacey Longo.

Author Stacey Longo with Senator Richard Blumenthal at the NEHW booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo with Senator Richard Blumenthal at the NEHW booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author G. Elmer Munson eating some chocolate covered bacon. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo modeling a cane carved by a member of the Mystic Woodcarvers Club. Photo by Jason Harris.

Work by the Mystic Woodcarvers Club at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

More work by the Mystic Woodcarvers Club. Photo by Jason Harris.

The NEHW table at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Pictures from the First Day of the Hebron Harvest Fair

The NEHW sign at the back of the booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo at the NEHW sign promoting the readings and skits. Photo by Jason Harris.

The Mystic Woodcarvers (www.mysticcarvers.com) booth right next to the NEHW booth. Photo by Jason Harris.

The NEHW Director of Publicity in his skit costume. Photo by Stacey Longo.

Author Stacey Longo and a spider hangout at the NEHW booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo giving a reading at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

The Mystic Carvers busy carving at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

The NEHW booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

The NEHW booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo getting her hand eaten licked by the Farmer’s Cow’s calf. Photo by Jason Harris.

The NEHW Appearing at the Hebron Harvest Fair for the Second Time

The New England Horror Writers’ Association will be appearing at the Hebron Harvest Fair for the second year in a row.

Seven New England authors are scheduled to appear at the fair from Sept. 6 through 9 to do readings, perform skits, and autograph books.

Author Stacey Longo will be at the fair all four days, with copies of her children’s book Pookie and the Lost & Found Friend, which was just published in July 2012. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Stoker-nominated Epitaphs, which will also be available at the NEHW booth.

Also appearing will be Kurt Newton, author of The Brainpan Concerto, Ultimate PerVERSEities, and Powerlines, among other titles. He will be at the fair on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

G. Elmer Munson will be on hand on Saturday to sign copies of his novel, Stripped.

Robert Duperre, author of seven novels including The Fall and Silas, will be at the NEHW booth on Saturday.

Rob Watts, author of Huldufolk, will be at the fair Saturday. Huldufolk is an Icelandic fantasy/horror novella that comes with a free CD of music compiled by the fictional band in the story.

Authors Alan S. Kessler (A Satan Carol) and Dan Foley will be appearing on Saturday and author David Price (Tales from the Grave: An Anthology of True Ghost Stories) will be appearing on Sunday.

The NEHW was formed in 2001 to promote writers and illustrators of dark fiction within and outside the association. They offer writing workshops, discussion forums, social events, and appearance opportunities to their members.

Click here to find out about the Hebron Harvest Fair.

An Author’s First Publicity Event

An Author’s First Publicity Event

by G. Elmer Munson

G. Elmer Munson signing a book for a fan. Photo by Stacey Longo.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending my first event with the New England Horror Writers.  It all started out like a dream I’d once had: The lights came on as we all gathered backstage in anticipation.  The crowd chanted “N-E-H-W! N-E-H-W!” as they stomped their feet in the soft grass of the Wadsworth Mansion.  Out of nowhere, someone screamed “Let’s get ready to rumble” and the crowd went wild.  We all ran out to the sound of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and Apollo Creed gave us all high fives.

Okay, I may have embellished a bit there.  What actually happened was no less awesome but much more low-key.  I simply walked up to the booth full of people I’d never actually met and said, “hi,” and it was all cool.  I met Robert J. Dupree, Jason Harris, Alan Kessler, Stacey Longo, David Price, and Rob Watts and immediately felt welcome.  I was glad I’d decided against wearing my werewolf costume, and not just because it would have been life-threateningly hot.

After finding a home for my books, I sat down and we talked about movies and stories and other normal things that people discuss.  It was very relaxed and very cool. The day was perfect (a bit of sun never did any harm … well, not much) and the place was pretty well packed.  We spoke with a lot of different people and everyone sold some books.  Quite a few people stood in the sun for a while just to talk to us about books, their favorite authors, and dark fiction in general. It was a great day to hang out, talk to people, and share our work with the world.

I left feeling great.  I left looking forward to Hebron and events beyond.  I also left inspired.  On the drive home, I thought of the greatest story in the world.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten it by the time I got home.

I couldn’t remember the greatest song in the world, so this blog is just a tribute.

Yes, I stole that from the D.

Authors Stacey Longo and Dan Foley’s Write-up of the Hebron Harvest Fair

A humorous (and a little fictionalized) take of the Hebron Harvest Fair from Author Stacey Longo’s blog (www.staceylongo.com):

Stacey Longo posing over her books in the NEHW booth at the fair

“I couldn’t update the blog on Saturday because I spent Thursday through Sunday working at the Hebron Harvest Fair. As a board member of the New England Horror Writers, it was my duty to sweat my butt off, trying to pawn off free short stories to passerby who were quite frankly more interested in the fried dough than the literary gems I was handing out. After being ignored for most of the afternoon the first day, I decided to pull out the big guns. I dug through my closet to find the lowest-cut blouse I owned. Miraculously, my sales doubled (to two) the next day.

It was a hot weekend, and my sunscreen gave out about two hours in on Saturday. I wound up baking like a potato, and am now unable to breathe too deeply without my skin cracking. It was all for the sake of art, so I guess it was worth it. Plus, when my tomato red finally fades to a toasty brown, I expect to save a ton of money on foundation, so that’s a help.

Greeting the public as a horror writer was a little different than just hanging out at a convention debating small press versus self publishing with other writers (sure, you might find that boring, but to us, it can spawn hours of intellectual discussion. That and the debate about who is cooler: Gambit or Wolverine.) But with the general public, the questions I heard were a lot different: “Why did you decide to become a writer?” “Does your mother know you write this sicko stuff?” And, by far, the most popular question: “Have you ever met Stephen King?” (A question that I’m sure one Judie T. gets often simply because she lives in Maine. But I digress.)”

Dan Foley’s write up:

“A Day at the Hebron Fair”

The weather was great. Alright, maybe it was a tad on the hot side, especially in the sun, but at least it didn’t rain. There was no sign of the mud that plagued the fair-goers on Day 1. Best part of the day – I got to meet a lot of fellow NEHW’ers I hadn’t meet before. Worst part of the day – I didn’t win the raffle. Most fun – getting a full, skull face painting.
The skull got a lot of smiles and some stares from the older crowd and quite a few worried reactions from the youngsters. Most of them eventually came over and gave me a “high five” but a few never got up the courage. Next year I think it would be great if we all came “in costume”. Now that would draw some attention.
Kudos’s to all who came, but especially to Jason & Stacey for all the work they put in to set this up and make a success of it. It was also nice to do something “down here” in Connecticut. See you there next year!”

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Author Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s Write-up and Pictures from the Hebron Harvest Fair

The NEHW banner on the back wall of the booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair

Hot Times at the Hebron Harvest Fair: The Thrill of Discovery by Kristi Petersen Schoonover

As a writer who gets herself “out there” a lot, I’m asked all the time by other writers: why? Why should I spend the money? Why should I go to an event? If I don’t sell any books, I won’t have made back my investment.

This is how I always answer: I enjoy investing in my writing career, and most of that money goes to publicity — which often includes attending events, like being part of the New England Horror Writers booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair this past weekend. Do I expect to make a huge number of sales? Not really. I do it to get my name out there and to meet people directly — something that pays off in the long run in more ways than just monetary. I spent five years writing for a public relations firm, so I know a little bit about the value of second endorsement — that’s why social media has exploded the way it has. People are much more likely to buy something if their friends tell them to than if they see it in an ad.

From left to right: Stacey Longo, Jason Harris, Kurt Newton, Danny Evarts, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover

Likewise, people are much more likely to purchase one of your books if they’ve met you and talked to you. Maybe not that minute, maybe not that night or the next day, but at one point, they will. I have an Amazon Wish List a mile long, mostly loaded with titles of books by writers I know or met at an event. And believe me, I will purchase those books when I’ve got some cash and the time to read them. Even if it’s a year from now.

But there’s another reason to attend these events, another reason that I’d actually forgotten about until this weekend: thrill.

That thrill of a reader discovering a new book he would like to read, of meeting the writer behind that book he was holding in their hands, of having that book signed and personalized — of just talking to writers about reading and writing.

Authors Scott Goudsward and Greg X. Graves practicing their Hamlet

I had put together a bunch of ghost stories, folded them in half, and inserted our NEHW flyer inside. I’d approach people and ask, “Would you like a ghost story for Halloween?” I expected most people to either say “no” or just unenthusiastically take it. But I got tons of surprises! A blonde in pink shorts smiled, opened the story right away, started reading, and crashed into someone. A woman in a brown sweatshirt went on and on about how much she loved ghost stories. One man in a DUCK, NORTH CAROLINA sweatshirt was so excited he offered to pay me for it. Two teenaged girls came back later and were begging me for more. For an hour on Saturday, the crowds had thinned and not many booths were busy, so I visited the vendors, figuring they could read for a few minutes while nothing was going on. The guys at one booth (I won’t say, because I don’t want to get them in trouble if their bosses end up reading this) were more than enthusiastic. “Oh, yeah!” the guy said. “I totally love scary stuff!”

Shroud magazine and a few books on a table at the NEHW booth

One woman came into the booth, all smiles, after I had handed her one of the ghost stories. She made a beeline for the table. “Oh my God! Is this the Disney book? [referring to Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole]. I saw this in the paper and I can’t believe I found it!” She just grinned and grinned (and I have to admit I had never seen anyone react that way to my book, so I felt a little strange) and when Ken teased her about “Hey, great, now she isn’t going to get one of mine,” she said, “You write, too?” (She was referring to Shock Totem). “Well,” Ken said, “I’m the editor.” She wasn’t fazed. “I’ll get one, which issue do you think I would like?” (I can’t remember if she wanted him to sign it or not, but I seem to recall she did. Ken can correct me). When I went to go get a cup of coffee, I passed one man sitting on a rock, reading. He had a copy of Kurt Newton’s Life Amongthe Dream Merchants and Other Phantasies. I had seen him at the booth with the book in his hands, and then when he realized Kurt was actually standing there, it was like he had won the lottery. Similar scenes played out with nearly all the writers who were there with their work.

Authors Schoonover and Longo

Kids were thrilled to talk about It’s Okay to Be a Zombie with Danny Evarts. Others were excited to talk with writers about other books. Countless discussions were going all weekend on everything from Stephen King to what new books are coming out to how to break into the business. And most people who purchased hung around for awhile to talk. It was a pretty lively booth most of the time.

A table in the NEHW booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair

No one can put a price tag on these experiences. I’m pretty sure I still get that thrilled look on my face when I buy a book I simply can’t wait to read (um, in fact I did it there when I found out there was a Lizzie Borden story in an issue of Shroud, so of course I bought it). I still get that thrilled look on my face when I meet an author of books I love (you should have seen me meet Peter Benchley. I think I just had my mouth open the whole time). I am always excited by the settings. And the readers at our booth, they got excited too. As I stood there, I was excited for them.

So if you’re on the fence about going to an event and you can at all afford it (we all have to eat, too), stop thinking about it in terms of the investment/profit ratio. Start thinking about it in terms of the second endorsement, the magical memory and the reader’s thrill of a new discovery and meeting the writer whose book he’s got in his hands. The readers we were, and probably still are.

I know that’s how I was inspired to become a writer in the first place.

Here is a link to more photos taken by Schoonover, www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.2147791928413.118778.1054758035

Author Dan Keohane’s Experience at the Hebron Harvest Fair

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Author Dan Keohane’s (Margaret’s Ark) write-up of his time at the Hebron Harvest Fair:

“I had an amazing time on Thursday night and Friday at the fair, working the NEHW table. Thursday might have been damp and raining, but lots of people came out, more so on sunny Friday. The pre-advertising paid off, as a number of folks searched us out. The concept of an organization of New England writers, though not foreign to all of us, was a new concept for many and we had a lot of great discussions on the topic, and showing folks the wide variety of styles, from novels to story anthologies to comics. One major and effective tool were photocopies of Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s short stories, which Stacey Longo handed out to people passing by. We even had someone come back looking for her to tell her how much she loved the story. Writers: think of this next time (I will for sure), it was a great giveaway item! Again, special thanks to Jason Harris and Stacey Longo for opening their home to us all, and for working tirelessly even weeks beforehand to make this an extremely enjoyable time for everyone.

Pictures from the Hebron Harvest Fair

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The raffle prize at the Hebron Harvest Fair

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Author Dan Keohane sitting outside the NEHW booth at the fair

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One of the tables Inside the NEHW booth

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Fairgoers looking at It’s OK to be a Zombie and Shroud magazine at the NEHW booth

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Authors Kurt Newton and Stacey Longo

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A NEHW t-shirt hanging above the raffle prize

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Newton meditating below the NEHW banner